I've always been an optimist
and I suppose that is rooted in my belief that the power of creativity and intelligence can make the world a better place.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved learning new things and solving problems.
So when I sat down at a computer for the first time in seventh grade, I was hooked.
It was a clunky old Teletype machine
and it could barely do anything compared to the computers we have today.
But it changed my life.
When my friend Paul Allen and I started Microsoft 30 years ago,
we had a vision of "a computer on every desk and in every home,"
which probably sounded a little too optimistic at a time when most computers were the size of refrigerators.
But we believed that personal computers would change the world.
And they have.
And after 30 years, I'm still as inspired by computers as I was back in seventh grade.
I believe that computers are the most incredible tool we can use to feed our curiosity and inventiveness — to help us solve problems
that even the smartest people couldn't solve on their own.
Computers have transformed how we learn, giving kids everywhere a window into all of the world's knowledge.
They're helping us build communities around the things we care about
and to stay close to the people who are important to us, no matter where they are.