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Bill Gates retires from Microsoft

A Harvard University dropout who ushered in the home computer age and made billions of dollars along the way will have his last official day of work at Microsoft on June 27, 2008.

Three people will essentially fill the void left behind when Bill Gates retires from the company he and friend Paul Allen co-founded in 1975.

Since Gate’s begin his transition from leading Microsoft to heading his personal-bankrolled charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his job as Chied Software Architect has been handled by Ray Ozzie.

Craig Mundie inherited Gate’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer duties, while former Harvard classmate Steve Ballmer become Chief Executive Officer at the Seattle-based software colossus.

Gates left Harvard after two years to found the firm that become global powerhouse Microsoft. He later received honorary degrees from Harvard and other universities.

After retiring, Gates will remain chairman of the Microsoft board of directors and its largest shareholder.

“I don’t think anything is going to drastically change the day he leaves,” said Matt Rosoff of the private analyst firm Directions On Microsoft.

“If he thinks something is important and tells Steve Ballmer, Ballmer will listen to him.”

Still, Gates’s bespectacled nerdish visage is an integral part of Microsoft’s image and his departure is symbolic, according to analysts.

“The challenge Microsoft has when the founder departs is remembering its heart,” said analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.

“At some point the firm has to take the essence of what make Bill Gates successful and make surethat is preserved. Whether it is a company or a person, once you’ve lost your heart there isn’t much left but a shell” – AFP

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