Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thanks Mom


Mary and Bill Gates
I thought I knew the history of how Microsoft got the contract to make DOS for IBM. For some reason IBM and DEC were unable to agree terms for a contract for an operating system for IBM's new PC so IBM turned to Microsoft who bought QDOS from a Seattle company and rebranded it IBM DOS and licensed it to IBM. What didn't make sense though was why IBM would approach a tiny company, run by a college kid, making BASIC for a kit computer. Hardly the sort of company IBM usually did business with. Then over the holidays I read that Bill Gates' mother Mary was on the board of a company called United Way with John Opel the CEO of IBM. Opel allegedly told Mary IBM were looking for an operating system and she put her son Bill forward - "Thanks Mom"