Last night in the Microsoft Surface Keynote, during his attempt to convince us why Microsoft would be able to create great hardware products to run it’s software, Steve Ballmer explained how the #1 revenue source in 1980, the year he joined Microsoft, was a hardware device called Softcard. It’s around the 4:15 mark.
I Googled ‘Softcard’.
It turns out, Ballmer wasn’t lying. Softcard was Microsoft’s #1 revenue source in 1980. What he didn’t mention was that Softcard was a hardware device designed for the Apple II computer (via Wikipedia):
The Z-80 SoftCard was a plug-in card supplied by Microsoft for use with the Apple II personal computer, which did not have a Z-80 compatible processor and could not run CP/M. It had a Zilog Z80 CPU plus some 74LS00 series TTL chips to adapt that processor’s bus to the rather different bus system used in the Apple. The card was eventually renamed the Microsoft SoftCard.
How bout that.