>Yeah, I learned last night, from two friends of a friend, that Bill
>Gates was really hated in Silicon Valley's early days. The programers
>there just liked to smoke pot (pardon the drug reference) and exchange
>codes. Bill Gates was always pushing the business side of it on them,
>and they hated him for it. There's a documentary about Bill Gates that
>deals with this, though I don't know the name of it.
>Also, Bill Gates' dad is a hotshot Intellectual Property lawyer in D.C.
>This is how BG could swipe his whole project from IBM, from his early
>days working for IBM, developing their operating system. God bless the
BG makes other thieving capitalists look good. He is, has always been , and will always be the most hated man in the computer business.
His grandfather was the founder of the biggest bank in Washington State. When little Billy was born, Grandpa established a million dollar trust fund for him. Daddy was a corporate lawyer, one of the movers-and-shakers in the state. Billy went to expensive private schools that were able, in the 60's to get computer time for their students, and tehn on to Harvard. He dropped out after his 2nd year to found MS with his buddy Paul Allen. According to later accounts, he was desparate to start up because the Altair (the first real microcomputer) had just come out, and he felt that now was the time to get in on the ground floor and make the most money.
They wrote the first BASIC interpreter for the Altair. The hobbiests who were the market for micros at that time behaved like any other hackers - they took this cool program and passed it around, made modifications, etc. BG sent a nastygram to the primary computer magazine at that time, (the late, great) BYTE magazine, in which he invented the term "Software Piracy", in which he berated all people who "stole" his software. This started the hate-hate relationship hackers have ahd with him ever since.
Round about 1980, IBM decided to get into the micro market. Since they didn't take it very seriously (they figured they'd sell a few thousand machines to hobbists and small businesses), they decided to do it quick and dirty by putting it together from off-the-shelf parts. They would use an existing processor (the Intel 8088) and license an existing OS. What followed is one of the most famous stories in all of computerdom.
MS at that time was mostly a language shop, one of many. BG's mother was serving on the national board of the United Way with the CEO of IBM. She suggested that IBM go and see her son Billy and see if there was something they could do together. Since IBM needed a BASIC interpreter, MS got the job. IBM also asked them where they could get an OS. Since MS didn't have one and Digital Research's CP/M was the most popular, BG pointed them in DRI's direction. DRI snubbed the IBM representatives who showed up. (remember, to true hackers at this time, IBM was "the enemy", the MS of its day) When IBM came back to MS with no OS, Bill came to his senses. He found a programmer in Seattle who had made a quick-and-dirty version of CP/M for the 8088, mostly to facilitate his own hacking, bought it up lock, stock and barrel for $50,000, and presented it to IBM as MS-DOS.
Since IBM still wasn't taking this very seriously, he was able to screw them by negociating a nonexclusive license: IBM would sell their version, called PC-DOS, on their machines, but MS could license MS-DOS to anyone else they wanted. The PC clone business was born shortly therafter, and Gates had a cash cow he could milk while he consolidated his control over the rest of the industry. He later screwed IBM again by working with them on OS/2, which was supposed to be the replacement for MS-DOS, while secretly planning to substitute Windows (a 100% MS controlled product) for OS/2.
In short, he has ruthlessly used every advantage, whether it be money, family connections, or his adversary's trust and goodwill, to maximize his profits at the expense of the community as a whole. He is a capitalist economist's wet dream.
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