In 1997 the U.S. Justice Dept. accused Microsoft of violating a 1995 antitrust agreement, because the Windows 95 operating system required consumers to load Microsoft's Internet browser—thus giving Microsoft a monopolistic advantage over other browser manufacturers. In late 1999 the trial judge decided that Microsoft was a monopoly that had stifled competition, and the following June he ordered the breakup of Microsoft into two companies, a decision that Microsoft appealed. Although the appeals court overturned (2001) the breakup, it agreed that Microsoft had stifled competition and returned the case to a lower court for resolution. Subsequently the government and the company agreed to a settlement that placed some restrictions on Microsoft but would not essentially diminish the advantage its operating system monopoly gave the software giant; several states contested the settlement, but a judge approved it in 2002. In the European Union the company has also faced scrutiny over anticompetitive concerns, and there it has several times been fined hundreds of millions of euros.
Gates, who is chairman of Microsoft, is one of the wealthiest persons in the world. In 1994 he founded the William H. Gates Foundation (focusing on health issues in developing countries) and in 1997 established the Gates Library Foundation, later renamed the Gates Learning Foundation (providing education assistance). In 1999 the former was renamed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the latter was merged (2000) into it. In 2008 Gates, while remaining as company chairman, withdrew from daily participation in the running of Microsoft in order to devote more time to the foundation. He has written The Road Ahead (1995, with N. Myhrvold and P. Rinearson) and Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999).
See J. Wallace, Hard Drive (1992).
See his memoir, Colored People: Letters to My Daughters (1993).
The Town of Gates is in the southwest part of the county.
There were 11,730 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $45,709, and the median income for a family was $53,964. Males had a median income of $38,815 versus $29,024 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,353. About 4.3% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.