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The Bill Gates Story

22.12.2020 21:25

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. 

He and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft which is the #1 software company in the world. 

He is one of the best-known entrepreneurs and pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2015 their revenue was $110.4 billion.

Bill Gates is the second richest man on earth with a net worth of $100.6 billion. 

He was the CEO of Microsoft until January 2000, currently he is the Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella.

He focuses a lot of his time on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that is why he has taken a less demanding role at Microsoft so that he can focus more on philanthropy

Early Life

Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington on the 28th of October 1955. 

His father is William H. Gates Sr and his mother is Mary Maxwell Gates. 

His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way of America. 

Gates's maternal grandfather was J. W. Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has an older sister Kristi (Kristianne) and a younger sister Libby. 

He is the fourth of his name in his family but is known as William Gates III or "Trey" (i.e., three) because his father had the "II" suffix.

Early in his life, Gates observed that his parents wanted him to pursue a law career.

At the age of 13 he enrolled in Lakeside School a private preparatory school. 

Gates took an interest in programming the GE (General Electric) system in BASIC, and he was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. 

He wrote his first computer program on this machine, an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. 

Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly. 

Gates met Paul Allen at the school and they worked together to find bugs in the PDP-10 system belonging to Computer Center Corporation. 

Gates, Paul and two other students wrote a payroll program for Information Sciences in exchange for computer time and royalties. 

After that it lead on to his school becoming fully aware of his programming skills, he created a program to schedule students in classes.

At the age of 17 he and Paul started a venture called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on Intel 8008 processors. 

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973 and was a National Merit Scholar, he scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT. 

He enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973 where he met Steve Ballmer.

Gates did not have a study plan at Harvard but spent a lot of time using the computers. 

In 1974 he joined Paul Allen at Honeywell. In 1975 the MITS Altair 8800 based on Intel's 8080 CPU was released and Gates and Allen saw the opportunity to start their own computer software company.

Gates dropped out of Harvard that same year. His parents were supportive of him after seeing how much he wanted to start his own company.

He explained his decision to leave Harvard: "if things hadn't worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on leave."

Bill and Paul saw this as an opportunity to start their own software company.


The Microsoft Story

In 1975 Gates read an article in the January of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted MITS, the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform.

Gates and Allen did not have any written code, they wanted to gauge the interest of MITS.

They met with the MITS president and had developed an Altair emulator within few weeks to demonstrate on a minicomputer and then the BASIC interpreter. 

The demonstration was a success which lead onto a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. 

Paul Allen was hired into MITS and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen in November 1975. 

They named their partnership Micro-Soft, a year later the hyphen was dropped, and on 26th of November 1976 the trade name Microsoft was registered.

IBM approached Microsoft to write a BASIC interpreter for the new IBM PC, Gates referred them to Digital Research as they required an operating system, but the discussions did not go well. 

So IBM representatives spoke with Gates around the discussions and he proposed using 86-DOS owned by SCP, an operating system similar to hardware similar to the PC. 

Microsoft made a deal with SCP to become the exclusive licensing agent, and later the full owner of 86-DOS. 

After adapting the operating system for the PC, Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC DOS in exchange for a one time fee of $50,000.

The sales of MS-DOS made Microsoft a major player in the industry. 

Despite IBM's name on the operating system on the operating system, the press quickly identified Microsoft as being very influential on the new computer. 

The computer was called by an expert in the industry as Gates computer. 

The company was restructured on the 25th of June 1981, Gates become the president and board chairman.

Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows on 20th November 1985 and struck a deal with IBM to develop a separate operating system called OS/2. 

IBM and Microsoft developed the first version of the new system successfully, but their partnership deteriorated due to creative differences.

Microsoft has been growing ever since. The software and hardware products have been expanding from Windows OS, Microsoft Office Suites, Office 365, Xbox, Bing, Hotmail, the list goes on. 

It all began with the first idea, and then they built upon that.

Since 1975 Microsoft has had a domination over the software market, Windows software is used in most companies. 

They have consistently kept up with the pace of change and that is why they remain the #1 software company in the world.


Gates started his foundation the William H. Gates Foundation in 1994 by selling some of his shares in Microsoft, he was inspired by the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, in 2000 he and his wife merged the three family foundations to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, their foundation is the worlds wealthiest, with assets valued at more than $34.6 billion. 

As of 2007 Bill and Melinda Gates were the second most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity.

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