What I do know is that Bill Gates was a completely unknown school kid until he was brought to IBM's attention by his mother.
MITS Altair BASIC
Microsoft refines and enhances BASIC to sell to other customers including General Electric, NCR, and Citibank.
Applesoft BASIC, Microsoft COLBOL-80
Microsoft 8080 BASIC is the first microprocessor product to win the ICP Million Dollar Award. Traditionally dominated by software for mainframe computers, this recognition is indicative of the growth and acceptance of the PC industry.
MBASIC for the 8086
Microsoft Z-80 SoftCard. CP/M plug-n card for the Apple II.
Microsoft 16 bit XENIX OS (licensed from AT&T) and a full suite of 16 bit *NIX programming languages.
Revenues $7,520,000. ($21,273,620, adjusted for inflation) Microsoft Timeline
CP/M-86 was in development hell.
Gates promised delivery of a marketable 16 bit CP/M clone in time for the scheduled launch of the IBM PC --- at an unprecedented mass market price of $50 retail list in return for a non-exclusive license.
80% off the proposed list price for CP/M-86.
The entire point of the business, btw, was to isolate the IBM development team from the IBM PC hierarchy.
I very much doubt the PC development team ever gave the slightest thought to Gate's mother. They were looking for lean and hungry outsiders, ready and willing to move.
But Billl Gates and Microsoft were not the unknowns that myth made them, even then.