Bill Gates continues to play a very active role in the workings of the Microsoft Company, but has handed the position of CEO over to Steve Ballmer. Gates now holds the positions of "Chairman" and "Chief Software Architect". He has started that he plans to take on fewer responsibilities at Microsoft and will eventually devote all his time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization. Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.
The big break for Microsoft came in 1980 when IBM approached them for a new BASIC operating system for its new computers. In the early 1980s IBM was by far the leading PC manufacture. However increasingly there developed many IBM PC clones; (PCs developed by other companies compatible with IBM's). Microsoft worked hard to sell its operating system to these other companies. Thus Microsoft was able to gain the dominant position of software manufacture just as the personal computer market started to boom. Since its early dominance no other company has come close to displacing Microsoft as the dominant provider of computer operating software.
By the early 1990s Microsoft had sold more than one hundred million copies of MS-DOS, making the operating system the all-time leader in software sales. For his achievements in science and technology, Gates received the Howard Vollum Award in 1984 from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Gates's competitive drive and fierce desire to win has made him a powerful force in business, but it has also consumed much of his personal life. In the six years between 1978 and 1984, he took a total of only two weeks vacation.
1976: Gates and Allen register the trademark “Microsoft.” Gates writes an open letter to computer hobbyists, condemning the early adopters for sharing, rather than paying for, software.
1978: Microsoft’s year-end sales exceed $1 million. Gates gains a reputation for being tough, but focused.
1979: Microsoft headquarters are relocated to Bellevue, Wash., a suburb of Gates’ hometown, Seattle.
Computer software had been around since World War II, though the term was largely unknown as late as 1960. but back in 1975, Gates and his partner Paul Allen had been the very first to commercialize software for the just-born personal computer. And commercialize was the word: Whereas much early software had been developed for the sheer challenge and shared like some favorite toy, the Gates/Allen edition of BASIC-- the first personal computer language-- was from the outset a business proposition, something people were supposed to pay for. That idea did not sit well with pioneer hobbyists whose lame little machines needed BASIC to become something more than high-tech doorstops.
In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates' foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.
Gates continued to excel in his studies and followed his parents' wishes by going to Harvard. Paul Allen soon moved to Boston to work for Honeywell and continue their collaboration. The pair were galvanized by a cover story in Popular Electronics, promoting the Altair 8800, an inexpensive microcomputer produced by a company called MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates and Allen saw this as the beginning of a new industry. No one had yet developed software for the Altair, and the young programmers saw a unique opportunity. They adapted the computer language BASIC to run on the new device, although they had never actually seen one.
Born William Henry Gates III, on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Gates began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13 at the Lakeside School. He pursued his passion through college. Striking out on his own with his friend and business partner Paul Allen, Gates found himself at the right place at the right time.
When Bill Gates was born in 1995,no one in the world owned a personal computer. There were none available for anyone to buy. There were computers, but these were massive things owned by governments, universities, and large businesses; kept in separate rooms; and fussed over by scientists in white lab coats. A keyboard was on a typewriter- a manual typewriter. You could only correct a mistake by slipping in a strip of white tape and typing over the incorrect letter, thus erasing it, ten typing the right letter.