After dropping out of Harvard University
Newell spent thirteen years working for Microsoft Corporation
, ultimately becoming a "Microsoft Millionaire." Newell has described himself as "producer on the first three releases of Windows".
Inspired by Michael Abrash
, who left Microsoft to work on the computer game Quake
at id Software
, Newell and another Microsoft employee, Mike Harrington
, left Microsoft to found Valve in 1996.
He and Harrington used their money to fund Valve through the development of Half-Life