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How Bill Gates Collected His Fortune "on the Body" of This Man?

Updated on January 13, 2020
American Programmer Gary Kildall (May 1942 - July 1994)
American Programmer Gary Kildall (May 1942 - July 1994)

On October 28, nine days ago, Bill Gates celebrated his 64th birthday. And if you were wondering what would anyone give to a man who owns $ 106.9 billion, an article in The Observer said that he does not care about "the material part of the gift".

This sentence, which depicts Gates’s humility, may be taken from public relations and marketing lessons, but it contains some truth: Gates has fame and money, and on top of both. He has the respect of millions of people who consider him a role model in the tech world and a genius in entrepreneurship, a pioneer in Charity. However, what if you knew that Gates collected his fortune "on the body" of a genius programmer who did not know how to market himself and his business?

On October 6, is the anniversary of the signing of a contract between Gates and the American company IBM, at the expense of an American programmer named Gary Kildal. In 1980, IBM (the largest technology-making company at the time) built its first personal-use computer with its name. It remains to search for an operating system for the computer (a program that manages electronic parts and programs inside the computer and gives the user a visual interface on the screen that enables him to use it). Although "IBM" was a pioneer in the world of electronic equipment, but when it came to the operating system, it turned out that it needed to search outside the walls of the company. And here the story begins.

Representatives of "IBM" rushed to "Microsoft", where they met Bill Gates, founder and owner of the company. And before they disclosed to Gates the reason for their visit to him, they asked Gates to sign the "secrecy" agreement - that is, not to disclose what they came to request, especially as competition in this field was raging, and Apple's personal computer, "Apple 2" issued in 1977, started Acquires market share. When company representatives asked Gates whether Microsoft could produce an operating system for their new device, Gates replied that his company did not have its own operating system, and he advised IBM representatives to go to Gary Kildall. At that time, Kildall was very well known in the tech community, as Bill Gates is today. He was especially distinguished for his passion for software and for not hiding secrets, revealing the work of his company Digital Research in all the interviews he was conducting. Kildal was ethical among a herd of fierce competitors.

Kildal acquired the title of "founding father" of operating systems in earnest. In 1972, the thirty-year-old invented the first CP / M (Control Program for Microcomputers) personal computers, which made it possible to allocate one operating system to different types of computers after each type of computer needed its own operating system.

Representatives of "IBM" took the advice of Gates, and they went to meet Kildal.

Kildal died after receiving a head blow in a bar in 1994

A "Quick and Dirty" Deal

crosses the information here, as some of Kildal's close associates confirm that the meeting took place, but the "secrecy" agreement did not satisfy Kildal, in addition to that, "IBM" wanted to buy "CBM", and to have his legal rights.

On the other side, others deny that this happened, and they say that Kildal boarded his private plane to go to a job interview that day, and that the "IBM" team met his wife Dorothy, who, along with Gary, founded the company Digital Research. Either way, empty-handed IBM representatives came back to Bill Gates.

This time, Gates will not let the opportunity be lost. He told company representatives that Microsoft could create an operating system for them, but what Microsoft did was buy an operating system from an emerging programming company for $ 75,000, and its name was Q-DOS (the quick and dirty operating system), or the fast and dirty operating system. No wonder, as Q-DOS programming lines were stolen from the Kildall CBM system. And so, simply, Microsoft had an operating system that came with the new IBM computer under the name PC-DOS, the computer whose sales exceeded all expectations, and the largest company, Apple, came from first place.

When IBM sensed the risk of being sued for using stolen software, she went to Kildall and agreed with him that she would introduce her new computer with two types of operating systems: PC-DOS and CBM, leaving the option to the user. The problem here is that IBM offered PC-DOS at $ 40, while the price of CBM was $ 240, and it was clear which system the user would choose.

Kildal's passion for invention, not money, was what motivated him, and while he tried hard to cope with what happened, the specter of the incident with IBM continued to accompany him in all his interviews. He was chased by the journalists' question: "How did you let that happen?", While he expected to ask him about his latest achievements. To make matters worse, the creative duo Dorothy and Gary Kildall separated, the latter went into his depression and became excessively alcoholic, and moved from one pub to another, to die after receiving a blow to the head in a bar in 1994. The tragedy of Kildal was a blessing for Gates.

After the popularity of the PC-DOS system, Microsoft started selling the operating system to all IBM competitors, under the name MS-DOS, and replaced the word Dirty with Disk, to become the full name Microsoft Disk Operating System. Bill Gates has made billions, and Microsoft has come to the fore of software companies to this day.


On July 8, 1994, Kildal fell to his head in a Monterey (California) pub. While the circumstances of his injury remain mysterious, some accounts say that he fell from the chair in the bar. But what is certain is that he was addicted to drinking alcohol in recent years before his death.

Kildal died three days after the accident (July 11), during which he was hospitalized twice. Bill Gates called him saying that he was one of the "pioneers of the personal computer revolution", and "an innovative computer scientist, did an excellent job." Although we were competitors, I have always respected his contributions in the computer industry. His sudden death was very unfortunate, and we will miss his work”.

Perhaps in recalling the accomplishments of someone who worked with passion and devoted to his love of technology a gift that exceeds the "material part" of any other gift.


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