William "Bill" H. Gates: The Man with Windows William "Bill" H. Gates was born on born on October 28, 1955 to William Henry Gates, Jr. and the late Mary Gates at Seattle Washington's Swedish Hospital.
Gates is the second born of three children; Kristi is the first-born, she is a year older then Bill, and Libby, is the third born and is nine years younger. Bill follows in his ancestral lineage by being a successful executive. "His grandfather established his own furniture business... [His] father created a newspaper with classified ads and a sports section that was so respected for its accuracy it won him seats in the press box at local games... and become a corporate lawyer... [His mother Mary] was very active socially and politically...
[she was a ] board member of Berkshire Hathaway, First Interstate Bank, Pacific Northwest Bell and the national board of United Way." (W. H. G. III 1-4) Gates was very energetic as a child; from rocking his cradle to extreme curiosity of the world around him, he never stopped.
He was extremely interested in the flourishing aerospace industry and the 1962 World Fair. While he was at the World Fair, he met what would ultimately be his life long career, a computer. At the time, it was comparable to what we would consider excellent now: the UNIV AC. "As a young child, he was extremely smart, surpassing all his classmates. By the time he was nine... young Gates had already read the entire world Book Encyclopedia!" (Encarta 2) Gates's chool experience was not a normal one.
He was one of the brightest in his class and he had an in versed attitude to match. By the time he was in third grade his intelligence had altogether been coupled with extreme behavioral problems and at times emotional immaturity. As time passed his parents worried more and more because his talkative and extremely sarcastic personality was keeping him away from what they knew he was capable of doing. Eventually, his parents ended up sending Gates to a psychiatrist, which was one of the best things they could do because "[it] opened up is mind to a new way of thinking." (Gates: Road pg 35) His parents knew Gates was smarter then he seemed so they looked for a way to channel his intelligence. They decided to send him to Lakeside School, an all boys reformatory. While he was their, he got involved in the Contemporary Club, which would help him in the future.
In the Contemporary Club, "super intelligent sixth graders discussed collegiate level topics in an environment similar to that of a university." (W. H. G. S. III 1-4) Although Gates' behavior improved, he had a tendency "to not pay attention in the subjects that he was not interested in... [So] he maintained a B average." (Lawson 24) The Lakeside School was partly depended on the usage and operating ability of computers by the students.
This sparked Gates' interest in computers further. The main point of the computers at Lakeside was to teach the kids how to program. Gates know that this was what he wanted to do, but one thing held him back: It cost money to use the computers and it was expensive and time consuming. An acute knowledge of BASIC was needed and Gates attained it immediately, but Gates needed to find an alternative to using Lakeside's computers, so Gates and his friend Paul Allen looked for groups, which offered cheaper computer usage.
Their looking paid off because they found the Computer Center Corporation or C-Cubed, which provided free computer usage. They did most of their practicing at C-Cubed; "Gates continued to mater the BASIC language and Paul Allen tried to learn the intrinsic nature of the computer." (Dalglish 22) While at C-Cubed, Gates and Allen gained knowledge of FORTRAN, which broadened their programming capabilities on the limited computers. Unfortunately, C-Cubed would shut down, leaving Gates and Allen desperate for cheap or free computer time. Their search led them to Information Services, Inc.
that recruited them to create a payroll program in exchange for the computer time; however, there was a catch, the programming had to be done in COBOL, so they devoured manual after manual to learn the language. Still wanting more, they decided to sneak into the University of Washington to use their computers free. They were later caught but struck a deal with lab administrators: they would provide free computer help to students and they would be able to use them free of charge. Afterwards Gates was admitted to Harvard where he took several computer-programming classes. Soon after that, the opportunity for Gates to make a program for the Altair computer presented itself. Altair was the first affordable personal computer.
Gates wrote a program for the BASIC interpreter for the Altair, which signified the beginning of Micro-soft (the now Microsoft). The BASIC interpreter was a success and a few months later "Gates and Allen created Soft Card, Micro-soft's first formal invention." (W. H. G. III 3) Soft Card was an operating system and computer language in one.
Microsoft was on the roll when it heard about the Q-DOS system incorporated by another company. Microsoft, knowing the must obtain this software, struck a bargain in which they were able to buy Q-DOS for $50, 000. The name of Q-DOS changed to MS-DOS, which Microsoft in turn then licensed to IBM. IBM made the personal computer even more affordable because with its launch came the clone 'PCs'. The hitch with clone PCs was that they needed an operating system, more specifically Microsoft's operating system. This was accomplished because the licensing contract with IBM let Microsoft retain physical rights of the operating system.
"In 1986 Microsoft had its first blow dealt. Paul Allen was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a type of cancer." (Dalglish 22) Even though the disease was treatable, Allen resigned from Microsoft and Gates was forced to continue without his childhood partner. By this time Microsoft had been the fastest growing company around with just MS-DOS, but then Gates became intrigued with the Graphical User Interface. A few years later, in 1990, Gates hard work paid off and Windows 3. 0 was created and successfully sold. This Windows incorporated the GUI that Gates had been intrigued with, the ability to click an icon to run a program.
With ever success comes a draw back. "That same year, legal issues arose for Microsoft. The Federal trade Commission (FTC) viewed some of Microsoft's actions as being a monopoly, which is illegal... [and] the FTC thought that Microsoft was sabotaging other companies! Microsoft was accused of spreading a rumor that DR DOS, the operating system developed by Dell, Inc. , did not work with Windows... Because of these rumors, it was decided that Microsoft's Business practices were unethical.
When Gates refused to change them, the FTC handed over the case to the United States Department of Justice. A few years later, in 1995, this was called off... because of Microsoft, the United States was the world leader in software. The US needed Microsoft. However Microsoft also did agree to make a few changes in its business practices." (Allison 30-32) Today, Bill Gates has continued to revolutionize the personal computer industry.
The ease of use of computers had been lowered tremendously so that even little kids can use them. Gates is not just a businessperson; he has a life besides Microsoft. Gates married Melinda French on January 1, 1994. They have three children, Jennifer Katharine Gates, born April 29, 1996; Rory John Gates, born May 23, 1999; and Phoebe Adele Gates, born September 14, 2002. They live in the exclusive suburb of Medina, Washington, in a very large earth-sheltered home in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington. The Gates' home is a modern 21 st century home with some aspects of the 18 th or 19 th century because of its large library with domed reading room.
Visitors are allowed into the house to tour it. They are given a survey before and then when they enter the house they are give a chip that relays signals of the person's personal preference at any point in the home. "The total as sed value of the property (land and house) is $113 million with an annual property tax of about $1 million." (Wallace 56) "In his religious views, it is likely that Gates is agnostic. Asked by a Time interviewer weather he believed in God, Gates replied, "I don't have any evidence on that." (Coupland 2) Bill Gates and Melinda, his wife, created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides funds for underrepresented minority college scholarships, AIDS prevention, diseases that strike mainly in third world countries, and other numerous causes. Currently The Foundations provides 90% of the world budget for the attempted eradication of polio since the World Health Organization has moved on to other diseases.
Gates is also responsible for the .".. Gates Library Foundation whose goal is to introduce computers and the digital world to low-income areas in the United States." (Allison 12) Besides donating to and creating his own charities, Gates donates money to politics with his most prominent being to that of the 2004 presidential election campaign of George W. Bush. Gates is also cited as having donated at least $35, 000 to over 50 political campaigns during the 2004 election cycle. Bill Gates is a multi purpose man.
He started with an ambition to program and extended to become the monopoly of software in the world, but then downsized for being criticized. He was able to continue with the biggest software corporation in the world and still raise a family. Gates is able to continue is dream of getting a personal computer within reach of everyone. Bibliography Allison, David. "Interview with Bill Gates." Smithsonian Institute, Online: . 1993: 1- 38.
Coupland, Douglas. Micro serfs. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. Dalglish, Brenda. "Genius at Work." MacLean's 11 May 1992: 34-7. Delaney, Frank.
'History of the Microcomputer Revolution'. Online: . 1995: 1-2. "Gates: A Biography." August 2004. Microsoft (R) Encarta (R) Online Encyclopedia 2000... Gates, William Bill Henry III.
"The Road Ahead." Allentown, PA: Viking Penguin, 1995. -- -. "The Road Ahead." Newsweek 27 Nov. 1995: 58-61.
Lawson, Alan. "Bill's Excellent Future." Newsweek 11 Oct. 1993: 42-3. Wallace, James. Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the making of the Microsoft Empire. New York: Harper Collins, 1993." William Henry Gates III Bio." 2 June 2004.
William Gates, MS-CORP... 7-05-05 (WHGSIII).