Bill Gates wrote a version of the Beginner's All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or BASIC, programming language for the MITS Altair microcomputer. Gates, who was an undergraduate student at Harvard University, developed this language with Paul Allen, and it was the first product Microsoft sold.
After launching Microsoft, Gates helped write versions of BASIC for Apple computers and for IBM's MS-DOS. Gates talked IBM into giving him and Microsoft licensing rights to the MS-DOS operating system, which came included on IBM personal computers. This operating system came with its own version of BASIC. In 1983, Gates announced his revolutionary Microsoft Windows, an operating system for IBM computers. This operating system moved away from MS-DOS and included a graphical-user interface and a multitasking-environment.
Gates started attending Harvard in 1973. He founded Microsoft two years later with his friend Paul Allen. During his junior year at Harvard, Gates decided to leave school behind and pursue his passion and his company. Microsoft's mission was always to provide an affordable way for individuals and families to enjoy personal technology. He knew at an early age that he liked computers, and he began programming at the age of 13.