Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Icon of 1980's America.

I have chosen to use Bill Gates as my icon of 1980's America.

While he founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen, it was the 80's where Microsoft began to establish themselves. As well as it was in 1987 that Gates first established himself on the Forbes Rich List.

It was in 1980 that IBM approached Microsoft with regards to their personal computer, the IBM PC. At first, the computer company proposed that Microsoft write the BASIC interpreter. This marks the beginning of the influence that Microsoft, and Gates, have had on the market.

In 1985, Microsoft launched the first version of Windows. And as we know, Windows is still very popular today, even with the relative dislike of Windows 10, including myself. To the point where I won't buy this kind of programme from Microsoft again. While this shows that the programme has not always been popular, or efficient, or good, it shows the influence that they have that they can still operate this and now selling Windows 10, 31 years after the first version was released.

Gates himself has been a subject of controversy, because of the way that he operates his business and has been accused of being anti-competition. For much of the early period of computers, Microsoft had something of a monopoly on the market. Their competition with Apple Inc. can be seen to have massively benefitted the rest of the World when it comes to this kind of technology, and it's development. It could be argued that without the competition we would not be where we are today with mobile phones or computers.

Gates too has donated much of his income to charities, although this has occurred only since the mid 90's when it became less important for Gates to have as much money as he had at that time.

Being as rich as he is, and responsible for so much in the World today, he is seen as one of the most powerful people in the World today, being as high as 4th in the rankings in 2012. As well as this, he is seen as one of the most influential people in the world, being in the top 101 between 2004 and 2006.

For all of the charitable contributions that he has made; and all of the technological advances that he and his company are responsible for, it is easy to make the argument that he is an icon of America in the 1980's. and still very much is today. He is responsible for likely the computers that some of us used in this room, as well as games consoles that we use, and phones we use every day. Without Bill Gates and Microsoft, the world simply wouldn't be the same place today.

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