The Life And Awesomeness Of Bill Gates
Entrepreneur Bill Gates, born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy, and aggressive competitive tactics, he and his partner Paul Allen built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Bill Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
Bill Gates the computer wizard is known for his wealth and power. The owner of the largest personal-computer software company was earlier infamous for his temper and ruthless ways as a businessman. But he is now known as the generous giving man who has pledged his life to charity. Read on to know about Bill’s dramatic journey from being hated to being loved.
Gates’ early life:
Some people understand their life’s calling very early on. Bill Gates was one such man. He had started messing around with computers in his early teens. This was the time when computers were a lesser known machine and were not available in every household.
Bill’s first ever computer program which he wrote when he was in the eighth grade was a simple Tic Tac game that was to be played against the computer. The computer he was working on fascinated him with how accurately it executed every software code perfectly. He said, "There was just something neat about the machine.”
Gates and Allen meet:
Bill met the Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen when they were in ‘lakeside’ a boarding school. They became friends despite the two year age difference. They both shared the love for computers.
The tech duo dreamt of creating computers for everyone. They met the CEO of a computer manufacturing company with a proposal about a software program called BASIC. In reality they did not have any such program. The duo rushed and wrote one in two months. That is how Micro-Soft was born.
Gates, the college drop out
Gates went to Harvard but dropped out to start Microsoft with Allen. His mom was not happy. She was worried about his future and wanted him to stay in school and become a lawyer, like his dad.
But Harvard served one important role: That's where he met Steve Ballmer. Ballmer would join Microsoft in 1980 as Microsoft's 30th employee. He reportedly got a salary of $50,000 and an 8 percent share of the company.
Gates never would return to college.
The crusader against the free software movement:
During the 70’s which was the early stage for computers, techies shared and freely pirated software such as Microsoft’s BASIC. Bill Gates was always against this piracy and believed that distribution of software without paying would "prevent good software from being written."
He was a visionary and the paid software made Bill a millionaire. Although he had faced widespread criticism during the 70’s techies around the world now support Bill’s ideas.
Bill a brilliant conniver:
Gates’ mother Mary Maxwell Gates introduced him to IBM chairman John Opel in 1980. Gates convinced IBM that he had an operating system on which the IBM PC’s could be run. In reality the OS was not Bill’s. He had licensed in from some other company.
He adapted the software for IBM but did not give them the source code. Bill being the visionary had anticipated that other companies would clone IBM’s PC and would want Microsoft’s operating system. He ended up earning millions because of this.
Gates not a good boss:
Bill Gates is known to be socially challenged. His temper is a menace known to all. He is infamously known for shouting matches with the CEO of other computer companies.
He was not much of a good boss either. Known to have insulted his employees he was abusive while talking to his managers during the meetings and calling their ideas ‘stupid’. This abusive manager style has become engrained in Microsoft’s management DNA. One of Microsoft’s earliest female employees even sued the company for gender discrimination.
A mean and unfair businessman:
Bill gates is also known for his shrewd and calculating ways. His company has faced numerous law suits ranging from Apple’s accusation of them copying the ‘look and feel’ of Macintosh to the lawsuit for unfair business practices. In 1998, the United States charged Microsoft under antitrust laws. Gates was evasive in court and Microsoft lost the suit.
Microsoft is notoriously known for playing monopolistic games and keeping other players from entering the market.
Gates the eligible bachelor:
Gates was never known to be much of a ladies’ man but his immense fortune and powerful standing made him one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His love affair with Melinda French started in 1989 and culminated into a beautiful marriage in 1994. The couple has two daughters and they live in a lavish 66,000 square foot property overlooking lake Washington.
A woman’s influence in his life and a lot of negative lawsuits paved the way for a reformed software baron.
The kinder and nicer Gates:
Melinda’s presence in Bill’s life brought a visible change in his attitude towards life. He became a softer and gentler person who wanted to do good for the society. In 1994, he gave up some of his Microsoft shares to set up the William Gates Foundation. In 2000 the couple combined three family foundations and the Bill and Melinda Foundation was born.
He also quit the CEO position in Microsoft and became the ‘chief software architect’. He has now given up the day to day functioning of Microsoft to devote time for charity.
Gates initiated the ‘give away billions’ club:
Bill Gates along with his best bud Warren buffet signed the ‘Gates Buffet giving pledge’ in 2010 according to which they would donate half of their wealth for charitable purposes. Gates also started to convince other billionaires into given away their money for charity. Mark Zuckerberg was the first to sign the pledge.
The new reputation- ‘a giving angel’:
The change in Bill’s attitude helped him reform his image which had taken a severe beating because of the anti-trust lawsuits. He is now known as the one with a heart of gold. His philanthropic efforts have earned him the respect of the world. In 2011, he appeared on Jon Stewart to discuss the eradication of polio in underdeveloped countries.
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