Bill Gates biography, Bill Gates education
One of the major reasons behind the wide usage of Personal Computers (PC) has been due to the creation of Windows OS, developed by Microsoft. Today, nearly 77% to 87.8% of the personal computers (PC) of the global market runs on the Microsoft Windows OS platform.
The man behind Microsoft Corporation which brought a revolution in the computer world and is now worth over $1 trillion, is none other than Bill Gates. He is an American business mogul, investor, and an active philanthropist. He held the positions of CEO, chairman, president, and chief software architect of Microsoft, during his service. He is known as one of the pioneers of the microcomputers revolution between the years of 1970s and 1980s.
Gates has been listed in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people, since 1987. He was listed as the wealthiest billionaire in the world through the years of 1995, 1996, 1998 to 2007, 2009, and has been since 2014; though in 2017 he was surpassed by Jeff Bezos and held the title of the second-wealthiest person in the world since. As of July 2020, Gate’s net worth was estimated at around US$111.8 billion.
Bill Gates: Early life and education
William Henry Gates III commonly known as Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 28, 1995. He is the son of William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates, Mr Gates was a prominent lawyer while Mrs Gates was on the board of directors for the First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way of America. Gates also has an older sister Kristianne and a younger sister Libby. His family was wealthy and influential, allowing him to have a comfortable childhood.
At the age of 13, he was sent to the private Lakeside prep school, where he first got introduced to programming. He was fascinated by the idea of programming and using a machine to produce the desired outcome perfectly every single time. He was excused from mathematics classes to pursue his interest. It was during that time he had met Paul Allen, who later went on to become the co-founder of Microsoft alongside Bill Gates in the coming few years.
His entrepreneurial journey began at the age of 17 when Gates formed a venture to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor. Besides being a capable programmer, he excelled in academics. He was a National Merit Scholar during his graduation from Lakeside School in 2013, he had a score of 1590 out of 1600 on Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and got enrolled at Harvard in 1973.
Paul Allen and Gates remained in touch, and during the release of MITS Altair 8800, they saw an opportunity to start their own software company. Gates dropped out of Harvard in 1975, taking a leave of absence to pursue his dream.
In that year, Allen and Gates were able to develop an Altair emulator followed by the BASIC interpreter for MIT. With great success, MIT offered them a deal to provide the interpreter as Altair BASIC. Allen named their partnership as “Micro-Soft”, combining “microcomputer” and “software”. They officially registered the trade name “Microsoft” on November 26, 1976. Gates returned and completed his studies at Harvard.
Microsoft became an independent organization in late 1976 and worked in developing programming language software for various systems. The company moved to Bellevue, Washington from Albuquerque, in 1979. Gates stated that he reviewed and rewrote every line of code that the company produced in the initial five years.
In July 1980, IBM approached Microsoft concerning software for its upcoming personal computer, the IBM PC. Microsoft made a deal with creators of 86-DOS software and delivered it to IBM as PC DOS for a one-time payment of $50,000. Though the contract earned Microsoft a relatively small amount, it brought Microsoft the prestige of being adopted by a huge company like IBM. It transformed the image of the company from a small business to the leading software company in the world.
On November 20 of 1985, a whole new world of opportunities was opened to Microsoft with the launch of its first retail version of Microsoft Windows. With the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and easy availability, Microsoft Windows came to dominate the market. It owned more than 90% of the market share, overtaking Mac OS from the company Apple. Though, the company faced many accusations regarding the originality of the product and had to go through legal procedures to settle things down. The Windows OS was used widely, as it came separately and reduced the cost of maintaining a PC by a high margin.
During the initial years of Microsoft, Gates used to be an active software developer, especially in the company’s programming language products. However, his formal role in the company was of a manager and executive.
As for his achievements, Gates was named one of the people who most influenced the 20th century, as well as one of the 100 most influential people of 2004, 2005 and 2006 and also, ranked as the fourth most powerful person in the world in 2012, according to Forbes. He was named the Honorary member of the American Library Association in 1998, honoured as the 20th Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society (DFBCS) in 1994, in 1999 he received New York Institute of Technology’s President Medal.
Furthermore, he has received honorary doctorates from institutes such as – Nyenrode Business Universiteit (2003), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (2002), Waseda University (2005), Tsinghua University (2007), Harvard University (2007), Karolinska Institute (2007) and Cambridge University (2009). Apart from these, in 2005 he was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBR) by Queen Elizabeth II.
Bill Gates: Philanthropy
Besides being an uber-successful businessman, he is an active philanthropist. In 1999, Gates donated $20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the development of the construction of a computer laboratory named the “William H. Gates Building”. In 2000, Gates and his wife Melinda combined family foundations and donated stocks worth of $5 billion in creating the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was identified by the identified as the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets worth of more than $34.6 billion.
More noticeably, the charitable organization keeps the record of expenditure transparent. Bill and Melinda Gates were named the second-most generous philanthropists in America, as of 2007, having donated over $28 billion to charity; also the couple plans to donate 95% of their wealth through charitable works during their lifetime.
Gates has donated in medical research organizations as well. In 2017, he committed to donate $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund, seeking treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, Bill and Melinda intend to leave their children with only about $10 million each as their inheritance and about $30 million kept in the family. They have promised to give away about 99.6% of their wealth.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been an active donor in various development sectors in India as well. Gates reportedly distributed around $600,000 through his foundation via UNICEF which helps flood victims in Kerala, India. Furthermore, the foundation has donated nearly $1 billion in various projects in India, particularly in fields related to health, and woman and child welfare. In recognition to their social work in the country, Bill Gates along with his wife Melinda Gates, received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award.
Moreover, keeping the damage caused by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Gates has committed to donating about $100 million through his foundation to aid the global research and treatment of the disease.
To conclude, we can say that Bill Gates’s was not a ‘Rags to Riches’ story. None the less, it only goes on to demonstrate that through hard work, strategic and out-of-the-box thinking and leadership qualities, Gates has successfully made a place amongst the most influential individuals in the history of mankind.
Though Gates maintains a wealthy, luxurious lifestyle, his philanthropic work and his appreciation for new talents across the world have proved him to be rich, not just in terms of wealth but also in terms of empathy and humanity. His story works as a driving force, and not just for the young but also the existing corporations and experienced workers, his story will be remembered generations after generations amongst the very legends that influenced him to start his philanthropic journey.
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