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July 1981
Microsoft buys code for an operating system from Seattle Computer and renames it MS-DOS, effectively launching its stranglehold on the software market. Microsoft then licenses MS-DOS to IBM for use on its new personal computer, which sells like gangbusters and poses fierce competition for Apple. Gates then pressures IBM to allow Microsoft to aggressively market MS-DOS to makers of IBM clones. Soon, Microsoft dominates the industry.

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Last updated June 25 2008: 4:03 PM ET
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