Wow. This is big news. If you have not heard it yet, well, its all over the web, the papers and TV. Here is a link at CNET, one at Robert Scoble's blog (who is also leaving Microsoft, just more quickly), and yet another one at MSNBC.com.
From the interview it sounds like he is going to step down from day to day duties over the next 2 years and then stay on board as the chairman. he says he wants to focus more on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which does quite a bit of good work.
So what does this mean? Speculation is running rampant on how this will all play out, on why Gates is leaving, if Microsoft will change much without Gates in power . Nobody really knows, of course ... but we all have our theories.
Gates inpsired me to become a developer. If not for him I might have gotten into construction, business management, or writing full time. How has Bill Gates impacted your life?
For me, its a bit sad. This is the man who inspired a generation of developer and free thinkers. He certainly inspired me. I wish him the best of luck, and no the man is not a Saint nor am I saying that our jobs will all change ... its just a reminder that everything changes eventually. In this crazy industry where you blink and the technology sweeps past you, Gates was one of the few constants. He is a pioneer, a visionary and now he is moving on.
In the end I imagine that not much will actually change in our day to day jobs, if anything at all. We might see some changes at Microsoft, but the reality is that Ballmer has been in control for a while now and whether you like him or not, his course is pretty much laid out. If it changes, then so be it. We'll adapt. We always do. That's what developers do by trade.
Good luck Bill, and thanks.
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