Two women carry boxes of Microsoft Windows 95 through Beijing’s Forbidden City in 1996. The Chinese version of the operating system was officially launched in China in a ceremony in the Forbidden City, the former palace of China’s emperors.
Image: AP Photo/Greg Baker
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The 1990s were an explosive period for the personal computer. A chief reason: Microsoft. While it wasn’t a computer maker like IBM or Apple, its Windows operating system was the introduction to computers for millions of people.
Photos from that decade show the growing reach and dominance of Microsoft. The company debuted Windows across Asia to frenzy and fanfare, while founder and CEO Bill Gates was the nerdy global ambassador of the PC revolution. It also served as a time capsule of the era: Gates played golf with US president Bill Clinton and schmoozed with late night host Jay Leno, while throngs crowded into electronics stores to purchase physical discs of the newest version of Windows.
Change came quickly as one century ended and a new one began. The milestone anti-trust case against Microsoft in the late nineties and early 21st century and the growing dominance of Apple in the early aughts made the following two decades looks a lot different for Microsoft than before.
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