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The road ahead

Microsoft today announced a bit of news that will come as a big shocker to many -- the scheduled retirement of its founder, Bill Gates. Set for July 2008, Bill Gates will start his transition out of the company commencing now, with the help of Microsoft's chief technology officer Ray Ozzie.

Bill Gates and friend Paul Allen started Microsoft back in 1975, and since then, Gates has been pretty much at the helm of the company. Although Gates stepped down as CEO several years ago to focus more on development, he very much remains involved in the day-to-day business at Microsoft with the help of Steve Ballmer. According to Microsoft, Gates retirement is stretched out for two years in order to help create a seamless and smooth transition for Ozzie and the rest of the company.

Effective July 2008 Bill Gates, chairman, will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced a two-year transition process to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates’ daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.

Although Gates will remain Microsoft's chairman, he will no longer be giving his attention to Microsoft's development and affairs in the same manner that he has been doing. One of his largest roles in recent years has been the involvement with Windows Vista, set for release in 2007. When the Vista project began, Microsoft announced publicly that it would be the largest project in the history of the company. Since then, Gates has been involved on the technical aspects of Vista's development.

Outside of Microsoft, Gates and his wife Melinda are founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization that endows funding, grants and donations to schools, health organizations and charities around the world. The foundation is the largest of its kind, and has given away nearly $30 billion to help fight such diseases as cancer and AIDS. Gates said that he wishes to spend more time with the foundation and focus more on education work and health issues.

"This was a hard decision for me, 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," Gates said. Microsoft said that Ozzie will continue to report to Gates and at some point will transition over to reporting to Ballmer. "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," said Ballmer.

While the industry has been speculating about Gates's retirement for years, it has become official today. Gates remains one of, if not the most, highly respected businessmen in the industry and is still the world's richest person.

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By gramboh on 6/16/2006 12:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
A great leader and visionary with real ethics who wants to make a difference in the world, and is.

Laughing at the trolls in this thread whining about buggy systems. Do you have any idea the scope of compatibility/debugging an OS with the install base of Windows? Imagine if everyone in the world ran Linux, nothing would work, ever. People would spend their lives reconfiguring and recompiling.

RE: Amazing
By stmok on 6/17/2006 11:06:49 AM , Rating: 1
by gramboh on June 16, 2006 at 12:19 PM

Imagine if everyone in the world ran Linux, nothing would work, ever. People would spend their lives reconfiguring and recompiling.

That's the biggest generalistic bit of bullshit I've heard this week. Since when does every user need to reconfigure and recompile anything in Linux?

Does every Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS, Linspire, Mepis, etc, etc user recompile or reconfigure anything? All they do is point and click. Even updating is point and clicking.

I use my boxes for application development and engineering uses. (FEA and CFD applications)...I spend less time needing to secure and update a Linux box than I do a Windows one.

I'm not sure where your ignorant ass has been, but its clear you have no clue of Linux, let alone used Linux to begin with.

If the world suddenly switched to Linux, this is what you have.

(1) A major fallout of security companies. Companies like Kaspersky Labs, that delibrately FUD about open-source solutions with fake statistics, will go out of business.

Why? Because they feed on the Microsoft Money Train. They rely on Microsoft's inability to properly implement security mechanisms in their OS, as part of their business...Take that away, and those companies will die. (Actually, watch how they will grow really desperate first with lies, and then die out).

(2) Linux doesn't require gulliable morons like you, to lay down cash everytime there is a new release. On some distros, you just update, and that's it...You're on the latest version without needing to re-install anything. Unlike Windows, Linux is really free, not percieved to be free when bundled with a system. (Windows does add cost to the system when its bundled with it).

(3) People will actually learn something. Instead of continually act like morons by clicking on anything. They won't act like helpless children when a problem arises. They will learn and understand that tools provided by security companies are a joke.

(4) Linux doesn't create problems, then provide solutions for those problems at a price. Microsoft does...Ever heard of Windows Live OneCare? Do you know what this is? This is a way to get the users (You) to pay for Windows issues. And they are NOT solutions! They are band-aids so that you will continually pay them indefinitely on subscription services!

(5) Linux doesn't force people into upgrades. Notice how you need Windows Vista for your upcoming DirectX 10.0 games (not to mention the hardware upgrades), and those people still using Win98/etc are now forced into a position where they must upgrade to WinXP. (Since MS is no longer providing patches...This has started in this month's "Patch Tuesday". MS no longer provides fixes for those users).

(6) Windows is inflexible. You can't trim it down to meet your exact needs. You can't add REAL security mechanisms to it (like SELinux, grsecurity, ExecShield, etc), and you are a slave to the limitations as dictated by Microsoft. You can't do anything about it, but take it up the butt.

(7) Considering MS has basically f**ked up its "Windows Genuine Advantage", are you honestly saying people won't get suspicious as to what WGA actually sends to Microsoft? What about those poor bastards with RMA'ed (repaired) notebooks that have continual pop-ups telling them their copy of XP is not legal, when it actually is? (Yes, it is a common problem).

(8) Security on open-source completely shits on Windows. Anyone who've used both easily knows this. Hell, even Trend Micro (a well known security company) admits this. =>

Ever heard of ExecShield? grsecurity? SELinux? These are security mechanisms that can be implemented without spending a dime. To do the same/similar in Windows, requires you to (a) spend $$$$ on the Windows equivalent OR (b) Buy Windows Vista.

(9) Linux allows you to re-use your old PCs for those who don't need to have the latest or greatest OR for other purposes (home file server, router/firewall, etc). Its a known fact that people throw out old PCs or PCs that are loaded with enough malware to surprise everyone...Computer hardware is NOT bio-degradeable. Forcing everyone to get new hardware with every new release of Windows is indirectly contributing to the degradation of the environment. (Most people don't know what to do with old PCs, and its more often thrown into dumps/tips).

I don't know why you needed to drag Linux into this. Bill Gates stepping down to lesser responsibilities has absolutely got nothing to do with Linux. That's a Microsoft thing. But I had to respond to your ignorant bullshit of a comment.

RE: Amazing
By RyanLM on 6/17/2006 8:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's the biggest generalistic bit of bullshit I've heard this week.

That is sorta what I got from your rant.

I have made this point before, but not for reasons from the person you were going after.

MS created the Defacto Standard, linux has no defacto standard. In short, progress slows down.

Linux could be a defacto standard, but we would need to start picking things like:

Single Installer
Single Web Browser
Single Window Manager
Single Update Manager
Single Development Enviroment
Single 3d Graphics, Audio, etc Standards
On and On..

Mind you, Linux has good products and standards, but there is rarely One.

Lets pretend we are an ISV, what do you want to support? The windows platform or the Linux Platform, ignoring installed base. The laundry list of questions you would need to go through just to get started. While people may bitch about MS taking years between releases many forget people build businesses around these products, there has to be a good development cycle, not just random releases for differnet parts of the OS weekly.

However, I started by talking about progress. DX vs OpenGL is a good example, one keeps pushing along, another gets slopppy seconds extensions. DX is pushing the industry forward.

However, MS does this more than people realize. Storage Technologies, Media Technologies, and so on.

What's More, I do not see much innovation coming from the linux camp. I see constant me too, and catch up technologies. Once a week you hear about something coming out of MS Research, or some new technology partner working with MS to do something new and faster.

Linux is good for many things, but it is far to disjointed to cause real progress. Windows itself isnt the end all be all, however more importantly it has a company with real people, thousands of real people driving ahead in unified effort to do something. While there is effort on the linux front, it is hardly unified.

RE: Amazing
By Master Kenobi on 6/19/2006 11:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Stop bashing windows, and declaring Linux the greatest thing since sliced bread. Both are good. Microsoft just knows how to do business in the world. Tons of flavors of Linux, each with seperate development groups and cycles, makes for terrible competition. Heres an idea. Linux groups all get together, decide on some friggin standards, and make 1 end all Linux distro, and keep it on a development cycle. THEN you might compete with Windows. Until then, no.

RE: Amazing
By gramboh on 6/19/2006 12:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
Too busy to address each point in the rant. Generally, Linux CAN be good as a desktop OS for a single user/small dev group environment. It CANNOT be successful in a mid to large size organization. Imagine people who know nothing about Linux trying to learn to use than environment, and the IT/org supporting the platform, what a pain. MS is the ONLY solution for organizations.

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