William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft. He is consistently ranked amongthe world's wealthiest people . During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent ofthe common stock He has also authored or co-authored several books.
Bill was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His parents are of English, German, andScots-Irish descent. His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate Bank System and the United Way.
Microsoft's BASIC was popular withcomputer hobbyists, but Gates discovered that a pre-market copy had leaked into the community and was being widely copied and distributed. In February 1976, Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists in theMITS newsletter saying that MITS could not continue to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment.This letter was unpopular with many computer hobbyists, but Gatespersisted in his belief that software developers should be able to demand payment. Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976, and it continued to develop programming language software forvarious systems.
Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, anopinion which has in some cases been upheld by the courts. In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to variouscharitable organizations and scientific research programs established in 2000.
As the third millennium, the operating system Microsoft Windows(all versions) is used in most personal computers on the...