While attending Lakeside School, Gates picked up an interest in programming on a GE computer. He wrote code for this machine to allow players to play tic-tac-toe against an AI.
After graduating from Lakeside School he enrolled in Harvard University where he met friend (and later on, successor as CEO) Steve Ballmer.
In his junior year at Harvard University, he dropped out to refocus his energy into the company he formed in 1975, Microsoft. With Gates at the reigns of the company, Microsoft went on to become one of the most successful software companies in the world. Developing products such as the Windows operating system, Office suite, and the Xbox.
In January 2000, Gates stepped down as chief executive office. Steve Ballmer took his place.
Role in the Games Industry
Although Bill Gates has never been directly involved in the games industry, his company developed and produced the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and their Xbox Live service for Xbox and Windows Phone 7. Shortly after mentioning the original Xbox in interviews in 1999, Gates stepped down as CEO in January 2000. He went on to unveil the Xbox at the Games Developers Conference in 2000. Microsoft's Windows is also the premier gaming platform on PCs along with its DirectX APIs, and Microsoft Game Studios has produced many high-quality games of its own.
The Xbox and Xbox Live arguably popularized internet connectivity on console platforms. With broadband internet connectivity and a hard drive available to every console, this made delivery of additional content for disc-based games much easier as opposed to pressing, shipping, and marketing new discs to retailers. It also facilitated Xbox Live Arcade, another tipping point in the industry. Xbox Live even sprouted a TrueSkill matchmaking system that matches a player with similarly skilled opponents, though its effectiveness is debatable.