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Gates hands over helm at Microsoft

Bill Gates has stepped aside as Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft after twenty five years in the role. Steve Ballmer, president of the company, will become CEO and take over its day-to-day running.

Bill Gates has stepped aside as Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft after twenty five years in the role. Steve Ballmer, president of the company, will become CEO and take over its day-to-day running. Gates will remain as chairman, but also assumes the new role of Chief Software Architect.

"I'm returning to what I love most -- focusing on technologies for the future," said Gates. "Steve's promotion will allow me to dedicate myself full-time to my passion -- building great software and strategizing on the future". He said that he was going to spend time on Windows 2000, especially Internet-based application server aspects of the operating system.

Ballmer reaffirmed Microsoft's resolute opposition to any US Government-enforced breakup, following the findings of the anti-trust trial judge that the company had abused its position of power. "I think it would be absolutely reckless and irresponsible for anyone to try to break up this company," he said.

Ballmer and Gates are seen as having few if any differences in strategic thinking. Ballmer was in charge of the original Windows development project, was best man at Gate's wedding and has been president of Microsoft since July 1998.

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