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Bill Gates

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William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955), is an American business magnate, philanthropist, the world’s third richest man (as of 2008), and chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the individual shareholder with the most shares, with more than 9 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, United States and excelled in school. He enrolled at Harvard College in 1973, where he met Steve Ballmer, who would later become CEO of Microsoft. After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems and provided them with the Altair BASIC, and thus Microsoft was formed. This led to a partnership with IBM that required Microsoft to make the BASIC interpreter for the IBM PC. Later on, Gates struck another deal with IBM, allowing IBM to package Microsoft’s PC-DOS software with IBM’s personal computers in exchange for a fee paid to Microsoft for every computer sold. This deal established Microsoft as a major player in the software industry.

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