Visio Corporation

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Not to be confused with Vizio, an unrelated consumer electronics company.

Visio Corporation was a software company based in Seattle, Washington. Its principal product was a diagramming application software of the same name. It was acquired by Microsoft and is now in a division of that company, which continues to develop the application under the name Microsoft Visio.


The company was founded in September 1990 as the Axon Corporation. All of its founders came from Aldus Corporation: Jeremy Jaech and Dave Walter were two of Aldus's original founders, and Ted Johnson was the lead developer of Aldus PageMaker for Windows.

In 1992, before it had released a single product, the company changed its name to Shapeware. It finally released its first application, Visio, in November of that year.

When Shapeware released Visio 4.0 on August 18, 1995, it was one of the first applications developed specifically for Windows 95.

In November 1995, Shapeware changed its own name to Visio 1 and marked its initial public offering of stock under the ticker VSIO.

On January 7, 2000, Microsoft Corporation acquired Visio in a stock swap. Microsoft gave Visio shareholders 0.45 Microsoft shares for each Visio share. Based on the value of Microsoft stock when the deal closed the trade was worth approximately US$1.5 billion. This was Microsoft's largest acquisition until they acquired aQuantive.[1][2]


  1. ^ The Associated Press (1999-09-15). "Microsoft buying Visio for $1.3 billion". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2006-08-20. [dead link]
  2. ^ "$1.5 billion Visio purchase complete, Microsoft says". The Seattle Times. 2000-01-08. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 

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