Gates and Allen had been buddies and fellow Basic programmers at Lakeside School in Seattle. Allen graduated before Gates and enrolled at the University of Washington. They built a computer based on an Intel 8008 chip and used it to analyze traffic data for the Washington state highway department, doing business as Traf-O-Data.
Allen went to work for Honeywell in Boston, and Gates enrolled at Harvard University in nearby Cambridge. News in late 1974 of the first personal computer kit, the Altair 8800, excited them, but they knew they could improve its performance with Basic.
Allen spoke to Ed Roberts, president of Altair manufacturer MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), and sold him on the idea. Gates and Allen worked night and day to complete the first microcomputer Basic. Allen moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in January 1975 to become director of software for MITS. Gates dropped out of his sophomore year at Harvard and joined Allen in Albuquerque.
Microsoft, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, History, Intel, Intel 8008