Bill Gates

Bill Gates is one of the biggest and well-known names in tech. Gates was born in Seattle, Washington and attended Harvard University after graduating high school. He spent a lot of his time using the school’s computers, and after the release of the MITS Altair 8800 microcomputer, he got the idea to start his own computer company. Gates dropped out of college, and he and his friend Paul Allen started working on what would later be known as Microsoft.

In January of 1975, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), to inform them that he and his team were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform. This was actually not true, but Gates and Allen wanted to asses MIT’s interest. After the president agreed to meet with them, they quickly put one together and had a successful demonstration.  They named their partnership with MITS “Micro-Soft,” and had their first office in New Mexico. The hyphen was dropped, and on November 26, 1976, the trade name “Microsoft” was registered.

The first retail version of Microsoft Windows was released on November 20, 1985. While Windows is still a very popular operation system, with the popularity of Apple IOS, the country is pretty divided between the two companies. Apple is known for innovation and new products, while Microsoft tends to hang back and work on new products after they already know consumers will like them.

In 2000, Gates and his wife, Melinda, combined their three family foundations into one to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is currently one of the largest charitable foundations. Gates is still working actively with the foundation, and currently just became the new Technical Advisor for Microsoft, stepping down from his position of chairman.