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SEATTLE — Rich Barton was a young Microsoft product manager when he pitched the idea for a travel search system to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Nathan Myhrvold.
That was 1995, when Microsoft was a smaller company than now and product managers and teams regularly met with Gates to share plans, status updates and ideas for new Microsoft products. Barton pitched what would become Expedia.
“I was fortunate enough to get in front of Bill Gates with a new idea,” Barton said. “I pitched him on…