San Francisco: There are two Americas today. In one, people desperately search for work; the unemployment rate stays stubbornly high and the poverty rate increases. In the other, the world of big tech companies, sales are booming and fortunes are growing. The opportunities seem endless.
So it is for the tech kings on the Forbes 400 list of 2010. The fortunes of the 10 richest American technology billionaires rose a combined $13.6 billion in 2010 compared with their net worth on the 2009 Forbes 400 list. Bill Gates tops out the list as the richest (again!), with a net worth that Forbes puts at $54 billion--up $4 billion from a year ago.
Microsoft is one of those companies selling like there's no tomorrow. Its Windows 7 operating system, introduced a year ago, flies off the shelves at the rate of seven copies per second. Those sales, however, have failed to boost Microsoft stock, which is largely unchanged over the last year.
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Image: Bill Gates