Closing the Gates after Bill

[This is my BBC column from Monday – I forgot to post it here in all the week’s excitement (2gether08, New Media Awards, Shift Happens). You can read it on the BBC News website too.]

The publicity surrounding Bill Gates’ departure from Microsoft should not obscure the fact that he is still deeply involved in the company he founded in 1975.

Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie may now be in charge, but they were chosen by Gates, worked with Gates and are still answerable to Gates.  After all he remains company chairman and a major shareholder, and he will be working as an ‘advisor’ on special projects.

Gates also played a major part in setting Microsoft’s strategy for the next few years, as it continues to try to figure out how to convert its enormously profitable operating system and office software business into something that can generate money as we all move applications online and look for stripped-down, secure and reliable operating systems on our desktops, laptops and handheld computers

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