Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bill Gates Will Retire. One Day. Kinda.

(What the? This is the third post in a week? Aren't I supposed to be on extended sabbatical? Mini-Microsoft, I wish I knew how to quit you.)

Right now, I'm feeling all nostalgic. It is the beginning of an end of an era, indeed. So long, Classic Microsoft. Hello, emerging Next Generation Microsoft. And I think it's a good thing, but, boy, when Gates got choked up on stage today thinking about not seeing Steve everyday my lip starting quivering, too, and my eyes got a bit misty. That little devil popped up on my shoulder, muttering, "I suddenly feel guilty for all those bad things I encouraged you and your commenters to say..."

Microsoft has indeed come a long way. I'm working at Microsoft today simply because one day, back in the early 1980s, I bought a TRS-80 with Microsoft Basic (basically, though it was also called a Dragon) and immediately dropped my nascent creative career path and started instead making pixels do things. Without Microsoft and Gates I'd have had a very different life. And I've had a blast in my life so far.

One of my thoughts before the Town Hall meeting: we're going to need a Bill Gates action figure for those future program reviews, one that has the recorded line, "That's the stupidest f'ing thing I've ever heard!"

Change is great. Change allows for opportunity and realignment and breaking up the fiefdoms and the silos. It sounds like everyone is singing a mea-culpa tune over Vista and focusing on the need for agility. Are you a cool hunter? Hunting for agility and being a streamline champion is the new hotness right now.

I think the world will be a better place for Mr. Gates - er, Bill - focusing on his foundation. And Microsoft is ready to re-invent itself. Hopefully with less people. I did my best to make sure I didn't groan as Mr. Ballm- Steve corrected Bill saying that we're not in the 60,000s for employees, we've gone over 70,000! Oy! And I don't know who in the world they are hiring so easily. It must be MBAs, because I can't find qualified software engineers who know a pointer from a hole in the ground. Anyway.

I have hope that opportunities abound for Microsoft to resurge. And for that stock price to start moving up (though I expect a summer of stock spanking, both from the Financial Analysts Meeting and the shareholders meeting). I just wish amidst all of this change that we could go on a the 20/20 plan for employment size.



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