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Bill Gates - the Man with Windows

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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 UNIVAC. "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' school experience was not a normal one. He was one of the brightest in his class and he had an inversed 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 SoftCard, Micro-soft's first formal invention." (W. H. G. III 3) SoftCard 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



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