The world?s most successful computer software developer Bill Gates is set to receive an honorary knighthood for his contribution to UK enterprise.

Gates also the richest man in the world, has made a huge impact on global business and communication, with well over three quarters of UK businesses currently running a Microsoft package.

As an American citizen Gates will not be titled Sir but will instead receive a KBE (Knight Commander of the most Excellent Order) for ?his outstanding contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the UK?.

?I am delighted that Bill Gates has been awarded this honour, he is one if the most important global business leaders of this age,? said foreign secretary Jack Straw.

?Microsoft technology has transformed business practices and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy, employing 2,000 people and contributing to the development of the IT sector,? he added.

Gates set up Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen in 1975. Last year the company was valued at an estimated £28bn.