Visio Corporation

Visio Corporation
Traded as NASDAQ: VSIO
Industry Software
Fate Acquired by Microsoft Corporation
Predecessor Axon Corporation
Successor Microsoft Corporation
Founded May 1, 1989 (1989-05-01)
  • Jeremy Jaech
  • Dave Walter
  • Ted Johnson
Defunct January 7, 2000 (2000-01-07)
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, United States

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.


Axon Corporation was incorporated May 1, 1989, shortly after Jeremy Jaech left Aldus.[1] Later in the summer of 1990, Jeremy Jaech and Ted Johnson met to come up with the initial product definition and then in the fall of 1990 recruited Dave Walter as their third founder.[2] 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 and on November 9, 1995, marked its initial public offering of stock under the ticker VSIO.[3]

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.[4][5]


  1. "Visio Corp Timeline". Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  2. "The Early Days of Visio Corporation". 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  3. "Visio Corp Trivia". Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  4. The Associated Press (1999-09-15). "Microsoft buying Visio for $1.3 billion". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2006-08-20.
  5. "$1.5 billion Visio purchase complete, Microsoft says". The Seattle Times. 2000-01-08. Retrieved 2006-08-20.

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