Today is Bill Gates’ last full day at Microsoft, as he transitions from Microsoft to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I’ve had a good time this past week or so watching some of the retrospectives, and thinking about how Bill Gates and Microsoft have changed my life, changed Seattle (and the little suburb of Redmond), and changed the world.
On a personal level, as a fellow native Seattleite only 2 months younger than Gates, I’ve had a front row seat to Microsoft from the early days on. I still kind of think of him as a kid from Lakeside, and not the richest man in the world. Seattle is a different place now than it was back then, and the influence that Microsoft has had on not only the world of computing but the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest has been remarkable. On a more technical level, I’ve seen the world change, and remember clearly the days where there wasn’t a computer on every desk and in every home (and every pocket). That we’ve come this far in these few short years is a tribute to an extremely smart and extremely driven man.
We wish Bill and Melinda good luck in their endeavors, and hope he enjoys, as he told us at Mix n Mash he would, being able to pick up his daughter from school, something he’s never been able to do.
Good luck, Bill, and thanks.
You can listen to Bill’s farewell to Microsoft, given this morning on Todd Bishop’s blog at the Seattle PI.