Part Two Missing Sentences
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whizkid from 1960, a bright young person most likely to suceed, usually with an understanding of systems, not of what but of how to; a high-flier

PART 2: Microsoft: Missing Sentences



Choose the sentences which best fit the gaps.

1.......................................

Bill Gates, the head of Microsoft, the creator of Basic, MSDOS, Windows and Flight Simulator, is the richest man in America. If you lived to be 70, you would have to make $100 million dollars every year of your life in order to come up with what Gates is currently worth. 2..................................... Gates himself draws a salary around $300,000, about a tenth of that claimed by America's best-paid company heads.

He is a one-man band: he works 15-hour days and loses his temper easily. He is addicted to competition, and to winning. He enjoys poker and fast cars. 3............................................


4............................................. By the time he was 16, he had already set up a company, and was making money from computing. Maths was his strong subject, important because it shares with programming the same ways of thinking. Gates was paid to debug the local mainframe, and he also offered a data-processing service to local authorities.


When the first PC appeared on the cover of Popular Computer in January 1975, Gates, then 19, phoned the manufacturer. He claimed he had a version of Basic for the 8080 microprocessor and was ready to do business. Working night and day, Gates and a friend squeezed the language into 4K with enough space left over to run a programme. 5............................................ The coding certainly required a high level of ingenuity.



Things were done so quickly that a bootstrap loader had to be written on the flight to deliver the completed tape. 6............................................... Gates never forgot how his Basic was immediately pirated by computer companies all over the world. He became a very sharp businessman indeed, unwilling to give anyone a free ride.


A typical example of the Gates technique can be demonstrated by his relationship with IBM. IBM split with Microsoft and produced its own version of OS/2 to compete with Windows. 7.............................................. When OS/2 had to be Windows-compatible to stand a chance of survival, Microsoft released Windows 3.1 and made other changes so that IBM's product was compatible only with last year's model.


8............................................. They wear T-shirts and anoraks, eat pizzas and read sci-fi, but they know more than the difference between ROM and RAM, and they shall inherit the earth.



A. It was a task so difficult that many claimed it was impossible.

B. Above all, he is a technical whizkid.

C. It's a hard life competing against the new technicians.

D. By a miracle, the tape worked when it was loaded.

E. IBM is a company whose management were tied to old technology.

F. Of course, that wealth is largely the result of Microsoft's

astronomical share price.

G. Gates started early.

H. But Microsoft makes money on every copy of OS/2 that IBM sells.

I. How do you become a billionaire?

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©English Teaching Systems February 2005