Short Biography of Bill GatesShort Biography of Bill Gates, dates: born 28 Oct, 1955, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Short biography of Bill Gates - early days
- Short Biography of Bill Gates, quote: "Capitalism is this wonderful thing that motivates people, it causes wonderful inventions to be done. But in this area of diseases of the world at large, it's really let us down."
Bill gates created his first computer program at the age of 13. With other pupils, he computerized his school's payroll system and founded a company that sold traffic-data systems to local government. After he dropped out of Harvard, he launched Microsoft with Paul Allen.
Microsoft's first big success was licensing MS-DOS for use on the IBM PC, and compatibles, in 1981. Bill Gates became a paper billionaire within five years. Now worth tens of billions of dollars, he's probably the richest person in the world.The continuing success of Bill Gates is partly due to his ability to react quickly to innovations produced by other companies. For instance, in the mid-1990s Gates refocused Microsoft on software solutions for the Internet. Microsoft extended the Windows operating system so that networked computers, and non-computer devices, could interact easily and efficiently with each other. He also created the Microsoft Network (MSN) to compete with America Online and other Internet service providers.
In the early days, Microsoft quickly achieved dominance in the markets for office productivity and PC operating systems. Microsoft Word became the best selling word processor package, and was quickly followed by Microsoft Excel in the spreadsheet category. Similar success followed for their database and e-mail packages—Microsoft Access and Microsoft Outlook. The dominance of these Microsoft Office products has been maintained up to the present day. This dominance has been matched by the success of the Microsoft Windows operating system, which has beaten its main competitors—Macintosh and Linux—into distant second and third places.
The profits that Bill Gates has made from his core PC software applications, and the quick and accurate judgement that typifies himself and Microsoft, has meant he has moved quickly into up-coming markets when necessary. This has, for instance, allowed him to achieve dominance of the Browser market with Internet Explorer, and to compete with Google and Yahoo in the search engine wars.
Some companies, like Google, now appear to have the power to compete with Microsoft's core products. For instance, Google's support of the Firefox browser is making inroads into Explorer's dominance. Also, Apple's success with the ipod has not been matched, in that area, by Microsoft—and this has stimulated more demand for Apple PCs.
In early 2005 Bill Gates was knighted by the Queen of England for his business skills and, especially, for his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If he is to be happily remembered on the world stage, then it will probably be through the work of the Foundation—if it lives up to its potential.
Read another short, unbiased Bill Gates biography @ Encyclopedia Britannica (not Encarta!)