Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 09:12 UK

The original Microsoft 'family'


How the staff photo came about

In 1978, when Microsoft was three years old and based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, there were only a dozen people working for the company - compared with the current number of almost 90 000 employees worldwide.

The original Microsoft 'family'

Here we have 11 of the early pioneers, in a photograph that has evolved from a snapshot to become a historic document.

Thirty years on from the taking of the original photograph, the Microsoft staff who worked at Albuquerque were reunited to recreate the photograph.

Most of the team had not seen one another for many years.

It took weeks of organisation to bring them back together.

The picture shows

Back row from left to right:

The original Microsoft 'family' enjoys their reunion

Steve Wood Left Microsoft in 1980 and has worked in the technology sector ever since.

Bob Wallace Left Microsoft in 1983. Died in 2002.

Jim Lane Left Microsoft in 1985. Stills works in software.

Middle row from left to right:

Bob O'Rear Had worked for NASA before joining Microsoft and was the oldest member of staff in the photograph. Left Microsoft in 1983 but stayed within the hi-tech sector.

Bob Greenberg Responsible for organising the photo session. Left Microsoft in 1981. Is a member of the family responsible for Cabbage Patch dolls.

Marc McDonald Generally credited with being Microsoft's first salaried employee. Left the company in 1984 because "it was getting too big" but returned to work there later.

Gordon Letwin Left Microsoft in 1993. Is now involved with various environmental causes.

Front row from left to right:

Bill Gates Co-founder of Microsoft. Was 23 years old when the photograph was taken. Stands down from day-to-day control of Microsoft on 27th June 2008 but remains Chairman indefinitely.

Andrea Lewis Left Microsoft in 1983. Has since worked as a journalist.

Marla Wood Left Microsoft in 1980. Lives just outside Seattle.

Paul Allen School friend of Gates, joint founder of Microsoft and one of the Microsoft billionaires. Withdrew from full-time involvement with the company in 1983 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Now engaged in a range of new enterprises from space exploration to bio-sciences.

'Mama' takes part

The original photograph should also have featured Miriam Lubow, the office secretary who was affectionately known as the Microsoft "Mama", as she was the oldest employee of the company.

Former office secretary Miriam Lubow joins the rest of the original Microsoft 'family'

However, there was a snowstorm on the day the photograph was taken - an unusual problem for New Mexico.

Ms Lubow's husband advised her to stay at home and so she missed being in the picture.

However, when the photograph was recreated in 2008, Lubow joined her former colleagues for another version, in which she takes pride of place - thirty years on

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