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Ankit

 Goyal  
Period  6  
12/15/2010  
     
Harvard  Dropout  Creates  World’s  Leading  Operating  System  

Born  to  a  wealthy  family  on  October  28th,  1955  in  Seattle,  Washington,  

William  Henry  Gates  III,  also  known  as  Bill  Gates,  led  his  life  by  contributing  greatly  

to  the  science  of  computers  and  is  one  of  the  world’s  richest  philanthropists.  As  a  

young  child,  William  was  fascinated  by  anything  that  had  to  do  with  computers  and  

the  software  they  came  with.    Starting  at  the  ripe  age  of  13,  Bill  took  matters  into  his  

own  hands  by  creating  his  own  software  during  the  free  time  his  school  provided.  It  

was  then  when  he  created  his  first  software  program,  which  played  tic-­‐tac-­‐toe.  

  Although  Seattle‘s  Lakeside  School  provided  Bill  with  the  materials  to  

program  and  develop  a  love  for  the  subject,  the  real  milestone  in  Bill’s  life  was  when  

he  met  Paul  Allen.  Paul  was  another  student  attending  the  school  who  shared  the  

same  interests  as  Bill  in  computer  programming.  Together,  their  partnership  

brought  their  computer  programming  skills  to  great  heights.  For  example,  they  

worked  at  Computer  Center  Corporation  (CCC),  and  soon  after,  they  opened  their  

first  company,  Traf-­‐O-­‐Data  in  the  fall  of  1971.  Traf-­‐O-­‐Data  helped  monitor  and  

analyze  traffic  statics  in  cities,  and  at  16  years  old,  it  was  the  first  time  Bill  and  Paul  

got  noticed  for  their  superior  work.  

  Another  major  milestone  in  Bill  and  Allen’s  partnership  was  the  creation  of  

the  first  versatile  software  program,  Altair  BASIC.    Altair  BASIC  was  an  interpreter  

for  the  BASIC  programming  language  that  ran  on  MITS  Altair  8800.  It  was  the  start  

of  the  Microsoft  BASIC  product  range.    


Ankit  Goyal  
Period  6  
12/15/2010  
  In  the  year  of  1975,  Bill  left  Harvard  University  to  create  Microsoft  in  

Redmond,  Washington  with  Paul.  Their  plan  was  to  create  software  for  the  brand  

new  personal  computer  market.  Together,  they  created  Microsoft-­‐Disk  Operating  

System  (MS-­‐DOS).  MS-­‐DOS  revolutionized  the  personal  computer  industry  by  

allowing  the  user  to  use  his/her  mouse  to  simply  point  and  click  to  open  an  

application/file.    Before  MS-­‐DOS,  the  user  had  to  know  the  location  of  the  

application  AND  the  command  to  open  it.  MS-­‐DOS  was  the  main  operating  system  

for  IBM  PC  compatible  personal  computers  during  the  1980s  to  the  lower  to  middle  

1990s,  when  it  was  slowly  outdated  by  operating  systems  that  offered  graphical  

user  interfaces  (GUI).  Although  MS-­‐DOS  was  slowly  outdated,  I  strongly  believe  it  

was  Bill’s  most  significant  contribution  to  computer  science  and  was  a  foundation  to  

what  we  have  today.    

  On  New  Years  Day,  1994,  Bill  married  Melinda  French,  a  Microsoft  manager,  

on  the  Hawaiian  island  of  Lanai.  Together,  they  established  the  Bill  &  Melinda  Gates  

foundation,  which  focuses  on  improving  health  care  and  education  for  children  

around  the  world.  The  foundation  is  one  of  the  world’s  largest  charities  –  

contributing  over  $4  billion  since  its  start  in  1996.  Some  of  the  many  contributions  

of  this  foundation  include:  $50  million  to  help  the  World  Organization’s  effort  to  

wipe  out  polio,  $25  million  to  Harvard  University  to  study  AIDS  prevention  in  Africa,  

and  a  $20  million  5-­‐year  grant  to  Johns  Hopkins  University  to  study  whether  or  not  

inexpensive  vitamin  and  mineral  pills  can  save  lives  of  malnourished  people.    

  Throughout  Bill  Gates’  career,  he  encountered  many  hardships  and  solved  

many  problems  and  overall,  made  it  much  easier  for  people  to  use  personal  
Ankit  Goyal  
Period  6  
12/15/2010  
computers.  For  example,  Microsoft  allows  users  to  bypass  all  the  technical  

commands  when  opening  a  file  by  simply  pointing  to  the  file  and  clicking  to  open  it.  

Although  Bill  Gates  is  55  years  old,  he  is  still  continuing  to  benefit  the  world  by  his  

many  philanthropic  contributions  and  his  large  contributions  to  the  field  of  

computer  science.  

Bibliography  

Schuyler.  "Gates,  Bill."  Lives  and  Legacies:  Scientists,  Mathematicians,  and          


Inventors.  N.p.:  Oryx,  1999.  84.  Print.  
 
Aronson,  Marc.  Bill  Gates:  A  Twentieth-­Century  Life.  New  York:  Penguin,  2009.  Print.  
 
"Bill  Gates:  Chairman."  Microsoft  News  Conter.  Microsoft,  n.d.  Web.  11  Dec.  2010.  
<http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/billg/?tab=biography>.  
 
"Bill  Gates  Biography."  Biography.com.  N.p.,  2010.  Web.  11  Dec.  2010.  
<http://www.biography.com/articles/Bill-­‐Gates-­‐9307520?part=0>.