On this day in 1974 the machine that inspired Paul Allen and Bill Gates, and eventually lead to the creation of Microsoft, went on sale. The Altair 8800 computer kit made by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems of New Mexico marked the start of the consumer computer industry. According to Wired "The Altair 8800 kit sold for just under $400 (about $1,700 in today's money). If you wanted to forgo the case, you could get the kit for under $300. Or you could order the whole deal fully assembled: Old-Computers.com quotes a $595 price."