Tuesday, June 27, 2006

THE LIVING LEGEND

Bill Gates announced his surprise decision last week to step down from the day-to-day running of Microsoft in 2008, said he would have continued working "super hard" for developing software if the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn't exist. I was feeling an increased desire to spend more time on foundation work," Gates told Newsweek in an interview. Gates is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's richest man, with an estimated wealth of about $50 billion. That great wealth, he said, also brings great responsibility.
He will give up his day-to-day involvement with Microsoft over the next two years to devote his energies to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Now, Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and will work with Gates in those areas. Mundie also will partner with general counsel Brad Smith to guide Microsoft's intellectual property and technology policy efforts. Mundie, 56, joined Microsoft in 1992 to create and run its Consumer Platforms Division, which was responsible for non-personal computer software. Mundie also started Microsoft's digital TV efforts. His current responsibilities include global technology policy and a variety of technical and business incubation efforts.

Bill Gates, the world's richest man who announced on Thursday his decision of handing over the title of Microsoft "chief software architect" to Ray Ozziesaid in two years time said, "it was always clear that that day would come at some point.

"This was a hard decision for me," said Gates, who founded the world's largest software company with childhood friend Paul Allen. "I'm very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever."

In an era when the world's rich just don't know when to stop, Gates decided to call it quits at the top of the heap.

Bill Gates : Who is he ?




















On October 28, 1955, shortly after 9:00 p.m., William Henry Gates III was born.
his father was a prominent lawyer. In elementary school he quickly surpassed all of his peer's abilities in nearly all subjects, especially math and science. His parents recognized his intelligence and decided to enroll him in Lakeside, a private school known for its intense academic environment. This decision had far reaching effects on Bill Gates's life. For at Lakeside, Bill Gates was first introduced to computers.

First computing experience
Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and a few other Lakeside students (many of whom were the first programmers hired at Microsoft) immediately became inseparable from the computer. They would stay in the computer room all day and night, writing programs, reading computer literature and anything else they could to learn about computing. Soon Gates and the others started running into problems with the faculty. Their homework was being turned in late (if at all), they were skipping classes to be in the computer room and worst of all, they had used up all of the schools computer time in just a few weeks.
It was not long before the young hackers started causing problems. They caused the system to crash several times and broke the computers security system. They even altered the files that recorded the amount of computer time they were using. They were caught and the Computer Center Corporation banned them from the system for several weeks.
They were determined to find a way to apply their computer skills in the real world. The first opportunity to do this was a direct result of their mischievous activity with the school's computer time.

The Computer Center Corporation's business was beginning to suffer due to the systems weak security and the frequency that it crashed. Impressed with Gates and the other Lakeside computer addicts' previous assaults on their computer, the Computer Center Corporation decided to hire the students to find bugs and expose weaknesses in the computer system. In return for the Lakeside Programming Group's help, the Computer Center Corporation would give them unlimited computer time. The boys could not refuse. Gates is quoted as saying "It was when we got free time at C-cubed (Computer Center Corporation) that we really got into computers. I mean, then I became hardcore. It was day and night". Although the group was hired just to find bugs, they also read any computer related material that the day shift had left behind. The young hackers would even pick employees for new information. It was here that Gates and Allen really began to develop the talents that would lead to the formation of Microsoft seven years later.

Their first opportunity came early when Information Sciences Inc. hired them to program a payroll program.
ISI had agreed to give them royalties whenever it made money from any of the groups programs. As a result of the business deal signed with Information Sciences Inc., the group also had to become a legal business. Gates and Allen's next project involved starting another company entirely on their own, Traf-O-Data. They produced a small computer which was used to help measure traffic flow. From the project they grossed around $20,000. The Traf-O-Data company lasted until Gates left for college.

In his senior year, Gates and Allen continued looking for opportunities to use their skills and make some money. It was not long until they found this opportunity. The defense contractor TRW was having trouble with a bug infested computer similar to the one at Computer Center Corporation. TRW had learned of the experience the two had working on the Computer Center Corporation's system and offered Gates and Allen jobs. However thing would be different at TRW they would not be finding the bugs they would be in charge of fixing them. "It was at TRW that Gates began to develop as a serious programer," and it was there that Allen and Gates first started talking seriously about forming their own software company.

In the fall of 1973, Bill Gates left home for Harvard University. He had no idea what he wanted to study, so he enrolled as prelaw. Gates took the standard freshman courses with the exception of signing up for one of Harvard's toughest math courses. He did well but just as in high school, his heart was not in his studies. After locating the school's computer center, he lost himself in the world of computers once again.















Gates would spend many long nights in front of the school's computer and the next days asleep in class. Paul Allen and Gates remained in close contact even with Bill away at school. They would often discuss ideas for future projects and the possibility of one day starting a business. At the end of Gates's first year at Harvard, the two decided that Allen should move closer to him so that they may be able to follow up on some of their ideas. That summer they both got jobs working for Honeywell. As the summer dragged on, Allen began to push Bill harder with the idea that they should open a software company. Gates was still not sure enough to drop out of school. The following year, however, that would all change.
The Birth of Microsoft :
In December of 1974, Allen was on his way to visit Gates when along the way he stopped to browse the current magazines. What he saw changed his and Bill Gates's lives forever. On the cover of Popular Electronics was a picture of the Altair 8080 and the headline "World's First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models." He bought the issue and rushed over to Gates's dorm room. They both recognized this as their big opportunity. The two knew that the home computer market was about to explode and that someone would need to make software for the new machines.












Within a few days, Gates had called MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), the makers of the Altair. He told the company that he and Allen had developed a BASIC that could be used on the Altair. This was a lie. They had not even written a line of code. They had neither an Altair nor the chip that ran the computer. The MITS company did not know this and was very interested in seeing their BASIC. So, Gates and Allen began working feverishly on the BASIC they had promised. The code for the program was left mostly up to Bill Gates while Paul Allen began working on a way to simulate the Altair with the schools PDP-10. Eight weeks later, the two felt their program was ready. Allen was to fly to MITS and show off their creation. The day after Allen arrived at MITS, it was time to test their BASIC.
Entering the program into the company's Altair was the first time Allen had ever touched one. If the Altair simulation he designed or any of Gates's code was faulty, the demonstration would most likely have ended in failure. This was not the case, and the program worked perfectly the first time. MITS arranged a deal with Gates and Allen to buy the rights to their BASIC. Gates was convinced that the software market had been born. Within a year, Bill Gates had dropped out of Harvard and Microsoft was formed.
HELP HIM AND BLESS HIM FOR THE NOBLE CAUSE HE IS WORKING ON.



STEELBIRDS FLY TOGETHER
THE LONG AWAITED "MITTAL STEELS" AND THE EUROPIAN "ARCELOR" HAVE TIED THE KNOT. LAKSHMI MITTAL the heavy metal billionaire of india and britain has joined hands with the ARCELOR.

Almost six months after launching its bid for Arcelor, Mittal earlier this month raised its offer by 34 percent to 25.8 billion euros.The initial ofer was of 22.8-bilion-euros.The last Lakshmi Mittal spoke to Guy Dolle was on 26 January, 9.43 at night, GMT.It was still early afternoon in Toronto where Dolle was going through security check at the airport to board a flight to Frankfurt. Mittal told Dolle that the next day he would announce his bid for Arcelor. Airport security forced Dolle to switch his phone off. The two barely spoke. And in that moment, one of the greatest takeover battles in history slipped into motion.
Aditya, Mittal's Wharton educated son and heir apparent says he first suggested the idea of combining with Arcelor to father in October last year. Mittal loved the idea. It was then discussed with a select group of senior executives, who were equally excited about the possibilities. "We said why hadn't we thought of it before," says one. But first, they needed to talk to Arcelor.

IN the week beginning 24 October, 2005, Aditya made the first call-to Arcelor senior vice president, International Business Development, Alain Davezac.Dolle thought that the matter had ended there and that is why he was shocked when Mittal told him he was making a hostile bid. Mittal's bid shook the world, particularly Europe. Inside Arcelor, the reaction was one of surprise and even hurt. Its employees found the move very, very aggressive.

It also saw Mittal going hostile as a strategic blunder, something that would undo his endeavour. Davezac called friends in India to figure out what could have prompted Mittal's actions. Almost unanimously they told him-'See where he comes from. He has the kind of hunger you Europeans will never understand.'The battle was now underway, with Arcelor digging its heels in, ready for a long siege. And, in the months that have followed, Arcelor's fierce resistance has surprised even Mittal himself.

Arcelor has fought doggedly since late January against an offer by Mittal, the biggest steelmaker worldwide in terms of volume, which became official on May 18.On May 26, Arcelor announced plans to acquire Severstal for 15.3 billion dollars in what analysts said was a defensive move to become too large for Mittal to swallow.The deal would eventually result in Severstal controlling 38 percent of Arcelor, but is opposed by Arcelor shareholders holding 29 percent of the group.

Senior-level executives from Mittal Steel and Arcelor have been meeting in the last 10 days in Europe, discussing valuation, corporate governance and other subjects, Arcelor's Dolle told reporters at the steel industry conference. "This transaction has, and will be improved," Dolle said of the Severstal deal, which has been approved by the Arcelor board, but has encountered some opposition from shareholders."Both of them could be improved," Dolle said in the briefing. Later, in a luncheon address, he was asked whether the fact that Arcelor had canceled a shareholder meeting scheduled for Wednesday was an indication that discussions with Mittal were substantive.
At first he declined to make any specific comment, but then said: "We are waiting for a better offer."
Lakshmi Mittal, speaking to Reuters at the conference, said talks with Arcelor were due to last a few more days. Arcelor must choose whether to stick with its plans for a controversial merger with Severstal or reach a deal with Mittal.Influential US proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that shareholders vote against the Severstal transaction. In a report, ISS expressed concern shareholders had not been given enough time to consider the terms, and that all facts had not been fully disclosed. Arcelor said it would cancel the Severstal deal if shareholders representing 50 per cent of the capital voted against it.
Mittal Steel urged Arcelor shareholders to vote against a plan to merge with Russian steel company Severstal , in an advertisement in the Financial Times newspaper on Tuesday.Mittal Steel said the deal would give Severstal boss Alexei Mordashov control of Arcelor, "yet the transaction has been structured to allow him not to make an offer for the whole company, let alone pay a control premium".

Rebel shareholders in steelmaker Arcelor secured a special vote on Monday, which jeopardised the firm's plans to merge with Russia's Severstal and boost a rival takeover bid by Mittal Steel, reports Reuters.The European steel giant Arcelor said on june 19 that it would postpone a crucial shareholder vote related to its 13 billion euro ($16.5 billion) tie-up with the Russian billionaire Aleksei Mordashov, raising questions about whether the deal was in danger of unraveling.

Arcelor said the vote, scheduled for 21 june, was being put off "in light of the current discussions" being held between Arcelor and Mittal Steel, which has been trying unsuccessfully to buy the Luxembourg-based Arcelor for months.

After refusing to meet with Mittal executives for most of that time, Arcelor management agreed to face-to-face talks last week — and they have not stopped since. Arcelor added it was postponing the vote "in order not to impair any solution for the future." The vote was crucial because it asked investors to decide whether to tender their shares in a 6.5 billion euro stock buyback that would ultimately give Mr. Mordashov 38 percent of Arcelor.

Mr. Mordashov, the chief executive of the Russian steel company Severstal, traded his majority stake in Severstal, along with other assets and cash, for the stake in Arcelor. Under most European takeover codes, any investor who amasses more than a third of a listed company must make an offer for the whole thing, but Luxembourg regulators have waived that requirement in this case. Still, Mr. Mordashov's acquisition of such a large chunk of Arcelor proved unpopular with many Arcelor shareholders. Several have indicated recently that they would not support the move in the voting on Wednesday. If the proposal was not approved, Mr. Mordashov could still amass 32 percent of Arcelor under the terms of his deal with the company.

When asked if the deal was unraveling, a spokesman for Mr. Mordashov said, "Not on our end."An Arcelor spokesman, Jean Laser, said, "My impression is the deal is signed and the ink is not being wiped out."But analysts and investors continued to be negative about the Mordashov deal. "We understand that some European governments, including Luxembourg and Belgium, have also raised questions about on the possible risk of a rampant takeover," the French brokerage firm Exane BNP Paribas said in a note to clients on Monday. "We do not feel comfortable with the current terms of the Russian deal," said Exane BNP Paribas, which compared itself with a "large proportion" of Arcelor shareholders who "feel they are being rushed into a tie-up with a company they know too little about yet."

One shareholder who is against the combination is going to court. Colette Neuville, president of the minority shareholder group ADAM, said on june 19 that she would have a hearing in a Luxembourg court on june 15th. She has complained that Arcelor has broken its own rules and bylaws with the Mordashov deal. At issue is a second vote, slated for June 30, that would rubber-stamp the tie-up unless an unprecedented number of investors come to vote it down.

Talks between Arcelor and Mittal continued throughout the week, and some Arcelor investors are optimistic that Mittal might raise its bid of 25.8 billion euros ($33 billion) a move that could persuade them to tender their shares to Mittal. When Mittal and Arcelor started to speak last week, Mr. Mordashov said Wednesday's shareholder vote was not that significant to him. "My initial view was that this would take place and I would get 38 percent" of the company, he said last week. He added that this stake would not be a big difference from 32 percent. "Definitely, we will not run away," he said then. Mr. Mordashov said he was still coming up against investors with a "prejudice about Russia" and a "lack of information about myself and about Severstal."

But at last the Indian mittal steel and the europian arcelor has tied the knots for the long awaited marriage. It seems like a steel joint in the world’s steel industry.