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Is Bill Gates' Return Good for Microsoft and Good for You?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 40 comments

What do you think of Bill Gates return to Microsoft as Technology Advisor?

Bill Gates welcomes Satya Nadella as Microsoft CEO

The big news in tech yesterday was Microsoft naming Satya Nadella as its new CEO. Along with that was also the reveal that Bill Gates will be stepping down as chairman and taking on a new, more active role at Microsoft as Technology Advisor.

Bill Gates will be more involved in the direction of Microsoft, which in itself is just as interesting as the new leadership from Nadella. Gates said that it was Nadella who requested that he step up to assume a greater role. That could be Nadella's first major decision as the new Microsoft CEO, but was it a good call?

Read more: Why is Bill Gates Back at Microsoft?

Gates is one of the founders of Microsoft, and his new role is focused on next-generation products. This could be exactly what Microsoft needs to bring back innovation. One could argue that this is the most vital thing Microsoft needs, and Gates should actually take the reigns on steering the entire company in the direction of making innovative products. Of course, two heads are often better than one, so Gates looking after products while Nadella focuses on the new frontiers in cloud and mobile could be the one-two punch to success.

Satya Nadella addresses Microsoft employees

On the other hand, Gates has been out of the business for a long time, and much has changed in the 14 years since he was Microsoft's CEO. Maybe what Microsoft really needs is a fresh start; Satya Nadella's engineering background and business experience could be the right mix. Someone with a bold agenda doesn't need the old guard looking over his shoulder.

Furthermore, Gates has moved on to what many would say are bigger and better things. His work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making the world a better place. While better technology can also improve lives, the Foundation is having a direct positive impact where many people need help today.

Bill Gates at Microsoft's Meet the CEO event

What do you think of Bill Gates' return to Microsoft? Will he bring glory, or will he be a distraction? Vote in our poll and also sound off in the comments below!

Read more: New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Has His Head in the Cloud

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  • 3 Hide
    littleleo , February 5, 2014 4:02 PM
    I hope its not more of the same which lead us to the horrible products like Windows 8 and Office 2013, and Office 365.
  • -6 Hide
    ferooxidan , February 5, 2014 4:58 PM
    Office 2013 is great, well for Microsoft Project 2013 i mean. The new Reports feature is better than the previous and bring it to almost the same level as P6. Windows 8 is a killer, its performance is. The only failure is their Live Tile and Metro UI, for most people that is. For me, I'm fine with that.
  • -1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , February 5, 2014 5:02 PM
    Gates is good for the company as long as he isn't the one that's in charge of new ideas outside OSes. Zune was a bad marketing mistake and it clearly showed that Gates was out of his comfort zone, with anything beyond software products. This is where Nadella comes in and where Gates should be left out. What Gates needs to really focus on is the software side of Microsoft. Fixing Windows is a start.
  • 3 Hide
    JD88 , February 5, 2014 5:41 PM
    Gates was never really an innovator. His presence is only necessary because Nadella needs Gates' clout in order to keep others within the company from dragging their feet on changes being made. Microsoft's corporate culture is all about politics and games.
  • 3 Hide
    clownbaby , February 5, 2014 5:55 PM
    Unless his first actions are to stop charging $100-200 per license for an operating system lost in time, realize that their market share is about to tank, and start acting more like Google (innovating for the benefit of the consumer and getting paid on the back end), Microsoft will be but a dot in the history of computing.Their business practices are beyond antiquated. Their operating system is overly complicated in many ways, and too simplistic in others (Metro Interface (and pretentious...what a stupid name)).Their current goal is to FORCE customers to continue using their products rather than creating products consumers will choose to use. Without their built in market share, Microsoft would disappear in a very short amount of time. As soon as Google (or anyone else for that matter) matures an operation system with enough of a software base, I will say goodbye to Windows forever. Good luck Bill. My advice: Go work for a company that isn't completely ruined. The Microsoft culture is a dead end.
  • 6 Hide
    Thorfkin , February 5, 2014 5:57 PM
    Too many large companies today are run by entirely business minded people but who have no real passion for good products. Gates is one of those people who has business acumen but also knows what PC users want. I hope he's able to steer the Windows division back to where it should be. Based on the rumors it seems Microsoft really is trying to clean up after Windows 8's disaster. Hopefully Bill will keep them heading in the right direction.
  • 3 Hide
    JD88 , February 5, 2014 6:10 PM
    Quote:
    Unless his first actions are to stop charging $100-200 per license for an operating system lost in time, realize that their market share is about to tank, and start acting more like Google (innovating for the benefit of the consumer and getting paid on the back end), Microsoft will be but a dot in the history of computing.Their business practices are beyond antiquated. Their operating system is overly complicated in many ways, and too simplistic in others (Metro Interface (and pretentious...what a stupid name)).Their current goal is to FORCE customers to continue using their products rather than creating products consumers will choose to use. Without their built in market share, Microsoft would disappear in a very short amount of time. As soon as Google (or anyone else for that matter) matures an operation system with enough of a software base, I will say goodbye to Windows forever. Good luck Bill. My advice: Go work for a company that isn't completely ruined. The Microsoft culture is a dead end.


    Very good analysis. Microsoft's culture has always been one of entitlement since they have had no competition until recently.
  • 14 Hide
    jurassic512 , February 5, 2014 6:49 PM
    This site has the worst navigation I have ever seen. It's buggy and annoying. Just trying to use spellcheck on a word in this box doesn't always work. And scrolling after you click on an article to see the next one is stupid. I'm on a PC, not a damn phone!
  • 4 Hide
    w8gaming , February 5, 2014 10:37 PM
    Quote:
    This site has the worst navigation I have ever seen. It's buggy and annoying. Just trying to use spellcheck on a word in this box doesn't always work. And scrolling after you click on an article to see the next one is stupid. I'm on a PC, not a damn phone!


    The new navigation is a new "feature" in 2014. Before that it was one article per page. Not sure why it was changed and this new method does seem annoying.
  • 1 Hide
    w8gaming , February 5, 2014 10:41 PM
    Quote:
    Unless his first actions are to stop charging $100-200 per license for an operating system lost in time, realize that their market share is about to tank, and start acting more like Google (innovating for the benefit of the consumer and getting paid on the back end), Microsoft will be but a dot in the history of computing.Their business practices are beyond antiquated. Their operating system is overly complicated in many ways, and too simplistic in others (Metro Interface (and pretentious...what a stupid name)).Their current goal is to FORCE customers to continue using their products rather than creating products consumers will choose to use. Without their built in market share, Microsoft would disappear in a very short amount of time. As soon as Google (or anyone else for that matter) matures an operation system with enough of a software base, I will say goodbye to Windows forever. Good luck Bill. My advice: Go work for a company that isn't completely ruined. The Microsoft culture is a dead end.


    I agree with you on the licensing fee issue. The success of both iOS and Google OSes has created new platform in which the customers are getting used to not paying for the OS, and the reduced cost on the devices as a result. While there is good justifications for a company is entitled to charge for its OS, the new platforms are challenging this business approach. Microsoft needs to rethink their mobile pricing strategy. And while the other platforms start to erode into their desktop platforms as well, they will soon have to rethink the desktop OS pricing strategy as well. Time is ticking and they really have to turn around the situation soon.
  • -1 Hide
    Lemmiwink , February 5, 2014 11:25 PM
    Gates pulling off a "Jobs" will not make Microsoft more innovative. Gates have always copied other companies. Their first Windows was a Carbon copy of Apple's Xerox copy, only Apple actually made innovations to it. People always complain about OS X being 10 Years old with few changes to it, but hos long has Windows ben based on their NT-Kernel? For about as long as OS X has ben based on UNIX. What would kill MS is Apple making OS X available through OEM sales and higher price computers such as the Vaio and the Samsung 9000 Series. OS X is the better OS for alot of people and Windows 8 is the consequence of a company having 80% of the market for so long.
  • 0 Hide
    pedant , February 5, 2014 11:56 PM
    Reins not reigns
  • -2 Hide
    DjEaZy , February 6, 2014 12:02 AM
    ... wht is this jOBS posture? ... and... now, that, jOBS is not here, do Bill want to copy jOBS'es return back and to success story? From what innovators wanna M$ copy now? I hope that M$ will copy open standards and open-source community... or the open-source community from likes as Android ans SteamOS, from standards as OpenCL/GL will make M$ irrelevant in the long run... the one coonsumer success, that M$ haz now is XBOne... in phone and tablet space Apple and Google rule supreme... even AMD was fed up with DX and the legacy bottlenecks, that it brings, and developed Mantle, that uses modern hardware better, and is theoretically a open standard... and on, and on, and on...
  • -1 Hide
    fteoOpty64 , February 6, 2014 2:04 AM
    Totally agree. Bill has innovated NOTHING!. He has failed in many initiatives, notably the WindowsCE PDA and PocketPC phones. Killed off Courier tablet!!!. RT is just a crippled OS and do not start with Win8 mess!.

    A radical change is needed. Fixing Win8 is going to be difficult. Using the Linux Kernel for Win9 would be a great start. ie. Copying in an innovative way and they can put the Tiled Windows on it or other shells people prefer. They can fork Android 4.4 into their WP9 as well. Perfectly legal and much hard work but the result could well BEAT Google since google had to put their interests first in Android. MS do not need to!, Amazon has done it. B&N as well. MS can do a much better job at it. Why start from scratch when you can leap-frog your competitors from their shoulders ??!.
    If MS can get to their old ways and execute better, it will do well. Stop trying to keep legacy compatibly. Enterprise users can RDT/Citrix into the server for old stuff and they already do. Now what to do with BING ?.
  • 4 Hide
    guvnaguy , February 6, 2014 2:18 AM
    Jeez, what's with all the hate pouring out of this thread? Microsoft is not a failing company, they just posted an increase in revenue from the Surface line. Don't get me wrong, some change is needed in its direction now that the PC industry is declining, but cmon. You folks are seriously butthurt
  • 1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , February 6, 2014 4:51 AM
    Quote:
    Wow, even in death, he can't help himself from trying to be like Steve and trying to pull off some osrt of miracle corporate comeback. I mean what gives? Did he run out of children who need help in Africa? I don't get it. Also, Gates is either sadly out of touch with the real world, or simply an intentional liar. He had the nerve to testify before congress that the United States does not have enough qualified technical professionals and therefore we must increase our H1B VISA quotas.This is not even remotely believable. We have plenty of skilled talent sitting unemployed. Perhaps if he located his offices closer to civilization his company would have an easier time recruiting.How can someone so delusional and/or dishonest about reality, turn around a decaying corpse of a company? Aside from X-Box, what innovations have they produced in recent times? Microsoft's days are numbered, Bill or no Bill.
    Your post is quite, quite evil. He's an amazing guy so please stop the hate.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 6, 2014 5:23 AM
    Quote:
    Wow, even in death, he can't help himself from trying to be like Steve and trying to pull off some osrt of miracle corporate comeback. I mean what gives? Did he run out of children who need help in Africa? I don't get it. Also, Gates is either sadly out of touch with the real world, or simply an intentional liar. He had the nerve to testify before congress that the United States does not have enough qualified technical professionals and therefore we must increase our H1B VISA quotas.This is not even remotely believable. We have plenty of skilled talent sitting unemployed. Perhaps if he located his offices closer to civilization his company would have an easier time recruiting.How can someone so delusional and/or dishonest about reality, turn around a decaying corpse of a company? Aside from X-Box, what innovations have they produced in recent times? Microsoft's days are numbered, Bill or no Bill.
    Bill never got kicked out of his own company, to then return, he has always been there. Microsoft never nearly went bankrupt only to have Apple swoop in with financial support. So your analogy kind of sucks.
  • 0 Hide
    damianrobertjones , February 6, 2014 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    and start acting more like Google (innovating for the benefit of the consumer and getting paid on the back end),
    Please, please, PLEASE, MS... NEVER act like Google. Ever.
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