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William Henry Gates III is an American business mogul, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist who was born on October 28, 1955. He is a Microsoft Corporation co-founder. During his time at Microsoft, Gates served as chairman, CEO, president, and chief software architect, as well as being the company’s largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He is regarded as one of the most well-known entrepreneurs of the 1970s and 1980s microcomputer revolution. Gates grew up in Seattle, Washington, where he was born and reared. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, he co-founded Microsoft with boyhood buddy Paul Allen in 1975. It grew to become the world’s largest software firm for personal computers. When Steve Ballmer took over as CEO in January 2000, Gates stepped aside as chairman and CEO, but he remained chairman of the board of directors and became chief software architect. He was chastised in the late 1990s for his business methods, which were deemed anti-competitive. Numerous court judgments have supported this viewpoint.
After seeing the Altair 8800 in the January 1975 edition of Popular Electronics, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) to let them know that he and colleagues were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform. In truth, Gates and Allen didn’t have an Altair and hadn’t developed any code for it; they only wanted to see whether MITS was interested. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet with them for a demonstration, and over the course of a few weeks, they created an Altair emulator for a minicomputer, as well as a BASIC interpreter. The presentation took place at MITS’s headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico; it was a success, and MITS agreed to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. MITS recruited Allen, and in November 1975, Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work alongside him at MITS. Their initial office was in Albuquerque, and they called their company “Micro-Soft,” a mix of “microcomputer” and “software.” Ric Weiland, a high school friend of Gates and Allen’s, was the first employee they recruited. Within a year, they eliminated the hyphen and on November 26, 1976, the Secretary of State of New Mexico formally registered the trade name “Microsoft.” Gates never returned to Harvard to continue his education. Although computer hobbyists loved Microsoft’s Altair BASIC, Gates learned that a pre-release copy had escaped and was being extensively copied and disseminated. In February 1976, he published an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter, claiming that more than 90% of Microsoft Altair BASIC users had not paid for it, and that the Altair “hobby market” was in danger of removing any professional developers’ incentive to create, distribute, and maintain high-quality software. Many computer hobbyists were outraged by this letter, but Gates stood firm in his conviction that software creators should be entitled to demand money. In late 1976, Microsoft broke away from MITS and proceeded to create programming language software for a variety of platforms. On January 1, 1979, the firm relocated from Albuquerque to Bellevue, Washington. Gates said that in the company’s first five years, he personally examined and rebuilt every piece of code. He rose through the ranks of the firm, eventually becoming a manager and then an executive. DONKEY.BAS is a 1981 computer game that was along with early versions of the PC DOS operating system that came with the IBM PC. It’s a driving game where the player must avoid colliding with donkeys. Gates and Neil Konzen collaborated on the game’s script.
In July 1980, IBM, the largest provider of computer equipment to commercial businesses at the time, approached Microsoft about software for its impending personal computer, the IBM PC, after Bill Gates’ mother, Mary Maxwell Gates, recommended Microsoft to IBM’s CEO, John Opel. The BASIC interpreter was initially suggested by IBM, and afterwards by Microsoft. When IBM’s representatives indicated that they required an operating system, Gates directed them to Digital Research (DRI), the company that created the popular CP/M operating system. However, IBM’s talks with Digital Research did not go well, and they were unable to negotiate a licencing agreement. During a following meeting with Gates, IBM representative Jack Sams brought up the licencing issues and asked whether Microsoft could supply an operating system. A few weeks later, Gates and Allen recommended adopting 86-DOS, a CP/M-like operating system created by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products (SCP) for PC-like hardware. SCP agreed to let Microsoft be the sole licencing agency for 86-DOS, and subsequently the complete owner. For a one-time price of $50,000, Microsoft hired Paterson to modify the operating system for the PC and deliver it to IBM as PC DOS. Microsoft only received a modest amount as a result of the arrangement. The reputation gained by IBM’s adoption of Microsoft’s operating system would be the catalyst for Microsoft’s metamorphosis from a tiny firm to the world’s top software firm. Because he thought that other personal computer producers would clone IBM’s PC hardware, Gates had not volunteered to transfer the operating system’s copyright to IBM. They succeeded in making the IBM-compatible PC, which ran DOS, the de facto industry standard. Microsoft became a prominent participant in the business thanks to the sales of MS-DOS (the version of DOS supplied to clients other than IBM). Microsoft was soon recognised as a major player in the media.
On November 20, 1985, Microsoft and Gates released the first retail version of Microsoft Windows in an attempt to counter Apple’s Macintosh GUI, which had captivated customers with its simplicity and ease of use. In August of the following year, the firm announced a partnership with IBM to create OS/2, a new operating system. Despite the success of the initial iteration of the new system, the cooperation between the two firms began to erode due to growing creative differences. Over the course of a decade, the operating system evolved organically from DOS, until the DOS text screen was consigned to the closet with Windows 95. One year after Gates stepped down, Microsoft introduced Windows XP. Before handing over the reins of the company to John W. Thompson on February 5, 2014, Gates launched Windows 8.1, the last version of the operating system. Windows 10 is the most recent release as of 2020.
Personal Profile of Bill Gates
- Name: Bill Gates
- Date of Birth: 28 October 1955
- Age: 65 years
- Birth Sign: Scorpio
- Nationality: American
- Parents: Bill Gates Sr., Mary Maxwell Gates
- Siblings: Libby Gates MacPhee, Kristi Gates
- Birth Place/City: Seattle, Washington, United States
- Profession: Business magnate, Investor & Software Developer
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