Bill Gates is one of the most prominent figures of the twenty first century. We know him as one of the richest philanthropists as well as the co-founder of Microsoft. Gates was a college dropout, leaving Harvard University to pursue a career in Microsoft.Two years after dropping out, he was arrested in New Mexico for driving without a license and running a red light (Smith).
His father was a distinguished lawyer while his mother worked at the University of Washington on the Board of Directors.Gates studied at Lakeside School where he developed an interest in computers. At the age of 13 he wrote his first software program and by the time he was in high school he had computerized the school’s payroll. He was given control of the seating arrangement which he used to put himself in classes with disproportionate amounts of girls. His future business partner Paul Allen happened to be a senior at Lakeside. He graduated high school as a National Merit Scholar, scoring 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT (‘Who is Bill Gates? Everything You Need to Know’).
In college he spent a lot of time on computers since he was not very interested in other subjects. His friend Paul Allen suggested that he drop out of college to pursue a career in business. In 1975 they collaborated to create Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They had a vision to have a computer on every desktop in every home. At the time it seemed unlikely. They eventually moved Microsoft to Seattle in 1979. The next year they were approached by IBM to create an interpreter for their PC in exchange for a one time payment of fifty thousand dollars. Soon Microsoft’s operating system become very popular and in 1985 they opened an operating environment named Windows. It wasn’t the critical success Gates had hoped for. Critics said it was slow and cumbersome. Apple wasn’t happy either. They said that Windows was a rip off of the Macintosh, so they sued. Eventually after years of legal battles the courts ruled that Apple’s claim had no merit (BIll Gates 2008).
During this time Gates worked on improving Windows. Newer versions crashed less and ran faster. In 1989 Gates and Allen introduced Microsoft Office, integrating several applications like Word and Excel into one program. The success of Microsoft Office gave the company a virtual monopoly on all operating systems for PCs. In this mid 1990s they solidified their monopoly by combining their programs together and pushing leading computer making companies to have their software installed onto their PCs. . With their success came negative attention. Competitors of Microsoft argued that the company was using their monopoly to stop the growth of new technology. And in 1999 the courts ruled that they were in fact using tactics to cut off any competition. In 2002 a settlement was agreed and Microsoft agreed to curb some of their questionable business tactics (Sean).
Over time Bill Gates became the face of Microsoft, although the company wouldn’t be what it is without Allen. Allen’s turning point came when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, deciding to leave the company to focus on his private life. Their partnership was seen as one that defined the tech field industry worldwide (Sean).
Bill Gates changed the way the world operates and functions. He made our lives a lot easier and faster, to be able to complete tasks within minutes. Bill Gates will forever be remembered as a businessman and philanthropist. His donations towards our planet have created many new opportunities. He created and expanded a whole industry, bringing in fresh ideas to a brand new world.
- Smith, Dave. “17 Surprising Facts about Bill Gates.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 23 Oct. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/bill-gates-17-surprising-facts-2016-12#6-two-years-after-he-dropped-out-of-harvard-gates-was-arrested-in-new-mexico-he-was-driving-without-a-license-and-ran-a-red-light-6.
- “Who Is Bill Gates? Everything You Need to Know.” Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline, www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/william-henry-gates-iii-851.php.
- “Bill Gates.” Entrepreneur, 8 Oct. 2008, www.entrepreneur.com/article/197526.
- Sean, Peter. “Bill Gates.” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/name/nm0309540/bio.