By gabe c
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  • birth

    1955: William Henry Gates III is born to attorney William Henry Gates II and Mary Gates, a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent and chairwoman of United Way International. He is raised in Seattle.
  • school

    1967: Gates is enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive private school in Seattle, where he befriends Paul Allen. The two students share an interest in computers and programming. The school notices his knack for technology and asks him to create a computerized schedule of classes.Gates’ 2005 keynote speech at Lakeside School.
  • harvord

    1973: Gates enters Harvard as a pre-law major, but soon shifts focus. He quickly runs through the university’s most rigorous mathematics and graduate level computer science courses.
  • Mits

    1975: From his dorm room, Gates calls MITS, the maker of the world’s first personal computer. He offers to develop software for the MITS Altair. MITS eventually accepts and buys his language for $3,000 plus royalties. Gates takes his first leave of absence from school to start working on the software venture he refers to as Micro-Soft.
  • microsoft

    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
  • sets up microsoft

    sets up microsoft
    1977: Gates takes a second leave of absence from Harvard and sets up Microsoft in Albuquerque, N.M., where MITS is headquartered.
  • sets up microsoft

    sets up microsoft
    1978: Microsoft’s year-end sales exceed $1 million. Gates gains a reputation for being tough, but focused.
  • relocates microsoft

    relocates microsoft
    1979: Microsoft headquarters are relocated to Bellevue, Wash., a suburb of Gates’ hometown, Seattle.
  • buys DOS

    buys DOS
    1981: Microsoft incorporates and buys the rights to the operating system “DOS” from Seattle Computer Products. The system is modified and renamed MS-DOS, and the company licenses it to IBM for the company’s new personal computer.
  • allen leaves microsoft

    allen leaves microsoft
    1983: Allen leaves Microsoft after developing Hodgkin’s disease. Microsoft announces Windows as an extension of its MS-DOS operating system.
  • microsoft leaves agian

    microsoft leaves agian
    1986: Microsoft headquarters move again, this time to nearby Redmond, Wash. Shortly after, the company goes public.