Ever used MS-DOS? What if I told you that Microsoft did not write that software which made it the software giant that it is today.
So, here’s the story.
Bill Gates successfully pulled off a bluff in 1981 when he met executives of IBM. At that time, IBM was looking for an operating system for its desktop PCs.
When Bill gates met the executive of IBM, he had no experience of writing any operating system and no code was ready. But, he bluffed and said that the software was ready and they would be able to deliver it.
Writing an operating system was no easy task and yet Gates had said yes to the proposal.
So, how did he acquire it?
Gates knew a programmer called Tim Patterson, who worked at Seattle Computers and had created an operating system called QDOS. He bought the software from Patterson for $50,000, without revealing him of the contract that he had signed with IBM.
Bill Gates is an extremely smart programmer and he was involved with the technical bits for a long time, but what is fascinating is that in the initial days, the Microsoft empire was formed by selling software written by someone else before Windows and Office came along.
Bill Gates was a big-time poker player in his college days and surely his bluffing skills came of use at the meeting with IBM on that day.
Most people know three things about Bill Gates:
- He’s the richest man in America.
- He co-founded one of the most successful tech companies of all time in Microsoft.
- He’s an extremely generous philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
But there are a lot of things about Gates you probably didn’t know.
1. As a young teenager at Lakeside Prep School, Gates wrote his first computer program on a General Electric computer.
It was a version of tic-tac-toe, where you could play against the computer.
2. Once his school realized Gates’ proclivities for coding, they let him write the school’s computer program for scheduling students in classes.
He even slyly altered the code so he was placed in classes with a “disproportionate number of interesting girls.”
3. Like many other successful tech entrepreneurs, Gates was a college dropout.
He left Harvard University in 1975 to fully devote himself to Microsoft.
4. Gates was once arrested in New Mexico, in 1977.
He was driving without a license and ran a red light.
5. He used to fly coach until 1997.
Now, he has his own plane. He calls that his “big splurge.”
6. One of Gates’ biggest splurges, besides his plane, was the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci.
He acquired the codex at a 1994 auction for $30.8 million.
7. Despite his immense wealth, Gates says his kids will only inherit $10 million each.
It’s just a fraction of his $81.1 billion net worth. “Leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,” he says.
8. Gates doesn’t know any foreign languages.
That, he says, is his biggest regret in life thus far.
9. Gates says if Microsoft hadn’t worked out, he probably would’ve been a researcher for artificial intelligence.
But, despite his deep interest in AI, Gates says he is “in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence.” That camp also includes notable leaders in science in technology, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.
10. His favorite band? Weezer.
He also calls U2 a “favorite,” and says he’s still “waiting for the Spinal tap to go back on tour.”