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How essential to Microsoft is Bill Gates?

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  • User profile image
    Richard Acton

    I haven’t seen this question asked before, at least not in this community but please forgive me if I’m going over well-trodden ground.

     

    One day Bill Gates will retire and inevitably, like the rest of us, one day he will pass away. In the hypothetical situation that this happens tomorrow, how would Microsoft be affected in the short and long terms?

     

    Is Bill’s knowledge and insight in technology development that vital to Microsoft as a business, this developer community and the organisations we all apart of? Would Longhorn still ship as planned? Would the world in 20 years be very different to what it would be otherwise? Would the release of Windows post Longhorn be the same? Would Slashdot stop ripping in to Microsoft as soon as the name is mentioned? (I think not) and, who if anyone could take Bill’s place as Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect?

     

    I know we can’t predict the future but it would be interesting to hear what everyone thinks.

  • User profile image
    redvamp128

    Retirement-He will pass the reighns on. But will still be somewhat visible.


    Death-MICROSOFT will live on I think...There will be a breif time of mourning ...The world I think will be left with only a simple brief statement at the  time of shutdown.....


    IN MEMORY OF OUR COMPANY FOUNDER BILL GATES MAY HE REST IN PEACE- (followed by the his birth and death dates)

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    redvamp128 wrote:

    IN MEMORY OF OUR COMPANY FOUNDER BILL GATES MAY HE REST IN PEACE- (followed by the his birth and death dates)



    "And Let's all welcome our new, Chief Software Architect, Steven Veselinovic, (claps and cheers and whoop whoop's). Followed by the release Windows 2020.

  • User profile image
    Richard Acton

    Sorry guys but I think you have missunderstood the question entirely. I am refering to the bigger picture, the effect on Microsoft as a company, it's products, the developer community and businesses world wide.

  • User profile image
    V4us

    You are "Bill Gates"

  • User profile image
    machocomacho

    Bill Gates = $$$$$   Microsoft = Brains
    This is simple Microsoft needs Bill Gates to finance their development, if he dies , gives all his money to charity, then Microsoft loses its war chest and it would have trouble riding through a storm. He is only essiential for his money, do you think he programs 18 hours a day?

  • User profile image
    Lwatson

    machocomacho wrote:
    Bill Gates = $$$$$   Microsoft = Brains
    This is simple Microsoft needs Bill Gates to finance their development, if he dies , gives all his money to charity, then Microsoft loses its war chest and it would have trouble riding through a storm. He is only essiential for his money, do you think he programs 18 hours a day?


    BULL#$!*. Look companies are founded and run and their founders up and leave, or die all the time. The whole thing is not going to collapse to the ground in financial ruin. I think Bill long ago stoped reaching into his own pocket to pay the electric bill.

  • User profile image
    Tejaaa

    What I can think of is Microsoft World might be a bit different , do Microsoft employees have any hindsight into this?

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Microsoft nor computing will never be the same but life will move on.

  • User profile image
    lenn

    As a Microsoft employee I can add my two cents.  I don't know Bill well at all on a personal level.  I have been in meetings with him and worked with him on conferences a handful of times in my career. 

    What I can say is that Bill is WAY more than just money bags here.  His wealth is connected to the company and not the other way around. Bill doesn't personally fund anything we do. 

    Bill is one of the co-founders and his influence in the company is very deep as any co-founder's is. Does he plan everything we do?  No.  Does he let his people innovate and provide thoughtful feedback, yes.  Bill is a very very gifted man IMHO.  The person you see on television is not the whole person by any means.

    He is funny, he is smart, he is a person like you and I.  He laughs, he tells stories, and he is critical when needed.  I have found him to be very likeable the few times I have worked with him. 

    When Bill does make the very personal decision to move on one day, Microsoft will lose a very important part of its essence.  Until then, I am glad to have learned a few things from him in my 7 years here. He has taught all of us a thing or two that will live on well after he moves on from Microsoft.   

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    machocomacho wrote:
    Bill Gates = $$$$$   Microsoft = Brains
    This is simple Microsoft needs Bill Gates to finance their development, if he dies , gives all his money to charity, then Microsoft loses its war chest and it would have trouble riding through a storm. He is only essiential for his money, do you think he programs 18 hours a day?

    Nah, i wouldn't worry about it, Microsoft has a few billion in reserve, Plus, their products are bought daily, how much profit do you think that is?

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Obivously macho was just trolling a bit. I'm sure he has no idea how difficult it is for an individual to just put money into a company, from an accounting standpoint.

    As an outsider, I have slowly learned to view Microsoft as dozens (if not more) of smaller companies. Each go along with the direction of the larger one, but the innovation space within the smaller ones appears to be huge.

    Longhorn. .NET. XBox. The new Management suite coming out soon. All amazing innovations within their spaces. Innovations that had to be thought up, justified, rationalized and pitched by... Not Bill. By the team members.

    Bill is a great figurehead (and not just a 'look I'm a figurehead' one). He definitely pushes the comapny a lot, but Microsoft seems to be one of the few companies where the majority of the momentum is actually 4-6 levels down from Bill.

    Just an outsider's viewpoint though. I'd hate to see him go. I love the keynotes, inspirations, etc that he brings to the table. Any man who can create a trillion dollar industry is worth listening to, in my books.

  • User profile image
    billy

    [quote]Any man who can create a trillion dollar industry is worth listening to, in my books[qoute]..... Come on... Bill didn't create any industry... this industry would exist even without Microsoft. The internet would exist even without Microsoft. The proliferation would definately be less wide-spread, but I think saying he created the industry is a stretch, a huge stretch.

  • User profile image
    eagle

    Bill Gates 2.0, his clone will ascend to Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation around 2030.

  • User profile image
    V4us

    I think Bill Gates is basic pepls/ But All personal are he.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    billy, I was actually just talking about Microsoft and the spinoff companies which pin their businesses on Microsoft products. The IT industry is more than 4T$.

  • User profile image
    V4us

    Who is a Bill Gates?
    Why a ? We don't aware psyche, becos we didn't comprehend he. He is man who make modern world, but Bill don't CRY "I MAKE IT", He said: "Go to Future and I am man who give peoples blessedness."
    I was sending e-mail to Bill Gates (Billg@microsoft.com). He don't repled my. I said, "Some peoples didn't bay Microsoft Product now for FULL cost, But they can bay it on-the-cuff, for 20% now, other to 12 mouns."
    Bill Make it, but he can Blow up it

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    eagle wrote:
    Bill Gates 2.0, his clone will ascend to Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corporation around 2030.


    Cloning is both illegal and immoral. It is not happening. How would you feel if you were a clone, merely a copy of another person, with that person's shoes to fill? Also, cloning is not like in the movies, it does not create a perfect copy of a person as it is a different organism that will have different experiences throughout its life and will start from day 1 like you did when you were born.

    Just my two cents on why that isn't happening. It is more likely that one of his children might take his place.

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