Billionaire Bill Gates : Biography, Career, Microsoft, Net Worth

Bill Gates is an American businessman, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, and software developer. He is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, and one of the pioneers of the microcomputer revolution (1970s/1980s). He was once the richest person on earth but currently ranks second to Jeff Bezos.

Net worth

$107.5 as of May 27, 2020.

Early life and education

Williams Henry Gates III (Bill Gates) was born on October 28, 1955, to William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates in Seattle, Washington.

He attended the Lakeside prep school, where he wrote his first software at the age of 13. He developed a keen interest in programming the GE (General Electric) system after a club at his school had purchased a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on the GE computer. This created an opportunity for him to write his first computer program which allowed humans to play games against the computer. After the computer time purchased by the club was exhausted, Gates and his friends Paul Allen, Kent Evans and Ric Weiland used bugs to hack into the operating system to access free computer time from the Computer Center Corporation. They were eventually caught and banned for the summer. Once the ban was lifted, the four offered their services to help the CCC find bugs on its system in exchange for free computer time. Gates then used this opportunity to further explore his computer interest. Rather than using the CCC system remotely through Teletype, he went to the CCC’s offices and used the opportunity to learn source code for different programs that ran on the system— Lisp, Fortran, and machine language.

After his deal with the CCC, by 1980, Gates and his best friend Kent Evans were enlisted to be a part of the team that would automate the Lakesides’ student information system software which was supposed to schedule students in classes. In turn, they were given free computer time and other compensations. Together with Paul Allen, one of his classmates, Gates started a business called Traf-O-Data which would serve as a traffic counter based on the Intel 8008 processor. 

Before graduating from the Lakeside prep school in 1973, Gates had successfully become a National Merit Scholar. He served as a congressional page boy in 1972 and scored a total of 1590 out of 1600 in his SAT. By 1973, he enrolled at Harvard College, initially choosing pre-law as major but still took mathematics and graduate-level computer science courses. While at college, Gates developed an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to an unsolved problem presented in his combinatorics class. Gates dropped out of Harvard in 1975 to pursue his career as an opportunity opened in the MITS Altair 8800. Gates, however, never regretted his decision as it was a risk he was willing to take. He later had this to say about that decision, “if things hadn’t worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on leave.”


On leaving Harvard, Gates teamed up with Allen who was two years ahead of him. He began his career pursuit properly after coming across a publication that featured the Altair 8800. In regard to that, he contacted the MITS (micro instrumentation and telemetry systems) to let them know about his ongoing BASIC project, using it as a bait to get their attention. The MITS agreed to meet with Gates and his team, Allen for a presentation and demonstration of the BASIC interpreter. The presentation turned out successful and the pair; Gates and Allen were opportune to work with the MITS. The BASIC software then became their first product. However, the BASIC didn’t bring in many returns as only 10% of the BASIC on Altair user-base actually paid for it. The BASIC software had become common as some computer hobbyists who had access to the pre-market copies reproduced and distributed them at no cost. In turn, watering down the original market value of the Microsoft BASIC software. Gates and Allen became independent of MITS in 1976 but continued to develop programming language software for other computer service providers.

The pair later coined a proper name for their partnership, Micro-soft which was a combination of ‘microcomputer’ and ‘software’. Their high school mate, Ric WeiIand also came on board as they properly put things in place for the development and growth of the company. The company started at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and later moved to Bellevue, Washington in 1979. For the first five years of Microsoft launch, Gates said he often had to rewrite lines of the programming language software. By 1979, Microsoft had a total revenue of $2.5 million with Gates as the head of the company.

Microsoft for IBM

In1980, IBM, the largest supplier of computer hardware at that time made a proposal to Microsoft to create software for IBM’s new computer set, the IBM PC. Its first proposal to Microsoft was to write the BASIC interpreter for them. IBM also had a need for an operating system that Gates referred them to the Digital Research team who was known for creating the CP/M operating system. The licensing agreement between IBM and Digital Research wasn’t as expected. The IBM representative of the operating system search, Jack Sams then involved Gates and Allen on creating an operating system. The pair proposed the 86-DOS operating system, an operating system similar to the CP/M created by the Seattle Computer Products (SCP). Microsoft later struck a deal with the SCP to have exclusive licensing of the 86-DOS. The purchased operating system was sold to IBM at $50,000. Rather than allow IBM by the source code, Gates proposed that the IBM pay a licensing fee on every software sold with the IBM PCs.  That way Microsoft could license the software to any other interested PC manufacturer, Microsoft later released another software called Softcard a program that allowed the Microsoft BASIC run on Apple II computers.  By 1985, Microsoft launched the first version of the Microsoft Windows OS and struck another deal with IBM to create a separate operating system called OS/2 later that same year. With the development of the new operating system and IBM deal, Microsoft’s market worth and revenue increased to $16 million by 1981. By 1983, Microsoft hit the global market through British and Japan.

Microsoft net worth

Microsoft is a big company and its net worth keeps changing daily based on the stock price. The net worth of Microsoft is how much the company is worth. And to calculate it, will have o result to its market capitalization. 

Microsoft Market Cap:

1.403T as of  June 2, 2020.  To get up to date figure of Microsoft's net worth. .  Click here, Then scroll down to the market cap. 


Positions (held & current)

     Co-chairman- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

     Chairman- TerraPower

     Chairman- Branded Entertainment Network

     Chairman- Cascade Investment

     Technology Advisor- Microsoft

     Board member- Microsoft Corporation

     Board member- Berkshire Hathaway

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