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“UW helped nurture computing ideas, Gates says” (Seattle Times)

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“As teenagers, Paul Allen and Bill Gates wandered the University of Washington campus, trying to pilfer free computer time. They let their minds wander to a future when computing power would essentially be free.

“Gates, in the final stop of his last university-speaking circuit as a full-time Microsoft employee, told students and faculty at the UW on Friday about what they imagined then and how much of what they dreamed of is becoming reality …

“A common thread is the UW itself. Gates acknowledged the important relationship he, Microsoft and the Foundation have with the university. It starts with his parents, who met there as students, he said. He took an algebra class there, but the main benefit was finding time to practice his skills on unused mainframe and minicomputers around the campus – before the PC era he helped create … He said the UW has received more Gates Foundation grants than any other university. Microsoft, in a typical year, hires about 100 people from the UW, making it the top source of talent for the company, Gates said … He also highlighted work at the UW on collaboration software and an innovative photo-viewing technology that became a Microsoft product called Photosynth.”

April 1, 2008