The announcement yesterday came as a surprise, although some had already guessed. When Ozzie came in, I knew then that a direction change was coming. When Sinofsky replaced Allchin, it was again another indicator of the changes on the horizon. So, although a somewhat sad announcement, it is not necessarily bad nor is it unwise.
Bill was the genius behind blending technology with business success. However, Microsoft is not just one man, it is the living entity that he created. And just as a parent’s control and influence must ultimately ebb to allow their children to grow, Bill must do the same. He will continue to be the iconic representation of great software. He is without any doubt or argument the single greatest influence in software in history. His withdrawal is necessary for Microsoft to go to the next era. His choice of his next ‘life’s priority’ is a demonstration of who he really is.
So, although this is not really an end, all developers should stand up, thank and salute the Man himself. His demonstration of character, determination, talent and drive has generated unswerving loyalty from legions of developers such as myself. Thank you, Bill, for the computing environment we all now live in. I can’t wait to see the upcoming great accomplishments that you will achieve in this new venue.