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ImageBorn on October 28, 1955 to lawyer father and teacher mother in Seattle, Washington, Gates got a taste of computing in his school. Perhaps his first programme was the Tic-Tac-Toe game written in BASIC language on a GE computer.

Interestingly, Gates and three other high school students were banned from computer usage by Seattle-based CCC (Computer Center Corporation) after they were caught exploiting its operating system bugs to steal computer time. The brilliant student that he was, his SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score in 1973 was a high 1590/1600.

He went to Harvard College, but dropped out to start Microsoft. Later in 2007, he was given an honorary degree by Harvard University. His Harvard classmate Steve Ballmer later became Microsoft CEO.

Inspired by an article in January 1975 issue of 'Popular Electronics' magazine, Gates decided to build a computer, betting on the power of micro-processors (Intel 8080 was around the corner). He saw the magic of software early in the game. An accident landed him a $80,000 IBM business contract, to develop an operating system (PCDOS initially and later MS-DOS).

Its phenomenal success took Microsoft to great heights. Microsoft continued to work with IBM on OS/2 operating system till 1991.

Started as Micro-soft at Albuquerque in New Mexico on November 16, 1976, Microsoft moved to Bellevue in Washington in January 1979, a bold move; most tech companies at that time would locate their operations in Boston area (Route 121) or Bay Area (Silicon Valley). The home town of its founders, Seattle, today is a high-tech hotspot and houses companies like Amazon, Real Networks and Starbucks.