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Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates to step down

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
He knows a sinking ship when he sees it.

The employees are in a company meeting right now being notified. Holy Cow!
post #2 of 67
The one that should go is Balmer. Big news. I'm not surprised, I started a thread about MS restructuring earlier. Maybe now it will happen. Some speculated that Gates was the opposition to such a move.
post #3 of 67
post #4 of 67
Quote:

Oh, well. Probably not something eath-shattering.
post #5 of 67
Ignore.
post #6 of 67
This isn't going to mean much for a few years, if at all.

MS is a big barge, and it's going to take a long time to change direction.
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post #7 of 67
Sinking ship? Not by a long shot. I hope Microsoft will stay healthy so Apple won't get lazy. Competition causes innovation. Think about that.
post #8 of 67
Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced a two-year transition process that will ultimately end with the departure of chairman Bill Gates, who founded the company along with Paul Allen back in 1975.

The world's largest software maker said that effective July 2008, Gates will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company in order to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates will continue to serve as the company's chairman and as an advisor on key projects following his departure.

Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume the title of chief software architect and begin working side by side with Gates, the company said in a statement. Similarly, Chief Technical Officer Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and also work closely with Gates.

This was a hard decision for me," Gates said. "I'm very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever."

In September 2005 Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer organized the company into three divisions under presidents Jim Allchin, Kevin Johnson, Robbie Bach and Jeff Raikes, who were given much greater responsibility for product development and strategy decisions within their respective businesses. In August 2005 the company appointed Kevin Turner as chief operating officer.

"Bill and I are confident we've got a great team that can step up to fill his shoes and drive Microsoft innovation forward without missing a beat," Ballmer said. "We will continue to hire the world's best technical talent and give them the tools to do their best work, and we will continue to tackle the biggest challenges and opportunities for our customers by investing for the long term."

Ballmer and Gates noted that Microsoft has been steadily expanding its senior leadership in recent years, and that today's announcement continues a transition process that has been underway for several years. In January 2000, Gates assumed the role of chief software architect and Ballmer assumed the role of CEO, responsible for all day-to-day operations and company business strategy.
post #9 of 67
Maybe this will get MS back on track. There are so many things wrong with their products it's hard to know where to start. They've gotten fat and lazy.

They should have started fresh at some point, and cut off compatibilty with their oldest products. There is so much junk buried in a Windows OS install, there's probably hardly anyone at MS who knows how half the stuff works.

Gates lives in a dream land, he overestimated the acceptance of cutting edge technology. Everybody uses Windows, but most users don't understand how to exploit the most basic aspects of the interface. They guess their way through it every day at work, then come home and get frustrated because they can't manage their digital photographs.
The average user can't arrange two windows beside each other and copy a file from one folder to the other. It's a big frustrating guessing game for most, and MS has done nothing to educate them.
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post #10 of 67
Oh boy, another round of MS bashing! This is what I live for!
post #11 of 67
What i'd like to know is why is that prick on this site?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
What i'd like to know is why is that prick on this site?

Because.... uh.... major news at MS might affect Mac OSX
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Because.... uh.... major news at MS might affect Mac OSX

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #14 of 67
Oh yah.... almost too good to be true. Now if they could do something about Ballmer.

Get out the wine this is cause for celerbration or should I wait til' July 2008. hehe (j/k)
post #15 of 67
This is surprising as hell to me but makes a lot of sense.

He should step down now to watch how people in his company do instead of being forced to step down eventually due to health or old age or something, where he'll have no control over what happens then.

That way he can guide the company into not really needing him instead of just leaving them all on their own one day.

I don't really like the guy but that's pretty smart.
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post #16 of 67
Although Microsoft as a company is not something I admire for its products and Bill Gates is not a charismatic or innovative person; Microsoft managed to get a computer into every household and office and is the global leader. Not only is this worth admiration but Bill Gates is being extremely altruistic - donating a lot of time and money to charities for no personal gain. The same cannot be said of Jobs. I expect that I will always dislike MS products and persuade switchers but I think it's worth remembering MS have done a lot of good, saving Apple financially in the 90s, and Gates is worth celebrating.
post #17 of 67
yayyyyyyyyyyy

no more geeky Bill Gates

Microshit is going down
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by bcharna
yayyyyyyyyyyy

no more geeky Bill Gates

Microshit is going down

YEAH YOU TELL 'EM
post #19 of 67
Judging by Microsoft's projected dates for release of anything....

Bill Gates will finally leave Microsoft in 16 years. Just about the time Vista ships.


Oh, and um... Microsoft is doomed!

for a change!
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by TednDi
Judging by Microsoft's projected dates for release of anything....

Bill Gates will finally leave Microsoft in 16 years. Just about the time Vista ships.


Oh, and um... Microsoft is doomed!

for a change!

haha nicee
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by bcharna
yayyyyyyyyyyy

no more geeky Bill Gates

Microshit is going down


hey bill is a good guy in some aspects. with all his money he could just kick his feet up and be a lazy fat ass. what is he doing? he's going to save people lives, give others hope.

not a bad guy if you ask me. he knows what he's done, he knows he got lucky, and now he's doing what he can for those dealt with not so fortunate circumstances.
post #22 of 67
Microsoft has been rudderless for some time and certainly could benefit from some new blood... um... Michael Eisner is available...

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post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
YEAH YOU TELL 'EM

wait a minute....... your words are changing
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Elixir
hey bill is a good guy in some aspects. with all his money he could just kick his feet up and be a lazy fat ass. what is he doing? he's going to save people lives, give others hope.

not a bad guy if you ask me. he knows what he's done, he knows he got lucky, and now he's doing what he can for those dealt with not so fortunate circumstances.

I agree.. whatever he may have done wrong in business or otherwise is nothing in comparison to what he's been doing with his foundation.

He doesn't just put money into the foundation, he uses his amazing abilities as an organizer to make every last penny go to good use.. organizations twice its size are less effective than his. It's run like a business, not like a fruity group of loopy more-hearts-than-brains volunteers.

Kudos, Bill, and congrats on abandoning the titanic before the iceberg called vista comes along.
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post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by dacloo
Sinking ship? Not by a long shot. I hope Microsoft will stay healthy so Apple won't get lazy. Competition causes innovation. Think about that.

Now that's funny. As if MS ever competed with Apple.
post #26 of 67
The headline may say "steps down" but I say "steps away from the flying chairs." The monkey man (aka CEO Ballmer) is a little tetchy these days.

But anyway, as the new Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie will do a much better job.

For a start, he could code the crap out of Bill, although Bill was apparently a kick ass poker player and of course the champion (illegal) Monopoly player.
post #27 of 67


he did a lot of GOOD things, he set some important impulses for the industry, and he now wants to spend his billions doing good...

farewell, Mr Gates!

(when will we see him in public, wearing a iPod and a nice, reliable MacBook?)
post #28 of 67
He looks like E.T. in that picture.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #29 of 67
^
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
He looks like E.T. in that picture.

No, he looks like the dedicated and smart man he is.
post #31 of 67
Yeah, k_munic great post. I think he woke up one morning recently and realized he doesn't exactly need to go work anymore, now that he probably is very abstractly involved with any product, and moreover...he doesn't really need much additional money. Then he realized, with the GPD of a small country, the sheer and vast amount of good he could do. He could save the world, okay, a small country, by himself. Quite impressive. I just wish he'd focus on the environment, but he IS the biggest charity. You can't really argue with that. And sure M$ and Windows suck, and yes, I think also that most people are basically stupid, and can't copy files from one window to another. Maybe someday when 10.8 Ocelot is out computing will hit the masses. in the meantime MS will suck money out of Americans, and siphon a bit through Mr. Gates in to Charity. And keep Apple on its toes. Not too shabby.
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post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
MS have done a lot of good, saving Apple financially in the 90s, and Gates is worth celebrating.

Huh? The 1997 deal where Microsoft bought $150m of Apple shares was because of a court settlement over patent infringement by Microsoft.

For that money, Apple got access to MS patents and MS had to commit to producing Mac software for a number of years. MS got access to Apple patents and IE became the default browser on the desktop.

It certainly wasn't altruistic. Some would say Apple sold out cheaply and certainly their financial situation at the time probably had some bearing on settling.


I think it's good that Gates is leaving MS. His technical lead is what's affected Microsoft's direction and the delays with Vista. His constant interference has held back Windows and held back interoperability with other software and paltforms. That's probably a good thing for Apple whilst it was getting back on it's feet but not for computing as a whole.

Lets hope the new CTO has a better grasp on working with other platforms and isn't as power hungry.
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
MS have done a lot of good, saving Apple financially in the 90s, and Gates is worth celebrating.

There was no such financial rescue. Urban myth alert.
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
wait a minute....... your words are changing

Yeah, I felt like bringing my snideness down a bit.
post #35 of 67
To hell with Microsoft and their bloatware garbage, yet I forgive it that I have to use their software everyday and it is everywhere.

I'm glad to see Bill get out of the mess that Vista is and further bloatware nonsense.

Well done on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That's something I naturally admire and good stuff - much more worthwhile spending his time there than on figuring out the default %transparency of an AeroGlasshite window.

Finallllly too Bill can use all his Macs (you know he has a huge up-to-date collection ) out in the open and chill out with iSteve once in a while.

I think it's important to remember Steve Jobs probably has his own set of charity goals that he gets involved in, probably very quietly, very subtle, is his stylez.
post #36 of 67
Originally posted by michaelb
The headline may say "steps down" but I say "steps away from the flying chairs." The monkey man (aka CEO Ballmer) is a little tetchy these days.



flying chairs... heh... good one
post #37 of 67
Originally posted by Placebo
Yeah, I felt like bringing my snideness down a bit.


It won't last long, I hope.
post #38 of 67
MS could definitely use some new blood, that's for sure... I wasn't surprised to hear this announcement. Kudos to Gates for realizing it's time to move on before the company stagnates further.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
Although Microsoft as a company is not something I admire for its products and Bill Gates is not a charismatic or innovative person; Microsoft managed to get a computer into every household and office and is the global leader. Not only is this worth admiration but Bill Gates is being extremely altruistic - donating a lot of time and money to charities for no personal gain. The same cannot be said of Jobs. I expect that I will always dislike MS products and persuade switchers but I think it's worth remembering MS have done a lot of good, saving Apple financially in the 90s, and Gates is worth celebrating.

I have to totally agree with you. As much as I hate to admit it, there's something to be said about a smart businessman.

I say he's had a good run, dones some good things and now I totally understand his desire to focuse more on his charity. That's very admirable indeed.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
The one that should go is Balmer. Big news. I'm not surprised, I started a thread about MS restructuring earlier. Maybe now it will happen. Some speculated that Gates was the opposition to such a move.



Reprinted from Business 2.0 article:

Why Ballmer should leave Microsoft
With Gates stepping down from his day-to-day role, there are reasons his long-time partner should head out the door.
By Owen Thomas, Business 2.0 Magazine online editor
Now that Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has started his two-year goodbye from a day-to-day role at the company, it's time for CEO Steve Ballmer to set a resignation date, too.

Since Gates stepped down as CEO in 2000 in favor of Ballmer, the company has floundered technically and strategically. As the company's chairman, chief software architect and supposed visionary, Gates deserves blame for missing the wave of Web-based software that has propelled Google and Yahoo.

But Ballmer has made gaffes of his own in his longtime role as head of the company's business side. They include an undistinguished push into business applications to compete with Oracle, financial maneuvers that have failed to stir the stock - which has slumped 16 percent so far this year - and continuing antitrust problems in the United States and Europe.

It's not likely that Ballmer will stay on as CEO after Gates steps down as the company's chief software architect, says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, who has watched Microsoft (Charts) for almost 20 years.

"When you get into a cycle like this, the founders go reasonably soon after each other," says Enderle. Ballmer, while not technically a founder, was an early employee and has long run the company's sales and operations. Enderle believes Ballmer will step down as CEO in two to five years.

While Gates named Microsoft executives Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie as his successors, Ballmer hasn't made his replacement as clear. There are three main contenders, however:

The heir apparent. Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, a recent hire from Wal-Mart Stores where he ran the Sam's Club division and previously served as the retailer's chief information officer, is the most likely replacement for Ballmer.

He has one big strike against him: his short tenure at Microsoft, which translates into a lack of familiarity with the company's culture. He's believed to be behind a recent cost-cutting move to force the company's substantial contractor workforce to take an unpaid week off. Since contractors at Microsoft contribute to important projects and are often hired on as full-time employees, the move hurt morale.

But as Wal-Mart's CIO, he bought a lot of software from Microsoft, giving him a valuable perspective as a customer that most executives who rose through the ranks at Microsoft lack.

The sales expert. Kevin Johnson, co-president of Microsoft's Platform and Services division, which includes Microsoft Windows and the MSN Web portal, has a resume that closely resembles Ballmer's. Before his current position, he ran Microsoft's sales, marketing and services operations. He's now overseeing one of Microsoft's most important product lines - a position that could broaden his experience and make him a more suitable CEO candidate.

The dark horse. Robbie Bach oversaw the launch of the Xbox, one of Microsoft's few recent hits. He's now in charge of Microsoft's consumer and home entertainment products. While he's the least likely candidate right now, if the Xbox continues to challenge Sony's PlayStation successfully and he figures out a digital-music strategy to compete with Apple's iPod and iTunes software, he may win enough clout within Microsoft to demand the job.

Who's not in the running? Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie will have their hands full overseeing Microsoft's technology strategy and research and development efforts and aren't seen as operationally minded. Jim Allchin, once seen as Gates' heir apparent, bore the blame for delays in the release of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system and is retiring at the end of the year.

Losing both Gates and Ballmer will spell a big change for Microsoft. But it's likely to be a positive one. At this point, Ballmer's associated more with the hard-charging business tactics that led to Microsoft's antitrust woes and a low stock price that's sapping employee morale. Whoever replaces him will have a host of problems to solve - but unlike Ballmer will be able to start with a clean slate.

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