The Strategist

Anniversary of the Richest Person on the Planet

10/28/2015 - 15:53

The founder of Microsoft, philanthropist and simply the richest man in the world - Bill Gates – is celebrating his birthday October 28. Not being Head of Microsoft anymore, Gates nevertheless remains Chairman of the board of directors and is actively involved in charity work.

World Economic Forum /Photo by Andy Mettler via flickr
World Economic Forum /Photo by Andy Mettler via flickr
Bill Gates was born in 1955 in Seattle. Up to 12 years, Bill was probably an ordinary boy, who was born in a very wealthy family. His father was a prominent lawyer, his mother was a member of the board of a major bank. And Bill himself was predicted to be a lawyer.

At the age of 12, Bill was went to a special preferred school where the boy began to take an active interest in computers and everything connected with them. Being carried away by studying computers, Gates, however, rose the short bus on civics, grammar and other humanities. However, the future Microsoft founder had excellent results in mathematics, and even dreamed of becoming a professor in this field.

Being 13 years old, Bill wrote his first program, and at 15, created a program to optimize road traffic, which was sold for $ 20 thousand.

So, the irreversible process, that one day lead him to the post of head of the largest IT-corporations, had already started. However, there still was a long way to the heights of the high-tech Olympus.

Bill Gates founded his first company being a college student 17 years old. His friend Paul Allen and he launched Traf-O-Data, whose products helped read a road traffic and generate reports.

In 1973, at the insistence of parents, Gates goes to Harvard to become a lawyer or a professor of mathematics.

However, a study in the prestigious University did not work out: Gates spent time on games and programming, not being interested in his alma mater. Two years later, Gates was expelled.

Someone else could be shocked, but not Bill. By the time, Gates and Allen had got a job in MITS, created the computer Altair 8800. Young people grew interested in the development and set to work there in a couple of days.

On the flip side, they had got first ideas to create their own company. Gates suggested the name Micro-soft (from the words of microprocessors and software). Later the dash was refused.

In 1980, Gates gets an offer from IBM, which eventually doomed him to succeed. IBM offered Microsoft creation of an operating system for their new PC. Gates purchased the system QDOS, changed its name to MS-DOS, more familiar to hearing, and sold it to IBM for $ 50 thousand. The business perked.

The success of IBM computers with the new operating system has spurred other companies to contact Microsoft.

The next step was release of the Microsoft Office programs and Microsoft Excel. It has greatly expanded Microsoft's high-tech market and allowed the company to compete with Apple, which offered computers with its own operating system.

Further, Microsoft released the first version of Windows, which have become a graphic extension for MS-DOS. At the same time, there came up the manipulator “Mouse” (modern “mouse”), which made a mini-revolution in the PC market and had set a new trend in the development of input devices. Thirty years later, even despite appearance of touchpads, computer mouse is the most popular and convenient way to work with your PC.

Later, the company got engaged in improvement of products and release of new Windows versions.

In 1995, Windows 95 appears on the market. It has been, perhaps, the greatest high tech success so far.

Then the company started to pay attention to the Internet development. The same year, Microsoft published the first version browser Internet Explorer 1.

Microsoft had actively promoted all of its products, leaving no chance to competitors. The marketing campaign was so aggressive that even US antitrust authorities pricked up their ears. In 1998, Microsoft was showered by lawsuits, and Gates was summoned to court and asked to split the company into parts, each of which to deal with a variety of products. However, Head of the board of directors Bill Gates (he had refused the post of General Director in 2000) remained adamant. They say Microsoft still receives complaints

Together with his wife Melinda Gates, Bill is engaged in charity work within the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The fund invests in health improvement of and fight against hunger in poor countries. Also, funds are sent to programs on HIV and AIDS, and fight against malaria. In addition, the organization provides support for students and the US education system as a whole.

In total, Gates had spent on charity about $ 28 billion by 2010.

Today, Bill Gates has stepped away from all associated with Microsoft, only remaining non-executive chairman of the board of directors. Nevertheless, about 8% of the company is at his disposal, and about $ 78 billion are resting on the Gates’ account. In 2007, by the way, he still received a degree from Harvard University.

Despite the voluntary withdrawal from the world of high technology, Gates did not become a recluse. The former head of Microsoft is actively communicating with the media and is arranging conferences on Reddit. Responding to questions from members, Gates shares his views on the most pressing problems of our time.

At the last Reddit conference, Bill Gates said that he fears the future of artificial intelligence, and regrets that he does not speak foreign languages.

A year earlier, by the way, Gates took part in the popular then #Icebucketchallenge, answering the gage of Mark Zuckerberg. He built a special unit and bravely doused himself with cold water.


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