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Bill Gates Doesn't Work At Microsoft Anymore

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the permanent-vacation dept.

Microsoft 497

itwbennett writes "The recent Fortune article on Bill Gates' post-Microsoft life made one thing very clear to blogger Steven Vaughan-Nichols: 'Bill Gates was, and still is, the face of Microsoft. What Microsoft doesn't want you to know though is that Gates has almost nothing to do with the company anymore.' The fact is that Microsoft doesn't want to draw attention to Gates' absence because the company 'has been tanking in recent years,' says Vaughan-Nichols. 'While Microsoft's last quarter was far better than it was a year ago, thanks largely to Windows 7 finally picking up steam, neither Microsoft's growth nor its profits are what they were like when Gates was at the helm.'"

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frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666350)

microsoft is pants

Joke of the day (5, Funny)

g253 (855070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666366)

Microsoft is in such a bad shape, it would be good for them if people thought Bill Gates still worked there :-)

Question of the Day (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666410)

When will /. replace the Locutus of Microsoft icon with Ballmer throwing a chair?

Re:Question of the Day (5, Funny)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666588)

Or Ballmer in a monkey suit?
Or Ballmer in a monkey suit and as a borg assimilating a chair?

Re:Joke of the day (4, Informative)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666430)

They still make tons of money. How are they in bad shape?

Re:Joke of the day (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666472)

Not only are they massively profitable, they are continuing to grow. Apparently growth means tanking.

Re:Joke of the day (5, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666564)

your not thinking like an investor.
Are they growing by more than 8% per quarter! then they are FAILING!

Screw this long term planning stuff, strip R&D, lay off most of your developers and outsource your coding to a cheaper country. We need you to show much improvement next quarter, so my stock will go up a point or two!

Re:Joke of the day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666704)

I'd like to know where you got your financial education. I think you need to get a refund. And maybe kill yourself.

Re:Joke of the day (5, Insightful)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666806)

I'd like to know where you got your financial education. I think you need to get a refund. And maybe kill yourself.

As an outsider to investment, it seems to me like this happens a lot with large public companies. It appears that investors get really upset when profits this year are less than profits last year (even if profits are huge) and they encourage the company to start sacrificing long-term stability for short-term income.

Re:Joke of the day (3, Interesting)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666902)

Yes, that's what's called the "anglo-saxon business model". Something similar happens when hedge funds buy up companies, use that company as collateral to borrow huge amounts of money with, and then dump the company again.

Re:Joke of the day (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667002)

Really? The last time I checked perceived value holds a lot weight than any real measure of value. I could have a magic box that spits out gold bars and shoot dollar bills from my fingers, but if investors think I'm worthless, well I had better save those gold bars.

Never mind. (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666766)

One way or another, I doubt if Bil Gates really cares very much. I seem to remember him saying right at the beginning that if he made it big, he would end up giving his money away.

Well, kudos to him: he is actually doing that. I dislike Microsoft on many levels (but mostly technical, since I am well and truly old enough to have only a remnant of my ideological principles), but Gates is doing more good with his own money than most of our governments are doing with ours.

Re:Joke of the day (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667114)

Their market cap has been flatlining for 10 years.

Apparently that means growth.

Re:Joke of the day (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667198)

They're not continuing to grow. On the contrary, they're failing in the web and mobile computing markets that are replacing the traditional desktop. They're in the position IBM used to be, where they're making money just out of past momentum, but that is running out.

I don't know if you've looked at their stock price under Ballmer...

Re:Joke of the day (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666522)

They still make tons of money. How are they in bad shape?

The 'buying power per ton of money' ratio has shrunk significantly in recent times.

Re:Joke of the day (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667190)

They're in bad shape because they're failing in emerging markets that determine the future of computing--the web and mobile devices. Making tons of money doesn't mean they have a future. IBM was in the same position.

Re:Joke of the day (1)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666482)

the joke of the day would be hiring Steve Case to run Microsoft

Re:Joke of the day (5, Interesting)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666684)

This isn't such a joke.

Hate him or Loath him, Gates was a Geek. While he was at Microsoft he actually did some coding. Not the most elegant code mind you but it compiled most of the time and ran only a little less often.

Because of this the other geeks at MS (shock and horror, they actually employ thousands) folowed his orders without question, the way soldiers folow a battle scarred General.

Without him, that voice of command is gone and none too soon as the core software and business model itself are under threat from OSS.

What is that Business model? Manipulate everything from OEM deals to hardware prices so that the cheapest way to do most of the normal computer work in a normal office or home is to use your products. This was fine when they were competing with the likes of Lotus, IBM, Apple, and Sun.

Some of those companies are still around, but now you can buy cheep PC Hardware with Free Software and be ahead of the price curve. Investors see growth slowing and about to reverse and are jumping ship in droves.

Re:Joke of the day (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666996)

now you can buy cheep PC Hardware with Free Software and be ahead of the price curve And yet Apple is still using closed source software to leverage the sale of expensive hardware -- and exceeding Microsoft's market cap in the process! Perhaps perceived price/performance is more important than absolute cost.

Re:Joke of the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667106)

Some of those companies are still around, but now you can buy cheep PC Hardware with Free Software and be ahead of the price curve. Investors see growth slowing and about to reverse and are jumping ship in droves.

Are you living on the same planet as the rest of us? I dislike Microsoft, but that doesn't make me blind to reality.

Show me where a normal (i.e. computer illiterate) person can get a computer that does not run Windows or Mac OS for a lower cost than a Windows computer. To avoid responses of the form "That person should order a wireless card on the internet with the FooMatic chip set (revision 1.2a, NOT 1.2aa which doesn't work), then read the man page for ifconfig to find the correct value to put on line 16 of /etc/foomatic.conf ...", assume they value their time at 10$ per hour, and can not edit config files.

Re:Joke of the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666712)

lol, you got modded flamebait for summarizing the summary!

Re:Joke of the day (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667226)

I think you'll find when Bill Gates was involved, the company did better. Balmer has been running the company, essentially without his input, for the past few years.

saturated market (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666376)

neither Microsoft's growth nor its profits are what they were like when Gates was at the helm.'"

And what do they think Gates could do differently if he was still calling the shots? For better or worse most of Microsoft's key markets are saturated.

Re:saturated market (4, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666574)

And what do they think Gates could do differently if he was still calling the shots? For better or worse most of Microsoft's key markets are saturated.

Find new markets to penetrate?

Re:saturated market (4, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666652)

Find new markets to penetrate?

Come up with a innovative product? Nah, couldn't happen...

Re:saturated market (4, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666960)

Come up with a innovative product? Nah, couldn't happen...

Perhaps not, but he could do a better job of acquiring products (or whole companies) that are well chosen to position Microsoft in new markets.

Re:saturated market (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666866)

combine new and old markets and double-penetrate them both?

Re:saturated market (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667072)

That sounds sexy enough to work.

Re:saturated market (5, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667094)

combine new and old markets and double-penetrate them both?

Giggity!

Re:saturated market (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666580)

Isn't he still a shareholder with +50% of the shares, so he essentially still has a say anyways? I thought I heard that somewhere, but I might be mistaken. Board of directors or something. Point is, Microsoft is not without Bill's Guidance, he simply isn't dealing with the hassles that come with being CEO.

Microsoft's tanking* is completely independent of Bill's situation. They laid this path before them long long ago. You might even say it's Bill's fault they're in this mess.

*As a humorous anecdote, Tanks are a very important component to group play. I like to think of Microsoft as that big guy in the heavy armor who takes all the hits and soaks up all the damage, because it doesn't mean much to him anyways. I also think of Apple as the DPS, and if they keep critting too much with all their successful products, they'll eventually pull Aggro and end up getting all the criticism Microsoft recieves. And I think of *nix as a good healer, silently standing far away from everyone, keeping everything running nominally with their superior networking capabilities and low resource requirements. See? You can relate anything to World of Warcraft. I dare you to come up with something I can't.

Re:saturated market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666752)

I'm sure you can relate cars to World of Warcraft... but what about the other way around?

Re:saturated market (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666838)

I'm not sure how reversing the order changes anything... isn't it just saying how A is like B in any given situation? (and thus saying B is like A works just as well?)

Re:saturated market (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666936)

*As a humorous anecdote, Tanks are a very important component to group play. I like to think of Microsoft as that big guy in the heavy armor who takes all the hits and soaks up all the damage, because it doesn't mean much to him anyways. I also think of Apple as the DPS, and if they keep critting too much with all their successful products, they'll eventually pull Aggro and end up getting all the criticism Microsoft recieves. And I think of *nix as a good healer, silently standing far away from everyone, keeping everything running nominally with their superior networking capabilities and low resource requirements. See? You can relate anything to World of Warcraft. I dare you to come up with something I can't.

Fuck me, if these are the new metaphors we will see in 10 years, I think I will quit the Internet.

Re:saturated market (1)

fuzznutz (789413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667016)

I also think of Apple as the DPS

Doggie Pooper Scooper?

7.3% as May-10-10 (2, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667208)

He is still the largest shareholder. He gave some to his foundation and has been diversifying.

Re:saturated market (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666600)

Well, you might have been able to say the same about Steve Jobs and Apple in 1998. They're both cut from the same mould. Both very aggressive businessmen. Both are willing to take risks. MS won't be able to gain a monopoly on anything new, since the Windows monopoly was a result of being in the right place at the right time, but they can easily grab a hefty market share of any emerging market. The company is doing pretty well ow in both video games and search, and at least with search, would have done better with a more aggressive, more aware leader.

Re:saturated market (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666778)

s/mould/cloth/

Re:saturated market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666722)

Bill Gates is a lot of things, stupid is not one of them.

I'm just saying...

Re:saturated market (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666918)

True but Microsoft really has made some massive stumbles of late.
1. Vista. Love it or hate it Vista is the new Windows ME.
2. Mobile phone strategy/music player strategy. What a mess that is.
3. The failure to see the rise of the netbook/tablet.

The mobile/music player strategy is the really the heart of the problem and yes they are related.
Apple decided to make the music player market theirs. They created the iPod which eventually became the standard in mobile music players. They became cool and people actually really liked to use them.
They then used that to create a smartphone. People already used their phones to play music and a lot of them hand crappy browsers and email. Apple combined a phone with music player with a good browser and then added apps. They now are a major force in mobile phones.
Microsoft actually got into mobile phones before Apple. They put a version of Windows on a phone! It was clunky and not all that easy to use. They couldn't even execute a better email solution than RIM! While some what popular it never really was super exciting. Microsoft got into the mobile music market late and the Zune was a little clunky but had some potently great features but they where crippled! Heck it had wifi but couldn't surf the WEB! The Zune HD may be the best mobile music and video player on the market but that market is shrinking as people move to smartphones and tablets. Also it lacks the iPhone/Touch large app store.
Now we have Windows Phone 7. It doesn't exist yet, it doesn't multi-task which Android, WebOS, and IOS 4 do.
It lacks cut and paste.
And frankly I have to wonder if anybody will care in a year when it is out.
Microsoft seems to have NOTHING that can compete with the iPad.
Microsoft is begining to look like IBM in the 90s.

Re:saturated market (2, Informative)

men0s (1413347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667192)

For better or worse most of Microsoft's key markets are saturated.

Last time I checked, Apache was still the most-used web server out there. They have a long way to go in that department until they reach saturation, much less taking over the number one spot.

Maybe you noticed (3, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666386)

There's a pretty heavy recession going on, there wasn't one when Bill was at MS. I wonder if these two points are related.

Re:Maybe you noticed (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666450)

Great. Now some Federal bureaucrat is going to read your post and the next thing you know we'll be seeing Bill Gates accepting his appointment as the Recession Czar or some such ;)

Re:Maybe you noticed (4, Informative)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666478)

No. RTFS.

the company 'has been tanking in recent years,' says Vaughan-Nichols. 'While Microsoft's last quarter was far better than it was a year ago

Pretty sure that the last quarter was during the recession...

Re:Maybe you noticed (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666602)

Pretty sure that the last quarter was during the recession...

They're comparing the last quarter to the quarter from a year ago. Last year we were at the low point in the recession, and this year we are (slowly) emerging from it. And of course, last year they were selling Vista which was unfairly maligned, while this year they were selling Windows 7, which was given an overly positive appraisal.

Re:Maybe you noticed (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666698)

And XP3, Vista, and 7 all fix the horrid architectural mistakes abetted by Allchin and Gates. Demoting users from root in Windows fixed a healthy chunk of their design problems.... all instigated by Gates and his 'wizards'.

Microsoft has lost mirth, magic, mind-share, and the 'oil well in the basement' of Office and Exchange will be toppled soon, too.

But none of this is news, nor is Gates exit. We simply don't care anymore. He's a statistical fluke billionaire, nothing more.

Re:Maybe you noticed (5, Funny)

gewalker (57809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666678)

Maybe, maybe not. Economists are still divided on that, many are predicting a double-dip too. I believe the Regan said

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.
A depression is when you lose yours
A recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.

Assuming this to be true, there are a few possibilities

1) Recovery is not possible since JC has no job to lose
2) BO is the functional equivalent and recovery is when BO loses his job
3) Recovery is futile (after all this is an article re: Bill Gates)

Of course, the assumption may be flawed.

Re:Maybe you noticed (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666510)

Yeah, kind of a no brainer here. Growth at a large company in a mostly saturated and slow-growing market during a recession is less than growth of a mid-size company in a largely uncontested and growing market during an economic boom. My god, it's the end of the world, sell all your MS stock!

Don't forget about Apple. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666528)

Don't forget that Apple has become the new Microsoft, in a sense. They've adopted Microsoft's approach of vendor lock-in, and taken it to a degree that Microsoft never could.

Not only does Apple lock you in at the software level, like Microsoft did, but they go so far as to limit what programming languages you can use when targetting some of their platforms. Microsoft never stooped that low.

But Apple takes it further, by holding a monopoly on the hardware stack their software runs on. Microsoft never managed this. They may have had deals and influence with some PC hardware vendors, but they were never really in control like Apple is.

Then Apple takes it yet a step further, and basically dictates how you can use your device when it's networked, and who can provide that access. Microsoft never did anything like this.

So as the Microsoft generation retires from the workplace, we're beginning to see a new generation of Apple supporters move in. Except they're far more gullible and brainwashed than the Microsoft supporters ever were, and these Apple users are willing to accept a far greater degree of dictatorship and vendor control. It makes me weep.

Here's a graph. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666632)

There's a pretty heavy recession going on, there wasn't one when Bill was at MS. I wonder if these two points are related.

This goes back to before there was a recession [seattleweekly.com] . Illustrated in pastel loveliness.

Re:Maybe you noticed (2, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666820)

There's a pretty heavy recession going on, there wasn't one when Bill was at MS.

Maybe you're living on a different planet to the one that some of us survived on in the '80s and '90s.

Re:Maybe you noticed (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667110)

There's a pretty heavy recession going on, there wasn't one when Bill was at MS. I wonder if these two points are related.

Was Bill not at MS in 1993?

I for one am shocked (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666394)

shocked that this is considered news. I thought that pretty much everybody knew that Bill Gates has basically zero involvement with MS since he retired from MS and left that chimp Balmer running things.

Re:I for one am shocked (2, Informative)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666688)

Ditto, I was under the impression he left the company in an official capacity several years ago, ostensibly to pursue his charity work, and that he was just a major shareholder now. I haven't seen comments on him having anything to do with running the company for years, either - it's all about Ballmer.

This just in... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666404)

Ford is not being run by Henry Ford. Shocking news to everybody who thought that the latest version of the Model T would come out any day now.

In other news, Richard Petty Motorsports has only one race victory in the past decade. Questions of why the King hasn't been driving are unanswered.

Re:This just in... (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666434)

Yeah, but Elvis is still alive ;)

Re:This just in... (2, Funny)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666492)

You know, A 'Rebooted' Model T might be a really hot seller once they end the current Mustang cycle. I wonder what that would look like...

- Dan.

Re:This just in... (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667068)

You know, A 'Rebooted' Model T might be a really hot seller once they end the current Mustang cycle. I wonder what that would look like...

Look at some currently existing Australian model and then add a bigger engine.

What I really want is a remake of the original Ford V8 which all of the gangsters and bank robbers used to drive around in.

Doesn't upset me much (0, Flamebait)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666432)

Bill was always the cutthroat business nerd. I wouldn't miss him.

Now if Larry and Sergei leave Google, I'd be pretty damn worried. I really like everything I've ever read about how they ran the company.

Natural Consequence. (2, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666442)

This has very little to do with Bill Gates, per se.

Microsoft managed to get itself into a monopoly position while the PC market exploded. The PC market has since stabalized, and people are realizing there are options.

There was no where for Microsoft to grow to. So they can't grow anymore.

Re:Natural Consequence. (3, Insightful)

rwven (663186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666542)

While what you said has a lot of merit, there are obviously other contributing factors as well.

Windows failed to advance for a long time while other alternatives DID progress.

Windows was plagued by a slew of very public security "whoopses."

The MS alternatives came up with some great marketting and sales lines that pulled a lot of people away.

I'm sure other people could add plenty to this list.

Re:Natural Consequence. (0, Flamebait)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666852)

I'm sure other people could add plenty to this list.

I think a big part of it is that the standard Windows PC isn't as relevant as it used to be.

You can get a DVD player or a television that can stream Netflix and Pandora, or play videos from YouTube.

You can get your email on your iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, or whatever else.

Just about everything can play MP3s now.

There are plenty of different ways to edit text on a computer... Various free products and alternatives, web-based services, etc.

You've got an assortment of pseudo-computers out there... Netbooks, iPads, sophisticated/open smartphones...

Tons of gaming happens on consoles of various types.

You've got digital cameras that can upload directly to Flickr, and print straight to a printer.

The fact of the matter is that you just plain do not need a PC running Windows to do a lot of stuff these days.

To a large degree you don't even need a genuine PC/laptop/workstation to do this stuff. And if you really do need to sit down in front of something with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor - it probably doesn't need to be running Windows.

Re:Natural Consequence. (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666586)

It doesn't help that Microsoft is giving people plenty of reasons to switch to competitors though. Not upgrading their flagship browser for 10 years was a big mistake. Taking so long between XP and Vista, and then Vista being a flop was a big mistake. If Microsoft wants to stay at the top, they should constantly be releasing real upgrades to their products, to keep pace with how all the other guys are doing it. There's no reason they couldn't release a new version of Windows ever year, charge $50, and have everybody upgrade. The current model of, wait 3 or 4 years between versions, and charge $300 for it doesn't work, because nobody wants to drop $300 all at once, and they also don't want to have to buy a new computer, to get the price discounted.

Re:Natural Consequence. (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666910)

Just be careful pulling that trick in Spain:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1694922

Re:Natural Consequence. (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667234)

Not upgrading their flagship browser for 10 years was a big mistake.

What? When was that?

IE 3: 1996
IE 4: 1997
IE 5: 1999
IE 6: 2001
IE 7: 2006
IE 8: 2009

Re:Natural Consequence. (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666592)

Microsoft managed to get itself into a monopoly position while the PC market exploded. The PC market has since stabalized, and people are realizing there are options.

There was no where for Microsoft to grow to. So they can't grow anymore.

Pssssst: Microsoft makes more products than just Windows for PC's. It's a secret though, so don't tell anybody.

Re:Natural Consequence. (2, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666828)

Well, yes, they make more products. However, most of the profits come from Windows and Office. Their other products would have to show massive growth and profitability to be more than a blip on the bottom line, and I don't think Microsoft is well suited to come up with new stuff. Their research programs show great stuff, which generally doesn't become a product, and they appear to me to be very Windows-focused, so I don't have great hopes of growth from them.

Re:Natural Consequence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666950)

Microsoft had a record quarter...

Then the recession happened.

Large IT corporation targeting business clients suffers at the hands of large recession! news at 11.

Re:Natural Consequence. (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667096)

See, I don't think that that is where Microsoft's problems lie.

The amount of money wasted in useless ventures (Zune, Mobile OS, etc.) and the Departments of Redundancy Departments that don't talk to each other (why the hell can't Word, Excel, Visio et al. work in the same way?) drain a lot of resources out of MS which in turn limits profits.

MS is big enough, they don't need to grow, they need to optimize and streamline what they already have.

Stop linking to useless pages (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666444)

The "recent Fortune Article" link is to the front page of CNN's Money website. Not exactly useful when the front page updates constantly. Can an admin fix the link in the submission?

Don't Worry!!!! (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666460)

He may not be here right now, in Microsoft Corporation Edition 2010; but a ground-up managed-code rewrite of him is definitely on the roadmap for Microsoft Corporate Edition 2012, as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Management Foundation suite of technologies. All his memos will take the form of powershell-compatible cmdlets remotely executed on his subordinates, and his rolodex will be replaced by a WinFS based structured-datastore.

Version N+1 is going to be the best version ever!

Chairman (4, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666466)

While he doesn't "work there" - I believe he is still the Chairman of the Board.

That aside - I don't think Mircrosoft is doing poorly because "Gates doesn't work there anymore" - quite conversely - I always said that I believe that his departure deliberately coincided with Microsoft's decline. Wether you like them or not - he started Microsoft - created new products - built the company from the ground up - and grew it through the years. At some point - it really flatlined. They weren't doing anything new - creating anything new - growing - etc. As an entrepreneur myself - that would be the time an entrepreneur would get bored - with just running the day-to-day of a big company, and move on to new adventures.

Re:Chairman (3, Funny)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666992)

Maybe, but Ballmer will always be the chair-man of my raging heart.

has been tanking in recent years, (1)

Blue6 (975702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666516)

Really just recent years? MS stock has been on the steady downslope since December 1999.

Re:has been tanking in recent years, (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666638)

Not really. The tech crash cost a lot of its value, but since then, it's been roughly static. You'd make more money elsewhere, but counting the dividend, you'd be making money for several years now so long as you didn't sell at the bottom of the temporary troughs.

Who the hell is this blogger? (4, Informative)

caladine (1290184) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666554)

I mean, besides being obviously anti-MS (standard /. fare).
If you look at MS's financials [google.com] and check the annual reports, it doesn't much look like a company that has been "tanking in recent years". Most companies would kill for the revenue growth and operating margin Microsoft has had since 2005. Tanking in recent years, my ass.

They're almost irrelevent now aren't they? (4, Interesting)

random coward (527722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666558)

Compare MS stock and Apple and Google and go back 5 years, or even 3 years. Look at the hype for the iPad, for Android. Notice the FTC looking at Google, Notice no one cares about MS anymore; They're becoming irrelevant. They're were IBM was in 1990, or Novell in 1998. Ballmar really wasn't/isn't up to the task of running the company. In 2000 they should have copied Apple again and based their next windows(that would become Vista) on a BSD or Linux kernel. It is very likely that they will continue to shrink and in another 15 they'll be just another softare vendor like Adobe.

Re:They're almost irrelevent now aren't they? (2, Insightful)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666834)

I'm not sure thats a bad thing. IBM seems to be doing OK these days.

Re:They're almost irrelevent now aren't they? (1)

TaliesinWI (454205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667162)

Because they have hardware sales and support contracts to fall back on. When the minicomputer market started to tank, for example, IBM repositioned the AS/400s (or whatever they're calling them now) as a bulletproof machine to run multiple dozen Linux instances on, and they provide support as a service.

Microsoft sells you a software package (a current version of Windows or Office) and then don't see another dime from you until it's time to buy the next version of that software - assuming you do that, of course. Yeah there are businesses that got sucked into Software Assurance but I can't imagine any smart small to medium sized business doing that anymore - why pay a fee that gets you "free upgrades" when the next upgrade cycle is after your contract expires?

Re:They're almost irrelevent now aren't they? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667048)

Apple sells hardware, Microsoft sells an OS. When Apple switched to BSD, it didn't bother them because the OS does not make much money. If Microsoft started selling an OS that didn't make money, they'd go under instantly.

This calls for (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666608)

This calls for a new Borg icon with Ballmer's mug. Or at least a new one with both Gates' and Ballmer's faces.

Perhaps it is time to change the icon for MSFT? (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666618)

From Borg Gates to Ballmer ?

Re:Perhaps it is time to change the icon for MSFT? (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666718)

From Borg Gates to Monkey-Boy Ballmer ?

FTFY

Steve Ballmaer Doesn't Work (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666634)

I don't care where Bill Gates works.
Steve Ballmaer SCREAMS.

Try posting your Gates story to Vanity Fair, Popular Science, or Life Magazine.

Get a life and write about something OTHER than
MICROCCCCCRRRRAAAAPPPPP.

Thanks in advance.

Yours In Minsk,
Kilgore Trout

Maybe he's copying Steve Jobs again... (5, Funny)

PrecambrianRabbit (1834412) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666656)

... leave, let the company tank, then make a triumphant return! :-D

The same old story (3, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666672)

They cut off his salary, and moved him to a basement office - but that darn Gates keeps coming in! Can't a guy take a hint?

Re:The same old story (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666840)

They cut off his salary, and moved him to a basement office - but that darn Gates keeps coming in! Can't a guy take a hint?

Well, as true nerds know, true nerd power always comes from the basement. Ideally, the parents' basement, but I guess for Bill Gates, Microsoft's basement will do.

Zero Involvement (1)

MediaCastleX (1799990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666680)

I concur that this really isn't news, and I don't see lasting ties between him and his "brainchild." I mean this isn't Stan Lee we're talking about here! Why should he worry? He only just got put to Second richest man in the world...after George Bailey. (Atta boy, Clarence...)

Microsoft Should Release a BSD OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666816)

Microsoft can start be developing an Open Source OS based on BSD. Migrate their business to services and support and they can still release closed source MS Office but for free.

x

He who cares the least holds the most power. (1)

WarmNoodles (899413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666862)

Good to see Bill focus. Three cheers for a remarkable career and his personal culling of the chaos in his life related to Microsoft.

Re:He who cares the least holds the most power. (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667066)

I'm just glad Bill's decided to do something constructive with his life/billions.

MS profits not gates, but win 2K and Xp act work (0, Offtopic)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666898)

I don't think MS profits have anything whatsoever to do with gates they have to do with the fact that MS finally got an OS that works in windows2000 SP3 and XPSP2 and later, and an office suite that works in office 2000 I was happy as a clam with my 2001 HP laptop running windows2000 and office 2000; I replaced it in 2009 because the HARDWARE broke - i would still be running that OS/office if my laptop hadn't busted a screen I'm a bit of retrogrouch (def below) but I havn't found that vista/win07/office 07 do anything whatsoever that i want. wait, thats not true: In office 2007, if you do a graph in excel with a log axis, you can have set the axis endoints to somethinhg other then a multiple of 10, eg you can scale an axis from 3 to 300, which is great for certain data retrgrouch: in bicycles, people who long for the old days (pre 1980s) when bikes were simple

2010 is the Year of the Zune!!! (2, Informative)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666968)

You just wait people! Bill is going to go back to Microsoft and rally people, like Steve did at Apple, and the Zune will inherit the world!!! The 2010 will be the Year of the Zune!!!

The Face of Microsoft (1)

stand (126023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667032)

He'll always be the face of Microsoft here on Slashdot.

They're probably just pulling an Apple (2, Interesting)

BlueScreenOfTOM (939766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667060)

I'll bet they're trying to copy Apple again. They're in Step 2. 1. Get Gates to leave for a few years 2. Turn into a brand that can be described as mediocre at best, always playing a game of catch-up 3. Bring back Gates and simultaneously introduce a new "revolutionary product". Give Gates the credit for "inventing" said product 4. Paint Gates as a messiah that will pull Microsoft up out of the ruins and guide all of mankind to better computing 5. Profit!

Borg photo? (3, Funny)

ziegast (168305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667130)

If Bill is no longer "the face of Microsoft", perhaps we can change the Bill of Borg icon that's associated with Slashdot stories about Microsoft with one of Ballmer throwing a chair?

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667186)

Very old news, this has happened such a long time ago that it doesn't really matter anymore. I don't really know why people still bring up Bill Gates aside from his involvement in early desktop computing. Someone needs to file this story under "no shit"

What the hell is wrong with me? (1)

tippe (1136385) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667210)

I almost feel sorry for them. Quick, somebody slap me...

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