Bill Gates: 17 facts about Microsoft founder

The Microsoft founder, Bill Gates was born on 28th October in the year 1955. A drop out of Harvard, this man went on to design the most popular and widely used operating system of the world Windows OS. This OS was also the first major transition from command prompt mode of using computer to graphical user interface. (Apple was the first with GUI)

Did you know Gates shares the birth year with the Apple founder, Steve Jobs who was born on 24th February the same year? Did you know Steve Jobs and Gates attended the same Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley, and were inspired by the possibilities technological progress in computers? They also worked together for a brief time. We bring you some.

>> The full name of Bill Gates is William Henry Gates III. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or “Trey” because his father had the “II” suffix.

>> Bill Gates acknowledged how impressed he was by that instinctual grasp of technology that Steve Jobs seemed to have. In the Picture see Bill Gates with Steve Jobs.

>> The first computer program that Bill Gates wrote was a tic-tac-toe game. The game was played in a two player format where the player competes with the computer.

>> In the year 1970, at the age of 15 Bill Gates started business with his friend and partner, Paul Allen. They together with Paul Gilbert developed “Traf-o-Data” computer program. This program could monitor traffic patterns in Seattle. They benefitted $20000 with this and this experience proved important in the creation of Microsoft a few years later.

>> In 1974 Allen was working with Honeywell, when Gates joined him and they read the popular Popular Electronics magazine. This featured an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit.

Both were fascinated with this and contacted the company saying they were working on a BASIC software program that can run the Altair computer. This was a lie as they did not have an Altair to work with.

>> Later Paul Allen traveled to Albuquerque for a test run of a software programme at Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (the makers of the Altair 8800). The program worked perfectly and Allen was hired at MITS.

Soon Gates left Harvard to work with him, though his parents disapproved of this.

>> Later in year 1975 they formed the company Micro-Soft. This was a blend of “micro-computer” and “software.” Within a year they dropped the hyphen from the company name making it “Microsoft”.

>> Microsoft was writing software for Steve Jobs Apple II. He was in year 1981 called by Steve Jobs to help develop software for the first Macintosh. Jobs expected Gates to write a new version of BASIC to make a easy-to-use graphical user interface- like charts, spreadsheets, word processing. Gates signed the deal.

>> In 1982 Steve Jobs made Bill Gates and Microsoft promise that he will never work on any business software that would use a mouse unless it was for Apple.

>> In November 1985, Gates launched Windows. It looked similar to the Macintosh system that was launched two years earlier. Apple had earlier given Microsoft full access to their technology while it was working on making Microsoft products compatible for Apple computers. Gates even advised Apple to license their software but Apple ignored. Later Apple threatened to sue Microsoft. Microsoft won in the courts because it could prove that while there were similarities in how the two software systems operated, each individual function was distinctly different.

>> In 1980 IBM was looking for software that can operate their upcoming PC and approached Microsoft. According to popular legend at the first meeting with Bill Gates someone at IBM mistook him for an office assistant and asked him to serve coffee.

>> Gates inadvertently revealed that his friend and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, was engaged to longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan. During an with interview with the Daily Mail when Gates was talking about Zuckerberg he referred to Chan as Mark’s “fiancée Priscilla.”.

>> In 1986 Bill Gates become millionaire overnight when Microsoft went public. The IPO price was $21 per share making Gates millionaire the same day.

>> After the release of Windows 3.0 OS, Microsoft surpassed MacOS in popularity for personal computers. Microsoft became one of the most profitable companies in the world.

>> Gates ranked among the world’s richest people in Forbes 400 list. He scored number one in the list from 1995 till 2009, except 2008 wherein he was ranked number three. He reclaimed the title this year (2013) in the list again.

>> After the death of his mother’s gave in to breast cancer, Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money through Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was deeply influenced by his mother and established the foundation in 2000. He also left Microsoft to work for the foundation.

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