PCs are very important part of life today but in the 1970s most people did not know very much about them. One of the first people to see the future of the PC was Bill Gates; because of this, he is now one of the richest people in the world.
Bill Gates was born in Seattle, ISA, in 1955. He began to study computer programming at school, when he was thirteen. Later, he went to Harvard University. While he was student there, he and a friend, Paul Allen, wrote a computer program for a new personal computer, the Altair 8800. They showed it to Ed Roberts, the man who had invented the Altair 8800.Ed Roberts liked the software and agreed to use it. Gates and Allen left University early and started their own company - Microsoft.
Microsoft's first big success came in 1981. Apple computers were already very popular, and so the computer company IBM decided to start building PCs. They asked Bill Gates to write an Operating System for their PCs, and he wrote MS-DOS. It was not very easy to use, but it was still a big success.
In 1984, Apple made a new computer called a Macintosh. Bill Gates and Microsoft helped to write the Operating System for this computer. It was much easier to use than MS-DOS because it had pictures on the screen instead of difficult instructions. Later, Microsoft made their own Operating System which used pictures - they called it Windows. Windows became the most successful piece of software in the history of computing. By 1986, Bill Gates was already a billionaire at the age of thirty-one.
In the 1990s, Microsoft became even larger. In 1995, the new Operating System (Windows 95) came with a piece of software that let people use the Internet. Soon, millions of people were paying Microsoft twenty dollars a month to use the Internet.
Many people are unhappy about Microsoft because they think the company is too big and powerful. Most personal computers use the Windows Operating System, so people usually buy Microsoft software too. It is difficult for small software companies to show their programs to the public.
Recently, the Internet has given people a chance to find out about other kinds of software. Some programmers do not want money for their software — they just want to share ideas with other computer programmers. They call this kind оf software 'shareware'. However, a lot of people are happy to pay money for the software which they use at home and in the office, so the future of Microsoft and other software companies is probably safe.
Ex.1 Are these statements true or false? Correct the false ones.
Ed Roberts started his own company Microsoft after he had seen Bill`s program.
Microsoft was not successful in its first years because computers were not popular.
IBM asked Bill Gates to create an operating system for their PCs.
MS-DOS was very easy to use and had a big success.
Macintosh was also made by IBM, Ed Roberts wrote a program for this computer.
Windows became the most successful piece of software in the history of computing.
Ex.2 Use the verbs in brackets in the appropriate form:
Computers (to be) very important in our modern life and we (to use) them everywhere.
Bill Gates (to be) one of the richest people in the world, because he (to predict) the profit from PCs.
He (to be) only thirteen when he (to start) to study computer.
Bill Gates (to write) a computer program for Altair 8800 and then (to start) his own company.
MS-Dos (to be) successful though it (not to be) very easy to operate.
A new program (to use) pictures instead of instructions and it (to be) (to call) Windows.
Microsoft (to develop) greatly and (to bring) huge profit to its owners.
Many people (to complain) about Microsoft because they (not to have) an opportunity to show their ideas to public.
Bill Gates (not to doubt) that the future of Microsoft (to be) safe.
Ex.3 Match the word and its explanation:
the front part of a monitor;
a person with a huge quantity of money;
a process of living;
different events in chronological order;
Ex.4 Explain the following notions from the text:
Software, MS-DOS, Windows, Internet, “Shareware”
Ex.5Correct the possible grammar mistakes:
Computers widely used nowadays, but many people of elder generations not want to know anything about them.
The history of PCs did start with the name of Bill Gates, who be the first programmer for the Altair 8800 and the latest computers.
After Ed Roberts did agree to use the new software, Bill Gates had started the new company – Microsoft.
IBM had decided to start building PCs because Apple computers becomed very popular.
Bill Gates be asked to write an operating system for new PCs and he writed MS-DOS.
Windows become the most successful piece of software because it very easy to operate: it have pictures on the screen.
There be some other kinds of software but small companies not have many chances to show them to the public.
Ex.6 Translate the following sentences into English:
Многие люди не знали ничего о компьютерах до 1970-х годов.
Билл Гейтс начал изучать компьютерное программирование до того, как поступил в университет.
Его первая программа была показана Эдду Робертсу, человеку, который изобрел Альтаир 8800.
После того, как Робертс согласился использовать новую программу, друзья основали Майкрософт .
Майкрософт создал систему Windows после того, как Apple выпустил «Макинтош».
Люди получили возможность использовать Интернет после того, как появился Windows-95.
Многие программисты устроили обмен мнениями об использовании программного обеспечения, когда в Интернете организовали подобный чат.
Ex.7 Think about advantages and disadvantages of the existing of Microsoft.
Can a computer be as intelligent as a human being? Read the text and do exercises that follow. Pay attention to the translation of the words in bold.