Bill Gates, cofounder of the Microsoft corporation, holds 30.7 percent of its stock making him one of the richest people in the United States. He was the marketing and sales strategist behind many of Microsoft's software deals. Their software became the industry standard in the early 1980s and has just increased in distribution as the company has grown, so much that the Federal government is suggesting that Microsoft has violated Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts.
Bill Gates' first interest in computers began at Lakeside, a private school in Seattle that Gates attended. There he wrote his "first software program when I was thirteen years old. It was for playing tic-tac-toe"(Gates 1). It was at Lakeside that Gates met Paul Allen, who later became cofounder with Gates of Microsoft. There they became friends and "began to mess around with the computer"(Gates 2). Back in the sixties and early seventies computer time was expensive.
"This is what drove me to the commercial side of the software business"(Gates 12). Gates, Allen and a few others from Lakeside got entry-level software programming jobs. One of Gates early programs that he likes to brag about was written at this time. It was a program that scheduled classes for students. "I surreptitiously added a few instructions and found myself nearly the only guy in a class full of girls"(Gates 12).
In 1972 Intel released their first microprocessor chip: the 8008. Gates attempted to write a version of BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) for the new Intel chip, but the chip did not contain enough transistors to handle it. Gates and Allen found a way to use the 8008 and "started Traf-O-Data, a computer traffic analysis company"(Clayton 452) It worked well however, marketing their new machine proved to be impossible. "No one actually wanted...