HOW BILL DID IT...
In 1969 Bill Gates and Paul Allen, calling themselves the "Lakeside Programming
Group" sign an agreement with Computer Center Corporation to report bugs
in PDP-10 software, in exchange for computer time.
In 1972 Bill Gates and Paul Allen form the Traf-O-Data company. They had
developed an 8008-based computer hardware/software system for recording
automobile traffic flow on a highway.
Late in 1973 Gary Kildall writes a simple operating
system in his PL/M language. He calls it CP/M (Control Program/Monitor).
Feb. 1975 Bill Gates and Paul Allen license their newly written BASIC to
MITS, their first customer. This is the first computer language program
written for a personal computer.
April 1975 Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Micro-Soft (the hyphen is later
Feb.1976 Bill Gates write software routines for BASIC on the Altair to
use diskettes for storage.
In May of 1976 Digital Research copyrights CP/M, its industry-standard
microcomputer operating system, created by company founder Gary
In Dec. 1976 Bill Gates drops out of Harvard.
In Feb 1977 Bill Gates and Paul Allen sign a partnership agreement to officially
create the Microsoft company.
In Dec. 1977 Microsoft wins a legal battle with Pertec, on ownership of
the BASIC Gates and Allen wrote and licensed to MITS.
In Apr. 1980 Tim Paterson begins writing an operating system for use with
Seattle Computer Products' 8086-based computer.
In July of 1980 IBM representatives meet with Microsoft's Bill Gates and
Steve Ballmer to talk about Microsoft products, and home computers. IBM
asks Bill Gates to write the operating system for their upcoming PC.
In August of 1980 IBM meets with Microsoft again, and shows plans for Project
Chess, a personal computer. The code name for the computer is "Acorn".
Bill Gates argues that IBM should use the 16-bit 8086, rather than the
8-bit 8080 processor. Gates promised an operating system.
In Aug. 1980 QDOS 0.10(Quick and Dirty Operating System) is shipped by
Seattle Computer Products.
In Oct Microsoft's Paul Allen contacts Seattle Computer Products' Tim Paterson,
asking for the rights to sell SCP's DOS to an unnamed client (IBM). Microsoft
pays US$50,000 for the right. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Steve Ballmer
meet with IBM in Boca Raton, Florida, to deliver a report to IBM. They
propose that Microsoft be put in charge of the entire software development
process for IBM's new microcomputer, including converting Seattle Computer
Products' SCP-DOS to run on the computer. Getting the rights to QDOS (quickly
renamed PC-DOS 1.0) was probably the best overall deal Bill Gates ever
made, and they never looked back. It has, of course, been fully rewritten
since, probably several times with the biggest change being at Version
2.11, which changed the file system. Most DOS programs will not run on
versions before 2.11.
In Dec of 1980 IBM contacts Digital Research about using CP/M-86 for IBM's
upcoming microcomputer. Gary Kildall is not interested,
for a variety of reasons.
In July 1981 Microsoft buys all rights to DOS from Seattle Computer Products,
and the name MS-DOS is adopted. IBM introduces its first desktop computer,
the Datamaster. It uses a 16-bit 8086, and is a dedicated data processing
machine. The first IBM PCs roll off the assembly lines.
And this is how it was done.
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