Last night Bill Gates announced that he will start to involve less in the day-to-day activity as the Chief Software Architect for Microsoft. This transition will take 2 years before he leaves Microsoft totally.
Last year we saw Bill Gates steps down as the CEO of Microsoft and became the Chief Software Architect of Microsoft and now this departure announcement. Is Billy telling us something?
Some people like John Dvorak, feels that this recent announcement last night is not a big deal and will not affect the company's operations or its stocks. But I have another theory.
Everyone knows that Microsoft had had some poor press this past 3 - 4 years. With "Longhorn".... oops... I mean "Windows Vista" being delayed and delayed, year after year. Microsoft finally said that they WILL release Windows Vista this year, but earlier this year we found that the actual commercial wide release will not happen until January 2007, so another delay.
On top of delays, most of the original features that were announced when the code name was still "Longhorn", had been removed or delayed to later releases.
They showed of the new Windows Vista at the Microsoft Developers' conference earlier this year, but every feature they showed off were just features from the Mac OS X, which had existed for the past 4 years. Someone on the net even went as far as modifying the Microsoft presentation, to substitute slides of Windows Vista screen shots with Mac OS X screen shots, to proof his point.
Microsoft started to compete with Google and Yahoo, by copying Google and released a product that is similar to Google IG and Google Maps. They even copied Google's approach and launched their products with the "Beta" label. I guess this is just in case people say that their products are no good. Microsoft would then have an excuse, and say "that the products are still in beta".
Now with more any more people migrating away from Internet Explorer to FireFox and other standards compliant browsers. Microsoft finally announce their support for some of the W3C standards, but they do it in such a way that there are still Microsoft extensions to the Standards, hence the resulting behaviours are not what the developers would expect. So developers out there still have to condition their code so that it works in Internet Explorer.
All in all, I think that Microsoft had made some bad decisions lately, especially after Billy step down as the CEO. I am not sure if it is a coincident or is directly related to Billy's lesser involvements with the company. Therefore, I think last night's announcement should not be good news for any Windows fanboy. As everyone know, any innovation, if any in Microsoft, came mainly from Billy himself. The only exception is XBox 360, which had a very good User Interface design and over all user experience.
One possible reason for Billy's departure, is that he is already too rich and he wants to focus on other things; like finding a cure for Malaria. He wants to disassociate himself from Microsoft before it ruin his own reputation.
I am sure my last statement will generate some opinions.