Bill Gates Biography

  • Birth

    Bill Gates was born on October 28th, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He is the son of William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates.
  • First Computer Program

    First Computer Program
    Bill Gates, at the age 13, creates his first computer program. At the Lakeside School (a private preparatory school), Bill created a game that allowed users to play tic-tac-toe against the computer.
  • First Business

    First Business
    At the age of 15, Bill went into business with his friend, Paul Allen. They developed "Traf-o-Data," a computer program that monitored traffic patterns in Seattle, and netted $20,000 for their efforts. Gates and Allen wanted to start their own company, but Gates's parents wanted him to finish school and go on to college where they hoped he would work to become a lawyer. Things didnt go as planned.
  • Graduation

    At the age of 17, Bill Gates graduates from Lakeside School. He graduated as a National Merit Scholar, and scored a 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT. He then enrolled into Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.
  • Gates and Allen

    Gates and Allen
    After working at Honeywell in the summer of 1974, a year later Gates and Allen had an idea to start their own company after seeing the release of the MITS Altair 8800 (a microcomputer). Bill dropped out of Harvard to pursue his company.
  • Altair Basic

    Altair Basic
    Bill Gates and Paul Allen wanted to get their company off the ground, and they did just that by catching MITS interest in a product. Bill and Allen created an emulator which ran on the minicomputer and soon after made the BASIC interpreter. This got Gates and Allen a demo with MITS which was a success and lead to a partnership which name was "Micro-Soft".
  • Copy Cats

    Copy Cats
    Microsoft's Altair BASIC was a big hit among computer hobbyists, but Bill found that more than 90% of Microsoft users were using illegal copies. Bill wrote a letter insisting that people should be paying for Microsoft software.
  • Microsoft

    Bill Gates and MITS changed removed the hyphen and changed the name to "Microsoft". The trade name "Microsoft" was registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.
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    Microsoft became independent from MITS and continued to develop programming language software for various systems.
  • IBM and Microsoft

    IBM and Microsoft
    IBM approached Bill Gates regarding their new computer, the IBM PC. Bill helped IBM and used 86-DOS (a computer operating system). The PC was a success and Microsoft became a major player in the industry.
  • Rise of an Empire

    Rise of an Empire
    From 1979 to 1981, Microsoft's growth exploded, and the staff increased from 25 to 128. Revenue also grew from $2.5 million to $16 million. In 1981, Gates was appointed president and chairman of the board of Microsoft and Allen was named executive vice president.
  • Microsoft and Apple

    Microsoft and Apple
    Apple invited Microsoft to develope software for Apple computers, where Bill found that Apple's computers were using a graphic interface whuich was much easier to use than the current MS-DOS system which was not a good thing for Microsoft. In order to keep their customers, Bill had to announce that they were working on a new graphic interface called "Windows". This announcement worked and over 30% of computer users were still using the MS-DOS system and were waiting on Windows.
  • Launch of Windows

    Launch of Windows
    Bill Gates launched its own computer software with IBM which name was 0S/2. Over time the two businesses began to deteriorate due to creative differences. The Windows system was very similar to the Apple system because Apple allowed Microsoft to work with them at the time. A big mistake for Apple.
  • Microsoft goes Public

    Microsoft goes Public
    Microsoft allowed the buying and selling of shares in 1986. Bill owned 45% of the companies 24.7 million shares and became a millionaire at the age of 31. Gates was selling the shares for $21 per share at the time. A year later, the stocks grew to $90.75 a share which made Bill into a Billionaire.
  • Millions

    Bill Gates bought a home in Medina over looking Lake Washington which is approxomitley worth over $125 million. The mansion includes a 60-foot swimming pool with an underwater music system, a 2,500 sq foot gym, and a 1,000 wsq foot dining room. The construction of the home started in 1988.
  • Microsoft Office

    Microsoft Office
    With the major improvements to the Windows software, Microsoft introduced "Microsoft Office" which was a bundle of office productivity applications. Since Microsoft Office wasnt easily compatible with OS/2, the software faded away and sold 1000,000 copies of the new version of Windows.
  • Microsoft Investigation

    Microsoft Investigation
    Throughout the 1990s, Microsoft faced a string of Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigations. There were many allegations that Microsoft made unfair deals with computer manufactures who installed the Windows operating system on their computers. Also, there were charges involved Microsoft forcing computer manufactures to sell Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Bill still ran the company throughout the 90's even though there was investigation.
  • Marriage

    January 1st, 1994, Bill Gates got married to Melinda French in Hawaii. They had three children, Jennifer Katharine (born 1996), Rory John (born 1999), and Phoebe Adele (born 2002).
  • The William H. Gates Foundation

    The William H. Gates Foundation
    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 & Melinda Gates Foundation. They started out by making a $28 billion contribution to set up the foundation.
  • Gates Steps Down

    Gates Steps Down
    Bill Gates stepped 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 with Microsoft since 1980. He positioned himself as chief software architect so he could concentrate on what was for him the more passionate side of the business, though he remained chairman of the board.
  • Awards

    Bill Gates being one of the richest men in the world also won many awards. In 2005, he received many awards such as the Innovator of the Year award, the Global Humanitarian award, and he was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for contributing to the British economy.
  • The End of a Legacy

    The End of a Legacy
    In February 2014, Bill announced that he is steppimg down as chairman of Microsoft and would be turning the job over to 46 year old Satya Nadella.
  • Bill Gates

    Bill Gates
    Today, Gates is known as the richest man in the world and is probably the most successful businesses man to this day. Gates continues to devote much of his time and energy to the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization tackles international and domestic issues, such as health and education. One aspect of its work in the United States is helping students become college ready.