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Bill Gates on His Career at Microsoft, Education and Health Care – Interview (2011)


Paul Allen and Bill Gates, childhood friends with a passion in computer programming, were seeking to make a successful business utilizing their shared skills. In 1972 they founded their first company named Traf-O-Data, which offered a rudimentary computer that tracked and analyzed automobile traffic data. Allen went on to pursue a degree in computer science at the University of Washington, later dropping out of school to work at Honeywell. Gates began studies at Harvard.[9] The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems’s (MITS) Altair 8800 microcomputer. Allen noticed that they could program a BASIC interpreter for the device; after a call from Gates claiming to have a working interpreter, MITS requested a demonstration. Since they didn’t actually have one, Allen worked on a simulator for the Altair while Gates developed the interpreter. Although they developed the interpreter on a simulator and not the actual device, the interpreter worked flawlessly when they demonstrated the interpreter to MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March 1975; MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair BASIC.[7]:108, 112–114 They officially established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO.[10] Allen came up with the original name of “Micro-Soft,” the combination of the words microcomputer and software, as recounted in a 1995 Fortune magazine article. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, “ASCII Microsoft”.[11] The company moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979.[10]
Microsoft entered the OS business in 1980 with its own version of Unix, called Xenix.[12] However, it was MS-DOS that solidified the company’s dominance. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft in November 1980 to provide a version of the CP/M OS, which was set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (IBM PC).[13] For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, branding it as MS-DOS, which IBM rebranded to PC DOS. Following the release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS. Since IBM copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer it in order for non-IBM hardware to run as IBM PC compatibles, but no such restriction applied to the operating systems. Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS’s available software selection, Microsoft eventually became the leading PC operating systems vendor.[8][14]:210 The company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as a publishing division named Microsoft Press.[7]:232 Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in February after developing Hodgkin’s disease.[7]:231

While jointly developing a new OS with IBM in 1984, OS/2, Microsoft released Microsoft Windows, a graphical extension for MS-DOS, on November 20, 1985.[7]:242–243, 246 Microsoft moved its headquarters to Redmond on February 26, 1986, and on March 13 the company went public;[15] the ensuing rise in the stock would make an estimated four billionaires and 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.[16] Due to the partnership with IBM, in 1990 the Federal Trade Commission set its eye on Microsoft for possible collusion; it marked the beginning of over a decade of legal clashes with the U.S. Government.[17] Microsoft announced the release of its version of OS/2 to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on April 2, 1987;[7]:243–244 meanwhile, the company was at work on a 32-bit OS, Microsoft Windows NT, using ideas from OS/2; it shipped on July 21, 1993, with a new modular kernel and the Win32 application programming interface (API), making porting from 16-bit (MS-DOS-based) Windows easier. Once Microsoft informed IBM of NT, the OS/2 partnership deteriorated.[18]
In 1990, Microsoft introduced its office suite, Microsoft Office. The software bundled separate office productivity applications, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.[7]:301 On May 22 Microsoft launched Windows 3.0 with a streamlined user interface graphics and improved protected mode capability for the Intel 386 processor.[19] Both Office and Windows became dominant in their respective areas.[20][21] Novell, a Word competitor from 1984–1986, filed a lawsuit years later claiming that Microsoft left part of its APIs undocumented in order to gain a competitive advantage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft
Bill Gates on His Career at Microsoft, Education and Health Care – Interview (2011)

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