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Bill Gates at IT Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 16, 2004, photo by Kees de Vos
|Born:||October 28, 1955 (1955-10-28) (age 51)|
Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
|Net worth:||US$56.0 billion (2007)|
After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform. In reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair and had not written code for it; they merely wanted to gauge MITS's interest. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo, and over the course of a few weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter.
In the early 1980s Microsoft introduced its own version of the graphical user interface (GUI), based on ideas pioneered by the Xerox corporation, and further developed by Apple. Microsoft released "Windows" as an addition and alternative to their DOS command line, and to compete with other systems on the market that employed a GUI. By the early 1990s, Windows had pushed other DOS-based GUIs like GEM and GEOS out of the market. The release of Windows 3.0 in 1990 was a tremendous success, selling around 10 million copies in the first two years and cementing Microsoft's dominance in operating systems sales.