Follow us:

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 16, 2006 at 11:29 AM

Architect of Word weighs in on Gates

Charles Simonyi, one of the first and most influential developers at Microsoft, said he thought Bill Gates’ move was the right one.

“One of Bill’s unique traits is his discipline, the ability to make hard decisions at the right time. It tends to catch people by surprise but he has done them before and he will make them in the future,” Simonyi said in an e-mail.

“He has been working very hard with his foundation before and even harder with Microsoft. When he turns this the other way both organizations will be still greatly advanced.”

Simonyi, now chief executive of Intentional Software in Bellevue, is considered the pioneer of two of Microsoft’s biggest selling products: Word and Excel. He also worked closely with Gates as one of the company’s top researchers.

I looked up an interview with Simonyi around the 20th anniversary of Windows. What a difference between the Redmond behemoth now and two decades ago when Simonyi first joined Microsoft, a company of a few hundred people located next to Burgermaster. Here’s what he said about the difficulty Microsoft had in working with IBM back then:

“IBM was a large organization that wasn’t equipped to operate in a nimble and efficient way. There was this tremendous bureaucratic organization where trivial decisions took an infinite amount of paperwork. That’s expensive. Plus, it makes it very difficult to reverse decisions. The more people invest in decisions, the more they cling to them. All you need is for people to cling to a couple of bad decisions and you’re dead.”

Today those sound like words of wisdom for Ozzie.

Comments | More in Microsoft

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►