weekly roundup Bill Gates will soon be closing his chapter at Microsoft. Dubbed the Thomas Watson of our generation, the company's co-founder and chief software architect this week announced plans to gradually relinquish his day-to-day responsibilities at Microsoft and focus on charity work.
Love him or hate him, Gates has been synonymous with Microsoft for the past three decades and his pending departure marks the end of an important era in computing history.
Described by rival Sun Microsystems Chairman Scott McNealy as "probably the most dangerous and powerful industrialist of our age", Gates has lent a critical role in shaping the development of software since he founded Microsoft in 1975 with high-school pal Paul Allen. Today, the company's Windows OS operates on more than 90 percent of PCs worldwide.
The world's richest man and biggest philanthropist, Gates' departure will leave a gaping void but is unlikely to cause much of a ripple for a company that has already established itself a strong footprint in the IT industry today. In fact, I was part of a media roundtable some three years back, during the launch of Office System 2003, when Gates underscored his confidence in his team of software architects, and noted: "I did not write a single code in Office System 2003."
And as Microsoft faces increasing pressures from delays in its Vista operating system and competition with Google, now is as good a time any to hand the reins over to the company's next generation of engineers and influencers.
In other news headlines this week, find out why IBM CEO Sam Palmisano suggests multinational corporations need to change and where e-mail spammers have shifted to. But if you're a Yahoo Web e-mail user, you may have more than spam to deal with this week. Find out also why open-source Linux users have reason to celebrate, as do the people at Singapore's homegrown company Creative Technology.