One of the top Google searches for Bill Gates is, “Did Bill Gates invent the internet?”
No, Bill Gates did not invent the internet. Neither did Al Gore. ARPANET officially created the first computer connection in 1969. Later, Tim-Berners Lee was responsible for commercializing the internet with the world wide web. This paved the way for companies like Facebook, Skype, and Twitter to communicate in new ways.
However, as many of the early computer companies focused on hardware, Bill Gates focused on building the applications that would go inside all the hardware — the software. In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded a computer software company called Microsoft and proclaimed that they would put a computer on every desk in every home.(33) At the time, people thought that Gates and Allen were out of their minds. It was difficult for the average person to see why they would need a computer at work, let alone a computer in every home. In 1975, the computer was a complex functioning system that only major companies invested in.
Gates and Allen weren’t crazy, though — they saw a future that many others could not. They knew that computers were one of many exponential technologies that would inevitably change the world. These exponential technologies were the catalyst for accelerated change and disruption. Gates and Allen were going to be the first surfers on the exponential growth wave to become one of the largest companies in the world-so influential Gates still gets mistaken for the guy who invented the internet.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” — Bill Gates
Microsoft created Microsoft-Disk Operating System (MS — DOS). This operating system — the precursor to Windows — standardized how individuals would use the personal computer. Computers began taking over desks in offices and soon after, as predicted, reached homes. These computers ran on MS — DOS and later Microsoft Windows, run largely by a floppy disk the user had to shove into the disc drive. Soon, Microsoft Office had the business world running on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Internet Explorer had nearly everyone on the web. Microsoft was one of the first companies to grow exponentially.