He may not be the most popular man in the IT arena, but there is no doubt Bill Gates is the poster boy for the personal computer market. All good things come to an end however and Willy G will now step away from the industry he helped to create in two years time.
The Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect announced in a press conference yesterday afternoon that wanted to change his priorities so he could spend more time with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity organisation he and his wife started to improve health and education around the world. July 2008 is the month Gates will pack his bags and the Big Cheese confirmed that no other major organisational changes are planned.
The PC legacy Gates’ leaves behind is unquestionable. His aim to “put a computer on every desk and in every home” was ridiculed when he first started out, now many families have two or three. Furthermore his visionary stance predicted the integration of computer and hard drive, optical storage, video on demand, the personal video recorder (PVR), DRM and even arguably the PDA. In fact, Geoff Richards, from our sister site Bit-Tech did a fantastic analysis of his prophetic book “The Road Ahead” for us back in February.
Loved and hated in equal measure there is no doubt the industry is going to miss William Henry Gates III and we’ll probably never know whether the move was fuelled by the vicious downsizing of Vista’s ambitions, wearing legal battles, the emergence of Google or a genuine desire to have a crack at something else. Perhaps, he simply realised that at the ripe old age of 50 he now has just enough to retire…