Bill Gates


1.6. WORKS 10
1.7. REFERENCES 111. Bill Gates
Bill Gates in Las Vegas at CES 2006

Born:October 28, 1955 Seattle, Washington
Occupation: Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation
Spouse:Melinda Gates

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is the co-founder, chairman, and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company (as of April 2006). He is also the founder of Corbis, a digital image archiving company. Gates is the wealthiest individual in the world according to the Forbes 2006 list. When family wealth is considered, he iss second behind the Walton family, which The Sunday Times represents by Robson Walton.
Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. He is widely respected for his intelligence, foresight, and ambition. He is also widely criticized as having built Microsoft’s business through unfair, illegal, or anticompetitive business practices. Government authorities in several countries have found some of Microsoft’s practices illegal, as in United States v. Microsoft.
Since amassing his fortune, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic enndeavors, donating large amounts of money (about 51% of his total fortune) to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded in 2000. He, his wife Melinda and U2’s lead singer Bono were collectively named by

y Time as the 2005 Persons of the Year. That same year he was given the honor of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2006, this Foundation has been awarded with the “Premio Príncipe de Asturias en Cooperación Internacional”.1.1. Early life
Bill Gates’ mug shot from 1977 when he was jailed for a stop-sign violation.

Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His family was wealthy; his father was a prominent lawyer, his mother was the first woman Regent of the University of Washington, and his maternal grandfather, J. W. Maxwell, was a national bank president. Gates has two younger sisters, Kristanne and Libby.
According to the 1992 biography Hard Drive, Maaxwell set up a million-dollar trust fund for Gates the year he was born. Gates commented on this claim in a 1994 interview with Playboy:

PLAYBOY: Did you have a million-dollar trust fund while you were at Harvard?
GATES: Not true. . . . . My parents are very successful, and I went to the nicest private school in the Seattle area. I was lucky. But I never had any trust funds of any kind, though my dad did pay my tuition at Harvard, which was qu

uite expensive.

Gates excelled in elementary school, particularly in mathematics and the sciences. Bill Gates went to Lakeside School, Seattle’s most exclusive preparatory school where tuition in 1967 was $5,000 (Harvard tuition that year was $1,760). Lakeside rented time on a DEC PDP-10, which Gates was able to use to pursue an interest in computers, a rare opportunity at the time. Gates was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and attained the rank of Life Scout. While in high school, he and Paul Allen founded Traf-O-Data, a company which sold traffic flow data systems to state governments. He also helped to create a payroll system in COBOL, for a company in Portland, Oregon.
According to a press inquiry he scored 1590 on his SATs, and was able to enroll in Harvard University prelaw program in 1973, where he met his future business partner, Steve Ballmer. During his second year at Harvard, Gates (along with Paul Allen and Monte Davidoff) co-wrote Altair BASIC for the Altair 8800. Gates dropped out of Harvard during his third year to pursue a career in software development. On December 13, 1977, Gates was briefly jailed in Albuquerque for racing his Porsche 911 in the New Mexico desert.1.2. Microsoft
In 1984, Bill Gates appeared on the cover
of &#

#8216;TIME’ Magazine; he has appeared

seven more times.

After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates called MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others had developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the platform. This was untrue, as Gates and Allen had never used an Altair previously nor developed any code for it. Within a period of eight weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter. Allen and Gates flew to MITS to unveil the new BASIC system. The demonstration was a success and resulted in a deal with MITS to buy the rights to Allen and Gates’s BASIC for the Altair platform. It was at this point that Gates left Harvard along with Allen to found Micro-Soft, which later became Microsoft Corporation.
In February 1976, Gates published his often-quoted “Open Letter to Hobbyists”. In the letter, Gates claimed that most users were using “stolen” pirated copies of Altair BASIC and that no hobbyist could afford to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment. This letter was unpopular with many amateur programmers, not just those few us

sing copies of the software. In the ensuing years the letter gained significant support from Gates’ business partners and allies which gave rise to a movement that led to closed-source becoming the dominant model of software production. Despite Microsoft’s reliance on closed source, Gates has said that he collected discarded program listings at Harvard and learned programming techniques from them.
It has been pointed out that Microsoft often produces products that incorporate ideas developed outside Microsoft, such as GUIs, the BASIC programming language, or compressed file systems, without paying royalties to the companies that developed them. Some of these matters have gone to court. Apple v. Microsoft concluded that Microsoft had not infringed Apple’s intellectual property (partly because Apple had, apparently, licensed parts of the Macintosh user interface to Microsoft); Stac Electronics prevailed in its claim against the DoubleSpace file system. The BASIC question has not been litigated, but the trend in US law is that copyright does not extend to publicly documented programming languages.

Gates with Steve Jurvetson of DFJ, Stratton Sclavos of Verisign and
Greg Papadopoulos of Sun Microsystems, October 1, 2004.

When IBM decided to build the hardware for a desktop personal computer in 1980, it needed to find an operating system. Microsoft did not have any operating system at this point. The most popular microcomputer operating system at the time was CP/M developed by Digital Research in Monterey. CP/M allowed software written for the Intel 8080/Zilog Z80 family of microprocessors to run on many different models of computer from many different manufacturers. This device-independence feature was essential for the formation of the consumer software industry, as without it software had to be re-written for each different model of computer. Bill Gates referred IBM to Gary Kildall, the founder of Digital Research, but when they did not reach immediate agreement with him they went back to Gates, who offered to fill their need himself. He licensed a CP/M-compatible OS called QDOS (“Quick and Dirty Operating System”) from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products for $56,000, and IBM shipped it as PC-DOS.
Later, after Compaq licensed Phoenix Technologies’ clone of the IBM BIOS, the market saw a flood of IBM PC clones. Microsoft was quick to license DOS to other manufacturers, calling it MS-DOS (for Microsoft Disk Operating System). By marketing MS-DOS aggressively to manufacturers of IBM-PC clones, Microsoft went from a small player to one of the major software vendors in the home computer industry. Microsoft continued. to develop operating systems as well as software applications. In the early 1980’s they created Microsoft Windows which was similar to Apple Computer’s Macintosh OS graphical user interface (GUI), both based on the human interface work at Xerox PARC. The first versions of the Windows OS did not sell well as stand-alone applications but started to be shipped pre-installed on many systems, reducing the incentive of users to buy competing products regardless of quality. Because of this, by the late-1980s Microsoft Windows had begun to make serious headway into the IBM-compatible PC software market. The release of Windows 3.0 in 1990 was a tremendous success, selling around 10 million copies in the first two years and cementing Microsoft’s dominance in operating systems.
By continuing to ensure, by various means, that most computers came with their software pre-installed, Microsoft eventually went on to become the largest software company in the world, earning Gates enough money that Forbes Magazine named him the wealthiest person in the world for several years. Gates served as the CEO of the company until 2000 when Steve Ballmer took the position. Gates continues to serve as a chairman of the board at the company and also as a position he created for himself entitled “Chief Software Architect”. Microsoft has thousands of patents, and Gates has nine patents to his name.

Bill Gates giving his deposition at Microsoft on August 27, 1998

Since Microsoft’s founding and as of 2006, Gates has had primary responsibility for Microsoft’s product strategy. He has aggressively broadened the company’s range of products, and wherever Microsoft has achieved a dominant position he has vigorously defended it. Many decisions that have led to antitrust litigation over Microsoft’s business practices have had Gates’s approval. In the 1998 United States v. Microsoft case, Gates gave deposition testimony that several journalists characterized as evasive. He argued over the definitions of words such as “compete”, “concerned”, “ask”, and “we.” BusinessWeek reported, “early rounds of his deposition show him offering obfuscatory answers and saying ‘I don’t recall’ so many times that even the presiding judge had to chuckle. Worse, many of the technology chief’s denials and pleas of ignorance were directly refuted by prosecutors with snippets of e-mail Gates both sent and received.”
Gates meets regularly with Microsoft’s senior managers and program managers. By all accounts he can be extremely confrontational during these meetings, particularly when he believes that managers have not thought out their business strategy or have placed the company’s future at risk. He has been described shouting at length at employees before letting them continue, with such remarks as “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” and “Why don’t you just join the Peace Corps?” However, he often backs down when the targets of his outbursts respond frankly and directly. When he is not impressed with the technical hurdles managers claim to be facing, he sometimes quips, “Do you want me to do it over the weekend?”
Gates’s role at Microsoft for most of its history has been primarily a management and executive role. However, he was an active software developer in the early years, particularly on the company’s programming language products. He has not officially been on a development team since working on the TRS-80 Model 100 line, but he wrote code as late as 1989 that shipped in the company’s products.1.3. Personal life
Bill Gates married Melinda French of Dallas, Texas on January 1, 1994. Melinda has given birth to three children, Jennifer Katharine Gates (1996), Rory John Gates (1999) and Phoebe Adele Gates (2002). Bill Gates’ house is one of the most expensive houses in the world, and is a modern 21st century earth-sheltered home in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington. According to King County public records, as of 2006, the total assessed value of the property (land and house) is $125 million, and the annual property tax is just under $1 million. Also among Gates’s private acquisitions are the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci which Gates bought for $30.8 million at an auction in 1994, and a rare Gutenberg Bible.

Gates and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio

Lula da Silva at the WEF in Davos,
January 26, 2003

In 2000, Gates founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organization, with his wife. The foundation’s grants have provided funds for college scholarships for under-represented minorities, AIDS prevention, diseases prevalent in third world countries, and other causes. In 2000, the Gates Foundation endowed the University of Cambridge with $210 million for the Gates Cambridge Scholarships. The Foundation has also pledged over $7 billion to its various causes, including $1 billion to the United Negro College Fund; and as of 2005, had an estimated endowment of $29.0 billion. He has spent about a third of his lifetime income on charity. Journalist Greg Palast suggests that the Gates Foundation is used to make tactical donations to hide media sensitive humanitarian side effects of treaties, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which Gates has supported. TRIPS requires countries to agree to respect drug and other patents, therefore preventing the local manufacture of existing pharmaceuticals still under patent such as AIDS drugs in Africa.
Gates has received two honorary doctorates, from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden in 2002 and Waseda University in 2005. Gates was also given an honorary KBE (Knighthood) from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 2005, in addition to having entomologists name the Bill Gates flower fly, Eristalis gatesi, in his honor.
Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that Gates is probably the most “spammed” person in the world, receiving as many as 4,000,000 e-mails per day in 2004, most of which were junk. Gates has almost an entire department devoted to filtering out junk emails. In an article, Gates himself has said that most of this junk mail “offers to help [him] get out of debt or get rich quick”, which “would be funny [given his financial state] if it weren’t so irritating”1.4. Influence and wealth
Gates in Poland, 2006

Gates is widely considered one of the world’s most influential people. He was listed in the Sunday Times power list in 1999, named CEO of the year by Chief Executive Officers magazine in 1994, ranked number one in the “Top 50 Cyber Elite” by Time in 1998, ranked number two in the Upside Elite 100 in 1999 and was included in The Guardian as one of the “Top 100 influential people in media” in 2001. Gates has been number one on the “Forbes 400” list from 1993 through to 2006 and number one on Forbes list of “The World’s Richest People” in 1996-2006, except for 1997 when the Sultan of Brunei was included despite Forbes’ usual policy of excluding heads of state. In 2004, he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company headed by Warren Buffett, the second wealthiest person in the world according to Forbes and a long time friend of Gates.
Since 2000, Gates’s wealth has declined due to a fall in Microsoft’s share price and the multi-billion dollar donations he has made to his charitable foundations. According to a 2004 Forbes magazine article, Gates gave away over $29 billion to charities from 2000 onwards. These donations are usually cited as sparking a substantial change in attitudes towards philanthropy among the very rich, as philanthropy eventually became the norm for the very rich.
Gates has not generally engaged in conspicuous consumption beyond his lavish home, with its gardens and art collection. Gates also rents or leases a home on Mustique, an exclusive island in the Grenadines, and owns a 300 foot yacht named Ice. In contrast, his former associate Paul Allen has used his wealth in perhaps a more typical manner—owning sports teams, vintage airplanes, and multiple residences. Gates also claimed, in 2005, that he has gone to work every day since 1975, which in recent years includes both his role at Microsoft, and his leadership position at the Gates Foundation.1.5. Popular culture
Bill and Melinda Gates on the

cover of TIME, with U2 lead

singer Bono, as Persons of the

Year 2005.

Bill Gates has been the subject of numerous parodies in film, television, and video games, often serving as an archetype for fictional megalomaniacal leaders of powerful corporations. Examples include The Simpsons episode “Das Bus”, Family Guy episode “Screwed the Pooch”, and the film Antitrust. Alternatively, but less frequently, these references portray a hacker genius. Gates is often characterized as the quintessential example of a super-intelligent “nerd” with immense power. This has in turn led to pop culture stereotypes of Gates as a tyrant or evil genius, often resorting to ruthless business techniques. Gates has been caricatured several times on Saturday Night Live by Chris Kattan and Mark McKinney. In an episode of Pinky and the Brain, a very obvious parody named Bill Grates was a robotic body controlled by the Brain’s rival Snowball, who used the profits of his computer company, Microsponge, to take over the world. He was also shown on South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, in which he was shot in the forehead by a US General when a computer that was displaying a hologram for a briefing crashed—apparently because it was running Windows 98. He returned later in the South Park episode “The Entity”, complete with a bullet hole in his forehead. Several films and television shows have portrayed either the real Bill Gates or a fictionalized version of him, often according to these clichés, including an episode in the first season of the X-Files involving a man who lived inside a house that was operated by a computer (which, as it turned out, had a mind of its own).
Two films, the 1996 documentary Triumph of the Nerds and the 1999 docudrama, Pirates of Silicon Valley explore Gates’ role in the development of the personal computer.
At Live 8, Gates appeared and made a speech before introducing Dido.1.6. Works
Gates has published several essays throughout the years based on his theories, predictions and visions of the computing industry. In these publications he often expresses his personal views on current topics, and discusses Microsoft’s plans. His writings have been published by BusinessWeek, Newsweek, USA Today and Time. His publications since 1997 include:

• Person of the Year, Time, December 2, 2005
• The New World of Work, Executive E-mail, May 19, 2005
• The PC Era Is Just Beginning, Business Week, March 22, 2005
• Building Software That Is Interoperable by Design, Executive E-Mail, February 3, 2005
• The Enduring Magic of Software, InformationWeek, October 18, 2004
• Preserving and Enhancing the Benefits of E-mail: A Progress Report, Executive E-mail, June 28, 2004
• Microsoft Progress Report: Security, Executive E-mail, March 31, 2004
• Losing Ground in the Innovation Race?, CNET, February 25, 2004
• A Spam-Free Future, The Washington Post, November 24, 2003
• Why I Hate Spam, The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2003
• Building Trust in Technology, Global Agenda 2003 (World Economic Forum), January 23, 2003
• Security in a Connected World, Executive E-Mail, January 23, 2003
• The Disappearing Computer, The World in 2003 (The Economist), December 2002
• Slowing the Spread of AIDS in India, The New York Times, November 9, 2002
• Trustworthy Computing, Executive E-Mail, July 18, 2002
• Computing You Can Count on, April 2002
• Tech in a Time of Trouble, The World in 2002 (The Economist), December 2001
• Moving into the Digital Decade, October 29, 2001
• The PC: 20 Years Young, August 12, 2001
• Why We’re Building .NET Technology, June 18, 2001
• Shaping the Internet Age, Internet Policy Institute, December 2000
• Now for an Intelligent Internet, The World in 2001 (The Economist), November 2000
• Will Frankenfood Feed the World?, Time, June 19, 2000
• Yes, More Trade with China, Washington Post, May 23, 2000
• The Case for Microsoft, Time, May 7, 2000
• Enter “Generation i”, Instructor, March 2000
• Product Distribution Goes Digital, IEEE Internet Computing, January 2000
• Beyond Gutenberg, The World in 2000 (The Economist), November 1999
• Everyone, Anytime, Anywhere, Forbes ASAP, October 4, 1999
• The Second Wave, IEEE Internet Computing Magazine, August 18, 1999
• Microprocessors Upgraded the Way We Live, USA Today, June 22, 1999
• Why the PC Will Not Die, Newsweek, May 31, 1999
• The Wright Brothers: The 100 Most Important People of the Century, Time, March 29, 1999
• Compete, Don’t Delete, The Economist, June 13, 1998
• Who Decides What Innovations Go into Your PC?, 19971.7. References
Harold Evans (2004). They Made America : Two Centuries of Innovators from the Steam Engine to the Search Engine”. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-27766-5.
Bill Gates Biography
Bill Gates, ISBN 0446675962 (1999)
Bill Gates, The Road Ahead ISBN 0140260404 (1996)
James Wallace, Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire Harper Business. ISBN 0887306292 (1993)
James Wallace, Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471180416 (1997)
Janet Lowe, Bill Gates Speaks: Insight from the World’s Greatest Entrepreneur, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471293539 (1998)
Jennifer Edstrom and Marlin Eller, Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0805057552 (1999)
Jeanne M. Lesinski, Bill Gates, Lerner Publications Company. ISBN 082259689X (2000)
David Bank, Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft, Free Press. ISBN 0743203151 (2001)

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