William H. Gates III
In 1980, Gates signed a contract with IBM to develop an operating system for their new personal computer. Gates retained the rights to his operating system, MS-DOS, and struck deals with nearly all other manufacturers of personal computers, who felt their computers had to run on a system compatible to IBM’s. In 1987, Gates revolutionized the computer market again with the introduction of the Microsoft Windows graphical user interface, which made the IBM PC and compatibles user-friendly. With $16.7 billion in revenues in 1998, Microsoft is the world’s #1 software company.

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