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Microsoft Education

Bill Gates to Finally Receive His Harvard Degree 336

coondoggie writes "It's not like he needs it to beef up his résumé, but the world's richest college dropout finally is getting his degree. Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, will speak at Harvard University's commencement ceremony in June and, like all commencement speakers, will receive an honorary degree from the institution. It's hard to guess if Gates, the wealthiest person in the world and co-founder of a company that brought in $44 billion in revenue last year, cares. But the programming whiz who once dropped out of Harvard will likely feel some sense of satisfaction."
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Bill Gates to Finally Receive His Harvard Degree

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  • by Cocoshimmy ( 933014 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @03:28AM (#18455379)
    Bill Gates has already received honorary degrees from several other institutions: _recognition []

  • Re:Rich man's GED (Score:5, Informative)

    by neonmonk ( 467567 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @04:01AM (#18455537)
    Stamp of approval?

    It's an honorary degree, it's more like saying "we recognise you as being prominent in this field and here's the proof."

    Not: "omglolwtf u didnt get a degree heres one now ur one of us!!1 lol"
  • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @07:11AM (#18456415)
    Well, he and Allen wrote BASIC for the MITS Altair 8800 by scratch on an emulator and cross-assembler with no documentation to go by.

    But, from what I understand, Gates was the Steve Jobs of Microsoft, while Paul Allen was the Steve Wozniak. Gates took care of the business and marketing, mostly, while Paul did most of the coding.


  • Re:Rich man's GED (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2007 @07:32AM (#18456495)
    Asking him to speak at commencement is more than just a stamp of approval: he's giving the last official speech to Harvard graduates before they leave the university. That's not only a big honor, it's a chance to make a difference to a generation of graduates.

    Apparently you never attended a college commencement ceremony. Almost none of the graduating seniors are listening to the commencement speakers. Some are laughing and partying with their friends, others are still hung over from the night before, and aren't in any condition to hear, much less understand, what the speakers are saying.

    At best, the commencement speakers help to convince the graduates' parents that their tuition payments were well-spent.

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @07:55AM (#18456629)
    That's definitely not true []. Not sure where this sort of thing comes from.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @08:52AM (#18457087)
    Hardly. He was just the whiny wannabe PHB who wanted to get paid. Allen did all the work originally; the rest was ripped from Gary Kildall

    Gates began programming at age thirteen, at fourteen, he was clearing $20,000 a year at this game. In 1973 he co-authored and published a paper a paper on algorithms with computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou. Bill Gates [] That is moving damn fast and damn far for a "whiny wannabee."

    Microscoft was founded in 1975. In Japan in 1978.

    Microsoft was dominant in programming languages for the microcomputer in 1980 and not an unknown quantity to IBM. Gates promised to deliver a serviceable, low-cost, OS in time for the scheduled launch of the PC. Nothing more. But these were the words IBM needed to hear---and they weren't coming from Kildall.

    You snooze, you lose.

  • by fsmunoz ( 267297 ) <> on Friday March 23, 2007 @10:37AM (#18458405) Homepage
    Indeed, the same happened here in Portugal. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k was what introduced computing to the masses, even to lower middle class people. It was relatively cheap, and had lots of games. Many people started programming on them (I did... "10 REM MY FIRST PROGRAM"). About 60% of the people that I know still remember the "(c) 1982 Sinclair Research Ltd" greeting. The Timex clones were also popular - I hear that especiall in Poland and Portugal, but I can only vouch for the latter. I remember buying UK magazines with code listings, and soon lots of domestic stuff. The market in Europe was different from the North American one: the Apple ][ was rare in here, and even the C= 64 was *at most* a distant second to Sinclair's offering. The PC's were incredibly expensive, and quite honestly no value for the money at the time. The first platform that enjoyed equal popularity in both Continents was the Amiga I think... This "PC for the masses" crap is a bit distant from reality.
  • by hajo ( 74449 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @11:12AM (#18458931) Homepage
    Harvard does NOT consider one a dropout if you have passing grades (Which he did; he did quite well actually). I'm in the same boat. When you have passing grades and you leave you are officially on a leave of absence. (I guess they can't fathom that anyone with passing grades would ever drop out of their venerable institution)
              Oh and on all the comments about him being a lousy coder: I call bullshit on that. I have worked on PDP11's, CPM machines etc... Virtually non-existent documentation, cosing in assembly, extreme memory constraints etc... This is the guy who rewrote a basic interpreter on the plane to his customer using paper and pen....
              You might not like the guy (I wonder why, I've never met him so I'm fairly neutral on the whole thing; Also how many people do you know giving billions of dollars to charity?). but one does not become that wealthy by being an idiot!

  • Re:Rich man's GED (Score:3, Informative)

    by malevolentjelly ( 1057140 ) on Friday March 23, 2007 @11:36AM (#18459329) Journal
    Bill Gates used to write compilers. I'm sure he's an above average coder- people who used to work at Microsoft in the 80's/early 90's have described Bill Gates' problem solving abilities as pretty solid. He'd help people solve a code issue every now and then.

    In the original software giants, a lot of the people up-high are solid programmers. Just because they're rich doesn't mean they're not self-made.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.