William Henry Gates III was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Gates grew up in an upper middle-class family for a lawyer father and a civic mother. The Gates children were taught to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill was a loved reading as a child, spending many hours reading about how things and science works in this universe. Bill went to Seattle's exclusive preparatory Lakeside School. He was a great student with straight A’s in every subject. It was when one Seattle computer company offered to provide the school’s students some computer time, which was when Bill Gates’ love and curiosity for computers all started from. He designed a Tic-Tac-Toe game where players were able to play against the computer. For a kid at his age, that was indeed impressive. It was at Lakeside where Bill would meet his future partner, Paul Allen, who should the same interest for computers. Gates attended Harvard Law School although his passion for computers was exponentially growing. Passing grades were the only thing Gates cared about as he was spending his hours in the computer labs of Harvard writing software. Gates eventually dropped out of law school 2 years after enrolling to join Allen to work at MITS Computers, a company well-known for making the Altair 8800.
Rise of Microsoft
As the competition kept increasing in the computer market, with big names like Apple, IBM and Intel rising manufacturing hardware and software; Gates knew what he wanted Microsoft to do, make more software products that would be better and more reliable than what was in the market. In 1980, the giant computer company, IBM, was looking for an operating system software for a new personal computer (PC) of theirs planned to be released. IBM reached out to Bill Gates, who would later meet with the CEO of IBM at the time, John Opel. Gates quickly convinced IBM to purchase the Microsoft software they needed. Later on, IBM demanded Gates for the source code of the software which would allow them to see how the software was actually made; however, Gates refused and only offered software-licensing for the product. That step would later allow Gates to sell his software, which was named MS-DOS, to other competitors in the market. MS-DOS software was running on all sorts of computers in no time, even on Apple computers! All of that led to an enormous income of revenue which reached a high-market total revenue of more than $18 million at the time. Things only got better, in the mid-1980's Gates and Allen officially turned Microsoft into a corporation where Gates was appointed President and Chairman, while Allen was appointed Executive Vice President. The rest was history.
Evolution of Windows
Windows throughout the years
Windows 1, 2 & 3.1 were the start of the Microsoft Windows takeover. Gates was giving licenses-of-use to all of his competitors in the market which would eventually lead them to rely on whatever Gate is going to release next. In 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95, the first computer operating system that would have a graphic interface named as "desktop" and had the first ever "Start menu" button. The release of Windows 95 was amplified with a huge advertising campaign by Microsoft where it was featured on Rolling Stones and the famous television show, Friends. Internet Explorer made its debut in Windows 95 as well.
June 1998, Windows 98' was released. Windows 98' basically worked on making Windows 95' better. Microsoft Outlook, the e-mailing program service by Microsoft was launched, with Microsoft Media Player and Microsoft Chat. One of the biggest game changers was the introduction to the USB port by Microsoft, where one driver would support all the USB production made in future Microsoft models.
Late 2001, Windows XP was released. Mass production phase would start during this time for Microsoft. The company successfully managed to maximize the efficiency of an operating system at the time, combining it with a reasonable price-point that would make it possible for the majority of people to afford it. It was Windows XP where making a copy of data and burn it on a CD would be possible. The graphics on the computer were a major step up, thanks to the new visual technology introduced at the time called ClearType, which would improve the text resolution on computer monitors. Windows XP is considered to be the longest running operating system which was finally discontinued in 2014. Throughout the years, Microsoft released 3 package updates for Windows XP. It is estimated that in 2014, more than 400 million active users were still using the 13 year old operating software!
Windows Vista was released in 2007. Vista was created for the same reason Windows 98' was created for: improvement on the previous operating system. Vista included voice recognition features which was a first for every other competitor in the market. PC Gaming software technology was also introduced which would enhance the gaming experience for the user. Unfortunately, Vista's reality wasn't as nice as it sounded. The operating system had many bugs which was noticeably seen by users, many of them were security-related. As a result, Windows Defender, an anti-spyware program was released as an attempt to fix what was ruined. Vista is considered one of the worst products by Microsoft by the agreement of many users.
Late 2009, Windows 7 was released. This was a better, bug-free, improved version of the infamous Windows Vista. The operating system was more stable and reliable than Vista, which helped Microsoft gain back the trust of its loyal users. Handwriting recognition was introduced in Windows 7, and overall more user-friendly interactive interface.
Windows 8, released in October 2012, saw the beginning of a new era for Windows, touch-screens. As tablets' popularity continued to rise, Microsoft had to do something in order to stay in the game. Windows 8 was the first Microsoft operating system that would allow touch-screen technology. The famous "Start Button" was removed. New faster USB ports (USB 3.0) were introduced which would revolutionize the speed in which users transferred data between their devices.
Bill & Melinda gates foundation
Bill and his wife Melinda started "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." The husband and wife team began the philanthropic organization in 1997 and lead its mission to improve lives in the poorest countries in the world. In 2000, he stepped down as CEO and founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. With the amount of resources the wealthiest man on Earth has, Gates truly believed that he has a big responsibility towards humans of less fortunate countries and humanity in general. By identifying a problem and finding a solution one step at a time, Gates and Melinda started their worldwide programs.
One of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's major initiatives is the Global Health Program, which aims to create and improve preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic medical methods for infectious diseases and for conditions affecting mothers, infants, and children. The program mainly focuses on diseases that affect developing countries. These diseases include malaria, polio, tuberculosis, pneumonia, gastrointestinal and diarrheal diseases, and HIV/AIDS. Much of the emphasis in these areas is placed on developing innovative low-cost treatments and preventive measures and increasing access to care. Through its global development initiative, the Gates Foundation also supports programs that focus on family planning, vaccine delivery, improved sanitation, nutrition, and neonatal, child, and maternal health, and policy and advocacy initiatives, most notably in the arena of tobacco control. Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
In addition to the health-related programs that also impact global development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports programs that help small farmers in developing countries to sustainable increase production and sell more crops, provide emergency response to natural disasters, broaden the reach of digital payment systems and the range of services available through these systems, and expand Internet access through library systems. Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works with educators, policymakers, parents, and communities to expand and accelerate successful programs and identify innovative new solutions that can help unlock students' potential. They have a particular commitment to children and families in Washington state, where the Gates family has made its home for generations, but they also support innovative K-12 and post-secondary programs throughout the country. K-12 efforts focus on college readiness, while post-secondary efforts seek to dramatically increase the number of students completing college degrees and certificates. Areas of focus include the reduction of economic barriers to post-secondary education, development and use of key performance indicators, teacher learning programs, game-based learning and digital tools, and innovative personalized learning models. Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Current number of foundation employees: 1,420
- Foundation Trust Endowment: $39.6 billion
- Total grant payments since inception (through Q4 2015): $36.7 billion
- Total 2015 Direct Grantee Support: $4.2 billion
- Total 2014 Direct Grantee Support: $3.9 billion
Geographic Reach: The foundation supports grantees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Internationally, we support work in more than 100 countries.
Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Teaming up with the big ballers for philanthropy
In 2010, Bill Gates and billionaire Warren Buffet teamed up to start "The Giving Pledge" which encourages wealthy people of the world to contribute their wealth to philanthropic causes. As of August 2010, the aggregate wealth of the first 40 pledgers was $125 billion. As of April 2011, 69 billionaires had joined the campaign and given a pledge, and by the following year, The Huffington Post reported that a total of 81 billionaires had committed. Names like Mark Zuckerburg, Larry Ellison, David Rockefeller, Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk and Tim Cook.
Late 2016, The United States announced that it is coming along with 19 other countries and 28 private investors in order to work toward doubling their spending over five years to support "clean energy" research. The initiative was called "Mission Innovation." Gates and his fellow billionaires will offer early-stage capital for technologies with long-term potential to generate clean energy. Gates said he is "optimistic that we can invent the tools we need" to fight climate change. And, he says, the investors are pledging $7 billion to develop such tools. The fund — named "Breakthrough Energy Ventures" — is set to last 20 years, and will focus on energy-producing technologies that don’t emit any greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, with the new administration in office, the initiative's future is looking pretty challenging for Gates and his fellow billionaire friends.
The impact Bill Gates have left on this world is truly surreal. He revolutionized the way people use computers and the maximized the functions a computer can offer. An innovative thinker that was able to find a way to transit his wealth and re-pump it back to the community of Earth. Gates' thinking have created an easier world for almost every person on Earth. More than 1.25 Billion users have benefited from the products Microsoft and Gates have produced over the years. Microsoft's role in the modern technological world is one of the biggest if not thee biggest. However, and most importantly, the philanthropic side of Bill Gates allows many people around the world in less fortunate areas to hold to hope in life, hope for a better future and opportunities. Bill Gates is inspirational character that have contributed a lot to the system, just like system worked out for him. For all of the above reasons, he'll be remembered throughout the histories for his inspirational