Every person has been affected by the invention of Microsoft. Whatever camp you are in, you have to admit that Windows influenced all computers in its wake. I have also been influenced by Gates as a teacher. Gates has been heavily involved in education.
The invention of the computer and the software that Bill Gates has had a hand in innovating have made my life and work much simpler and less time consuming. I have a job that requires tons of record keeping, report writing and number crunching. I can't imagine doing it without the Microsoft products available.
Many people would be working different jobs if it were not for the computer; my son was a computer science major, for instance, and has a position unknown in his parent's day.
Of course, this site is made possible by the progress in technology in which information can be disseminated so rapidly and thoroughly. Libraries enable people to access information so much more easily, and people who do not live near adequate libraries can go on "virtual libraries." People in remote areas are also now more progressive because of access to information on the computer.
There are so many reasons that the computer age has improved people's lives. Sometimes something as simple as its being a memory aid is wonderful. All the person has to do is go to a search engine for that title or actor or incident he/she cannot recall.
Making the computer something for the common man is what is so remarkable to me. I remember, of course, not having a computer at all. I remember my college years in the late 1980's when only a rare couple of my friends had their own computer while the rest of us were grateful to have access to a lab. I remember having my own computer for the first time and I literally can't imagine my day to day life without it! Younger people can't fathom a world without what Bill Gates et al. made possible.
Oh wow. I remember when my dad got the first computer when I was in high school. The DOS operating system seemed cutting edge, and for that time it was. However, the advancement of technology through microsoft products has made life more convenient. Things that used to be very plain and simple can now easily be modified to almost any extremity a person chooses and all from the comfort of his or her own home. Convenience is a big product of Gates' inventions too.
The range of possibilities that came as a result of the boom of Microsoft products certainly would make my high school years (in the 90s) seem as I graduated 100 years ago. I remember running for the student council and having to create banners on MS DOS. I remember waiting almost an hour for a "Michelle for Treasurer" banner to print, in gorgeous gray-scale, of course.
Definitely the personal computer has made life simpler in terms of academia (my field) inquiry, and research. It certainly helps save time, sometimes even helps save money by giving us the tools to do things by ourselves and not having to buy them. I have a hard time remembering how I managed to do things when I did not have a netbook with me. Or how could I have used a typewriter and think I was the big cheese at it. It is all a different world thanks to tech advances.
Your own answer to this will surely be different than mine because you did not grow up when I did and have very different life experiences.
For me, the impact of Bill Gates's "invention" (I am calling Microsoft in general an invention) is that many of the things that I do for work have become easier.
Before personal computers were widespread, things that are basic and are taken for granted today were impossible. I could not type a paper in Word and edit it easily. Instead, I had to use typewriters. I could not create a Powerpoint presentation to show to my classes. I could not search on the internet to find pictures from a given time in history to illustrate a point to my students. This made my job much harder.
Bill Gates is not personally responsible for all of this, but the personal computer boom came largely because of Microsoft. In this way, his "invention" has made my life a lot easier.
For me the most significant impact has been in research and publishing. i remember having to spend hours upon hours in libraries to read through hard copy books for materials and then to hand write each section, quote and thought needed for my papers. Even using the card catalog - an unfamiliar item for the modern student - was tedious. Papers can now be researched, written and published from one machine. No more typewriters or word processors.