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William Bill H Gates is chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation the worldwide leader in software services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing Microsoft had revenues of 253 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2001 and employs more than 40000 people in 60 countries Born on October 28 1955 Gates and his two sisters grew up in Seattle Their father William H Gates II is a Seattle attorney Their late mother Mary Gates was a schoolteacher University of Washington regent and chairwoman of United Way International Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School There he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13 In 1973 Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer now Microsofts chief executive officer While at Harvard Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer - the MITS Altair Top row Steve Wood left Bob Wallace Jim Lane Middle row Bob ORear Bob Greenberg Marc McDonald Gordon Letwin Bottom row Bill Gates Andrea Lewis Marla Wood Paul Allen December 7 1978 In his junior year Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home they began developing software for personal computers Gates foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry Under Gates leadership Microsofts mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology and to make it easier more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers The company is committed to a long-term view reflected in its investment of more than 4 billion on research and development in the
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