Co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with boyhood friend Paul Allen
Wrote Microsoft's first program, BASIC for the MITS Altair, in 1975
Led Microsoft to become one of the world's largest corporations, helping the software industry rival established industries in economic influence and power
Donated billions of dollars to charities through the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bio: Sandy Lerner & Len Bosack
They might not have invented the router, as is often believed, but the two Stanford University employees built one heck of a company to exploit it.
The two recognized the multiprotocol router's commercial potential and founded Cisco in late 1984; when they left in 1990 (Lerner was forced out, and Bosack left of his own volition immediately thereafter), the company had grown from an unknown, four-employee start-up to a 250-person, publicly traded industry trend-setter with a market cap of $224 million.
Today Cisco remains the router leader, as well as a dominant player in the access, switch, security, storage, VoIP and wireless markets.
Bio: Michael Dell
Founder of DELL COMPUTER
Developed the concept of selling personal computers via mail-order, revolutionized the way computers are sold while also helping to drive the price of PCs down. His idea has flourished into one of the top suppliers of quality computer equipment in the world.
Larry Ellison is far from a run-of-the-mill businessman. Oracle is the world's leading supplier of software for information management and the world's second largest independent software company, boasting revenues of more than $9.7 billion. The huge success of the company makes Ellison one of the richest people in America. His drive, character and success motivated author Mike Wilson to write Ellison's biography entitled The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison. If you would like to uncover the details of Ellison's life, nasty to nice, the book is brutally straightforward regarding the man commonly referred to as the Other Software Billionaire.
Bio: Linus Torvalds
Creator of LINUX
After programming games on his first computer, a Commodore VIC 20, Torvalds turned his interests to creating an alternative to the standard operating systems available commercially. Using an open-source model (allowing a loose-knit group of other interested programmers to contribute source code and changes to the software) and attaching his favorite animal, the penguin, as the products icon, he created LINUX.
Bio: Steve Jobs
Co-founder and CEO of Apple Computer Company
CEO of Pixar, the Academy-Award-winning animation studios which he co-founded in 1986.