Bill Gates

Introduction "Bill Gates and his empire command fear, respect and curiosity in the world he helped create. Microsoft dominates the software world like no other company in a major consumer industry" (Electric 1). Exactly how did Bill Gates and his partner Paul Allen get their company to such a tremendous height? The history of Microsoft is a very fascinating past full of enterprise and excitement. The Dawning of a great company Bill Gates and Paul Allen are the co-founders of Microsoft. The start of their great success started in high school on a computer terminal. All their free time and money was spent working on that terminal. The development that really inaugurated everything, in the business sense was when they found an article in 1971, in a business magazine about Intel's 4004 chip (Billionaires 70). Soon they both talked about the chip and decided that the microprocessor can only get enhanced. Later in the year Intel came out with a newer chip called the 8008. Bill and Paul then went out and bought their own 8008 for $360 (Billionaires 70). They thought plan in which Gates and Allen would use this chip to make a computer to do traffic - volume - count analysis. Gates and Allen then set up their first "company" called Traf-O-Data (Billionaires 70). "In 1973 the duo landed their first authentic jobs, helping TRW in Vancouver, Washington, to use minicomputers for the management and distribution of power from hydroelectric dams" (Billionaires 70). Gates' parents wanted him to go to Harvard instead of going into business with Allen. Inevitably, Gates convinced his friend to move to Boston so they could work together, and Allen could get a job programming. It was a magazine article that would ultimately change their lives. A cover story in Popular Electronics describing the MITS Altair 8800. "World's First Minicomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models" (Billionaires 71). When Bill and Paul designed the Traf-O-Data machine they wrote a version of BASIC that they might be able to adapt to the Altair. By April Gates and Allen had finished the language and convinced MITS to sell it (Billionaires 71). Allen was offered a job by MITS and both of them went to work in a small office for MITS. "Soon after, Microsoft was born" (Billionaires 71). The Birth of Microsoft In the beginning the management skills of Paul Allen and Bill Gates was somewhat loose. Both men took part every single decision that had to be made (Billionaires 71). They were both very cautious entrepreneurs. If there was any difference in their roles in the company, Allen was the one always pushing for new technology, and Gates was more interested in doing negotiations, contracts, and business deals (Billionaires 71). They acquired knowledge as their company slowly grew. Microsoft's basic business scheme was to charge a price so low that computer makers could not do it for less internally (Billionaires 72). Texas Instruments gave Microsoft one of their largest contracts where Texas Instruments bid $99,000 providing programming languages for a home computer TI was going to produce. Allen and Gates picked that price because they did not want to go into six figures (Billionaires 72). They later found out that TI would have paid much more. When Microsoft started selling to Japanese companies they were so overpromised that it was ridiculous Sometimes the business would get a little frightening. In their very first talk to MITS they set it up so the MITS would sell BASIC to their customers. MITS decided later not to sell it because there were so many pirated copies of BASIC floating around that they did not see why they should charge their customers for it. This seemed to Microsoft that MITS was prompted piracy. Gates and Allen eventually went into arbitration to determine if MITS was complying with the contract (Billionaires 72). While they were in arbitration, they were running out of money because MITS was withholding their payments trying to starve Microsoft to death. The arbitrator took nine months to come to a decision. When it was all over MITS was "ripped apart" (Billionaires 72). That case really scared Allen and Gates. They were worried that they were going to run out of money and have to settle outside of court. "But, through it all, [they] never borrowed money" (Billionaires 72). The Block Buster of the Century "On January 1,