I finally decided to put in my two cents on this subject. As you must surely have heard Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the richest man in the world will be making a transition away from an active role at the company to devote his full time to philanthropy:
Microsoft (MSFT) chairman Bill Gates announced Thursday that he will let loose the reins of the company he co-founded in college and shaped into a behemoth, to focus on philanthropy.
The big question: As Gates’ influence wanes, will Microsoft be better equipped to compete in a changing tech arena?
Gates, 50, who was also Microsoft’s chief software architect, will give up day-to-day duties in July 2008, retaining the title of chairman.
John Dvorak, columnist and curmudgeon, had this to say about the move:
Today Bill Gates announced that he was going to leave Microsoft and focus on the philanthropic part of his life saying that he wants to give back to society. The over-riding question is: what does it mean to Microsoft’s future?
First of all, Bill has been disengaging for a while and it actually surprises me that he didn’t make this leap a year or two ago. He used to always say that he’ll be at Microsoft as long as “it’s fun.” The fun must have diminished with the company spending far too much time in court while it produced what amounts to commodity products. The growth at Microsoft is in the enterprise businesses and the Xbox 360 side of things, especially the games. While both of these segments do well this is not where Bill got his start. He began selling what amounted to subversive software for cheap computers. This early effort ate away at the establishment, including IBM and the minicomputer crowd. It stole their lunch as it were.
Much of the fun is gone (or at least moved to Linux) and the most important force pushing for the commodification of desktop computing was the company that Gates founded.
And there, till Christ call forth the dead,
In silence let him lie:
No need to waste the foolish tear,
Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.
And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!