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MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo, and over the course of a few weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter.
The demonstration, held at MITS's offices in Albuquerque, was a success and resulted in a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC.
Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976, and it continued to develop programming language software for various systems.
During Microsoft's early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company's business.
In February 1976, Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter in which he asserted that more than 90 percent of the users of Microsoft Altair BASIC had not paid Microsoft for it and by doing so the Altair "hobby market" was in danger of eliminating the incentive for any professional developers to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software.
This letter was unpopular with many computer hobbyists, but Gates persisted in his belief that software developers should be able to demand payment.
In 1975, Gates and Allen launched Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company.
During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.
He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer.Paul Allen was hired into MITS, Gates never returned to Harvard to complete his studies.Microsoft's Altair BASIC was popular with computer hobbyists, but Gates discovered that a pre-market copy had leaked into the community and was being widely copied and distributed.The arrangement with CCC continued until 1970, when the company went out of business. hired the four Lakeside students to write a payroll program in COBOL, providing them computer time and royalties.
After his administrators became aware of his programming abilities, Gates wrote the school's computer program to schedule students in classes.
Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution.