Many people may know that Bill Gates founded Microsoft. However, he is only one of the two founders of the tech company. Because Gates built the billion-dollar company together with Paul Allen. But what are the founders of Microsoft actually doing today?
When you think of Microsoft, you can hardly ignore founder Bill Gates. But many people think that he founded the tech company alone. However, Gates built the software company together with his school friend Paul Allen.
Founder of Microsoft: How it all began
Bill Gates and Paul Allen met at a young age. Both attended Lakeside Private School in Seattle. Right from the start, they shared a passion for computers. Both were also enthusiastic about programming. Over the course of their friendship, a shared vision emerged: a program that enables everyone to use computers at home.
To do this, they founded Microsoft on April 4, 1975 – a play on the words microcomputer and software. Ten years later, the Windows operating system appeared. In 1990, the company introduced its Office software with the programs Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
What are the founders of Microsoft doing today: Paul Allen
Paul Allen decided to leave Microsoft back in the 80s. In his memoir Idea Man, the founder writes that he overheard Gates trying to reduce Allen’s stake in Microsoft. Over the years, the relationship between the two seemed to become more and more stormy. That’s probably why Allen decided to turn his back on the joint project.
At that time, doctors also diagnosed him with lymph gland cancer. Nevertheless, he remained on the company’s supervisory board until 2000. In October 2018 he finally lost his battle with cancer and died. However, the friendship between Allen and Gates remained until the end. In his blog, Bill Gates wrote an obituary for his friend and business partner entitled “What I loved about Paul Allen”.
There he wrote that Microsoft would never have existed without him: “Back in high school, when none of us knew what a personal computer was, he predicted that computer chips would become increasingly powerful and eventually spawn a whole new industry .”
Over the course of his life, Allen donated over $2 billion to nonprofit organizations. He also campaigned for the abolition of elephant poaching and also supported his hometown of Seattle. For example, he commissioned Frank Gehry to design the pop culture museum and purchased both the NBA team Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks football team.
Before his death, Paul Allen was the 44th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $17.52 billion.
That’s what Bill Gates is doing today
Bill Gates decided to step down as CEO of Microsoft in 2020. Afterwards, he was still active on the company’s development board, but only until 2008. From then on, he devoted himself primarily to charity work.
He began investing his money in charitable causes at an early age. Back in 2000, he and his then wife Melinda founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – now one of the largest foundations in the world.
Despite the divorce, the ex-couple continues to work together. To date, the Gates family has donated over $36 billion to their foundation. In addition, the billionaire plans to donate almost all of his money to his foundation in the future.
Together with Warren Buffet, Bill Gates also launched The Giving Pledge – a charitable campaign designed to encourage wealthy people to donate a large portion of their wealth. Bill Gates still lives in Seattle today. His estimated net worth is $107.2 billion. This puts him in seventh place among the richest people in the world.