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William H Gates Chairman and Chief Executive OfficerMicrosoft CorporationWilliam Bill H Gates is chairman and chief executive officer ofMicrosoft Corporation the leading provider worldwide of softwarefor the personal computer Microsoft had revenues of 86 billion forthe fiscal year ending June 1996 and employs more than 20000people in 48 countriesBorn on October 28 1955 Gates and his two sisters grew up inSeattle Their father William H Gates II is a Seattle attorney Theirlate mother Mary Gates was a schoolteacher University of Washington regent andchairwoman of United Way InternationalGates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School There he beganhiscareer in personal computer software programming computers at age 13In 1973 Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman where he lived down the hall fromSteve Ballmer now Microsofts executive vice president for sales and support WhileatHarvard Gates developed the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer -- theMITS AltairIn his junior year Gates dropped out of Harvard to devote his energies toMicrosoft a company he had begun in 1975 with Paul Allen Guided by abelief that the personal computer would be a valuable tool on every officedesktop and in every home they began developing software for personalcomputersGates foresight and vision regarding personal computing have been centralto the success of Microsoft and the software industry Gates is actively involved in keymanagement and strategic decisions at Microsoft and plays an important role in thetechnicaldevelopment of new products A significant portion of his time is devoted to meeting withcustomers and staying in contact with Microsoft employees around the world through e-mailUnder Gates leadership Microsofts mission is to continually advance andimprove software technology and to make it easier more cost-effective andmore enjoyable for people to use computers The company is committed toa long-term view reflected in its investment of more than 2 billion onresearch and development in the current fiscal yearAs of December 12 1996 Gates Microsoft stock holdings totaled282217980 sharesIn 1995 Gates wrote The Road Ahead his vision of where
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