Founder of Micro-Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, builder of the ALTAIR
If it weren't for Ed Roberts, one of our 1998 inductees might never have made it into the Computer Hall of Fame. It was Roberts' Altair home computer, launched in December 1974, that led to the personal computer revolution that continues today. Roberts' Altair wasn't the first PC, but it was the first to capture the public's fancy. . And a young man studying at Harvard by the name of Bill Gates was inspired by Roberts' new computer to go into programming. Gates wrote a version of BASIC for the Altair, and started a new company with boyhood friend Paul Allen to market it:: Microsoft.