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Bill Gates's rise

Microsoft's big break came in the early 1980s, when IBM developed its personal computer (PC). IBM approached Gates about developing an operating system for the PC. Gates licensed the rights to a rudimentary system called Q-DOS, modified it, renamed it Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS), then sold it to IBM. Gates shrewdly convinced IBM to divulge the proprietary elements of its PC, paving the way for the production of hundreds of IBM-clones. This created an eager market for MS-DOS, which helped Microsoft build its present fortune.

Gates ranks as the second richest person in the United States and among the top twenty richest people in the world. His net worth in 1995 was estimated at more than $10 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 1993 (Elmer-Dewitt 1995; Caminiti 1993). Gates became a billionaire at 31, making him the youngest American to achieve that status. Gates owns about 30 percent of Microsoft and claims that 90 percent of his net worth is in the company--he owns more than 140 million shares (Elmer-Dewitt 1995; Brandt 19940. Much has been written about Gates's multi-million dollar, three-acre estate that he is building in suburban Seattle, complete with 25-foot vaulted ceilings, underground parking, and an elaborate conference room. Gates defends this extravagance by pointing to the estate's simultaneous function as a technology showcase and a meeting place for Microsoft.

Gates has been characterized as a workaholic. He is a hands-on executive who is intimately involved with the daily operations and long-term planning of Microsoft. Between 1978 and 1984 he reportedly took only six days vacation (Current, 1991, p. 240). Gates recently married fellow co-worker, Melinda French the company's Marketing Manager. Marriage has slowed Gates's pace, but not by much. According to Gates, "I go home by midnight almost every night now" (Brandt, 1994, p. 58).

Microsoft software products have achieved near universal acceptance in t...

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Bill Gates's rise. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:02, August 18, 2017, from
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