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June 16, 2006

Bill Gates ... going, but not yet gone

The question we're all going to have to ask ourselves today, fellow PC users, as we ponder the announcement that after 2008, Bill Gates is no longer going to be parking his Porsche in the Microsoft car park - that he's going to, you know, retire - is this: "Can we get along without him?"

After all, he's been around since 1975, when most of us hadn't even heard of such a thing as a PC. Unless we happened to be arrested by one. And Windows were things you had to wash. [It's probably hard to remember this, but in those days we actually had time to wash windows, rather than spending all our available time fixing our PCs]

For more than 30 years, Bill's been, sort of, our leader. Bill's introduced some of us to DOS. Introduced us to the Blue Screen of Death. Illegal Operations. Anti-competitive conduct. So it was only fair that he should also have introduced himself to an awful lot of our money. Surely?

It gave us something to aspire to, didn't it, keeping track of how much money the world's wealthiest man was accumulating? In fact, we're pretty sure that in some mysterious way, Bill Gates paved the way for the aspirational voter.

What will be his legacy, do you think? Will you miss him?

Posted by cw at June 16, 2006 02:34 PM

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There is a short 3 minute video with Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates over at Channel9MSDN. With Ray Ozzie taking up the role of 'Chief Software Architect' that is great news as Ananda and myself are fans of Ray from his work with Lotus Notes, VisiCalc & Groove and bringing a very fresh approach to what Microsoft is doing these days. Ray has been dropped into by Steve and there should be a video from Ray up on Channel9MSDN later today.

With Bill focusing full-time with their Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this is all good news for humanitarianism around the globe.

For myself Windows for Workgroups 3.1x is probably one of the most important releases from Microsoft over the years as that is what turned my view from using personal computers as a hobby into the potential to have my hobby as a career, 4 years later I was deep in Novell Netware servers and WFW 3.1x clients and trying to get my head around a new version called Windows 95 that I could not use and now earning a living from my childhood passion.

Posted by: Stephen [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2006 04:11 PM

Windows for Workgroups?!? You young wippersnapper you!

cheers, Paul

Posted by: Paul [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 02:13 PM

What will be his legacy, do you think? Will you miss him?
Well, Joel Spoolsky won't. I've seen anecdotes like that about Bill throughout the years.

Posted by: anandasim [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 04:46 PM