The very successful hardware that Microsoft has ever produced

The very successful hardware that Microsoft has ever produced

Perhaps one of us also have to think Microsoft is a software company, and is the largest corporate software world, but the actually not the case. Microsoft during its operation 37 years to 32 years has been designing and selling hardware products. And the sale of hardware Microsoft is also giving substantial financial rewards of their total revenue. You should also know that the number of Microsoft-branded mouse equal to the number of software products that Microsoft has ever sold, or their XBox gaming machines are preferred all over the TG.

Through years of development, Microsoft is not only selling peripherals like mice and keyboards, but extended to handle areas such as gaming, webcam, internet routers, cordless phones, speakers, music, mobile phones, game consoles and many many other products. And most recently, Microsoft officially entered the computer market with products Surface table.

That's what people think of when talking about the hardware products that Microsoft has ever produced. However, one interesting thing is that Microsoft also has produced many of the extended components (add more) for the computer during the 80s of the 20th century, starting with the Apple computer SoftCard II in 1980.

This article aims to relive a business segment that Microsoft has been involved and successful, including 10 hardware products once they produce and sell worldwide in the years 1980, which not many of us now know or recall.

1. Microsoft SoftCard (1980)

Microsoft SoftCard The expansion board is a board for Apple II personal computer (launched 1977) was first sold in 1980 . Zilog Z80 CPU it contains help for the Apple II could run the operating system CP / M and the associated application platform (if you do not know and platform Z80 CP / M is nothing, think that it is comparable WinTel alliance itself today - Windows and Intel).

this SoftCard Motherboard expansion and selling hardware products become Microsoft's most popular at the time, right before the product The company's first computer was born two years later. SoftCard marks Microsoft's first step into the computer hardware market.

2. Microsoft RAMCard for the Apple II (1980)

RAMCard is an accessory for the board to expand the aforesaid SoftCard Z80. RAMCard will be attached to one of three expansion slots of the Apple II and provides 16KB of RAM expansion (total would be 56KB - a very small figure compared with many gigabytes of RAM is common today) for applications based on CP / M running on board SoftCard. The traditional applications such as VisiCalc Apple II's can take advantage of this RAM expansion and increased work performance.

3. Microsoft RAMCard for IBM PC (1982)

The Microsoft RAMCard designed for the IBM PC, the different features for the Apple II RAMCard just above , it serves to expand the memory and hard drive just as solid (similar SSD) for the machine. Combined with Microsoft's application RAMDrive, CHEC This card emulates a hard disk and offers operating speed much faster (up to 50 times in the ad), this product is a precursor of the drive SSD today. The IBM PC RAMCard for more capacity from 64KB to 256KB, quite an abundance amount at that time. It is known at this time, the standard floppy disk for IBM PC with a capacity of only 360KB.

4. Microsoft SystemCard (1983)

Microsoft started adding more extensions for components for the IBM PC in 1983 with the introduction of the SystemCard, an expansion card using ISA standard interface . The expansion card play the card of at least four independent features into one, saving the ISA slot.

Similar to RAMCard, SystemCard help expand capacity Hard drive from 64KB to 256KB RAM, and integrate with a printer port, a printer spooler (help arrange the commands in sequence sent to the printer), an RS232 serial port and a clock chip as real time.

5. Microsoft Premium SoftCard IIe (1983)

1982 Apple launches Apple IIe computer, an upgrade for the Apple II line of its highly successful. A year later, Microsoft also launched a new SoftCard expansion board to take advantage of hardware improvements Apple IIe computer (such as high-resolution double screen, more RAM, and a new communication standard). The name of the new board is Premium SoftCard IIe, although not make much impact as the first-generation board, but still attract much attention from the user community the Apple IIe.

6. Microsoft mouse with PCjr Booster (1984)

In 1984, Microsoft released PCjr Booster, a computer open to help upgrade IBM PCjr 192KB of RAM and a mouse Microsoft-branded computer. With booster PCjr, IBM PCjr computer has a total of 256KB of memory, which enhances the performance of the application process considerably compared with only 64KB of memory by default (if your computer now has 6GB of RAM, ie that you are more than 100 thousand times the amount of RAM for nearly 30 years ago).

7. Microsoft MacEnhancer (1985)

Although sounds very strange at this point, but in the 1980 Microsoft is one of the very strong pro-Macintosh platform Apple. Therefore, Microsoft has released a lot of components to extend this series, MacEnhancer is one of them. MacEnhancer will be attached to the printer port or modem port of your Mac to help expand a parallel port and two serial ports. User community are very interested in this product and manufacturing custom firmware out for it, help MacEnhancer can use with many printers, modems and other accessories for which only IBM PC only. < br />
8. Microsoft inport (1986)

In 1986, Microsoft announced new interface standard for new computer mouse, called inport. This interface designed for Microsoft's own integrated circuits (called inport Graphics Input Chip) with 9-pin connector is quite compact (commonly used with the following serial mouse) to help reduce costs for computer mouse in general, due to conclude chip has moved most PC data instead processing for handling the mouse itself.

Soon Microsoft also introduced inport and mouse interface card using this interface, and produce the chip and the socket and provide for all the peripherals manufacturer other acts as OEM, something quite strange compared to the behavior of Microsoft today. This standard does not conclude, however short lived, and with standard PS / 2 IBM replaced later (current PS / 2 ports are still used to plug the mouse and keyboard on the desktop).

9. Board acceleration Microsoft Mach 10 (1986)

When Microsoft introduced Windows 1.0 in late 1985, the company has encountered a situation that most of the IBM PC market is not enough power to run Windows smoothly. Therefore the company has introduced speed of Mach 10 board, which nearly doubled the speed for the PC and IBM PC XT which is equipped with 8088 CPU (speed of 4.77 MHz). The circuit board 10 includes a very powerful CPU time was 8086 with 9.54 MHz clock and a communication inport only on a single board.

10. Board acceleration Microsoft Mach 20 (1988)

Similar to Mach 10, the board also helps speed Mach 20 chips for PC 8088 to run the application software platform Windows is smoother, particularly Excel and Microsoft OS / 2 (an operating system with graphical interface used to replace Windows driven).

Board Mach 20 plugs into a slot ISA's standard IBM PC and provide a system of 80 286 CPU (speed of 8 MHz), a slot for 80287 processor and a communication inport mouse. Microsoft added the ability to provide upgraded RAM attached to the rear board enhances Mach 20 and add up to 3.5 MB of RAM again. At the same time provide additional capacity hard drive upgrade for the IBM PC read the floppy drive.

MS continues to produce and hardware business since 1988, but after the board speed of Mach 20, the company has shifted focus largely on the input peripherals and other external accessories for PC, and above all a field of software which is very successful Windows operating system and Office. We can say, Microsoft has been very successful with products expanded component was impressed at the time of the 80s of last century.

According to PCMag

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