Bill gates last day at Microsoft is just days away, so it’s a good time to take stock of what the man has and hasn’t done for us and in some cases to us, by and large, I think we owe bill gates a world of thanks.
Say what will about the intense, driven man, described by some as mean spirited, but without bill gates, there likely would have been no Microsoft, no windows and no office suite, and there might even have been a delay in the technology and internet revolutions.
Bill gate legacy is that he leaves behind a world of technology and reputation that will likely grown in structure over time. The company he and Paul Allen founded and that gates relentlessly drove for over three decades created an unrivaled universe of extraordinarily popular and successful products, namely windows.
Microsoft products weren’t always original, perhaps they never were as many knows of us know, Xerox created the first graphical user interface and CPM was precursor to MS-DOS/DOS based word processors that proliferated in the early nineties, but none were as popular or as widely used as Microsoft word.
Bill gates genius was not grasp of technology, instead he understood the market like no one else and knew which levers to pull to advance his products in the hearts and minds of consumers and businesses and then to move those products onto hundreds of millions of desktop.
People complain that Microsoft used its dominant windows position and advantage to unfairly see new products, damn right, of course, Microsoft ended up with antitrust suit that persist to his day at least in the European union, someone asked, I don’t think gates dwell on regrets, but I’m sure he still doesn’t agree with the DOJ’s ruling.
People tend to forget windows humble beginning, before it become the Goliath of software world, windows was hardly a roaring success when it was fist released. Windows 3.0 was the first usable version and 3.1 was the one that made businesses believe it could, may be just maybe go graphical.
It would be another four years before consumers would care about PC in any meaningful way, and once again, it was gates genius that made it so.
Without the marketing push behind Windows 95, the masses might no have adopted PCs in such record number and the internet revolution which was already under way might have take far longer to reach everyday folk, it would have stayed mired in business and the world would be a much less interesting place.
So thank you bill gates, thanks for windows and word, power point and excel, event internet explorer, thanks for pushing the market to do better and for keeping stave jobs on his toes, thanks for making the industry more interesting with your presence, well miss you but, it’s not as if you’re gone for good, your legacy after all is always only a keystroke away.