H. Edward Roberts

Ed Roberts, who died of pneumonia April 1 at 68, has rightfully been described as an architect of the personal-computer revolution. Microsoft was born after Bill Gates and I sold our first piece of software--a version of BASIC--to Ed in 1975. It ran on a small computer built by the gruff former Air Force officer.

As is often the case with major jumps in technology, a bit of serendipity and a bit of bluffing were at play. We told Ed we had software in hand but wrote it only after he invited me to fly to Albuquerque, N.M., to demonstrate it....

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