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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 15, 2006 at 5:39 PM

More reaction to the Gates move

More reaction on the Web about Gates’ transition out of Microsoft:

“This is a move a long time coming and there’s still two years more to transition. Overall, while it’s likely to have impact it’s not likely to be disruptive.”

Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research

“Microsoft stock is surprisingly quiet given the announcement that Bill Gates will step down. It should probably be going down. Ozzie is smart but not in the same class as Bill Gates. And it’s really Ballmer that needs to go.”

Joel Spolsky, former Microsoft employee and founder of New York City-based Fog Creek Software

“No matter what you think of Microsoft, there is no denying that Bill Gates has impacted his industry like few have before him. Whether the impact is good or bad is open for debate. Regardless, his philanthropic work may prove to leave a far greater legacy.”

— Former Microsoft employee and software developer Andrew Carter

“The current life expectancy for a male in the United States is 75 years, but healthy billionaires with good medical care are living longer lives in good condition. If you were 52 years old and worth $50 billion, would you go to work every day when you’ve been all over the earth and seen the difference you could make?”

— Microsoft employee Niall Kennedy

“Wow. It looks like the internal grapevine was right. That explains all the press Ray has been getting as the savior of Microsoft.”

— Microsoft employee Dare Obasanjo

“It sounds like big news, but this transition has been going on for months. After seeing Gates recently at the ‘D’ conference, I got the feeling that he was dialed back, his intensity less fearsome and his reliance on Ozzie, in particular, and others to carry the big burden of fighting the global software battle with Google, the open source world, Sony, etc. was clear.”

Dan Farber on ZDNet’s “Between the Lines” blog

“I don’t see the other multibillionares — Google guys, Redhat guys, (Oracle Chief Executive Larry) Ellison, (Apple Computer CEO Steve) Jobs, etc. — stepping up to the plate and making any commitment EVEN CLOSE to the level he has. All I see those guys doing is buying fighter planes, boats, sports teams and big houses. Good luck Bill!.”

— a post on Slashdot

“I think the potential of Bill to become the biggest philanthropist of all time is pretty cool. The thought of his mind focusing on health care and education issues full time has a broader potential impact, so my excitement around this comes from the perspective of being a citizen of the world versus a knowledge worker or Microsoft employee.”

— Microsoft employee Heather Hamilton

“In some ways, Bill epitomizes the desktop software model. So there is something timely about his transition when the Web is poised to potentially change desktop software’s relevance. Anyone who thought the Web already did this shouldn’t assume the transition is over. For Ray and other Microsoft executives, the challenge will be either reinventing the company for the Web or binding more of the Web’s utility to desktop software. Either task is going to require a cultural change, among the Microsoft leadership and the older vanguard.” — Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox

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