Bill Gates: My 1979 Memories

Posted by sumeethevans on July 25 2009, 3:32 AM. Posted in Bill Gates.

Our Gizmodo '79 celebration may have ended last week, but there's room for a final post, written by famed retiree and mosquito wrangler Bill Gates. It's no joke: Gates read the series then sent this in:

I read those 1979 stories all last week, and it put me in a nostalgic mood, so wanted to offer my own memory to add to the collection.

In 1979, Microsoft had 13 employees, most of whom appear in that famous picture that provides indisputable proof that your average computer geek from the late 1970s was not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion. We started the year by moving from Albuquerque back to Bellevue, just across the lake from Seattle. By the end of the year we'd doubled in size to 28 employees. Even though we were doing pretty well, I was still kind of terrified by the rapid pace of hiring and worried that the bottom could fall out at any time.

What made me feel a little more confident was that 1979 was the year we began to sense that BASIC was right on the verge of becoming the standard language for microcomputers. We knew this could be the catalyst that would unlock the potential of the PC to democratize computing and create the right conditions for an explosion in programs and applications that would lead to really rapid growth of the PC market.

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