Read, translate and do the exercises after the text in the written form BILL GATES AND MICROSOFT CORPORATION William (Bill) H. Gates was chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software services and Internet technologies for personal and business. Gates’ foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.
In August 23, 1995, an unprecedented marketing and media frenzy reached its peak throughout the world. The level of publicity and excitement had rarely been seen before, but it was not for a new movie or even a new car. It was a piece of software. By midnight, customers had already queued up outside computer stores to be among the first to purchase Window 95, an upgraded operating system for IBM and IBM-compatible personal computers. Microsoft Corporation, the company behind Windows 95, spared no expense in exciting the demand for its new product.
Born on October 28, 1955, William Henry Gates grew up in Seattle, Washington, is a socially prominent family with his two sisters. Their father was a lawyer, with a well-connected firm in the city. Their mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, active in charity work. Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at the age of 13. “He was a computer nerd before the term was invented” , as one of his teachers described Gates at the time.
In 1973 , Bill Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived doen the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft’s chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer – the MITS Altair.
In his junior years, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates and Allen were not typical entrepreneurs. They had no business plan, no venture capital, no banker or Small Business Administration loans. But they had the most important tools needed for software development: brains and computers, and they had everything necessary for entry into the porous computer industry of the time: they had product, programming expertise, and most importantly, a vision of greater possibilities.
The introduction of Windows 95 mirrored the rapid changes in the marketplace and marked a new crucial point for Bill Gates. His role in the personal computer revolution had given him a net worth estimated in the summer of 1996 at $18 billion, and had turned him into an icon of information technology. Few American businessmen have ever occupied such a niche in the popular imagination. Just as John D. Rockefeller created order from chaos in the most important new industry of the late nineteenth century, Gates and his company did the same in the most crucial industry of the late twentieth century: computers. And like Rockefeller, Gates found ways to force the rest of the industry to follow his lead.
Gates was married on January 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. They have three children. Gates is an avid reader, and enjoys playing golf and bridge.
In 1999, Gates wrote Business & Speed of Thought, a book that shows how computer technology can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. The book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. Gates’ previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list for seven weeks.
Though an innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneur, Bill Gate didn’t invent crucial technology. Rather, he shrewdly adapted and improved products first made by others. He recognized the coming of the personal computer (PC) long before others did, and deduced that operating systems and applications (software) would be at least as important to the PC business as the nuts-and-bolts equipment (hardware). Part of the reason for Microsoft’s dominance in the field lies precisely in Gates’ ability to anticipate developments in computer technology and to judge when the public will be ready for them. Another part of Microsoft’s success lies in Gates’ unwavering confidence in his own ideas. Through the force of his personality, as much as through the popularity of his products, Bill Gates has imposed his own order on the burgeoning computer industry.
Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and professional skills development. Under Gates’ leadership, Microsoft’s mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers.
Philanthropy was also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $24 billion to support initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, including the Gates Library Initiative to bring computers, Internet Access and training to public libraries in low-income communities in the United States and Canada.
Prices have fallen in the food business because of advances in food production and distribution
technology. Consumers have benefited greatly from those advances. People who predicted that the world would run out of food were wrong. We are producing more and more food with less and less capital. Food is therefore more plentiful and cheaper than it has ever been. Spending on food compared with other goods has fallen for many years, and continues to drop.
c)Huge retail companies such as Wal-Mart have tremendous power and they can put pressure on producers to cut their margins. As a result, some producers have had to make cuts. In recent years, Unilever has cut its workforce by 33,000 to 245,000 and dropped lots of its minor brands as part of its "path to growth" strategy. Cadbury has shut nearly 20 per cent of its 133 factories and cut 10 per cent of its 55,000 global workforce. These cuts help keep costs down, and the price of food stays low.
an easy way of making them feel they have got a better deal. That is why portions have got larger and larger. In America, soft drinks came in 8oz (225g) cans in the past, then 12oz (350g), and now come in 20oz (550g) cans. If a company can sell you an 8oz portion for $7, they can sell you a 12oz portion for $8. The only extra cost to the company is the food, which probably costs 25 cents.
Now companies are under pressure to stop selling bigger portions for less money. But it is hard to change the trend.
b)Supermarkets have helped push down prices mainly because of their scale. Like any big business, they can invest in IT systems that make them efficient. And their size allows them to buy in bulk. As supermarkets get bigger, the prices get lower.
d)Does cheap food make people unhealthy? Cheap food may encourage people to eat more. Food companies certainly think that giving people more food for their money makes them buy more. Giving people bigger portions is
Read the article and match the headings 1-4 with the paragraph a-d.
Big supermarkets are more efficient.
Drinks come cheaper in large cans.
Technology improves food production
Supermarkets force producers to cut costs.
Read the article again. Are the statements true or false?
It costs less to produce large quantities of food than ever before.
Big supermarkets can offer food at lower prices because they can buy in large quantities.
Some food producers have reduced their range of products.
To meet supermarket demands, Cadbury employs more workers than before.
Shoppers will buy larger quantities when there is a special price.
For food companies, larger portions are not much more expensive to produce.
The writer thinks companies will be happy to reduce the sizes of portions.
Writing What are the advantages and disadvantages of large chain stores and small
shops? Which do you prefer to shop in?
Read the article and find four reasons why some companies are trying to attract young workers.
Read the article again and answer the following questions
What does CapitalOne ofer its employees?
What five things are most important to young people in their work?
Which of the following things were generally true in the Past (P) and which are true today (T), according to the article?
Office culture is formal.
People only become top managers after years of loyal service..
Companies can grow rapidly and also fail suddenly.
Workers have to show respect for their superiors
Companies prefer workers who understand e-business.
People work for the same company all their lives
Young people have many opportunities to show creativity
Young people at work can now expect opportunity, responsibility, respect - and fun
Youth is a time for fun. In one American playground in Florida, there are basketball courts and volleyball nets. Inside, there are bright colours, Nerf guns and a games room with pingpong. This is not a school, but the offices of CapitalOne, one of America's largest credit-card firms. The firm gives each department a monthly "fun budget". The same sort of thing can be found across corporate America these days. The kids have taken over. It is technology that drives business today, and dot.com culture is everywhere. The young are now the rising power in the workplace.
2 Take Microsoft, a business with
40,000 mostly young employees: the dress code is "anything goes as long as you're clean". People wear shorts and have blue hair - sometimes even in management. The typical workplace scene features mid-afternoon hockey,
video games and techno music on
3 Companies want to attract and keep
a younger workforce because of its
technical skills and enthusiasm for
change. So youth culture is becoming part of office culture. This may be no bad thing. Along with the company fun budget come things that matter more deeply to young people: opportunity,responsibility, respect.
4 In the past, it was the middle-aged
who ruled. At work, grey hair, years of
loyal service and seniority counted most..Now things are changing. Older workers will not disappear, but they will have to share power with the young. In the old days companies grew slowly; with success came conservative corporate values. Now the world's largest firms can crash at any moment. The pace of change is increasing. And change favours the young: they learn and relearn faster and will risk more to try new things.
5 Many companies no longer have
seniority-based hierarchies. People can
get to the top faster. They don't have to spend years showing respect for their superiors. It is more important that they are able to understand e-business and have the courage to ask "why?". Loyalty to the company is less important than talent. Employees stay only when there are challenges and rewards. Changing jobs frequently is now a sign of ambition and initiative. ' All this is a good thing. Young people are at their most creative stage in life. Now they have more opportunity to put their ideas and energy into practice.
Nerf guns realistic toy guns that shoot but don't cause injuries
Writing 1.Would you like to work for CapitalOne or Microsoft? Why? / Why not?
2.In what ways is the office culture in companies in your country similar to or different from the culture of CapitalOne or Microsoft?