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Bill Gates Offers Microsoft 'Part-Time' Help
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Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
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1/22/2014 | 4:00:22 PM
Get outta the way Ballmer
I like how Gates says he'll "help out part-time" as if he's working at a diner. Gates checked out of technology awhile ago; he's all about philanthropy now. As for the possibility of Ballmer leaving the board when new the CEO is chosen. Great idea. In fact, that will probably need to be a pre-requisite for the new CEO to say yes. Would you want Ballmer on your board?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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1/22/2014 | 4:38:41 PM
Re: Get outta the way Ballmer
I imagine the new CEO would prefer not to operate in the shadow of Ballmer (or Gates). The less past executives are involved the better.
anon3887640480
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anon3887640480,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/22/2014 | 5:32:43 PM
Re: Get outta the way Ballmer
I have to disagree. Windows has a huge market share, we owe this to the previous CEOs. And the new Windows 8.x strategy that unifies the Desktop part with the touch part is a winner too, because we finally have productive tablets and hybrids.

 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
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1/25/2014 | 10:16:56 PM
Re: Get outta the way Ballmer
I don't believe that Bill Gates was ever really not a "part-timer" and a whole lot more at Microsoft. His presence has always been felt, and will always be, and anyone who wants to be CEO must be willing to live with that. And, is that a bad thing? Just because Apple has to carry on without its founding genius, there is no reason that Microsoft has to.
dboz555
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dboz555,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/22/2014 | 5:12:45 PM
I can help
The problem Microsoft is having is the same most companies are having. The business world has done a great job of putting a computer on every desk, but still does not embrace technology to its full potential. This includes technology companies. The business world still does not fully understand how to use technology to make a company better. Sure people see a need and in some cases find a solution, but it stops there.

 

The people of Bill Gates generation are retiring and the people who are coming behind them understand the technology enough on how to use it, but still do not know how to apply it in a business sense. The innovation behind most of the technology is retiring and you are seeing les and les Bill Gates, and more Steve Ballmer's. Flailing in the Wind with little to no innovation. Not understanding of the customer base, leading to not understanding the product.

 

Over the last decade Microsoft themselves created one of their biggest problems; which is they decided to compete with MAC, why I will never figure out. MAC is not competition; they no longer make Network products, software companies still rarely develop software for a MAC, security is not there, and almost every business in the world is Microsoft compatible not MAC compatible. Most companies who are MAC spend a lot of time and money to interface with people outside of their company that are Microsoft. Microsoft should have stayed the course. By the way MAC lost the graphics end of the computer business in 1996 that is why they started using PC graphics by the following year.   
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
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1/25/2014 | 10:23:29 PM
Re: I can help
As I remember, when Microsoft decided it needed to "compete" against Apple, the pundits of the day opined that this supposed rivalry was only hyped up to prevent the government from instituting an anti-trust suit against Microsoft.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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1/28/2014 | 10:12:09 PM
Re: I can help
Indeed, Gary, not only have Apple and Microsoft been largely able to peaceably co-exist, but Google is a far bigger threat to MSFT than Apple ever was.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
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1/23/2014 | 9:34:51 AM
Gates' Legacy
It's a testament to Gates' extraordinary philanthropic work that many of us no longer think of him mainly in Microsoft terms but more so in the context of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
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1/23/2014 | 10:01:22 AM
Re: Gates' Legacy
Especially considering that he's still being talked about as a potential CEO for the company. It would probably boost confidence a lot in the company if he made a return - as unlikely as that seems. 
TomFLaSusa
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TomFLaSusa,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/23/2014 | 12:09:48 PM
Re: Gates' Legacy
Agree with "anon3887640480," -- Most of the people I talk with regarding Gates do acknowledge his philanthropic work, but connect him to MS first before they do.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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1/23/2014 | 12:43:01 PM
Re: Gates' Legacy
I agree, Rob. In the late 90s, I remember watching the scene in the South Park movie in which Bill Gates is graphically shot in the head after he unsuccessfully defends Windows 98 to an Army general. At the time, the crowd cheered with approval. While South Park is irreverent as ever, I doubt that such a gag would play so well now. Some people still view Gates as competitive and cutthroat, but his philanthropic work has really cultivated a new, post-Microsoft personna. I won't be surprised if his post-Microsoft days ultimately define his legacy as much as his CEO ones.
TerryB
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TerryB,
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1/23/2014 | 12:55:10 PM
Re: Gates' Legacy
I take it you missed the South Park episode this year about the epic battle for market share of gaming between PS 4 and XBox One in Black Friday sales. I don't want to spoil it for people who may not have seen it but suffice it to say Bill makes another appearance.

I guess that says something (gaming, not computers) about where MS is today in much of mainstream.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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1/23/2014 | 1:03:11 PM
Re: Gates' Legacy
Ha! You know, I had it playing in the background a while back while I was working on something, and I thought I'd caught the gist of the episode, but evidently not. I completely missed that Bill made an appearance. I still think his image transformation is notable, even if Trey Parker and Matt Stone aren't impressed. ;)

Interesting note about MS being of more pop culture importance in gaming than in PCs.
gasdetectors
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gasdetectors,
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1/27/2014 | 10:07:18 AM
Re: Gates' Legacy
I think Bill needs to 'do a jobs' and come back to the businesss with renewed viggour and a clearer strategy for the company. 'the internet of things' is going to be the next frontier and if microsoft dont produce a free os to compete with android theyre going to completely miss out.
TerryB
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TerryB,
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1/27/2014 | 12:30:39 PM
Re: Gates' Legacy
And what exactly is in that for Microsoft? Isn't that just a data traffic issue, as far as profiting from it?

Now, if Microsoft has something like CE used to be, where the refridgerator manufacturer has to license that so they can run their local client application which communicates, then that could be huge for MS. But there is no money in free o/s for MS or anyone else. Only the carriers, people who charge to move the traffic, are guaranteed any income out of this. Or maybe if someone writes some killer middleware app that everyone standardizes on. But that remains to be seen, right now each individual solution is unique to the business that implements it.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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1/28/2014 | 10:11:14 PM
Re: Gates' Legacy
Except that's not his passion.  Gates is all about his Foundation's work now -- not fixing operating systems for whiny techies and fanboys.

Jobs made his billions and did what he was passionate about.  Gates made his millions and is doing what he is passionate about.  The two men are very different from each other and neither should be held to the others' standard.
jries921
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jries921,
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1/23/2014 | 12:29:56 PM
Nothing new
Mr/ Gates has been a part timer at MS for the past several years; he's merely indicating that this isn't going to change.  But the notion that either Gates or Ballmer should resign from the board because their presence indicates that the new CEO won't have a free hand is ridiculous.  The job of a corporate board is to make policy, not to be a rubber stamp for the CEO.  Hence, the presence of two former CEOs on the board should be a relief to a good CEO and a check on a bad one (to misquote Benjamin Franklin).  I am under the impression that there are a lot more than 2 directors.

 

 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
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1/23/2014 | 1:25:09 PM
Re: Nothing new
I'm of a mixed mind on this point--the value of having both Gates and Ballmer continuing on the Microsoft board.  They bring decades of rich experience and deep knowledge but also decades of legacy thinking. The new CEO won't need and should never get a rubber-stamp board, but he/she will need a wide berth to try some substantially new things. I think Ballmer, and Gates in particular, deserve the benefit of the doubt there. They won't be defenders of the status quo. 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
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1/24/2014 | 9:48:05 AM
Re: Nothing new
Yea it's got to be difficult stepping into a role like that with the pair of them casting such long shadows. That's why it was exciting that the executives from Ford and Ericsson were being considered, since they'd bring their own experience and confidence, but now that's looking less likely. 
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2014 | 5:56:21 PM
How Microsoft got to where it is today
The fact is, it was Ballmer and Gates together who built Microsoft as a company. Somehow, they were better together than either one alone. (Someone explain that to me someday.) I had a sinking feeling about Microsoft's future as Ballmer took sole control. He has too much of a driven, competitive and short term perspective to get all the long term decisions right. At the same time I have little doubt it was Ballmere who helped convert Gate's technical insights and capabilties into a dominant business. The genius of the early Microsoft was to realize a new age was dawning and to harness the energies of thousands of independnent software developers to the Windows platform. This was more an expression of Bill Gates' programmer personality than Ballmer's business sense. Neither IBM, Digital Equipment or Sun Microsystems reached out beyond themselves in the same way in their early days. Microsoft launched the modern era of consumer computing... and is now struggling to keep up with it.  
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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1/24/2014 | 10:09:06 AM
It makes sense
I believe it's great if Bill Gates wants to dedicate the rest of his life to philantropy. Yet, I think it would be nice if, even if part-time, he helps MS out. Some people simply belong to certain company so is the case of Bill Gates and MS. 

On the other hand, I would not like to see Stephen Elop as Microsoft's next CEO. A traitor is always a traitor and he betrayed Nokia badly. 

-Susan 
SteveG950
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SteveG950,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 6:20:18 PM
Why does everyone think that will help
Microsoft needs some new thinking not more of the old.  Micosoft did not have a record of innovation under Gates, only a  record of corporate growth when the PC was king. The game has changed. Microsoft is no Apple and the problems run deep. Microsoft is going to bury itself with the "One Experience for All Slogan" Their answer to rejection of the concept is to spend more money on advertising. They need a new management style,  someone who thinks out of the Microsoft box and is who not invested in the Microsoft ego.  Bill, do yourself a favor and stay with your  current occupation of decreasing world hunger in the face of exponential population growth.
clippingpathspecialist
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clippingpathspecialist,
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1/27/2014 | 5:12:11 AM
Re: I found a best site
Which kind of work your mother do with Microsoft?


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