Monday, June 23, 2008 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Good bye, Bill Gates

Since July 1st, 2008, Bill Gates will no longer be the chairman of Microsoft. He will dedicate his energy, name, and time to charity. Well, there are many other people who could do such things but Gates is surely a free man!

Steve Ballmer who has been Microsoft's CEO since 2000 and who will become the most powerful man of the company recently visited Czechia and charmed most of the public and the media as if he were a movie star. What a huge difference between Ballmer and the average (boring and silent) Czech managers. But let's return to Gates.

I consider Bill Gates to be the most well-deserved multi-billionaire in the world. Steve Jobs is also great and probably more charismatic and more likable than Gates but Bill Gates is a more authentic geek.

There are all kinds of geeks but many of them are geeks partially because they like their image of a geek: they want to be a part of a community. Many of them adopt the anti-corporate ideology in order to join. Bill Gates doesn't need anything like that. He was born as a geek.

I still think that it is immensely cool that such a geek has become an extremely skillful businessman and one of the richest people in the world.

The crucial role of Microsoft's product in the present world has always looked unquestionable to me. But what has really cemented my respect for Bill Gates a decade ago was when I learned who had created the BASIC programming language on the following system - Commodore 64 - that many of us have played with for years:

Click, type your favorite short BASIC program and run it. Yes, your program on the most popular home computer of the mid 1980s is actually interpreted by a code in your ROM that was written by Bill Gates. He gave away the rights to the Commodore BASIC OS because he thought it was useless. His later business decisions were usually more sensible. ;-)

The wide spectrum of products starting from the Commodore 64 interpreter/OS to MS-DOS and Windows and to the numerous recent Microsoft products and visions simply shows that Gates' creativity is no illusion and his success is no coincidence.

Other multi-billionaires have either inherited a lot of money or they have followed a relatively straightforward set of algorithms to multiply their assets or they have been lucky but Bill Gates is different. His are well-deserved billions.

And that's the memo.

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