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Bill Gates to Step Down from Microsoft

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i'm-sure-you-have-more-to-say-than-i dept.

742

Geoffreyerffoeg writes "According to Microsoft PressPass, Bill Gates will be leaving his role at Microsoft in July 2008. He'll be staying with the company, but is also moving to a more fulltime position with the Gates Foundation. 'Microsoft Corp. today announced that 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 adviser on key development projects.' CTO Ray Ozzie will assume Gates' role of Chief Software Architect, and CTO Craig Mundie will also take on more leadership responsibility."

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742 comments

He's not leaving (5, Informative)

Shippy (123643) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543589)

He's going to stay chairman. This is a transition of his Chief Software Architect role. From the first line in the article:
Working full time at Microsoft through June 2008, Gates then will continue as chairman and advisor while increasing Foundation efforts; Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie to assume expanded roles.

Putting a stake through his heart (0, Flamebait)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543646)

Hopefully made from a branch of an apple tree.

Although other varieties might do the job just as well.

Re:He's not leaving (3, Funny)

hahafaha (844574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543648)

That's right. In fact, the title of the article, although it grabs your attention immediately, is very wrong. He is just not going to do as much actual work, but he is still chairman.

Oh, and a note to those that are saying that we can't make fun of him anymore: we still can, because he *started* microsoft. What will we do when he dies? We will still make fun of him!

Re:He's not leaving (5, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543829)

What will we do when he dies? We will still make fun of him!

Yeah, nothing like some black humor from geeks disconnected from reality!

I picture some zealots crushing his tomb stone and leaving a note with the words
"... and so, at last, Mammon fell, and this final puny sign of his evil rule was shattered!" -- From the Book of Mozilla, 8:12

Re:He's not leaving (5, Insightful)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543713)

Being the chairman of the board is very different from being an employee for a company. The chairman of the board is _not_ an employee, he is an owner and is supposed to represent the interests of the owners. Owners != Employees. Basically, sounds like Bill is stepping down from his day-to-day activities managing the organization. But he still has billions of dollars tied up in an ownership position -- it would be incredibly stupid of him not to protect that investment.

frist post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543592)

Flying chairs

MS as a vehicle for his foundation is (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543593)

one of the best trades of all time.

after all, we all need care. we can buy into dot-net or not.

Oh shit (1, Funny)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543594)

What are we supposed to do with our "assimilation jokes"?!

I guess we'll just have to make do with "flying chairs". Oh and Windows Vista.

Crap - I just sprayed Mountain Dew all over the screen again...

Re:Oh shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543629)

I just need a name to spew my vitrol towards. I spent an hour cleaning up viruses and spyware, and it blew.

Re:Oh shit (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543716)

You could go with Mac OS, it sucks according to some - but I'd like to counter that it merely sucks less.

(Disclaimer: Actually since I was a NeXT user in a former life, I'd actually gush all over OSX - but I don't want to be a bore)

Re:Oh shit (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543687)

What are we supposed to do with our "assimilation jokes"?!

Maybe time to come up with a new topic icon. Maybe Balmer with a chair?

Re:Oh shit (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543751)

In all seriousness (?) - I think a frame grab from the monkey dance video would be a pretty good icon actually.
How do we submit such chochkies (sic? I have no idea) to slashdot anyway?

Re:Oh shit (2, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543695)

Flying chairs, thrown by a Donkey-kong like figure with Balmer's face. Yep, I could just see that being a standard screen saver in Vista.

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543595)

Didn't see this coming. Anyone up for a round of "MS is dead, netcraft confirms it?"

You happy Slashdot??! (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543597)

That borg icon finally got to him ... should be ashamed of yourselves!

Re:You happy Slashdot??! (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543705)

Yes, but for how long will Slashdot continue to use that icon to represent Microsoft? My guess is 2016. Place your bets now!

Re:You happy Slashdot??! (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543801)

personaly.... i have been waiting for the ballmer/chair icon for a while.. suprised it didn't show up by now..

it would be fitting when talking about ms && google clashing

Re:You happy Slashdot??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543771)

Nah, this Eminem spoof did it:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=12683 9&cid=10609951 [slashdot.org]

Choice bits:
Dear Bill, you still ain't ack-ed my note. I hope you have a chance.
I ain't mad -- I just think it's fscked up when the shizznit hit the fan.
If you didn't want to fix the bugs through Trustworthy Computing
you didn't have to, but you coulda posted a work-around for Matthew
That's my kid bro, man, he's only eight years old
Been a good boy, rebooted as he was told by you
for years and you just said "No."
That's pretty crappy, man, his drive was going idle.
He wanted to be just like you, man! Now he gets more porn than I do!

Meet the new Boss (4, Funny)

sakusha (441986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543599)

Same as the old Boss.

Obligitory Futurama reference (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543767)

Hardly, the new Boss says the old Boss's 5 cent pay cut goes to far, while the old Boss says the new Boss's 5 cent pay cut doesn't go far enough!

-Rick

Thank you (5, Funny)

murat (262137) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543604)

Thank you Bill, for everything you've done for the industry and the world.

Re:Thank you (4, Insightful)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543803)

I think he's serious. Gates did force a power-hungry company on us - but he forced a power-hungry company that made a profit from popularizing the personal computer. I doubt the PC would be quite as popular today as it is if it weren't for Gates.

Obligatory First Post :) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543606)

First Post !!!

Uhhhh... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543609)

Two questions.

1) Does that mean we won?
2) Will he take Windows with him? Please?

Re:Uhhhh... (5, Insightful)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543682)

Let's see:

Gates - creates world's most successful company, becomes world's richest man, leaves day job to spend billions on charity.
Us - Made lame borg jokes for 5 years, finally released a browser that's better than IE if you ignore all the unfixed copy/paste bugs. Convinced a few people that Unix sucked less than Windows.

Dude, I think *he* won.

Re:Uhhhh... (4, Interesting)

linvir (970218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543824)

creates world's most successful company, becomes world's richest man, leaves day job to spend billions on charity

You left out 'shapes computing the world over' (on the desktop).

Gates kicks ass. He'd be the perfect role model if it weren't for some of his less savoury feats.

Welcome Ray ozzie (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543612)

I for one, welcome my new Ray Ozzie overlord

Cant forgive Ozzie for Lotus Notes. (3, Funny)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543774)

I give Gates credit for wanting to devote more time to his charitable activities.

That said, I think it is time to sell off the rest of my shares, since the man who gave the world Lotus Notes is now the Chief Software Architect at Microsoft. Sorry Ray, you are a good guy, but I cant forgive you for Notes, my man.

So... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543614)

...he was made out of monkeys.

Politics (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543620)

Hes going to run for president.

Re:Politics (4, Funny)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543766)

What, a software magnate running for President? Yeah, right! As if that would ever happen!

Oh, crap [wikipedia.org].

he must not be evil, after all (4, Insightful)

dankelley (573611) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543624)

Give the boy credit, for planning to devote his time to charity work.

Mobsters are also famous for charity (1, Flamebait)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543841)

What about the story of Scrooge?

Evil men when they sense they are close to dying all of sudden want to make amends.

If anything all this charity proves that he knows he has something to make up. Oh and if he hadn't been "evil" he wouldn't have had all those billions to spend on charity but just had MS pay taxes so people wouldn't have to hold out their hand to him but just gotten what was needed from the state.

No sorry mate, I have a hard time with a lot of charities. To often they seem to be nothing more then a tool for the rich to feel good and to make sure the needy have to be properly grateful.

You just have to look at Gates charity in giving computers to schools. Windows. Oh yeah, the first one is free kids.

Captain to leave the ship? (5, Funny)

Nesetril (969734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543633)

July 2008 - is that before or after Vista ships?

Re:Captain to leave the ship? (2, Funny)

ashmon (592459) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543762)

That's before it ships, but after they have the first service pack written.

Re:Captain to leave the ship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543769)

... that should be "before or after Vista sinks?"

Resume (4, Funny)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543634)

What part(s) of my resume should I brush up when applying for the job of "master villian and arch-nemisis of WonderTorvalds?"

On a more serious note, there are a lot of people with large emotional investments pent up in disliking Mr. Gates. The transition is going to be tough. It's almost like Inigo Montoya at the end of The Princess Bride. Maybe they should turn to piracy?

No, He's Not Leaving (1)

zenpiglet (708412) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543637)

No, Bill gates is not leaving Microsoft. He is simply shifting his emphasis from full-time at MS and part-time at his foundation, to part-time at MS and full-time at the foundation. He is still going to be working at MS and actually stated on the webcast that he has no plans to ever leave the company.

Oh, no! (4, Funny)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543638)

Whatever will we do with the Borg-Gates icon?

Re:Oh, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543840)

How about a new icon with either Steve Balmer or Ray Ozzie?

architecting software (1)

Fefe (6964) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543639)

It's been a long time since he actually architected anything software-related, right?

Is he getting outsourced ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543640)

oh yeah

who knew (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543643)

"I believe with great wealth comes great responsibility"

Who would have guessed that Bill Gates was also Spider-man?

XBOX 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543652)

Gates is hooked on the X-crack. Cant blame him for wanting to work on his skills.

The final nail in the coffin (1, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543668)

Is this not the clearest evidence yet that Microsoft is "dying" and on its way out? Already, it's become somewhat irrelevant as a tech industry player, leaning on its entrenched install base to survive. Now its most well-known figurehead is leaving.

Re:The final nail in the coffin (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543718)

Already, it's become somewhat irrelevant as a tech industry player, leaning on its entrenched install base to survive.

If analogies could ever be valid (warning; this one isn't) Microsoft is still the 800 lb gorilla and its cane is a fucking solid steel girder. Makes you wonder who Mario is...

Microsoft is anything but irrelevant. Take a look at their market share.

Re:The final nail in the coffin (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543747)

Or maybe he's just getting old and doesn't want to do the same thing for the rest of his life that he's been doing for most of his life.

MS isn't going anywhere until someone else is willing to compromise stability and security in favor of "idiot-friendly".

Re:The final nail in the coffin (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543849)

I have to agree. MS, as I see it, is entrenched for a reason and will not be detrenched until Linux or some other OS becomes as easy to use for non-technical savvy people (grandparents and the like) to use. To do that, the OS in question is going to have to make sacrifices to some degree. Your normal every day user doesn't want to edit a config file. They want to install, play a game or read their email.

The sign of MS dying is slipped sales, lack of funds, market share going down drastically and a defacto PC OS other than MS. Gates deciding he is no longer going to be the chief architect has nothing to do with the stability of the company. Gates built the company, instilled a culture distinctly Microsoft and after he is gone - as long as Microsoft learned from Gates while he was there, will flourish. In 30 years it may not be the same power house but it certainly will not be gone.

Re:The final nail in the coffin (1)

jtorkbob (885054) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543795)

Or is it evidence to the contrary: that MS is strong enough to survive without Bill at the helm?

</devil's advocate>

Re:The final nail in the coffin (1)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543825)

Ohh yeah, because companies changing bosses is so unusual :P

Don't worry, MS will be here for a long time.

I'm no fan of Mr. Gates's morality in general (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543672)

But his morality is the only morality that company has. At all. This move will make Microsoft into more of a money grubbing, profit-centered, fuck anybody who gets in our way, sociopathic corporation. And they didn't have very far to fall to begin with.

Re:I'm no fan of Mr. Gates's morality in general (1)

glebd (586769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543778)

Excuse me, but what Microsoft morality are you talking about?

>This move will make Microsoft into more of a money grubbing,
>profit-centered, fuck anybody who gets in our way,
>sociopathic corporation.

Does this not pretty much describe the current Microsoft?

Re:I'm no fan of Mr. Gates's morality in general (2, Funny)

bdleonard (931507) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543858)

Yes, but right now they do it with a smile. After this, no more smile.

Well, that's plenty of notice.... (4, Insightful)

bitrate (460396) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543674)

....to create a new Microsoft icon for /. I felt a slight chill as I read the article, realizing that if Bill Gates is stepping down, he must be getting kinda older....which means I'm getting kinda older. It's been an interesting ride through the years with Microsoft. Thanks for everything, Bill, and best of luck with your philanthropy. My city in particular (Windsor, ON, Canada) has benefitted from the B&MG foundation with new computers in our library for public use.

Re:Well, that's plenty of notice.... (1)

Nesetril (969734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543756)

The new icon can be like a Star Wars cover - you know, with Emperor Gates in the background and his Sith apprentic(es) in the front... and stuff.

new job opening! (1)

specific (963862) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543675)

Does anyone know where I can email my resume? I'll send it from my MacMini. Should I get the job, I hereby ..ahem.. promise to ..ahem.. open the source to everything, just for you guys.

He gets geek cred points with me (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543676)

Well, he stepped down once before so he could spend more time writing code AFAIK, so, he gets geek cred. points with me. Huminitarian points for stepping down from his geeky priorities. However, that will cost him geek cred. points.

2010? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543677)

So by Vista's standards of deployment deadlines he will actually be released in 2010... He will always be missing several features.

Whether You Hate or Love Him... (4, Insightful)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543689)

Gates DID make computers affordable.

Fair weather and calm seas on your new journey...

MBC1977
(US Marine, College Student, Future Business Owner, and Good Guy!)

Goodbye Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543693)

This way, when Windows Vista flops, he can say he was already leaving the sinking ship before it hit the iceberg.

Don't Let (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543697)

the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Bill!

(Yeah, I know he's staying Chairman - so when was he EVER "CTO" for real, anyway? He runs the company and Ballmer is his pit bull. The board needs to fire both their stupid asses.)

First Thoughts (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543719)

my first thoughts on this...

1. Vista is so terribly bad, that he doesn't want to be involved/connected with it.
2. He is getting religion, and knows he is so burdened with evil that he needs to spend the rest of his life trying to make up for it.
3. His wife is winning. "You do this, or no sex for you."

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543744)

Well, I hope this gives him more free time to post some "insider tidbits" here on slashdot!

Thanks Bill (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543745)

I would just like to say thanks to Bill for his continuing work with the Gates foundation. I don't see the other multibillionares (Google guys, Redhat guys, Ellison, Jobs, etc) stepping up to the plate and making any commitment EVEN CLOSE to the level he has. All I see those guys doing is buying fighter planes, boats, sports teams and big houses. Good luck Bill!

Re:Thanks Bill (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543847)

. I don't see the other multibillionares (Google guys, Redhat guys, Ellison, Jobs, etc) stepping up to the plate and making any commitment EVEN CLOSE to the level he has.

That's because those guys all made their money a lot more honestly than Gates did. He's trying to purchase respectability, no more, no less. Any good that money does should not reflect positively on him.

Doubtful (4, Funny)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543768)

So how long can he stay out of the game? Not long I suspect.

just wait until he notices his company following antitrust law, behaving ethically, paying to license code they use.

he'll swoop right in and put a stop to that real fast

He has a LOONG way to go to catch up with EARL (3, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543808)

He's got a loooooong list to clear out before he can get positive on karma.

Time for something cool (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543831)

I hope Bill Gates does something really cool with his money, something that would change the world forever. There are only 2 or 3 people in the world that can do this. I am talking about some huge technology or project, like the Romans or Egyptians (creating the pyramids). He could create a space colony, some kind of huge wonder of the world, maybe an underwater city.

Does anyone have any cool ideas that are feasible with 50 BILLION?

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543836)

Darth Gates is going to hand over command to Admiral Ozzie just long enough to force choke him to death as punishment for bringing the fleet out of hyperspace too close to Hoth.

From robber baron to philanthropist (4, Insightful)

timholman (71886) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543838)

Bill Gates is doing the same thing that Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, and the other 19th century robber barons did - he is transitioning from the persona of a despised, cut-throat, take-no-prisoners monopolist to that of a benign philanthropist, and spending the billions he acquired in order to ensure his legacy. And just like the robber barons the 1800s, I have no doubt that Gates will be viewed as a wonderful benefactor of humanity a hundred years from now. Only the historians will remember how many people and companies he mercilessly crushed to create his fortune.

Ambition... (5, Insightful)

Rice-Pudding (167484) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543842)

Gates is still ambitious.

Bill Gates has achieved what most people only dream of in terms of their life's ambitions. What do most people want? Money? Sure, but that is not the end of everything. Most (normal) people actually want to make a contribution to society/the world; to leave a legacy, if you will. (Granted, Bill has already done that.)

So when you have succeeded beyond your wildest ambitions, then what? Gates cannot actually spend his money on himself fast enough. There comes a point when you start to want to spend it on your legacy instead. Hence, the charity funding. But this is still ambition.

(Of course, I wish more people would reach that stage.)

Disturbance in the Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543846)

I feel a great disturbance in the Force.

As if millions of geeks suddenly cried out in joy and were silenced.
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