Bill Gates was born William Henry Gates III on October 28, 1955. He is an American business tycoon, investor, author, software developer, and philanthropist. Gates is most well-known for founding Microsoft, which he did so with his late childhood friend, Paul Allen.
At Microsoft, Bill Gates has held the position of chairman, CEO (chief executive officer), president, and chief software architect. Up until May 2014, Gates was also the largest shareholder in the company. Due to being a co-founder of Microsoft, Gates is considered the prominent entrepreneur of the micro-computer revolution taking place in the 1970s and 1980s.
Bill Gates has significantly impacted pop culture as he is the founder of Microsoft and was also involved in IBM and Windows. The latter is the most effective operating system in use worldwide. Therefore, his inventions have impacted the world of technology significantly.
Ever since 1987, Gates has accumulated a large amount of wealth, which landed him on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. He held the title of the world’s richest person in the world from 1995 to 2017, except for the years 2010 to 2013. He was eventually surpassed by Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon.
Bill Gates has an estimated wealth of US$116 billion. Thus, he is the fourth-richest person in the world. After Gates left his day-to-day operations at Microsoft, he pursued many philanthropic and business endeavors to keep himself busy.
Gates is the founder and chairman of several companies, including bgC3, BEN, Cascade Investments, and TerraPower. He is also in the habit of making sizeable donations to various research programs and charitable organizations through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation is said to be the largest private charity and has contributed significantly to helping eradicate worldwide issues such as the polio virus.
Through his various endeavors, Bill Gates has hugely impacted pop culture. He has chosen to use his health for the greater good through making donations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations. Furthermore, he has inspired many books and films. Therefore, one cannot ignore the impact Bill Gates has had on the pop culture of the 90s and beyond.
Microsoft Corporation or Microsoft is an American multinational technology corporation. It is where products such as computer software, personal computers, consumer electronics, etc., are produced.
This technology company is also where some of the most popular software products are. Microsoft famously created Windows and its line of operating systems. It is also the creator of the Microsoft Office suite, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge browser, etc.
Microsoft has also created the highly famous Xbox video game consoles. These consoles can be used to play various video games and are a massive part of the 2000s pop culture. Xbox remains one of the very few competitors to Sony, who are always locked in a head-to-head battle for the title of the best gaming console.
Microsoft has also released a lineup of touchscreen personal computers. This release bought about a revolution in personal computers because, for the first time, you could interact with your computer through a screen like you could on a smartphone. These laptops were extremely popular and changed the game of personal computers everywhere, inspiring everyone to go down the same route.
Microsoft is often part of the list of the largest companies in the United States. Recently, it was ranked No. 21 in the 2020 Fortune rankings based on the most significant software maker by revenue. It was no.1 in 2016.
Microsoft has always been a massive part of pop culture due to its products becoming integral to consumer life. When Microsoft was established, it developed and sold BASIC interpreters for Altair 8800. However, MS-DOS was released in the mid-1980s and began dominating the personal computer operating system market. It soon followed up with Windows.
Microsoft has remained one of the world’s most valuable publicly traded companies for many years, but since Apple showed up on the scene in 2010, it has been dethroned. In 2018, Microsoft reclaimed its position as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.
In 2019, Microsoft reached the trillion-dollar market cap. Thus, it became the third US public company to do so after Apple and Amazon. Therefore, Microsoft has a hold over the entire world.
Bill Gates and his company, Microsoft, launched their first ever retail version of Windows on November 20, 1985. This launch directly responded to Apple, which had released their Apple Macintosh GUI. Determined to not be left behind in competition, Windows was released to the public.
Windows was released as an operating environment and an operating system shell for their MS-DOS at a time when Graphical User Interfaces or GUIs were extremely popular. Apple was not happy with the release of Windows and claimed it was an attack on their GUI innovation, but in court, it settled in Window’s favor.
On PC, Windows remains to be the most popular operating system in all countries thanks to its ease of use and customizability. In 2014, the Windows majority was at stake as Android was growing at a rapid pace, and the number of Windows devices had considerably dropped.
However, with the recent version of Windows, Windows 11, Microsoft has been able to take back the market.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was formed through a merger of the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation. It is a private American foundation founded by Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda French Gates. This foundation is based in Seattle, Washington, and was launched in 2000.
Two decades after the launch of this foundation, it is the second biggest charitable foundation in the world. It holds $49.8 billion in assets, which has earned this title.
The primary aim of this foundation is to help enhance the world’s healthcare system and eradicate extreme poverty worldwide. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also aims to expand educational opportunities and allow access to information technology present in the US.
The key figures behind the Bill and Melinda Gates education include Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Suzmman, the chief executive officer, and Micheal Larson.
Bill and Melinda Gates are generous donators to the foundation, and it is estimated that they have donated around $36 billion to the foundation. With such funds in hand, Bill and Melinda Gates have supported a broad range of social, educational, and health developments. These include the establishment of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship at Cambridge University.
The Road Ahead
The Road Ahead is a book authored by Bill Gates, the co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Microsoft. However, he was not alone in penning down this book. He received help from Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, the Pulitzer Prize winner, and Microsoft vice president Peter Rinerason.
The book was published in November 1995 and revised a year later. The Road Ahead talks about the implications of the personal computing revolution and how it could change everything down the road. Furthermore, it also described a profoundly changed future with the arrival of the global information superhighway.
He received a $2.5 million advance for this book, and Gates donated all the money he earned from the subsidiary rights sales because he wanted to encourage the use of technology in education. The funds were donated through the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education. A fund created by the National Education Association.
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need was a book written by Bill Gates and published in 2021. According to Gates, it was a compilation of all that he learned over a decade of studying climate change and investing in various innovations to help address global warming and recommend various strategies to tackle it.
The book is divided into five parts or chapters. In the first chapter, he explains why greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced to zero if we are to make a difference in the climate. The second chapter discusses the challenges that will make achieving zero emissions very difficult.
In the third chapter, he talks about the five pragmatic questions the reader can ask to evaluate conversations they have about climate change. The fourth part, or chapters 4 to 9, talks about the available technology we can use to help mitigate climate change and innovations that might lead to cost-competitive and climate-friendly technologies.
In the last part of the book, chapters 10 to 12, Gates actively suggests specific steps that the government leaders, individuals, and market participants can use to avoid a climate disaster.
How to Prevent the Next Pandemic
Bill Gates took pen to paper again in 2022 when he wrote a book about the pandemic called How to Prevent the Next Pandemic. In this book, Gates elaborates on the COVID-19 pandemic and what can be done to avoid another pandemic. Gates proposed a Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization, or GERM, team, which will have a funding of $1 billion annually.
The book was generally very well received. Many claimed that instead of the material being simplistic, it was actually simplified. His idea for a GERM team was also met positively, and WHO published its own report where they proposed a similar concept to GERM but void of any decision-making power.
Bill Gates is an extraordinarily influential and powerful person. As he is a co-founder of Microsoft and one of the wealthiest men, he holds a high place in society. Furthermore, he is a part of many popular organizations worldwide and greatly impacts the masses.
Some examples include Microsoft and Windows; the latter is one of the most popular interfaces in use. Thus, it is a part of the pop culture of the 2000s and 2010s and will most likely continue to heavily influence pop culture over the years to come.