Bill Gates had finally gotten the message: The Internet wasn’t just important; it was the future of Microsoft. To rally the troops, he penned an epic memo, The Internet Tidal Wave, which would forever change the software giant’s focus and strategy. The changes would be vast, and they would occur at every level, and within every product that the company produced. As such, it would have a dramatic impact on both the software that Microsoft made and on the software development tools that it provided to outside programmers. The world would never be the same.
It would also not change overnight. First, Microsoft needed to launch Windows 95, a product that would come to represent both the apex of the software giant’s popularity and the end of an era, the beginning of the slow slide to follow. We’ll examine Windows 95 and its successors separately. For now, let’s look at how Microsoft shifted to make real Bill Gates’ new strategy. And how the firm announced the changes it was implementing to the world later that year.