Bill Gates

Bill Gates Skinny, shy and awkward, teenaged Bill Gates seemed an unlikely successor to his overachieving parents. His father, powerfully built and 6’6” tall, was a prominent Seattle attorney, and his mother served on charitable boards and ran the United Way. While he showed enormous talent for math and logic, young Bill, a middle child, was no one’s idea of a natural leader, let alone a future billionaire who would reinvent American business. Born in 1955, Gates attended public elementary school, and enrolled in the private Lakeside School at age twelve. The following year, Gates wrote his first computer program, at a time when computers were still room-sized machines run by scientists in white coats.

Soon afterwards, he and his friend Paul Allen wrote a scheduling program for the school–which coincidentally placed the two in the same classes as the prettiest girls in school. Still in high school, Gates and Allen founded a company called Traf-O-Data which analyzed city traffic data. Gates set off for Harvard University intending to become a lawyer like his father. Still shy and awkward, he rarely ventured out to parties unless dragged by his friend Steve Ballmer, whom he later repaid by naming him president of Microsoft. One day in December 1974, Allen, who was working at Honeywell outside of Boston, showed Gates a Popular Mechanics cover featuring the Altair 8800, a $397 computer from M.I.T.S. computing that any hobbyist could build. The only thing the computer lacked, besides a keyboard and monitor, was software. Gates and Allen contacted the head of M.I.T.S.

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and said they could provide a version of BASIC for the Altair. After a successful demonstration at the company’s Albuquerque headquarters, M.I.T.S. contracted with Gates and Allen for programming languages. The pair moved to New Mexico and started Micro-soft (they dropped the hypen later). Although the company’s first five clients went bankrupt, the company struggled on, moving to Seattle in 1979. The following year, IBM asked Gates to provide an operating system for its first personal computer. Gates purchased a system called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) for $50,000 from another company, changed the name to MS-DOS, and licensed it to IBM. The IBM PC took the market by storm when it was introduced in 1981–and licensing fees streamed into Microsoft, ensuring the company’s survival over the next several years.

Microsoft continued concentrating on the software market, adding consumer applications like Microsoft Word. In 1986, when the company went public, Gates became a paper billionaire at the age of thirty-one. The following year, the company introduced its first version of Windows, and by 1993 was selling a million copies a month. When Windows 95 was introduced in August 1995, 7 million copies were sold in the first six weeks alone. Microsoft’s software became so ubiquitous that the U.S. Justice Department began a series of long-lasting antitrust investigations against the company, bogging it down in protracted legal battles.

In 1995, Gates dramatically changed the direction of the entire company and focused on the Internet. While some of his efforts, including the much hyped Microsoft Network and its highly touted Web “shows”, fizzled, the company quickly gained ground on Netscape with its popular Internet Explorer browser. Meanwhile, Gates built a 40,000-square-foot technological showcase of a home on Lake Washington. Gates also got married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates(a marketing executive at Microsoft).

The couple had two children: a daughter, Jennifer Katharine Gates, born in 1996; and a son, Rory John Gates, born in 1999. a marketing executive at Microsoft. They later had two kids: daughter Jennifer born in 1996 and son Rory born in 1999. Bill and Melinda Gates have endowed a foundation with more than $17 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that as we move into the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people.To date, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $300 million to organizations working in global health; more than $300 million to improve learning opportunities, including the Gates Library Initiative to bring computers, Internet Access and training to public libraries in low-income communities in the United States and Canada; more than $54 million to community projects in the Pacific Northwest; and more than $29 million to special projects and annual giving campaigns. In addition to his passion for computers, Gates is interested in biotechnology.

He sits on the board of the Icos Corporation and is a shareholder in Darwin Molecular, a subsidiary of British-based Chiroscience. He also founded Corbis Corporation, which is developing one of the largest resources of visual information in the world-a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. Gates also has invested with cellular telephone pioneer Craig McCaw in Teledesic, a company that is working on an ambitious plan to launch hundreds of low-orbit satellites around the globe to provide worldwide two-way broadband telecommunications service.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is known as one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world. He is responsible for creating the largest computer and technology business in the world, Microsoft. In the company’s early days, no one would have thought that it would change both America and the world from that point on. Gates and his company have created both computers and software that has revolutionized everything in America and the world. What is more amazing is the company continues to grow and revolutionize the ways in which Americans live out their lives. Most importantly, Gates makes people comfortable with his software by making it operate easier and more enjoyable. Bill Gates is living the American dream.


When Gates first created Microsoft, selling products to middle class Americans was difficult. At that time, computers were much larger in size and also in price, people thought of the computer as a toy, not a work necessity or communications tool. The American people already had their tools for work and school such as the typewriter and the use of the library, so why would they need a computer. In the early stages no one realized how Gates would change the way we explore the world and our cultures, view multi-media, make purchases over the Internet, and meet new people. These happenings were not created in the early stages though. As Microsoft began to grow, businesses started to realize that they could use computers and printers to organize their files in a whole new way. Documents that once filled a six-foot tall filing cabinet now fit into a small three and a half inch sized floppy disc. Something that simple eliminated the need for businesses to rent out more space and spend less money on document storage, which saved the company money. Even though computers were much larger than, the space they required was still much less than a company’s filing system.
Even though businesses started acquiring computers and software, the everyday American still saw no purpose in purchasing one for the home. High schools started building computer rooms for people to use, but since they were so expensive a high hourly rate had to be charged. During this time gates Realized that he would have to develop are more readily available access for the everyday American. In time, Gates and his team at Microsoft began building computers that were smaller in size and had a variety of capabilities such as word processing, printing, and gaming. As the computers got smaller, so did the prices. Middle class Americans could now purchase a personal computer that would not put a set back in their bank account. As soon as personal computers started hitting the mainstream market, the demand for improvement began. People wanted their machines to boot up faster, have larger memory, have improved programming, and be easier to use. Luckily Gates already knew the people would have these needs, so development was already underway.
Once the ball started rolling, Gates realized that the technologies used in his computers, specifically the microprocessor, could be used in other items than a computer. For example, elevator controls, traffic lights, automobiles, heating and air conditioning systems, stereos, televisions, etc had now become more technologically advanced, saving manufacturers a great deal of money. As one can see, Bill Gates technologies were slowly evolving everything in our daily lives that at first we may not have realized. Gates allowed many things to occur more efficiently with less space and time required. This is important because the better the pace Americans run their lives, the better the whole American system runs.
Like the television changing vacuum bulb technology to liquid crystal display technology, Bill Gates knew that his company would not hold up if he did not constantly continue for improvement. As personal computers began to improve on technology, so did the users’ knowledge. People were beginning to realize that computers were revolutionizing America; they could now organize, save, and print any home report or document. Think about a typewriter, if an error is made while one types, the only way to correct it was by using a special white out ribbon which corrected the error, though made the correction obvious and unprofessional. If copies were needed, one had to either type the paper again, or go to a Minute man Express to pay to have copies made. Correcting a paper on a computer is not only flawless, but full editing is available to make creating the perfect paper a breeze. Since you can save a document on a computer, one can always access a document to either print additional copies or go back and revise the paper again. All of these qualities make the computer user more intelligent on a reading and writing basis. Also once personal computers became more available in schools they brought about a much faster learning system. Gates quotes, “Improving education is the best investment we can make because downstream benefits flow to every part of society. That’s why putting computers and the Internet to work in schools is an exhilarating prospect.”(The road ahead, PG 74) It may not be all so obvious, but the evolution of computers was slowly changing the ways in which Americans operated at school and at work. One could access a teacher or business associate in live chat, or access various information on online encyclopedias and independent websites. Time and money was saved, and the American economy was improving. As Bill Gates and Microsoft became names known to American society, the company exploded into fame and fortune.

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As Microsoft unveiled more technologies such as CD-ROM drives, better monitor resolution, and more programs, the company hit an even bigger gold mine known as the Internet. When the Internet was first introduced, it was strictly meant for the use of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I) for means of communication over long distances, and a faster form of sending and receiving documents. When the Internet finally went public, Gates created a computer interface that revolves completely around the Internet. Why did gates make this decision? Because he knew that in time the Internet was going to expand. Gates quotes, “The Internet is the precursor of the ultimate global network. There is little doubt that when the goal interactive network has finally evolved into the highway, it will still be called the Internet. But as quaint as the term “information highway” is beginning to sound, using it appropriately helps to draw the distinction between today’s primarily narrowband interactive network (the current “Internet”) and tomorrow’s broadband interactive network (the “highway”).” (The Road Ahead, Pg 103) Gates knew that just like the highway system in America, the Internet would grow in a way that would connect everyone. The highway system is a series of roads that intersect with each other throughout the United States, creating a traveling system that is limitless. The Internet works in the same way, computers are now connected though either telephone or cable lines which allow them to access information from each other. This simple idea has brought about technologies that have not only changed and improved American lifestyle, but it is now at a point where it is changing the planet. The ability to send and receive information on the Internet has created a whole new system of mailing, learning, and entertainment. The most amazing thing about the Internet and its possibilities is its speed. Depending on the computer and its capabilities, tasks are being completed faster than anyone has imagined. We can now manage our money, shop, learn, write letters, and access multimedia at such an easy and fast pace, that the possibilities are endless.
Bill Gates and Microsoft revolve all of their products around the Internet today because they have found that it has become a necessity not only for the American Family, but also for the American business. Businesses welcome the technology of the Internet because the success of that business depends on the improvements in productivity. Even small businesses now share advantages that at one time only large commercial businesses contained. Companies using the Internet now stay closer to their customers, with online account managing and an in depth look into the company and its full length of features. As Gates said, ” When I was a kid, my image of computers was that they were very big and powerful. Banks had lots of them, and big airlines used them to keep track of reservations. They were the big tools of large organizations and contributed to the edge big businesses had over the small guys whole used pencils and typewriters. Then the personal computer appeared. As its name implies, it is a tool for the individual, even in a large company. You use a personal computer in a very personal way to get the job done. (The Road Ahead, PG 154) Getting the job done is exactly what was happening. Business in America was had become so broad that many business could now go international, connecting more international ties and finances together with America.
Things were going well for Bill Gates and Microsoft. From 1986-1992, Microsoft’s stocks had risen 1,200 percent. As wealthy as the company had become, Gates continues to move forward. We have reached a stage where people can work from home and enjoy new ways of productivity, learning, and entertainment. New markets are arriving now more than ever, thus creating a wide variety of employment opportunities. Despite how great everything sounds, many Americans believe that they will loose their current jobs due to advances in computer technology. If he or she can find a new job, they are still worried that they will not be able to adapt to new work ethics. Gates understands these concerns and pushes the fact that yes, many positions are being computer controlled, but it does not specifically mean that a new job or jobs will open up. As an example, Gates says, “In an evolving economy, job categories change constantly. At one time all telephone calls were made through an operator. When I was a child, long distance calls from our house were made by dialing “0” and giving the operator the number, and when I was a teenager, many companies still employed in-house switchboard operators who routed calls by plugging cables into receptacles. Today there are comparatively few telephone operators even though the volume of calls is greater than ever.”(The Road Ahead, PG 287)
So what does the future hold for the American people and Microsoft? In a recent interview with Queen Latifa, Gates says, “What the consumer wants is pretty clear: a single remote control that lets them navigate photos, music, videos, TV in a very rich way. They want to see that on any screen in the house and then have a great portable device where they can take that stuff wherever they want anytime. The full realization of that dream is still years away, but we’ve taken a dramatic step in delivering that with Media Center.” (www.usatoday.com/tech) As one can see, even though Gates feels as though certain technologies are years away, he still breaks ground in developing as many new products and software as possible for the consumer. With the ability to do this, the economy in America will continue to grow, and in time, things we have all dreamed of will soon be at hand. What is great about the whole concept is while consumers become impatient with a product, the production of a better or completely new product evolves even faster, creating a huge movement in Microsoft’s economy.

One may think though that Gates and Microsoft are strictly money hungry. But in turn he is waging a global revolution in health. Gates currently spends 800 million dollars per year strictly on the World Health Organization. Why would Gates be so charitable though? Gates quotes, “Having children made me look differently at all these things that we take for granted, like taking your child to get a vaccine against measles or polio.” This means Gates realized children in American and all over the world needed the same medical attention that his children were receiving. Another fine example of how the American dream is being fulfilled. Gates and Microsoft have also made other outstanding donations to the world. As listed in the Linux Journal, Mr. Gates and the Microsoft foundation made the following donations:
$20 million to develop India’s Shiksha edtech training programme (which has an ambitious target of training more than 80,000 teachers and 3.5 million students over several years);
$1 million to MIT’s Media Lab Asia project
$25 million, five-year grant for a children’s vaccine programme against Hepatitis B in the southern Andhra Pradesh state
$100 million to battle AIDS in India.


Bill Gates is living the American dream. He is no ordinary computer scientist; he designs everything not only to his standards but to the public consumer as well. There are many American values when it comes to being an American; Gates puts his values ahead for the American people and the world. Bill Gates has changed the world; imagine what it would be like today if it had not been for computer technology. Surely there would still be technology, but not as vast if it had not been for gates. This is true because Bill Gates is not only one of the richest men in the world, but also the most successful businessman in the world. The Microsoft Company is also one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Nearly every aspect of out daily lives revolves around computers and their technologies, without them we would be stuck in a country that has not seen change. Without Gates and his influence on computer technology, I may not have been able to type my report up, print it out, and save it for years to come.