Bill Gates says he will spend "considerable time" working with next Microsoft CEO

Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates may want to focus most of his efforts on the charity work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but in a new interview with the Financial Times Gates admitted that he's working a lot more at Microsoft than he first agreed to do.

When Gates decided to stop working full time at Microsoft, he did pledge to spend one day a week at the company he helped to build. However, the FT interview, which is mostly about his philanthropic work, does say that matters at Microsoft take up a "bigger slice of his time", which include regular meetings with some of the company's product groups.

Gates' time at Microsoft likely increased even more when current CEO Steve Ballmer announced he was retiring in August. Gates repeated his stance in the FT interview that he will not be taking Ballmer's place as CEO but did say that he will be spending "considerable time" with whomever is picked to be the new leader of Microsoft. That decision is expected before the end of 2013.

Again, most of the interview deals with Gates' efforts to help eradicate certain diseases such as polio in third world countries. He doesn't feel that giving Internet access to the people who don't currently have it is nearly as important as trying to help children in those countries have access to better health care. He states, "If you think connectivity is the key thing, that’s great. I don’t."

Source: Financial Times | Image via Microsoft

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why is this a good thing? MS booted the Windows head years ago. Gates was the man who grew this company before a lot of the people here were born and a lot got into computers.

I should hope that, he can steer MS away from all the bad PR as of late.

I think it is bad news. Microsoft needs a new direction and with Gates there I doubt it will happen. Remember he supported Balmer and although Microsoft made buckets of money in business they basically cruised along on consumer. (For people who say Xbox 360, remember they still have not made a real profit on it because of the red ring of death hardware replacement program).

Xenon said,
I think it is bad news. Microsoft needs a new direction and with Gates there I doubt it will happen. Remember he supported Balmer and although Microsoft made buckets of money in business they basically cruised along on consumer. (For people who say Xbox 360, remember they still have not made a real profit on it because of the red ring of death hardware replacement program).

Did that many XBox 360s really die from the RRoD? I had it happen once, but I didn't realize it was enough to really impact their ability to make a profit.

Gerowen said,

Did that many XBox 360s really die from the RRoD? I had it happen once, but I didn't realize it was enough to really impact their ability to make a profit.

It didn't. Only people that don't understand how accounting works say that.

Actually there are numerous sources on how the xbox division is a money sink. Here is a link to one story in Neowin:

http://www.neowin.net/news/rep...early-3-billion-in-10-years

There are numerous others if you search. Try the Wall Street Journal, Market Watch etc. Just because something is popular does not make it profitable. The install base of the 360 was not large enough to cover the cost of the replacement program and the R&D.

Xenon said,
Actually there are numerous sources on how the xbox division is a money sink. Here is a link to one story in Neowin:

In accounting we don't add quarters up long term. The profitability of a business is what it's doing now. Even if we did, we would have to apply inflation and other adjustments.

Best Microsoft news of the year...

Microsoft needs a CEO that honors technology and empowering users with technology, that Gates championed.

Ballmer was a very financially motivated CEO and hurt the company by killing projects to save money, which often put them behind in the consumer market as the technology to support the project had finally matured. Best example TabletPC and Office support of TabletPC technologies.

Maybe he can knock some sense into the new CEO and have him or her fix the Windows-8 debacle. Except for tablet users and casual laptop users, it was hardly any kind of major improvement over Windows-7.

TsarNikky said,
Maybe he can knock some sense into the new CEO and have him or her fix the Windows-8 debacle. Except for tablet users and casual laptop users, it was hardly any kind of major improvement over Windows-7.

If you don't like the look of W8, that's fine. But to say it's there's no major improvement over 7 is nuts. I'm biased towards W7 and W8 performance blows it out the water, it just works with everything almost automatically.

It's way more responsive, and faster..,

TsarNikky said,
Maybe he can knock some sense into the new CEO and have him or her fix the Windows-8 debacle. Except for tablet users and casual laptop users, it was hardly any kind of major improvement over Windows-7.

Thank you Mr Cliché repeating man.

I think their has to be a dual CEO approach to this. There is nothing wrong with having a businessman at helm, but there has to be some kind of GEEK/NERD right there as well.

The Bill Gates era: When Microsoft was still a respected company respecting its customers

I'm glad to learn that the fat guy using too much cocaine will be gone for good!

myxomatosis said,
The Bill Gates era: When Microsoft was still a respected company respecting its customers

I'm glad to learn that the fat guy using too much cocaine will be gone for good!

It seems you forgot all the anti Microsoft jokes from 90s and 2000s.

myxomatosis said,
The Bill Gates era: When Microsoft was still a respected company respecting its customers

I'm glad to learn that the fat guy using too much cocaine will be gone for good!


No...just No...

myxomatosis said,
I'm glad to learn that the fat guy using too much cocaine will be gone for good!

What the hell are you talking about? Geez...

Lot of Rose Tinted Glasses stuff going on here.

So basically the CEO is going to have Bill looking over his shoulder the whole time and killing any decisions he doesn't like.

Rose tinted glasses? if you think the last few years were special.. maybe you should check to see who is actually wearing rose colored glasses?

chrisj1968 said,
This is a good sign that Bill isn't happy with the way MS has been run. GOOD on you Bill!

this made my day

Um. Bill Gates left Microsoft to Steve Ballmer, and he did a great job as CEO.

chrisj1968 said,
This is a good sign that Bill isn't happy with the way MS has been run. GOOD on you Bill!

this made my day


No. What it means is that the "One Microsoft" initiative will be alive and bring Microsoft to new heights.

If it were up to some other idiotic shareholders/boardmembers, they'd spin off consumer/entertainment/search etc and solely focus on business. This would gain huge profit in short term so they can cash out and an irrelevant Microsoft after 10 years.

chrisj1968 said,
This is a good sign that Bill isn't happy with the way MS has been run. GOOD on you Bill!

this made my day

Microsoft has been run very well - not sure what you're talking about. When many companies have come and gone, Microsoft has been strong and profitable year after year. Ballmer, as much as people love to hate him, has been doing a great job all throughout. Question is who can replace him and do as good or better job running the company.

Obry said,
Microsoft has been run very well

Microsoft has been run into the ground under Ballmer. The massive Windows 8 failure is why all the top execs are getting the boot. Hopefully Gates can get the company back on track.

dvb2000 said,

Microsoft has been run into the ground under Ballmer. The massive Windows 8 failure is why all the top execs are getting the boot. Hopefully Gates can get the company back on track.

You obviously have no clue what you're talking about pretty much implying Windows is Microsoft's main source of revenue. Are all top execs on their Servers division getting the boot, Azure, Office/Office 365, Xbox, Advertising/Bing, etc. Just because some people don't like Windows 8 doesn't mean Microsoft has gotten run into the ground.

Windows 8 has larger install base than all versions of OS X combined. Windows Phone, although third, is also making gains with Nokia being the fourth largest manufacturer in US. If anything they were a little late with releasing something like Windows 8 and allowing Apple and Google to take too big of a lead in the mobile/tablet space.

"Microsoft has been run into the ground under Ballmer. The massive Windows 8 failure is why all the top execs are getting the boot. Hopefully Gates can get the company back on track"

>.> no just no

Obry said,
Windows is Microsoft's main source of revenue.

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.

dvb2000 said,

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.

If a companies bottom line is has been up over the course of that CEO's tenure, that means the CEO did a great job.
Products fail, it happens.

Tell me who makes a sure fire hit all the time... Please do.

I think Ballmer missed on some things, but also hit on some things... Overall Ballmers tenure was a successful one.

dvb2000 said,

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.

What has Windows Media Player got to do with mobile phones? What is Office 360? Office 365 has been a success for the company, if that's the product you're eluding to, not a failure, and the Surface line had a write down, not a write off.

Haven't you got a paper bag you should be hyperventilating into, rather that continuing to spur your inept nonsense online?

Windows 8 is not a failure; your continued ineptitude and unwillingness to try anything through open eyes however, is.

Your comment about Ballmer driving Microsoft into the ground, much like your constant hyperventilating, doesn't stack up. Microsoft's been highly profitable over his tenure and released many successful products (Windows 7 which you love for one), and the company has only gotten bigger. Seems to directly contradict your babbling.

dvb2000 said,

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.


The clueless one is you.

Zune
yes.

XBOX
No. It is a device that enabled Microsoft to successfully get in to the living room.

Surface
Surface sales doubled. Just before they write DOWN $900M doesn't mean it is a failure.

WP
wp has sold 10M this Q. That's puts it at equal footing with 3rd phone company (LG) after Apple (2nd) and Samsung (1st).
By next Q, WP will be right after Samsung and Apple.
Market share is rising consistently. Failure? lol.

Windows 8
Sales/market share has been rising consistently. Gabe said Windows 8 is a catastrophe while now it has ~20% share in steam itself. Failure my ass.

Bing
Market share is rising slowly. Has more or less 30% market share. May be in your definition, only "market leader" is successful; everyone else should just pack up and go home.

Office 365
subscribers raised to 2M (from 1M) within a SHORT time if I remember correctly. If this is failure, I'd love to fail.

Oh and for someone who cant even get the product names right, it is very funny to see him talking about how the products are failure. May be you should stop failing instead.

Edited by Crimson Rain, Nov 3 2013, 1:07am :

Dot Matrix said,

Um. Bill Gates left Microsoft to Steve Ballmer, and he did a great job as CEO.

Um, not exactly. Gates and Ballmer have very different business philosophies. Gates was about consumers and technology, Ballmer was about the bottom line.

Even while Gates was still at Microsoft and Ballmer stepped in as CEO, Gates fought several decisions and regretted ones that he let Ballmer go forward with based on a financial argument.

As for Ballmer's success, he was good at holding the bottom line, but made many errors in defunding projects that Microsoft later had to catch up on. TabletPC for example.

Gates in contrast kept projects alive based on their technological necessity in the long term, with a more forward approach to R&D as well.

dvb2000 said,

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.

Windows 8 is a failure compared to Google? What? What about Google compares to Windows 8?

Why is Windows Media Player a failure?

How is Xbox a failure?


What are you on?

Dot Matrix said,

Windows 8 is a failure compared to Google? What? What about Google compares to Windows 8?

Why is Windows Media Player a failure?

How is Xbox a failure?


What are you on?


I know the answer to your last question: crack.

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.

Um... Xbox isn't a failure.

Maybe the Xbox One specifically, although there's still time to see what happens since it isn't out yet.

dvb2000 said,

I wasn't talking at all about revenue.

Zune was a failure, xbox is a failure (losing money for over 10 years), surface is a failure ($900m loss to the company last year), WMP is a failure (compared to iphone or samsung android), windows 8 is a failure, bing was late to market, and a failure (compared to google). Office 360 is a failure, The list is endless.

Anyone who thinks Ballmer did a good job is totally clueless about what has happened in Microsoft.


Hey clueless, Xbox is breaking even. Not losing money. MS intentionally took a loss on Xbox to make it a success - and have done so. Zune was a failure, yes. Surface took a stock writedown so they could sell it for less - not strictly a loss, but yes Surface hasn't been a roaring success. WMP is Windows Media Player - a free piece of software that comes with Windows I'm guessing you mean WP or Windows Phone - which is now the 3rd biggest mobile OS, doing better than any previous mobile OS effort by Microsoft. Windows 8 started relatively poorly due to FUD online and the fact that it was trying to replace a great OS, Win7 (which was a much bigger success thanks largely to replacing a bad OS, Vista) - but Win8 is an excellent OS and is catching on now, finally, thanks to users getting to grips with it and hardware makers catching up. Bing is the #2 search engine in the world, it's ridiculous to label that a "failure". Nobody is going to beat Google at its own game so coming second is something to celebrate. Office 360 doesn't exist But Office 365 has been a success so far.

WP, Win8, XB1, O365 - all of these are projects looking to the future, and the market is slowly but steadily catching up to them.

dvb2000, try to update yourself to 2013 before you post again

james.faction said,
WP, Win8, XB1, O365 - all of these are projects looking to the future, and the market is slowly but steadily catching up to them.

Exactly. People not liking W8 still use W7, it's not like they go with Linux or Apple. They took a risk with W8, but they had W7 backing them. If they did all this W8 stuff after Vista, that would have been a monumental failure, but they didn't, they were smart about it.

Hopefully the next CEO is someone who's been at Microsoft for a long time and knows the company's inner workings and history! Someone who knows Microsoft's history could use that knowledge to lead the company safely in a new direction.

Edited by Atomic Wanderer Chicken, Nov 2 2013, 6:06pm :

I'd much rather Gates stays working at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was good at running MS but his new work is more important.