William Henry Gates III said Bill Gates (born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle) is an American scientist, a pioneer in the field of micro computers. He founded in 1975 at age 20 with his friend Paul Allen, the software company micro-computer Micro-Soft (since renamed Microsoft). His company bought the QDOS operating system to make MS-DOS, then Windows designed, both in a situation of quasi-monopoly world. It has also become, thanks to the commercial success of Microsoft, the richest man in the world from 1996 to 2007 with a personal fortune estimated at over 59 billion dollars. It is a Knight of the British Empire. Bill Gates has left Microsoft on June 27, 2008 to devote himself to his humanitarian foundation.
The Formative Years: 1955-1975
Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington State, USA. His father, William Henry Gates Sr., is a lawyer business. His mother, Mary Maxwell Gates, is a professor and chairwoman of the management of some companies and banks in the United Way of America.
Bill Gates discovered science at the very selective Lakeside School in Seattle, which then has a PDP-10 leased. It achieves with his childhood friend Paul Allen his first computer program, a game of tic-tac-toe.
In 1968, 13 years old, he founded with Allen and some other friends, the Lakeside Programmers Group. Some companies will use their talents, mainly to optimize and secure systems and existing applications written in assembly language.
In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University at age 18. There, he met Steve Ballmer, the future CEO of Microsoft, he quickly abandons his studies to devote himself solely to computer programming.
First success: the birth of BASIC
He co-directed with an interpreter Allen BASIC for the Altair 8800. This accomplishment is both a tour de force and a stroke of luck: the development is entirely on PDP-10 and Altair BASIC is tested on a real Altair 8800 as the day of the demonstration, which succeeded perfectly. The Altair BASIC is a milestone in the history of micro computers: this is the first programming language to be worked on a micro-computer business. This will also be the first software published by Microcomputer Software (whose contraction MicroSoft us today is more familiar), founded for the occasion in 1975, while Gates is 20 years old.
On February 3, 1976, Bill Gates, wrote a letter called "An open letter to hobbyists" (open letter to fans), in which he condemns for the first time the illegal sharing of one of its proprietary software, BASIC d ' Altair: We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and APL 6800, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.
The partnership with IBM: MS-DOS, Windows
In 1980, Microsoft signed a contract with IBM to develop the operating system MS-DOS, to market each personal computer IBM PC. MS-DOS is marketed in the USA from August 12, 1981, but is not developed by Microsoft: He, January 6, 1981 acquired rights to operate 86-DOS to society Seattle Computer Product (SCP ), then July 22, 1981 entered into a marketing agreement with the company SCP allowing Microsoft to introduce the product as hers and PCS receive royalties on sales volume. The agreement already included a multi-user version.
His fortune is made, and will continue to grow over record levels. Bill Gates is convinced that one day every home and the professional world will be equipped with personal computers. IBM is far from being the first on the market: Apple, among others, had already launched on the market four years ago with a storm. The weight of IBM engineering and commercial Bill Gates are of paramount importance for the takeoff of MS-DOS.
On 1 January 1994, he married Melinda French, an employee of Microsoft, with whom he has two daughters, Jennifer Katherine (born 1996) and Phœbe Adele (born 2002) and a son, Rory John (born 1999). He moved with his family on Lake Washington near Seattle in the house of his dreams estimated at $ 113 million.
On 2 March 2005, Bill Gates is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom to the rank of Honorary Knight of the Order of British Empire for his contribution to British business and for his efforts to combat poverty in the world. However, not being a citizen of a Commonwealth country, it can not prefix its name from the title Sir. However, it may add the letters KBE (Knight of British Empire / Knight of the British Empire) after his name.
The majority of the legacy of Bill Gates should return to its Foundation, in which he became one of the biggest donors against poverty in the world with several billion dollars of his personal fortune. In 2006, he announced that lèguera 95% of his fortune in the fight against disease and illiteracy in the South and 5% to his heirs [ref. necessary].
On Friday, 27 June 2008, Bill Gates is officially in retirement and became non-executive director of the group Microsoft.
The Gates Foundation
In 2000, he founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to provide the world's innovations in health and learning, and has some 28.8 billion U.S. dollars. The Gates Foundation has already spent 9.26 billion dollars, in particular to vaccinate 55 million children. He also announced bequeath 95% of his fortune has its foundation.
These actions have contributed to what Time Magazine refers to Bill Gates Man of the Year 2005, along with his wife Melinda and Bono (U2 singer), for their actions on the philanthropic front.
Controversy around the Gates Foundation
In January 2007, the Los Angeles Times published a less flattering article on the Gates Foundation, accusing the organization of investing 95% of its funds in investment income managed by financiers in charge of "strongly diversify their portfolios but without guidelines accurate. " The daily stresses that some of these initiatives are contradictory with his philanthropy. The article cites the case of vaccination campaigns funded in the Niger Delta in particular by the Gates Foundation, which invest in companies the same as Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total, companies highly responsible for pollution in this region.
Such cases would not be isolated, according to the Los Angeles Times, which stresses that the foundation has invested profitably in several companies known for their adverse impact on the environment and health, but also in real estate credit companies accused have deprived thousands of people, or companies employing children. The Gates Foundation would "not exercised its power and its immense wealth to change the behaviour of companies in which it invests".
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