... In the new hobby market, where writing your own programs is all of the fun -- you still need a good computer language compiler to show you how it's done. According to Steve Herber of the Retail Computer Store, the best compiler for BASIC, the language used by the ALTAIR 8800A, is one written by Bill Gates Jr., son of the Seattle lawyer of the same name.
Gates, who is 20, heads a company called MICROSOFT, staffed by six recent graduates of Lakeside School. Operating out of the school's physics lab, they started by programming the school computer to schedule classes and issue grade reports. Their BASIC compiler comes in four sizes and sells from $150 to $450 a copy. They have sold about 1,250 copies to date and are currently netting about $2,500 a week.
The expanding market for moderately priced computers and software is creating something of a new frontier for entrepreneurs alert for the latest unfilled need. Each new development in the field is likely to make some fortunes and wipe out others. Those of us who have problems operating machines are going to find ourselves less and less well-adapted to the new world around us.
Note: The ARGUS was a highbrow Seattle tabloid published at that time. The article from which the above is taken appeared at the top of the front page.
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