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A young Bill Gates striking a pose on an office desk.

Though Gates played a more limited role in its development, the Zune was a modest success for Gates and Microsoft as he phased into retirement  (Source: Microsoft)

Gates will always be remembered as a founding father of the tech industry. And although many of his peers could lay a similar claim, none matched Gates in sheer impact on the industry.  (Source: AP)
This ordinary Friday is anything but for the tech industry

For 33 years, Bill Gates has poured his heart and soul, not to mention many long hours into making Microsoft into a seemingly unstoppable software juggernaut.  From modest beginnings, Gates rose from being a Harvard dropout to becoming the world's richest man, a position he held until recently.  Bill Gates’ sizable estimated net worth of $50B USD is a figure worthy of note, but more substantial is how he changed the tech industry.

From pushing and helping to develop DOS and the PC to defining the modern operating system with Windows, Gates has left a perhaps unparalleled mark on the face of technology in the world today.  On Friday, after 33-years with Microsoft -- the company he cofounded with Paul Allen, a friend from school, in New Mexico in 1975 -- Gates will clock in his last workday with the company.

The move has been a long time coming.  In 2000, Gates stepped down as CEO and allowed his trusted, if a bit vociferous, friend Steve Ballmer assume the position.  The move was largely precipitated from the fallout of the major antitrust case in which Microsoft had been charged by the FTC of violations and found guilty.   Afterwards, Gates assumed the role of "Chief Software Architect".  In time, he would abdicate this role to Ray Ozzie and go on to become Chairman.

Now at last he is leaving the company.  Gates, ever lampooned and conversely idolized by pop culture, brought Microsoft into its period of greatest success with the rise of Windows 95, 98 and 2000.  During this era, Internet Explorer became king of the browser arena and Microsoft Office and its brethren became the undisputed leaders in productivity software.  Direct 3D and later DirectX became the standards of the newly formed 3D gaming industry.  In short, Microsoft dominated virtually every arena of personal computing software.

As Gates began to abdicate his responsibilities, some of Microsoft's more rocky times came into focus.  IE lost some ground to its first real competitor -- Mozilla Foundation's Firefox browser.  After a strong success with Windows XP, Windows Vista received poor critical reception and struggled to be adopted in the business community.  Meanwhile Microsoft received massive fines from the EU for its closed box software policies, which violated the EU's stricter anticompetitive laws.

Perhaps the greatest struggle for Microsoft has been its attempt to gain a controlling influence over the online world.  Try as Microsoft may, it has been unable to match first Yahoo, and now Google in terms of online relevance.  It tried to jump start its efforts with a Yahoo merger, but the talks fell through.

However, for its struggles the company has also had its successes.  The Zune music players were relatively well received, and while they did not turn out to be the iPod killer that Microsoft had hoped, they became a valuable new business.  Perhaps Microsoft's greatest new success was the creation of the Xbox game console.  From nowhere, the first Xbox surpassed long time stalwart Nintendo's next gen Gamecube console and only took second place to the wildly successful Playstation 2. 

In this generation the roles have reversed -- after an early lead thanks to its early release, Microsoft fell to second place to a reinvigorated Nintendo's wildly successful Wii.  Yet again Microsoft maintained a healthy margin over its third place competitor, in this case the PS3.

The mixed bag since cannot be pinned on any specific factor, but Bill Gates’ influence on the initial rampant success of Microsoft was undeniable.  His methods were a bit strange at times.  He was ruthless and competitive, not afraid to outmaneuver his competitors out of their livelihood, hiring the more talented of them in the aftermath.

He was equal parts guru and corporate shark, for days relentlessly dictating business policy, and then disappearing for months into his cabin retreat where he read papers from his best researchers and pondered the changing face of technology.  He would always return with profound memos which changed the course of the company; including his now famous 1995 "Internet Tidal Wave" memo.

Some fear that a post-Gates Microsoft will struggle to think and react like Gates.  Worse yet, CEO Steve Ballmer, a major guiding force in the company, will be departing in only 10 years.  With Ray Ozzie a similar age to Ballmer and Gates, the leadership line may fall into shambles.  However, Gates is going to do his part to keep the ship steady.   He will continue to chair board meetings and will continue to offer advice to Steve Ballmer, until he retires.

In his free time, Bill will devote more time to his charity work and family.  Bill and his wife Melinda have created the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest charity of its kind.  Thanks to large personal donations from Gates and donations from people worldwide, the foundation has asset trust endowments of $37.3 billion and has committed to grants of $16.5 billion during its 14 years.  Gates and his wife plan to spend all of their money on charity within 50 years of their death.  For his efforts, he and his wife were TIME magazine's people of the year in 2005.

Gates hopes to use the money to focus on eradicating AIDS and malaria.  In short, he hopes in his retirement to modestly help conquer the greatest diseases afflicting mankind.

Bill Gates has given a couple farewell speeches in which he got a little teary eyed.  It’s understandable, though.  Even to the most hard-line critic of Microsoft, it’s hard to look at Gates and Microsoft's story and not feel something, not to feel moved by the force that this man created.  Gates may still be a shadowed presence at Microsoft, but as he fades into the twilight, the tech industry pauses to consider the departure of the man who defined it.



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Nice Centerfold
By Baked on 6/27/2008 1:46:08 PM , Rating: 5
Can I get a hi-res copy of the 1st photo?




RE: Nice Centerfold
By aguilpa1 on 6/27/2008 1:57:09 PM , Rating: 5
I can photoshop his clothes off if you want?


RE: Nice Centerfold
By Locutus465 on 6/27/2008 1:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
lol... Honestly I couldn't help but think that if it wasn't for the fact that he's such a complete nerd he's actually not a bad looking guy.


RE: Nice Centerfold
By root mean sq on 6/27/2008 3:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
yes plz!

Bill Gates is Mr. June


RE: Nice Centerfold
By JonnyDough on 6/29/2008 2:40:56 AM , Rating: 2
I hate to break it to you, but Mr. June is not a skinny white nerd. At least, not according to my 1994 (I think) Upper Deck (I think) basketball card.

Michael Jordan was da bomb. I quit watching basketball (sports really) the first time he retired. Jordan returned, which coincidentally, is what could happen here with Bill if Ballmer continues his strange (albeit interesting?) shenanigans and M$ fails with Windows 7.

*Crosses fingers?


RE: Nice Centerfold
By Solandri on 6/28/2008 3:04:45 AM , Rating: 5
I sure hope I don't regret this.

Web forum with large version of pics:
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=27...

Snopes entry on the photos:
http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/gates.asp

Corbis original of photo (if you want to buy it, dunno if it'll be bigger):
http://pro.corbis.com/search/searchFrame.aspx?txt=...


RE: Nice Centerfold
By daftrok on 6/27/2008 4:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
The third photo is the best I think; it shows wisdom and humility. However this article sounds more like a eulogy than a tribute. But one question I have to ask: now that he's retired, will he be still receiving money from Microsoft? Because I would much rather have my money fall into the hands of Bill Gates than Steve Ballmer, that is of course Ballmer is charitable like Gates.


RE: Nice Centerfold
By ccmfreak2 on 6/29/2008 8:27:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But one question I have to ask: now that he's retired, will he be still receiving money from Microsoft?


Gates still owns a significant amount of MS stock. He's still on the board as Chairman. So, even if it is strictly through the dividends, I would say yes, Gates will still be getting SOMETHING from Microsoft.


RE: Nice Centerfold
By xphile on 6/29/2008 11:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah probably just a little "something" in the vicinity of all our combined incomes lol


RE: Nice Centerfold
By jtemplin on 6/27/2008 8:49:33 PM , Rating: 4
Laminate it while you're at it.


Generosity
By dever on 6/27/2008 1:51:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
all of their money on charity within 50 years of their death
This is an interesting move, and I think it's one that shows the actual generosity. Also, many charitable organizations morph into politically motivated groups that have little resemlence to their founder's purposes.

This amount of money could easily be used to make a memorial to Bill in perpetuity... but his name will not be as recognizable in 100 years as it would otherwise have been... and he know it.




RE: Generosity
By Parhel on 6/27/2008 2:15:19 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
This amount of money could easily be used to make a memorial to Bill in perpetuity... but his name will not be as recognizable in 100 years as it would otherwise have been... and he know it.


I honestly think part of what is so unique about Bill Gates (unlike, say, Steve Jobs) is that he doesn't care whether his name will be recognizable 100 years from now, and he really doesn't even care about the money. The only two things he is passionate about are software and Microsoft, and at no point in his career did he ever lose sight of that.


RE: Generosity
By TheDoc9 on 6/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Generosity
By B3an on 6/27/2008 3:51:40 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah he cares about the money so much, it's not like he's gave BILLIONS to charity and that... /sarcasm


RE: Generosity
By mindless1 on 6/28/2008 2:26:40 AM , Rating: 2
If he didn't care he'd not have the billions to give.


RE: Generosity
By Solandri on 6/28/2008 3:17:42 AM , Rating: 4
This is a pretty common pattern among people who amassed fortunes during their life. When they're young, they're driven, cutthroat, and greedy, doing everything and anything they can to make / earn / cheat a buck. Then when they get older and start coming to grips with their own mortality, they soften up and start spreading their wealth around through charities. Rockefeller (Standard Oil) went through this pattern. Carnegie (U.S. Steel) too, though he was a nicer guy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller#S... (Note the last paragraph under Standard Oil)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Carnegie#1885....


RE: Generosity
By jconan on 6/28/2008 9:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
Thank goodness Bill is generous unlike some other billionaires, i.e. Larry Ellison who still doesn't have enough. However there are others who want to bring their vision to reality like space travel for Branson and multi-millionaire Carmack.


RE: Generosity
By JonnyDough on 6/29/2008 2:47:19 AM , Rating: 1
It could also be that they just want to be remembered as do gooders and not necessarily as people who stole out of the pockets of the masses. Rockefeller was pretty much an evil man until he died from what I've read about the man.

Thanks to John D. (Not to be confused with me, Jonny Dough) we have privatized banking and the poor in the capitalist world are born into slavery, or rather, a debt system that they will likely never get out of.

A few years of charity doesn't right decades of wrongs.


RE: Generosity
By sxr7171 on 6/27/08, Rating: 0
Modest beginnings for Gates? I don't think so.
By 91TTZ on 6/27/2008 6:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
From modest begins, Gates rose from being a Harvard dropout to becoming the world's richest man, a position he held until recently.


From modest beginnings?

He had no modest beginnings. His family was wealthy. Both his mother and father had prominent positions.

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His family was wealthy; his father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way, and her father, J. W. Maxwell, was a national bank president.




By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2008 1:08:11 AM , Rating: 1
Did his parents money help him broker a shrewd deal with IBM that eventually lead to the creation of the first PC OS and eventually Microsoft ?

No. Not even close. Try again hater.


By mindless1 on 6/28/2008 2:33:48 AM , Rating: 2
How little you understand about life. His parents money certainly did allow him to spend the time on fiddling around with computers (which was an extravagant luxury at the time) instead of having more mundane hobbies, or even a blue collar job just to put food in his mouth.


By mindless1 on 7/4/2008 6:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
Did I write that it reduced his accomplishments or that he should feel ashamed? No.

99% of the time when parents are dragged into a discussion, it is true what was written. Your parents (or whoever you were exposed to during your formative years and the support they provided) play a very large role in what your lot is in life when it comes to gaining the training and the opportunity to get a leg up on others.

This is of course not always true, some industries had good opportunities, and some exceptional students could get scholarships but Bill didn't succeed because of his education, rather it was that he had the support necessary to spend time learning about computers. That doesn't make him bad or good, it's no judgement on his choices and we would expect anyone to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

Today you think working with computers is no grand profession but remember the year we are talking about, back then schools, let alone the average citizen did not even reasonably consider owning a "PC". Back when I was in college they didn't even have "PCs", we ran terminals to a unix mainframe and this was computer science courses!

Yes it was extravagent to have access to a computer when Bill started out. You show your young age by not recognizing this.


By Solandri on 6/28/2008 12:11:54 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Did his parents money help him broker a shrewd deal with IBM that eventually lead to the creation of the first PC OS and eventually Microsoft ?

Actually, yes. His mother knew an executive at IBM working on the PC project. The IBM guy mentioned they were looking for an operating system, and his mom said, hey, my son runs a software company that makes things like that, you should talk to him. She then told Bill who, based on her tip and because they didn't actually make things like that, bought QDOS from Seattle Computing (without telling them that IBM was shopping).

Shrewd, yes. But it was a deal based on insider information, misdirection, and deception. Qualities that have been characteristic of Microsoft's dealings with other companies throughout their history. I wouldn't say what they did was wrong - it was a saavy business decision after all. But it does go a long way towards explain why they're widely reviled within the tech industry.

http://www.igeek.com/articles/History/IBMsChoice.t...


By 91TTZ on 7/1/2008 7:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did his parents money help him broker a shrewd deal with IBM that eventually lead to the creation of the first PC OS and eventually Microsoft ?


Yes, his father did. Haven't you ever read his bio?

Did you have a point?


By martinrichards23 on 6/28/2008 10:15:04 AM , Rating: 2
Why is having successful parents something to be ashamed of?

I'm proud of it.


By 91TTZ on 7/1/2008 7:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
Who said anything about being ashamed of successful parents? That's nothing to be ashamed of.

What is shameful is an article claiming that someone came from "humble beginnings" when in fact they were wealthy. It's just a simple matter of reporting facts and not concocting a false story.


/me is jealous
By Sunbird on 6/27/2008 1:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
/me must think of way to become rich like him




RE: /me is jealous
By rcc on 6/27/2008 1:46:33 PM , Rating: 4
It's a bit like surfing. Work your ass off to get where you can catch a wave, identify the good one, paddle like he** to get it going, go for the ride of your life.

: )


RE: /me is jealous
By FingerMeElmo87 on 6/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: /me is jealous
By Sunbird on 6/27/2008 2:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, tripped before I was born!


RE: /me is jealous
By DJMiggy on 6/27/2008 4:00:04 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
you'd have to ascend above the intelligence of a cave man first.


Unga bunga me make Cave-Dos ooh ooh!!

Cave-DOS crash! Miggy smassh!


RE: /me is jealous
By Nyamekye on 6/29/2008 12:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
Rate this man up


Is that really him in the last photo?
By PAPutzback on 6/27/2008 2:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
He looks like he is in his 80s and has Scoliosis.

To the guy who said he could photoshop his clothes off, I'd vote you up for making the water come out of my nose. Good response to a guy wanting a pciture of another man trying to be seductive on a desk laying on a computer. Someone felt sorry for the Rainbow kid and gave him a 3 though.

Seriously though. If it wasn't MS would Apple have been so bad as the OS of the future. I guess gaming would of suffered severely. Hmmm. Somewhere there is a story about where would we be if MS never existed.




RE: Is that really him in the last photo?
By sporr on 6/27/2008 2:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He looks like he is in his 80s and has Scoliosis.


To be fair he looks in his 40's.


RE: Is that really him in the last photo?
By bodar on 6/27/2008 3:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the LAST photo -- the silhouette -- and tell me that looks like a 40 year old man without a spinal deformity. Reading is fundamental.


By tastyratz on 6/27/2008 4:00:10 PM , Rating: 3
he looks like hitchcock


By Hare on 6/28/2008 5:05:13 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Seriously though. If it wasn't MS would Apple have been so bad as the OS of the future. I guess gaming would of suffered severely. Hmmm. Somewhere there is a story about where would we be if MS never existed.

Of course there would have been games. Game developers develope for platforms that have a large user base = sales. It's not like Apple would have somehow prevented this...

The funny thing about free markets is that if there is a business opportunity, it is used. If there would have not been MS or Apple, there would have been someone else (e.g. IBM).

If you want an entertaining story that is based on true story, watch 'pirates of silicon valley'.


By Locutus465 on 6/27/2008 1:55:22 PM , Rating: 5
The fact is he (and they) have had such an undeniable effect on the tech industry that one can scarcly imagin what the world of personal computing would look like with out Gates and his corperations contributions. I think that Gates deserves the greatest respect from us all, hardly any of us can hope to be as successful has he has been.




By Jack Ripoff on 6/28/2008 1:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever heard of Gary Kildall?


By Locutus465 on 6/29/2008 11:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to knock him however...

CM/P & Logo v.

MSDOS, Window 3.1/3.11 (earlier versions were worthless), Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Though much hated apparently Vista...

For Productivity Office, various versions usually tied with OS release, the still dominante productivity suite.

While Netscape/Mozilla was there at the start of the web, it was really IE that was there durring the most critical stage of development and while many of the client side development tools designed for a richer client experience have fallen from favor (read active x), IE did create this desier for a richer client experience than just static web pages. Additionally, AJAX...

All of the above leading to a single hardware architecture (which was open) becoming the dominant standard, allowing pricing for PCs and compoents to dramatically fall particularly for the performance you get...

Gary did great things, but he didn't do as much as Gates.


By Jack Ripoff on 7/2/2008 6:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"MSDOS, Window 3.1/3.11 (earlier versions were worthless),
Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Though much hated
apparently Vista..."

Microsoft didn't create MS-DOS, they bought it from SCP, which in turn copied it from Kildall's CP/M. DOS and CP/M only differed in the file system. And while CP/M greatly evolved with time and later became DR-DOS, Microsoft's operating system didn't change much at all.

The first versions of Windows were just the GUI portion of OS/2 sold as a separate product for DOS. The interface was very close to Apple's, and the cooperative multitasking worked just like Quarterdeck's DesqView.

Windows 95, 98 and ME were just a revamped Windows interface, this time with DOS included in the package.

Windows NT (which apparently standed for "New Technology") wasn't anything new. It was based off VMS, and Microsoft had to pay DEC $150 million for using portions of VMS's code in Windows NT. It was an improvement over the DOS-based products, but it was (and Vista still is) full of legacy APIs.

quote:
"For Productivity Office, various versions usually tied with OS release, the still dominante productivity suite."

Their Office software became dominant because, by the time Windows hit the market, competing application developers had already put their R&D money into OS/2 versions of their products expecting that OS/2 would be delivered as promised by the IBM/Microsoft partnership. So Microsoft shipped both an OS and an application suite way before their competitors could catch up. But Word wasn't quite the text processor WordPerfect was, and Excel didn't really do anything Lotus 1-2-3 couldn't do, but was riddled with macro bugs.

Most other Microsoft products were bought from other companies. They got PowerPoint from Forethought, FrontPage from Vermeer Tech and NetCarta, Visio from Visio Corp, et cetera ad nauseam.

quote:
"While Netscape/Mozilla was there at the start of the web, it was really IE that was there durring the most critical stage of development and while many of the client side development tools designed for a richer client experience have fallen from favor (read active x), IE did create this desier for a richer client experience than just static web pages. Additionally, AJAX..."

You can't be serious, if it weren't by IE the web would be much richer (and interoperable) by now. IE still has crippled CSS support and incomplete/buggy Javascript support.

quote:
"All of the above leading to a single hardware architecture (which was open) becoming the dominant standard, allowing pricing for PCs and compoents to dramatically fall particularly for the performance you get..."

Which wouldn't be possible if it weren't for Kildall in the first place. He created the first open hardware architecture by segregating system-specific hardware interfaces in a set of BIOS routines.

He also created menu-driven user interfaces, the first programming language and compiler for microprocessors, and invented what we call today as preemptive multitasking.


creepy
By root mean sq on 6/27/2008 3:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
who's the other guy with Gates in the zune photo? He needs to come collect his prize for creepiest pose for a picture. ever.




RE: creepy
By Parhel on 6/27/2008 3:22:30 PM , Rating: 3
That's Dr. Evil.


RE: creepy
By J3EBS on 6/27/2008 6:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
I created an account just to inform that it's J. Allard, a very pivotal voice for Microsoft during the buildup and release of the Xbox 360. He's since fallen off the radar, perhaps after a lost bet with a Sony employee (can't remember the stakes at the moment) or a string of injuries. He appears to be more involved with the Zune now, however.


Cheers to you Bill
By UsernameX on 6/27/2008 4:23:25 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think God could have asked for a better person to start Microsoft. You can play the corporate game, but not get sucked into it's evil. You plan to leave your money to better the world. Good luck in all your endeavors Bill & Melinda.




Gates
By hiscross on 6/27/2008 3:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
Gates understood better than anyone the potential cash cow that was available in the PC. Mike Dell took this a bit further and learned to fast copy a PC and sell it cheap. Today the PC is part of our life like a microwave oven. Today the range war who is better (for example a mainframe over a linux server, or Mac vs PC) doesn't matter. I'm a mac person, but I highly respect what Gates has accomplished.




RE: Gates
By LorKha on 6/27/2008 3:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
Gates did wonders for the Personal Computer. I think most of what is today is somewhat related to Gates and Microsoft.

And about your last comment, I couldn't help it but to think that I am a Bears fan but I have a lot of respect for Brett Favre!


Gates is the man
By foxtrot9 on 6/27/2008 4:03:28 PM , Rating: 4
The thing I love most about him is that unlike most wealthy people, he created a huge amount of it and then actually decided that it was enough and he could move on and do something worth while. Think about the other super rich (most notably the biggest a-hole - that guy from mexico city) who make money and then just continue to do so for the sake of having more.




is that an apple?
By akahaw on 6/28/2008 7:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
is that a real apple computer behind bill gates 0r was that photoshoped?




RE: is that an apple?
By enlil242 on 6/30/2008 5:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft, did application development for the macintosh, but also used it to create Windows 1.0! :)


Inevitable!
By sporr on 6/27/2008 2:29:58 PM , Rating: 1
If it wasn't him it would have been someone else.

Although in saying that, he deserves credit! I think he's an ok guy, fair enough the majority consider him a nerd or geek or whatever but he has done alot for the industry and that alone is undisputed.




RE: Inevitable!
By Cheapshot on 6/27/2008 4:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
:MSFT_
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Sniff...
By thartist on 6/27/2008 9:23:18 PM , Rating: 3
the article it almost made me cry!




OMFG OMFG OMfG
By Treckin on 6/28/08, Rating: 0
bill gates didnt do anything
By tastyratz on 6/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By 325hhee on 6/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By tastyratz on 6/27/2008 4:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
my comment wasn't a love him or hate him comment. Bill was a business man, he purchased and sold something else. I wouldn't say his work revolutionized it per say, he piggybacked someone else's product and made it sound like it was his own creation. People idolize him like some sort of programming genius. He made an intelligent purchase and delegated well. Worked great for him in the end but have no illusions... that's all

Bill gates is going to donate lots of money and lots of great things are going to come from that money. I'm glad someone willing to do that with his money has that caliber of a wallet.


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By Parhel on 6/27/2008 5:10:58 PM , Rating: 5
You're just plain wrong. Programming genius? I'm a darn good programmer, and I'll be the first to say that we are a dime a dozen. Bill Gates was a honest-to-goodness visionary, far moreso than anyone else in the IT world in my lifetime if not ever. He understood 25 years ago what the personal computer could do for us today, and he captained the ship and made the decisions that made it happen. Microsoft laid the groundwork for the way we do business today, and without Gates we would be several steps back.

I'm not trying to write a hagiography here. Gates was a ruthless businessman. He was by all accounts a real SOB of a boss, and a far worse competitor. But if anyone in the last 25 years should be considered a genius, it's him.

Go to YouTube, and watch Charlie Rose's interviews with Bill Gates. You won't be wasting your time, trust me. Then consider when those interviews were conducted. As just one small example, when e-mail was nothing but a gleam in the eye of the business world, he was the first to say that it would become the primary form of business communication. He was simply 10 years ahead of everyone else.


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By mindless1 on 6/28/08, Rating: 0
RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By Solandri on 6/28/2008 12:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As just one small example, when e-mail was nothing but a gleam in the eye of the business world, he was the first to say that it would become the primary form of business communication. He was simply 10 years ahead of everyone else.

Actually that's one area where he was dead wrong. Gates believed the AOL / Compuserve / Prodigy model of pay-per-month dial-up BBSes would become the dominant networking model. He thought the Internet would fail and stubbornly refused to put a TCP/IP stack in Windows. I had to mess with installing Trumpet Winsock under Windows 3.1 to get Internet access, and believe me it was no cake walk. I switched from Windows to OS/2 at the time just so I wouldn't have to mess with the lack of a TCP/IP stack anymore.

In 1995, a full year after the WWW exploded into the mainstream, more than seven years after the establishment of email gateways between ARPANET and BITNET (thereby connecting most of the online business, educational, government, and military computers at the time), and more than 25 years after the implementation of email on ARPANET, Gates finally conceded defeat and put a TCP/IP stack in Windows 95, thus allowing the PC masses to join the Internet at large.

Yet lay people seem to be ignorant of this history, and repeatedly misattribute the creation of email and the Internet to him. He was actually the biggest impediment to the public joining the Internet. If it weren't for him holding PC users hostage to try to foist upon them a proprietary network model which eventually failed, you all could've had email and the Web about 5 years earlier than you actually got it.


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By Solandri on 6/28/2008 1:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
And just to be clear, he was a very good programmer. I cut my teeth on BASIC, and although it wasn't the greatest of learning languages, the PC implementation was solid. As it turned out, while he was merely a good programmer, he was a brilliant, if ruthless, businessman.

I think that's why so many tech geeks resent him. His technical abilities were good but nowhere near the top. It was his business acumen that was god-like. If all everyone talked about was Gates the businessman, I don't think tech geeks would have that big a problem with him. But lay people repeatedly try to infer from his business success that he was also a technology giant, which simply isn't the case. Whenever he had to choose between business profit and advancement of technology, he almost always sided with his business. That's why Microsoft is the champion of the proprietary software model, while the Internet is built on the open source model. To Gates, control and profit was more important than progress. Tech geeks resent that someone to whom tech advancement was merely a secondary goal had so much influence over it.


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By LorKha on 6/27/2008 4:42:30 PM , Rating: 5
$10 you wrote that comment in Windows.


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By jvillaro on 6/27/2008 4:44:07 PM , Rating: 4
WOW I'm amazed of how dumb you are.


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By Mystery Meat on 6/27/2008 4:58:48 PM , Rating: 5
If you email a copy of this article to all your friends, Bill Gates will send you ten dollars.


By maverick85wd on 6/28/2008 11:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
turns out he put all the money from those emails into charity


RE: bill gates didnt do anything
By 306maxi on 6/29/2008 6:39:12 AM , Rating: 2
And the Taco Bell dog will run across your screen.


"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher














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