Bill GatesGus Ruelas/ReutersBill Gates.

For those lucky enough to hitch their wagons to Microsoft early on in its meteoric rise to the top of the computing market, the payoff was huge.

Some analysts estimate that thanks to the stock options the company gave to early employees, Microsoft has created three billionaires and as many as 12,000 millionaires. And even for those who didn’t quite get to those heights, the rewards were huge. 

Here’s a look at what some of Microsoft’s most successful alumni have done with their post-Redmond lives, from fine art to spaceflight.