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Everybody, even Bill Gates, started somewhere. And Bill Gates’ very first Microsoft business card, and that of his cofounder Paul Allen shows they started as President and Vice President, respectively. Read Also: 5 Tips To Note When Looking To Buy A Used Car
The cards are from 1975 and are on display at the Microsoft Visitor Center, the only area of its Redmond headquarters that’s open to the general public.
These cards were printed when Microsoft was the company of two childhood friends, Gates and Allen, working on a version of the BASIC programming language for the Altair 8800 microcomputer. It was Allen’s idea to name the company “Micro-Soft,” since they were working on software for the microcomputer. That got shortened to Microsoft pretty quickly.
You may also notice the Albuquerque address. This is where Microsoft was originally incorporated — MITS, the company that made the Altair, was headquartered there, and Allen and Gates wanted to stay close.
Gates’ decision to drop out of Harvard and move to New Mexico to run Microsoft was baffling to some in his life. One of his Harvard professors once recalled thinking: “Such a brilliant kid. What a waste.”