The lights dim in the keynote hall, the music comes up, and Microsoft’s leader Bill Gates is announced to the developer legions at Tech Ed for the final time. That is the scene on the first week of June in Orlando as Bill Gates makes one last keynote before moving on, leaving his day job at Microsoft to take over the reins at his charitable foundation.
What would the computer and software businesses be like without Gates? Would pre-PC computer companies like IBM and DEC have held eternal sway? People can differ on the degree of responsibility Gates should share for a technology revolution that put more computing power within the reach of more programmers. But it is surely significant.
In the face of today’s open-source software movement it is hard to remember that, in his day, Bill Gates stormed the barricades in the name of egalitarian computing, sort of. What do you think? Let us know.