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However, it was MS-DOS that solidified the company's dominance.

Ballmer also emphasized the need to continue pursuing new technologies even if initial attempts fail, citing the original attempts with Windows as an example.

Microsoft Office 2007, released at the same time, featured a "Ribbon" user interface which was a significant departure from its predecessors.

Gates retired from his role as Chief Software Architect on June 27, 2008, a decision announced in June 2006, while retaining other positions related to the company in addition to being an advisor for the company on key projects.

On February 12, 2009, Microsoft announced its intent to open a chain of Microsoft-branded retail stores, and on October 22, 2009 the first retail Microsoft Store opened in Scottsdale, Arizona; the same day Windows 7 was officially released to the public.

Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS's available software selection, Microsoft eventually became the leading PC operating systems vendor. Meanwhile, the company was at work on a 32-bit OS, Microsoft Windows NT, which was heavily based on their copy of the OS/2 code.

In 1990, due to the partnership with IBM, the Federal Trade Commission set its eye on Microsoft for possible collusion, marking the beginning of over a decade of legal clashes with the U. It shipped on July 21, 1993, with a new modular kernel and the Win32 application programming interface (API), making porting from 16-bit (MS-DOS-based) Windows easier. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division filed a Competitive Impact Statement that said, in part: "Beginning in 1988, and continuing until July 15, 1994, Microsoft induced many OEMs to execute anti-competitive "per processor" licenses.

The company also produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops and servers, including Internet search (with Bing), the digital services market (through MSN), mixed reality (Holo Lens), cloud computing (Azure) and software development (Visual Studio).

Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, and later envisioned a "devices and services" strategy.