June 30, 2008 would be an important date that the world would remember. It would be the date when Bill Gates -- the founder and key driver of Microsoft would officially leave Microsoft. At the same time it is also planned to be the date when Windows XP would be stopped released from the marketplace.
This becomes significant because it might marks a new era. A day when the great entrepreneur and business builder start to focus/pursue on his other interest; also the day when the greatest hits of his long term works being replaced by a new "era" that still have to found its relevance and meaning.
After Gates, new leadership such as Mr. Ballmer, Ray Ozzie and the likes will start take over. So far, they haven't got any great hit product yet. Gates legacy is still what makes Microsoft great. DOS, Windows, Office , IE, XBOX -- these are all happening during the great Gates era.
We shall see how the days at Microsoft goes after Gates left. The long time veterans of Microsofts now will take over, later even the new comers will start to take over.
Whether Microsoft will stay relevance and exciting as a company after the post-Gates era remain to be seen. But for sure Bill Gates is one of the greatest entrepreneur of all time. The era of the 80s and 90s are still -- after all these years -- the best era, when we see Microsoft as our greatest company that we would fully support with our heart, the same way we get excited, dedicated and support open computing, horizontal scaling architecture, innovation and dedication to great software craftmanship that is happening in the world today.
Larry Dignan of ZDNet writes a great video wrap-up about the many hits (and few misses) of Gates works. It worth to take a look. Although -- to be in all fairness -- in my opinion, many of the failure I think is really happening more in the "new Microsoft leadership era" (which is not Bill Gates') rather than being Bill Gate's misses.
Here's the link to the video: http://news.zdnet.com/2422-13568_22-207992.html?tag=nl.e539