The God of geeks, an inspiration to many a wannabe millionaires and a shrewd businessman, Mr Gates would always be remembered for the huge contribution that Microsoft did for spreading the IT revolution in the world.
Over 90% of the world’s desktops work on Microsoft Windows and almost all of the world’s word processing documents, spreadsheets, are created on Microsoft software.
All started in Albuquerque, US, in 1975, when Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and started ‘Microsoft’ with buddy Paul Allen at age 20. Paul was two years older to Bill. Both wrote the BASIC programming language for the Altair 8800 microcomputer. Within three years, Bill and Paul earned their first million dollars via sales of BASIC and two other software.
Bill Gates became CEO for Microsoft in 1975, a title he handed over to his Harvard mate Steve Ballmer in 2000. Bill Gates went on to become the richest man in America with a fortune of $9.35 billion in 1994. He married Melinda French from Dallas, the same year.
The next year he was crowned the world’s richest man with a worth of over $12.9 billion. He visited India in 2005, and announced an $1.7-billion investment.
In June 2006, he announced his intention to step down as Microsoft chairman by July 2008. Mr Gates expressed his intention to focus more on Global Health & Development Program run by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has an endowment of $34.6 billion. The donations from the foundation each year amount to over $1.5 billion at minimum, largely from Bill Gates’ own fortune.
Even though Microsoft’s monopoly may erode over the years as open source and web technologies gain momentum, nobody can forget the enormous contribution of Bill Gates to the world both in terms of a software revolution and his philanthropic efforts.