Bill Gates's Road to Success

Topics: Microsoft, Bill Gates, Altair 8800 Pages: 8 (2489 words) Published: July 25, 2008
Bill Gates is a well-known leader in the business world. His company’s inventions impacted the business world and changed the market. Bill Gates had a vision of what other executives only dream about. His values and strategies have managed to keep Microsoft on the edge of technology. Still, many questions have risen about Bill’s strategies on whether or not his harsh marketing depicts a monopolistic nature or is simply a result of becoming the leader of the technology industry.

Bill’s inventions that changed the business world
Bill Gates and his Harvard pal, Paul Allen, became inspired by seeing the first MITS Altair 8800, which was on the cover of Popular Electronics in 1975 (Gates, 2007). Bill and Paul wrote their version of the existing BASIC programming language for the Altair (McCraw, 2000). Since they realized that they would have to move quickly, they marketed their programming language to the firm who made Altair, MITS. During this time, Paul Allen joined MITS and when the company failed to prosper, he joined as a partner with Gates at what became known as Microsoft (Gates, 2007). Microsoft was gaining market share in the U.S., but its biggest break came from Japan. Bill knew back then that the global impact of the pc industry would be an important part of Microsoft and decided that he couldn’t do this all on his own. So, in 1980, he enlisted the help of another Harvard pal, Steve Ballmer (Gates, 1995). It was also during this period, that Microsoft reorganized into a private corporation with Gates as President/CEO and Paul as Executive Vice President (Gates, 2007).

In the earlier days of Microsoft, the strategy was to buy software licenses for the computers they sold and then re-sell the licenses with the software to other companies, such as Radio Shack (Gates, 1995). Microsoft would then receive a royalty generated from such sales. This was done to offset their low sales from those who stole the software and sold it for a profit. Over the years, Bill feared that other microprocessor chips or software companies would grab the market outright. So Microsoft began licensing their software at lower prices. The company’s vision was that it should be a “no brainer” for their customers (Gates, 1995). This strategy became a fast success as every personal computer was licensed with Microsoft’s BASIC language. At this time, Microsoft became an industry standard. The company succeeded because of its compatibility. Compatibility is what gives businesses that “x” factor that sets it apart from the other competitors. As a result, consumers openly welcomed Microsoft into their homes because the more compatible their products were, the more valuable they were to its buyer (Gates, 1995). The methodology worked because it was supported by the marketplace and exists as a result of the positive spiral that precedes success (Gates, 1995).

By 1991, Microsoft’s sales became the first personal software company to exceed sales of $1.1 billion and rolled out its multimedia encyclopedia, Encarta (Gates, 2007). Consumers no longer had to continue to purchase a large book every time it was updated. But it all came to a halt when the Justice Department alleged that it violated a 1994 decree regarding licensing of the windows operating system to computer manufacturers (Gates, 2007). In the coming years, some of the company’s other accomplishments would include MS Office 2000, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Net, and X-box (Gates, 2007). The most notable invention for Microsoft was the pc card. The card was as thin as a wallet with the memory capacity of a pc. The card incorporated chip technology and allowed users to make purchases, pay bills, and perform inquiries on bank accounts, while holding all medical histories. This made it easy when consumers visited numerous doctors, who maintained separate medical records. When a patient visits the doctor, before leaving, their updated...

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