William (Bill) Gates III was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. As the principal founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is one of the most influential and richest people on the planet. Recent estimates of his wealth put it at $77 billion, this is the equivalent of the combined GDP of several African economies. In recent years he has retired from working full time at Microsoft, and has instead has concentrated on working with his charitable foundation “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”
Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1976 when he formed a contract with MITTS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) to develop a basic operating system for their new microcomputers. In the early days Bill Gates would review every line of code. He was also involved in several aspects of Microsoft’s business such as packing and sending off orders.
The big break for Microsoft came in 1980 when IBM approached them for a new BASIC operating system for its new computers. In the early 1980s IBM was by far the leading PC manufacture. However, increasingly, there developed many IBM PC clones; (PCs developed by other companies compatible with IBM’s). Microsoft worked hard to sell its operating system to these other companies. Thus Microsoft was able to gain the dominant position of software manufacture just as the personal computer market started to boom. Since its early dominance, no other company has come close to displacing Microsoft as the dominant provider of computer operating software.