Bill Gates officially says he's not coming back to Microsoft

Last week the Internet was abuzz with speculation that Bill Gates might be returning full time to Microsoft after an article on the Fortune web site used second hand rumors to claim his possible return to the company he founded. That rumor was quickly squashed by Bill Gates' chief of staff Larry Cohen. Now Gates himself has confirmed that he is not thinking about a return to his full time Microsoft duties.

In a new print and video interview for the Sydney Morning Herald, Gates states flat out that he is working full time with his charitable organization the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He states in the interview he will be doing that job full time for "the rest of my life."

That's not to say that Gates isn't still involved in Microsoft's affairs. Indeed he states, "I'm part-time involved with Microsoft, including even being in touch this week to give some of my advice but that's not going to change – the foundation requires all of my energy and we feel we're having a great impact."

Gates also talks some about his relationship with Apple's late founder and CEO Steve Jobs in the interview. At one point the interviewer asks Gates if he uses any Apple products such as the iPhone. Gates quickly says no, saying, "There are fantastic Windows Phones which I happen to use ... I am the most avid Microsoft user you'll meet."

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20 Comments

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I thought Gates was chairman of the board?

Microsoft has been putting out fantastic products during Ballmer's reign. They've identified a strong vision (3 screens + cloud). Office and Windows are holding strong, in the age of the browser (IE is still kinda not great though, but it's somewhat differentiated). I don't see people's problem with him

I personally like Bill Gates and really like his charity work. But why does everyone want him back at the helm of MS. He's not some great visionary with ideas oozing from head. I think the role he had now is plenty good. MS needs someone new to really get the creative juices flowing and not just a reactionary company.

Microsoft isn't doing that bad as a company without Bill. Not sure why anyone would think he would want to go back. He's probably having fun in his retirement. I'd also like to make a supposition that will burn in the eyes of Apple fanatics: anyone who has used a windows 7 phone for more than a month will have a hard time going back to something like iphone. I'm super happy with my HD7, and all the features Microsoft has built in. Wifi sharing, xbox integration, and the voice control is awesome. People's eyes get big when I recieve a text and answer it back without so much as even looking at my phone.

cigamrorrim said,
Microsoft isn't doing that bad as a company without Bill. Not sure why anyone would think he would want to go back. He's probably having fun in his retirement. I'd also like to make a supposition that will burn in the eyes of Apple fanatics: anyone who has used a windows 7 phone for more than a month will have a hard time going back to something like iphone. I'm super happy with my HD7, and all the features Microsoft has built in. Wifi sharing, xbox integration, and the voice control is awesome. People's eyes get big when I recieve a text and answer it back without so much as even looking at my phone.

Agreed. It's a great OS.

Yeah it would be good if he was to return to MS full time but he's commitments are rightfully elsewhere helping others throughout the world with his cash. Working for his foundation (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) is something that will, in the years ahead make a massive impact.

That's a real pity. That Microsoft also needs him as much as the world's poverty and problems. Why doesn't he think that way?

I remember all the comments from people saying that Bill needed to step down from Microsoft a few years ago, funny how things turn, haha. I think Microsoft is doing okay, just needs a good kick in the ass every now and then to get things moving.

Sad face but I knew this was the case.

When I read the news he was thinking of it I was like "Yeah, no way that's going to happen."