Microsoft Japan

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Microsoft logo.jpg
Microsoft Japan
TypeSubsidiary of Microsoft
Founded1979 (ASCII Japan)
1986 (Microsoft Japan)
HeadquartersTokyo, Japan
Key peopleKazuhiko Nishi, founder (ASCII Microsoft)
Bill Gates, founder (Microsoft Japan)
IndustryComputer software, video games
ProductsComputer software, video games
Employeesnot disclosed

Microsoft Japan Co., Limited (日本マイクロソフト株式会社, Nihon Microsoft Kabushiki Kaisha) is the Japanese branch of Microsoft.

ASCII Microsoft

In 1979, Kazuhiko Nishi, the co-founder of ASCII, founded ASCII Microsoft to distribute Microsoft products in Japan.


The MSX computer standard was announced on June 16, 1983 by Microsoft Japan, as an attempt to create unified standards among computer manufacturers of the time. Many Japanese companies, such as Sony, Yamaha, Canon, and Sharp, released computers that adhered to the MSX standard. Despite Microsoft's involvement, MSX computers were mainly sold in Japan and Europe, with few manufacturers releasing MSX computers in North America.

In 1984, ASCII Microsoft was merged into ASCII.

Microsoft Japan

In 1986, Bill Gates founded Microsoft Japan. From this point, Microsoft Japan distributed Microsoft's products in Japan directly, while ASCII retained the rights to MSX.