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Bill Gates to Step Down from Microsoft 742

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-sure-you-have-more-to-say-than-i dept.
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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Bill Gates to Step Down from Microsoft

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  • He's not leaving (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shippy (123643) * on Thursday June 15, 2006 @05:02PM (#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.
  • Re:Thanks Bill (Score:3, Informative)

    by davmoo (63521) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @05:35PM (#15543996)
    Apples to oranges. Google.org is the philanthropic arm of Google the corperation, and uses the resources of Google the corporation. The Gates Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Bill and Melinda Gates, two people who got rich off of computers, not Microsoft the corporation.
  • by vertinox (846076) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @05:42PM (#15544071)
    Gates DID make computers affordable.

    I wouldn't say that. He more or less make computers standard or in a sense... Got everything to run on the same operating system.

    If you want to talk about making computers affordable... Then you'll have to give the credit to the Intel, AMD, and Cyrix price wars of 1995-2000.

    (Although if you think about the saying "What intel giveth, microsoft taketh away." then maybe they caused a bit of motivation in that price and speed war)
  • Re:Oh shit (Score:3, Informative)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:07PM (#15544308) Journal
    Here's my try - large and small - need to tweak the small version's readability (perhaps a different chair) - but it's a start:

    http://siliconpop.com/chair.jpg [siliconpop.com]
    http://siliconpop.com/chair.gif [siliconpop.com]
  • Re:Thank you (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:09PM (#15544328)
    Yeah, those Apple, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari, etc. guys wouldn't have been able to make computers as popular as they are now.

    Get a grip, dude! The computer was this amorphous evolving idea when these companies had some market share. Once they were gone, stagnancy set in. Now we have to use a supercomputer to get the equivalent of a 1970's desktop (http://news.com.com/2009-1041-6054440.html). Okay, it is from late 1980. But notice it has a taskbar, trash, file menu at the top, a mouse, everything we have now. That was 26 YEARS ago.

    My point is that if there were M$ we would still have desktop PC's and they would quite likely be more useful and more interesting than they are now.

    J
  • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:09PM (#15544329)
    Erm, John 'Anaconda' Rockefeller? I think in real terms he is still number one, at least that was the impression I got. Either way, great philanthropy does not make up for shoddy business practices. Microsofts monopoly abuse has had serious consequences for the economy just like Standard Oil did. In the end that has harmed far more people than the philathropy has helped because the market is more efficient than charity.
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:18PM (#15544395) Homepage Journal
    It didn't help J.D. Rockefeller [wikipedia.org] clean up his soiled image to become a philanthropist. Everyone still associates him with being a Robber Baron [wikipedia.org] and a bastard [wikipedia.org]. The halo effect he got towards the end of his life for giving away half his fortune didn't "fix" his eventual historical legacy.

    The truth does come out, eventually. No matter what Bill Gates does to fix things, people will still remember that he made his way to the top by committing [wikipedia.org] screw [wikipedia.org] jobs [wikipedia.org] on those [wikipedia.org] who really did the innovating [wikipedia.org].
  • Re:Thanks Bill (Score:5, Informative)

    by WalterGR (106787) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:46PM (#15544626) Homepage

    You should address your good wishes to Melinda. Gates did very little beneficial before he met her, and ever since they married, he's started spending more and more on philantropy. To me that's exactly the sign of a man under the soft but efficient control of his wife slowly turning him around to what she wants.

    "You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature." (Source [venganza.org])

    Correlation does not imply causation. Denigrating his generosity on account of when he was generous is just plain rude.

  • Re:Holy Sh*t (Score:3, Informative)

    by 70Bang (805280) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @09:35PM (#15545700)


    I think it was '93 or '94 when asked what he intended to do with his money (long-term) and he said he planned to give away at least 95% of it [vs. leaving it as an inheritance]. Even retaining 5% for "the rest of your life" living expenses is a substantial sum.

    There was an article in Forbes(?)|Fortune(?) about five years ago about his financial manager and the limits he had (big, interesting article). I think it also confirmed his intentions of off-loading his monies. His financial manager (at that time) was selling an average of 80'000 MS shares/day. There were only two restrictions for this guy re: his investments with the money he was making:
    1) Tiptoe around any companies Microsoft might purchase or compete with; simply to save money and legal headaches
    2) No biogen - this has been reserved for Bill to play with.

    at the time of the article, there was one segment of time where he'd taken $800'000 of MS stock sales and turned it into a decent sum of money - $4B?, $8B?, $12B?


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:41PM (#15545987)
    You are a fuckin' moron:

    Gates has given away 22 billion. 1/3 of his fortune. That is less than the average American?

    http://www.beliefnet.com/story/34/story_3450_1.htm l [beliefnet.com]

    He has also stated his intention to give it all away. Probably close to your scenario of give away 99 billion save 1 billion for the heirs. Maybe you don't think its impressive but it is.

    Gates is one of a multitude of power-hungry monopolists in the computer industry ... not unlike any other industry. At least he's redirecting that wealth to saving lives. He could just hoard it all like the Walton family.
  • by bogjobber (880402) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:48PM (#15546034)
    How many other billionaires have given many billions of their own money for such purposes? Wait, i'll answer that: None.

    Wait, here's an actual answer: a whole hell of a lot of them. People have this misconception that because somebody has a lot of money that they are evil. Here are some billionaires that have given, or have promised to give, a huge percentage of their estate to charity: Warren Buffet [wikipedia.org], John Huntsman, Sr. [wikipedia.org], Ted Turner [wikipedia.org], George Soros [wikipedia.org], Eli Broad [wikipedia.org], and Alfred Mann [wikipedia.org].

    Also, don't forget the old robber barons (and family) who created some incredibly great things through their gifts to charity: Andrew Carnegie [wikipedia.org], John_Rockefeller [wikipedia.org], John_Rockefeller, Jr. [wikipedia.org], Leland Stanford [wikipedia.org], etc. Stanford, Carnegie, and especially Rockefeller, Sr. were huge assholes in the way they gained their wealth, but gave much of that back to the people through important and enduring social and cultural institutions.

    These are just people I can think of off the top of my head. There are plenty of people that I'm forgetting. My point is that you can't simply characterize a person by how much wealth they have, either in a positive or negative way.

    Rich people are just that, people. Some are assholes, some are really great people. Some of them recognize that they are fortunate to be where they are and want to give back to the community. Don't be ignorant and assume otherwise.

  • Re:Holy Sh*t (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2006 @11:05PM (#15546123)
    I assume you mean this program:

    http://www.soundfamilies.org/ [soundfamilies.org]

    From the website:
    More than 200 new transitional housing units were funded through the Sound Families Initiative, along with critical support services such as job training, substance abuse counseling, and child care services. Sound Families is a $40 million commitment to find
    solutions to homelessness in the Puget Sound region.

    Yeah, that sounds like a mediocre half-assed solution to me, obviously designed to increase the number of crack houses in the area.

    Care to show any stats as to how the number of crack houses went up due to this program? How about a news article? A Blog? Maybe a napkin with some scribbles on it?

    No, then shut the hell up.

    When the richest man in the world commits to dedicating nearly his ENTIRE fortune to charity (his kid's apparently aren't due to inherit much...it goes to the foundation), I'm afraid I can forgive a hell of a lot of capitalist bullying.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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