Born: October 28 1955 in Seattle, Washington U.S.A.
Parents: Sir William H. Gates and Mary Maxwell Gates.
Education: Did graduation from Lakeside School in 1973.
Joined Harvard College in 1973 but did not complete studies.
Bill Gates was born in a family of Scottish descent, of middle and upper class. His father was a prominent lawyer while his mother was director of First Interstate Banc system. He has two sisters Kristianne and Libby. He joined lakeside school at age 13. On graduation he scored 1590/1600 in 1973 (I.Q. 170)
The school managed to buy an ASR-33 Teletype terminal and block computer time on General Electric (GE) computer. Bill Gates, being intelligent availed the facility to program the G.E. system to BASIC. Thus fascinated he wrote his first computer program on this machine. Later Gates and his three colleagues sought computer time from Computer Centre Cooperation (CCC) but were caught exploiting bugs in operating system gain free time and were banned.
These four students Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland and Kent Evans were engaged by CCC, after the ban, to find bugs in their software in exchange for computer time and some fees. Bill Gates opted to study source codes for various programs FORTRAN, LISP, and machine language till 1970 when CCC was closed down.
These four computer architects joined Information Sciences Inc. to write the schools payroll in COBOL and did other programs too. At age 17 Gates and Allen designed traffic counters (Traf-o-Data) on Intel 8008 processor. In early 1973 Bill Gates became a Congressional Page in the U.S House of Representatives.
Popular Electronics released MITS ALTAIR 8800 based on Intel 8080 CPU in January 1975. This attracted Gates and Allen, who felt an opportunity to start their own computer software company, with support from parents. Gates tapped Micro Instruments and Telemetry System (MITS) to introduce his planned BASIC interpreter for the platform. A successful demonstration was arranged at MITS office and a deal was concluded. MITS agreed to distribute.
Gates interpreters were named ALTAIR BASIC. Paul Allen was hired MITS. Gates left college and joined Allen to work together. Their partnership was later named Microsoft in November 1975 and got the name registered in November 1976 with Secretary of State of New Mexico.
Microsoft Basic became popular among hobbyists who copied their programs and distributed. In 1976 States started demanding payment for the copies and refused to continue otherwise. In late 1976 Microsoft become independent of MITS and later shifted to new office in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. Gates was a successful Executive because he was very particular in his business details and reviewed everything minutely.
IBM approached Microsoft to write the Basic interpreter for their IBM PC in 1980. They tried Digital Research (DRI) unsuccessfully. Gates proposed them to use 86-Dos (QDOS) operating system of Seattle Computer Products (SCP). While negotiating for IBM, Microsoft became exclusive Licensing Agents of SCP and later full owners of 86-Dos. IBM paid a onetime fee of $50,000 excluding copyrights. MS-DOS increased Microsoft market effectively.
Gates restructured Microsoft in 1981 and became its President and board Chairman. The retail version of Microsoft Windows was launched in 1985. In a deal with IBM it developed operating system called OS/2 but got separated for technical reasons from IBM in 1991 to develop a separate Windows NT Kernel.
Mr. Gates controlled Company’s product strategy from 1995 thru 2006 defending and protecting achievements vigorously. He remained in constant touch with senior managers for first hand reports and progress and often pushed them for finer details to safeguard company’s long term interests.
Bill Gates was an active Software architect, programming language products and wrote codes. He was quiet aggressive in marketing. He often had to face antitrust litigation where he, at times, put non-serious arguments to defend charges of monopolization and competition violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. At times he had to pay penalties too.
Gates adopted unique ways to promote Microsoft. He created news by media coverage of himself shopping, visiting friends or demonstrating his products. His personal presence in ads gave impetus to Microsoft indirectly.
Bill Gates decided in 2006, to reduce his daily working load and announced steady transition. He placed Ray Ozzie in charge of day to day management while Craig Mundie in charge of long term product strategy. He relieved himself for part time supervision only and full time for his philanthropic projects.
Gates Personal Life
William H. Gates married Melinda French from Dallas, Taxes in 1994. They have three children Jenifer Katharine, Rory John and Phobe Adele. They live in Medina near lake Washington on hill side. His landed property was stated to be worth $150 millions. His estate has all the modern sophisticated facilities and amenities that money can buy.
He is a lover of art. His collections include writings by Leonardo da Vinci, bought in auction for $ 30.8 Millions. He is also given to reading books and maintains a large home library. He enjoys playing bridge, golf and tennis.
The various assessment firms, World Wide, are always counting his wealth. Forbes has registered him as world’s richest man from 1993 thru 2007 and 2009. However his net worth is stated around $40 Billion.
Bill Gates is an American, chairman of Microsoft, a business magnate, philanthropist and author of two books. Gates personally is the best known architect of the personal computer.
He had a lot of admirers and some business rivals and critics too. The foundation received criticism that its aim is to maximize return on investment. As a result the companies are worsening poverty in developing countries. It’s pharmaceutical companies do not sell in deprived world. The critics maintain that it amounts to squeezing public with one hand and giving away with the other hand. However the foundation announced to review its policy, but later the review was cancelled, reverting to original routine.
He realized that he need to attend to the philanthropic projects as the expectations of the public and media was that more money ought to be spent on the needy. In 2000 Gates and Melinda Gates merged three family foundations into one to form Melinda and Gates Foundation, the World’s largest operating charitable organization.
Bill Gates is following the aim to tackle those global problems that the governments and other organizations usually ignore. In 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates, contributions to charity in America amounted to $28 billion.
World Wide Recognition
Gates has received honorary doctorates from various Universities and renowned Institutes World Wide. Queen Elizabeth II bestowed Honorary Knight-Commander of the Order of British Empire. (KBE)
The leading magazines rated him most influential person, most philanthropic, heroic, most powerful CEO and the richest American of the 20th century.
Bibliography: Gates has authored two books.
- The Road ahead written in 1995.
- Business @ the speed of thought written in 1999.