Bill Gates is an American programmer, inventor, author, business magnate, philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2017, excluding four of those years.
His parents are of English, German, Irish, and Scots-Irish descent.
Bill Gates (born William Henry Gates III) was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, United States. Son of William Henry Gates Sr. and Mary (Maxwell) Gates. His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates' maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. Early on in his life, Gates' parents had a law career in mind for him.
In 1968 he enrolled in the Lakeside School, a private preparatory school. When he was in the eighth grade, the Mothers Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School's rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school's students.Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC, and was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly. Gates was a National Merit Scholar when he graduated from Lakeside School in 1973.
Gates enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 1973, originally thinking of a career in law. He chose a pre-law major but took mathematics and graduate level computer science courses. His freshman year saw him spend more of his time in the computer lab than in class. Gates did not really have a study regimen. Instead, he could get by on a few hours of sleep, cram for a test, and pass with a reasonable grade. While at Harvard, he met fellow student Steve Ballmer. Gates left Harvard after two years. Gates dropped out of Harvard at the time when he and Paul Allen (his school friend) saw the opportunity to start their own computer software company. He had talked over this decision with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much their son wanted to start his own company. Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard in November 1975.
Gates began developing and marketing computer software while still in high school. At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.
Gates and his friends from Lakeside became fascinated with the machines and formed the Lakeside Programmers Group to try to make money in the computer field. The Programmers Group primarily earned its founders free computing time on machines owned by a company in Seattle. Gates and Allen then formed a company that they called Traf-O-Data. They put together a small computer for measuring traffic flow and made about $20, 000.
Gates's old friend Allen showed him an advertisement for a kit to build a home computer. When MITS expressed interest, Gates and Allen ignored their studies and spent the next four weeks frantically working on turning their boast into reality. Having written the first computer language for a personal computer, Gates and Allen established the Microsoft Corporation in 1975. The name "Microsoft" was formed from the words "microcomputer" and "software." Although Gates rightfully earned credit for building one of the fastest-growing and most profitable companies ever established, Microsoft started out on a shaky foundation.
Gates and Allen had sold their first commercially developed software for $3, 000 and royalties. Before long, however, Microsoft found itself unable to cover its overhead.
By the late 1970 the computing giant IBM had plans for marketing a personal computer for home use. They approached Microsoft to develop the standard operating system for their home computer models.
Gates and Allen then went out and purchased for $50, 000 an operating system called Q-Dos, which had been developed by Seattle Computer. Q-Dos was compatible with the Intel processor that IBM intended to use. The two then adapted the Q-Dos system and presented it to IBM.
Gates had learned well his early lessons in the software business. He insisted that IBM make Microsoft the exclusive software licensee for their home computers, meaning that all IBM products would have Microsoft operating systems. Furthermore, Gates negotiated a contract that allowed Microsoft to retain the right to manufacture and license the software, which he and Allen had named MS-DOS, to other manufacturers. Because there were three other operating systems for microprocessors at that time, Gates didn't own the sole industry standard. But he was well on his way.
He and Allen made MS-DOS the most attractive system to computer manufacturers because Microsoft offered a flat-fee license rather than a per-unit contract. Gates and Allen also encouraged software developers to create programs that would broaden their system's capabilities.
Their strategy was a huge success because manufacturers initially saved money. His plan was based on building a mass of users for Microsoft products, which would mean the company would own the industry standard. The two companies came to an out-of-court settlement without Gates or Microsoft admitting to any guilt or duplicity in the original purchase.
Gates quickly recognized that VisiCorp's system would be the wave of the future because it was much easier for technologically unsophisticated people to use. Even though Microsoft did not have such a system in the works at that point, Gates started an advertising campaign with an announcement at the Plaza Hotel in New York City that a new Microsoft operating system with graphical user interface (GUI) would soon be marketed.
This next-generation system was to be called "Windows." Gates's announcement was a bluff; the truth was that Microsoft was nowhere near developing such a system. But the marketing ploy worked because people preferred to wait for a system designed to be compatible with their existing Microsoft products rather than undergo the trouble and expense of installing an entirely new operating system.
Furthermore, Windows allowed users to avoid buying new software applications to replace the DOS-compatible programs they currently owned. Windows 1. 0 was finally released in 1985.
This cautious approach to financing, however, did not reflect an unwillingness to take risks. In January 1986 Gates launched an ambitious long-term project to develop a new data storage system based on a compact disk, or CD-ROM, that could hold any type of computer file, including music and visual files. In March of that same year, he took the company public.
His 40 percent ownership of Microsoft shares made his net worth $390 million by June 1986. Gates had effectively cornered the market for operating software for the vast majority of personal computers (PCs) as well as developing a wide range of other popular programs.
He effectively became a billionaire in March 1987, when his company's stock rose to $90. 75 per share, up from $21. 50 per share when the company went public. They credited much of this success to Gates's ability to capitalize early and effectively on industry trends and his willingness to take risks on such fledgling technologies as Microsoft's CD-ROM-based software packages, which became industry standards.
For years he had paid little attention to the business potential of the Internet, which led him to say later that he regretted not having focused more closely on Microsoft's capabilities for e-mail and networking. In 1995, however, he did an about-face and began to redirect the company's efforts in this area.
His success was measured by the fact that Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser had become the industry leader by 2000. At the same time the company funneled larger amounts of money into improving customer support and feedback. Microsoft earned $19. 75 billion in revenue during the fiscal year 1999. Bill Gates had become an icon not only in the computer and business worlds but also in the eyes of the general public.
Gates and Microsoft had come under increasing scrutiny for unfair business practices from the time of the court case that followed Microsoft's purchase of the Q-Dos operating system from Seattle Computer in 1980.
In 1993 the United States Justice Department began an investigation into Microsoft's contracts with other computer manufacturers that led to an agreement from Gates in 1994 to eliminate some of Microsoft's restrictions on the use of its products by other software makers.
However, the Justice Department sued Microsoft back in 1997 for forcing computer makers to sell its Internet browser as a condition of using the Windows system—a de facto violation of the 1994 consent decree. Although Microsoft won its initial appeal in 1998 to reverse the 1997 decision, Gates soon found himself being questioned for 30 hours over a three-day period in a videotaped deposition for the upcoming antitrust trial. The final oral arguments from each side were presented on September 21, 1999.
After the judge presented his findings of fact on the case on November 5, Gates issued a response disagreeing with many of the findings that went against Microsoft. In a statement released to the press as reported by Court TV Online, Gates noted, "Microsoft competes vigorously and fairly.
United States District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled in June 2000 that Microsoft was a monopoly, which had illegally exploited the dominance of Windows, at that point installed on over 95 percent of the world's personal computers. It was the most severe antitrust ruling since the breakup of AT&T in 1984.
Jackson's decision was reversed on appeal, however, and the company received a far less severe punishment directed toward restricting some of its business practices.
In spite of this relatively favorable outcome, however, Gates continued to battle competitors in American courtrooms over Microsoft's business practices.
In addition, he found himself subjected to litigation in Europe, where Microsoft was once again accused of exploiting its monopoly of Windows to control other computer-related industries, including media-player and server software companies. Despite the controversy over whether Gates had created a company that used its dominance of the desktop computer system to obtain unfair control of newer computer-related markets, Microsoft continued to prosper. Despite all his financial success, however, Gates remained a fiscal conservative.
He remained a hands-on leader at Microsoft, however, maintaining an active work schedule as the company's chairman and chief software architect.
Gates was born into a Protestant Christian church, but is now conclusively an agnostic. In one of the interviews Gates said in regard to his faith: "The moral systems of religion, I think, are super important. We've raised our kids in a religious way; they've gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in. I've been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that's kind of a religious belief. I mean, it's at least a moral belief".
According to some sources Bill Gates is a Democrat, just as well as such billionaires like Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison. He is a proponent of higher taxes, particularly for the rich. Gates is very concerned with a variety of social issues including 3rd world development, disease, poverty, and the environment. Three political campaign donation reports were analyzed--all with discrepancies regarding the amount Gates has donated, but two of them say he's given slightly more to Democrats, so we're going with Democrat.
Bill seeks to establish a solid foundation, and would rather use hard work and long hours to build a business or career than search for "get rich quick" schemes. He has great potential for success, but only after putting out effort and overcoming the limitations he so often encounters. Courageous and a true survivor, he is a builder and the foundation of any enterprise, and his hard work and practical values pay off to provide Bill Gates with the rewards he seeks and deserves.
"First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned".
"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important".
"Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other".
"The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life".
"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose".
In response to the question, "What do you think will happen to human civilization with further development in AI technology?" Gates says the rise in artificial intelligence will mean society will be able to do more with less.
"AI is just the latest in technologies that allow us to produce a lot more goods and services with less labor. And overwhelmingly, over the last several hundred years, that has been great for society," explains Gates.
Gates is a board member of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway.
According to the information found on www.celebrities-galore.com in the article "Bill Gates Personality Profile": Bill Gates is practical, down to earth with strong ideas about right and wrong. He is orderly, organized, systematic and controlled, and once committed - he employs decisive and methodical steps to problems solving, without giving up easily.
Justice and honesty are sacred to Gates, making him reliable and dependable, and quite often - a cornerstone in the community. Also, though not a typical idealist, Bill Gates is willing to work for a better world in a realistic way.
Because of his methodical nature Bill can easily become rigid and stuck in convention. He can also be overly cautious when changes are necessary, this can cause him to miss opportunities that present themselves.
Bill contributes to his surrounding as a peacemaker. However, he might develop a tendency today for self-righteousness. Gates must not be arrogant, as it may annoy quite a few people
Quotes from others about the person
“Stewart Alsop: "Gates is the ultimate programming machine. He believes everything can be defined, examined, reduced to essentials, and rearranged into a logical sequence that will achieve a particular goal".
Gary Kildall: "He is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry".
Dennis Miller: "Bill Gates is a monocle and a Persian cat away from being the villain in a James Bond movie".
Chuck Peddle: "There is nothing nice about Steve Jobs and nothing evil about Bill Gates. Gates is a good man".
Brian O'Reilly: "[Gates] apparently has made more money than anyone else his age, ever, in any business".”
The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins,
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger,
My Years with General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan,
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,
The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker.
Leonardo da Vinci
Sport & Clubs
Golf, bridge, tennis
Art, reading, studying biotechnology
Gates married Melinda French on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on January 1, 1994; he was 38 and she was 29. They have three children: Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996), Rory John (b. 1999), and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002).