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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Bill Gates - 1374 words
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Bill Gates went from an upper middle-class family to the one of the richest men in the world; who owns the largest software company, Microsoft. Neither Bill, nor Microsoft have reached their peak, but many events helped to lead them to where they are today. In the beginning, Bill Gates, a skinny, shy awkward boy born on October 28, 1955 to Mary and William Gates. As a teenager, Bill seemed an unlikely successor to his overachieving parents. His father, an attorney and his mother a teacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of the United Way placed him in Lakeside. This is a very elite private school.
It was there, that Bill was first introduced to computers. The following year, he wrote his first computer program, then a scheduling program for the school - which coincidentally placed him and his best friend, Paul Allen, in the same classes as the prettiest girls in the school. Bill was accepted to Harvard University in the fall of 1973. Bill did not willingly venture to parties as most college students do, unless dragged there by his friend Steve Ballmer, whom he later repaid by naming him president of Microsoft. He slacked off a bit always trying to get the highest grades by putting in the least amount of energy
In his second year he dropped out, he and Paul Allen founded a company called Traf-O-Data, which analyzed city traffic data. Though a good idea, there was not much need for it. After reading an article in Popular Mechanics, Gates and Allen contacted M.I.T.S. in regards to providing software for the new computer Altair 8800. They were soon contracted for programming languages and moved to New Mexico and started Micro-soft (the hyphen would later be dropped).
Soon IBM contacted the two asking for an operating system for their first personal computer. Bill told them he would be happy to make an operating system, although that's not exactly what he did. Gates purchased a system QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) for $50,000 from another company, changed the named to MS-DOS and sold it to IBM. So on the contrary to public opinion, Bill Gates did not write MS-DOS, he bought it, changed it slightly, and put his name on it. In order for Microsoft to get to the top, they had to have a very good business strategy.
Their strategy is to sell software at low prices, until people are hooked. Then, slowly, raise them up. If a competitor enters, they lower their prices and bring them back up when the competitor has lost. That strategy is what made Microsoft the biggest software company in the world. In proof, when IBM released their computer, they offered three OS (operating system) choices, Pascal, CP/M, and MS-DOS costing $450, $175, $60, respectively.
This is their way of "selling cheaply in high volume." The MS-DOS computer was a great success, and many people began writing software for it, making MS-DOS even more popular. A man named Kazuhiko Nishi called Bill expressing his interest in Microsoft's software. The two made a deal and Nishi paid nearly $150 million for exclusive rights to license MS-BASIC in Asia. The licensing fees from its success guaranteed Microsoft's survival for the next several years. 1979 brought a landmark to the company when they moved to Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft is located today. By this time, Microsoft had grown in popularity and was receiving too many demands for its products. At this time, Bill turned his company over to Steve Ballmer for help.
Steve wanted to add 50 more people to the company. Bill was against this idea because other companies had gone under that way, but Steve convinced him. He was to add people until Bill told him to stop, but until this day, he hasn't received the stop signal. As time went on, MS-DOS was no longer up to standards. People we're looking for colors, graphics, and "more user-friendly interfaces." Many of these things were found in primitive systems made by Xerox.
Apple, much like IBM, was in the process of making a new computer, which was released in 1984. They wanted Microsoft to make them an OS. Bill, again, quickly agreed. With the help of Apple, he and his development team wrote the Macintosh OS. But around the same time Apple Macintosh was released, Microsoft exposed Windows to the public.
Windows was very similar to Macintosh; both had GUI's (Graphical User Interfaces). Apple sued them because of their similarities, following in the lines of copyright infringement, but did not win because of the "actual code" The program's instructions appeared very different from that of Apple's. Next, IBM wanted a GUI, and again called Microsoft. They teamed up and attempted to make an OS called OS/2. However, IBM wanted to make it more like a mainframe OS than a personal computer OS. This would make it more complex and not as good.
Soon IBM released its new computer, the PS/2, which ran an early version of OS/2. Among its flaws were incompatibility with Windows software and a new micro channel bus. The new bus was not compatible with the thousands of add-on cards available. People liked their old software and would not switch. The PS/2 was a failure. IBM continued refusing to make compatibility with Windows and so Microsoft dropped out (1992).
The main reason was that because it wasn't Windows compatible, he wouldn't be able to make additional money by writing software for it. Without compatibility, it just wouldn't last. Thankfully, IBM pulled their non-compatible product from the market. They spent an estimated $2 billion on OS/2 and OS/2 software.On January 1st, 1994, Bill married Melinda French, a product manager at Microsoft. Nearly two years later, they had their first child. A girl named Jennifer Katherine.
Melinda had a son about 6 years ago.In September of 1995, a new operating system was released, called "Windows 95." It was by far the most popular operating system, selling seven million copies in the first six weeks. Soon updated with 98, 2000, and xp, the legacy continues. Win95 had several new features, including "multitasking." This is a feature which allows more than one application to be loaded at one time, making the computer easier and more efficient. Other features of interest are OLE (Object Linking and Imbedding, otherwise known as Active X); this allows different programs to communicate with each other, and threads, which are like little programs inside big ones. At this point, Bill got a new idea.
If he could get people to use his Internet Tools, he could control most of the Internet. So he made Microsoft an Internet Service Provider (ISP). He called his new service Microsoft Network (MSN) and incorporated it into Win95. MSN now has about 6 million subscribers, most paying him $20/month (about a billion dollars a year).He also made a web browser, called "Internet Explorer," and placed it into newer versions of Win95 so it would be automatically placed on your system. He did this for free (but remember their "low prices to get you hooked" theory?) His Internet Explorer became #1. Currently his only competition is Netscape Navigator.
This cased a lawsuit from the Department of Justice on the charges of monopolization. He was said to be smothering his competition and not giving users a choice of browser. Yet, it was quickly resolved as Bill backed down, and let things run their course.Though Bill is the wealthiest man you will probably see in your lifetime, he does not keep all of his earnings. He earmarked $1 billion over 20 years to establish the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, which supports promising minority students through college and some graduate schools; and $750 million over five years to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, which includes the World Health Organization, and the Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, pharmaceutical companies, and the World Bank. Bill Gates has strength and stamina that more of the population needs.
He worked from the ground up and look where he is today.Works CitedWallace, James. Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire. Harper Collins Publishers; New York, NY: 1993.Edstrom, Jennifer and Marlin Eller. Barbarians Led By Bill Gates; Microsoft from the Inside. Henry Holt and Company; New York, NY: 1998.http://www.microsoft,com/billgates/bio.htm "Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman.".
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