Bill Moves On
Michael Desmond, editor in chief of Redmond Developer News and
Desmond File blogger, is on vacation. Filling in for him today is Kathleen
Richards, RDN's senior editor.
Bill Gates is finishing up his final week at Microsoft on Friday to work full-time
for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates ends his stint in Redmond
as one of the richest men in the world and the face of the PC industry that
he envisioned with his childhood friend and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen
in the mid-'70s.
In our June 15 cover story "Decoding
Bill," author and RDN .NET columnist William F. Zachmann checked
in with several of the rockstar programmers of the '70s and '80s to find out
what they thought of Gates' legacy as a software developer and technologist.
We were actually surprised by the admiration and respect that these landmark
developers -- C. Wayne Ratliff (dBASE), Robert Carr (Frameworks) and Dan Bricklin
(VisiCalc), among others -- had for Bill.
"It is very clear that these folks that competed with Bill long before
Microsoft was a monopoly have a high regard for him," Zachmann said.
He pointed out that today, many of the technologists who faced Microsoft after
it became a monopoly have a negative view of the company, and of Gates' contributions
to the industry at large.
"It's nice to have another perspective," Zachmann said. "The
developers that knew Bill early on just realized that they were out-competed."
Tell us what you'll miss most about Bill, and weigh in on his legacy as a developer
and technologist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on 06/24/2008 at 1:15 PM