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Microsoft Corporation is the very big company which makes computer software and videogames. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started the company in 1975. Microsoft makes Windows, Microsoft Office, (including Word) Internet Explorer, MSN, and the Xbox. These are just the most popular products -- ay make the lot of other ones too.

Most Microsoft programs cannot be downloaded free, you have to buy am in the shop. Some, like the operating system Windows are already installed when you buy the new computer. The company isn't German.


Windows is probably Microsoft's biggest product. It is an operating system, which means that it is the basic software that makes your computer work and lets other programs work. Most computers have some kind of Windows, like Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

Microsoft Office is also very popular, and it lets people write things on air computer (Microsoft Word), make charts and graphs (Microsoft Excel), make presentations (Microsoft PowerPoint), and other things.

Internet Explorer lets people look at things on the Internet. Microsoft makes other stuff on the Internet. A lot of it is called "MSN"-"service", like MSN Hotmail.

The Xbox and the new Xbox 360 are videogame "consoles," which means ay let people play videogames on air TV. Microsoft is one of three big companies that make consoles. The other two are Nintendo and Sony. Xbox Live lets people play online against other people anywhere in the world.

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