Bill Gates To Twitter Masses: 'Hello World'

With a quick greeting of "Hello World," Gates was off to the races, and as of this morning is up to nearly 175,000 Twitter followers, which is somewhat of a coup in a tight time frame of just more than 17 hours.

In his first Tweet, Gates wrote: "'Hello World.' Hard at work on my foundation letter - publishing on 1/25."

Gates' account is stamped with the Twitter "Verified Account" seal, which proves once and for all that the @BillGates Twitter handle is indeed the Bill Gates who co-founded software giant Microsoft and not some impostor posing as the tech titan, of which there are plenty.

But Microsoft supporters and opponents who chose to follow Gates' 140-character-and-fewer posts (of which there were five as of 8:30 Eastern on Monday, two of which involved Ryan Seacrest) may not get a follow-back from him. Gates is currently following 40 other Twitter users including news organizations, charity organizations, Microsoft, President Obama and, of course, Seacrest. Gates' short follow list indicates he's selective.

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Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO in mid-2008 to devote time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity organization. He still holds a spot as part-time chairman of Microsoft while Steve Ballmer holds the top executive spot Gates vacated.

And while Gates is no stranger to technology, the software pioneer wrote in his fifth Tweet that "I've got a lot to learn about Twitter but look forward to sharing more." That was directed toward Ashton Kutcher, one of the many celebrities Gates said welcomed him to Twitter and one of the celebrity faces of the widely popular microblogging service.