Bill Gates

Bill Gates is an entrepreneur who co-founded Microsoft

Early Life

Bills Gates, full name William Henry Gates III, was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle Washington. Bill Gates grew up in a middle class family with two sisters: Kristianne, who is older, and Libby, who is younger. His father, William H. Gates Sr., was a law student when he met Gates mother, Mary Maxwell, an athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington.


Gates began to show interest in computer programming at the age of 13 at the Lakeside School. He pursued his passion through college with his friend and business partner, Paul Allen. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, he built the world's largest software company, Microsoft.

Educational Background

Gates enrolled at Harvard University in autumn of 1973, originally thinking of a career in law. His freshman year, however; Gates spent more time in the computer lab than in class. Gates remained in contact with his friend Paul Allen during this time, who after two years of attending Washington State University, dropped out and moved to Boston to work for Honeywell. In the summer of 1974, Gates joined Allen at Honeywell. During this time, Allen showed Gates an edition of Popular Electronics magazine, featuring an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit. Both were fascinated with its capabilities, and wanted to create software for the computer. What happened next is the reason Bill Gates became widely known to this day.

The Creation and History of Microsoft

Bill Gates called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the manufacturer of the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit. He offered his and Allen's services to write a version of the new BASIC programming language for the Altair. In the eight weeks that followed, Gates and Allen were able to demonstrate their program to MITS. MITS agreed to distribute and market the product under the name of Altair BASIC. The Altair BASIC deal inspired Gates and Allen to form their own software company, and Microsoft was started on April 4, 1975, with Bills Gates as the first CEO.


10 years later, Microsoft released its first true attempt at a graphical user interface, Windows 1. Development was lead by Bill Gates. Two years later, Windows 2 was released in December 1987. The big innovation for Windows 2 was that windows could overlap each other, and it also introduced the ability to minimize or maximize windows instead of iconising and zooming. Windows 1 and Windows 2 were not very successful, however.


It was not until Windows 3 and Windows 3.1 that Windows began to gain popularity. Windows 3 introduced the ability to run MS-DOS programs in windows. The next Windows release, Windows 95, was perhaps the biggest release of Windows yet. It was the first Windows version to use the well known Start Menu. It was launched with a gigantic advertising campaign that used Rolling Stones' Start Me Up, and a couple of months later Friends' stars Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry.


Following Windows 95, up until today, there would be another 10 versions of Windows released. This includes Windows 8, which was the first Windows version to not feature the Start Menu Windows 95 introduced. Instead, it featured a Start Screen. Windows 8.1 would reintroduce a Start Button, which brings up the Start Screen.

Microsoft Today

In the past few years, after Microsoft released Windows Phone, a brand of mobile operating systems, Microsoft went under a rebranding of its product range. Everything from the corporation's logos, products, services and websites adopted the principles and concepts of the Metro design language. Microsoft previewed Windows 8, an operating system designed to power both personal computers and tablet computers, in Taipei in June 2011. A developer preview was released on September 13, and was replaced by a consumer preview on February 29, 2012. On May 31, 2012, the preview version was released.


On June 18, 2012, Microsoft unveiled the Surface, a series of tablet computers running on Windows operating systems, designed and created by Microsoft. It was officially released on October 26, 2012 alongside with Windows 8. Windows 8 Phone was released three days later. About a year later, Microsoft released the Xbox One, it's current generation video game console. The Xbox One, like Windows 8 and Windows Phone, also uses the Metro design language.


Currently, Microsoft is working on the development of Windows 10 (It is unclear as to why Microsoft skipped the name Windows 9.) Microsoft is emphasizing that Windows 10 would take steps towards restoring user interface mechanics from Windows 7 for non-touch devices. Despite this, Microsoft also hopes to evolve the touch mechanisms for Windows 10 as well.

Bill Gates Work Outside of Microsoft

With his wife Melinda Gates influence, Gates took an interest in philanthropic work. In 1994, Gates and his wife established the William H. Gates Foundation which was dedicated to supporting education, world health, and investment in low-income communities. In 2000, the couple combined several family foundations to form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They started out by making a $28 billion contribution to set up the foundation.


Bill Gates would step down from the day-to-day operations of Microsoft in 2000, turning over the job of CEO to college friend Steve Ballmer who had been at Microsoft since 1980. Over the next few years, his involvement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation occupied much of his time and even more of his interest. In 2006, Gates announced he was transitioning himself from full-time work at Microsoft, to devote more quality time to the Foundation. His last full day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. In February 2014, Gates announced that he would be stepping down as chairman of Microsoft in order to move into a new position as technology adviser. In addition, it was also reported that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would be replaced by Satya Nadella, the current CEO of Microsoft.

Citations

  • "Bill Gates Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
  • "Microsoft - History of a Computing Giant." About.com Inventors. Ed. Mary Bellis. About.com, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
  • Watch How Windows 10 Works with Touch Interfaces." The Verge. Ed. Dan Seifert. Vox Media, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
  • Gibbs, Samuel, ed. "From Windows 1 to Windows 10: 29 Years of Windows Evolution." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.
  • "Microsoft Announces Surface Tablet PC." PCWorld. Ed. Mark Sullivan. IDG Consumer & SMB, 18 June 2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2015.