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Bill Gates marks Microsoft’s 40th birthday: ‘What matters most now is what we do next’

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Microsoft staff, Albuquerque, Dec 7, 1978 Top: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, Jim Lane Middle: Bob O'Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, Gordon Letwin Bottom: Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, Paul Allen Not pictured: Ric Weiland, Miriam Lubow. Gates described this photo in 2009 as "that famous picture that provides indisputable proof that your average computer geek from the late 1970s was not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion." (Photo: Microsoft via wikipedia.org)

Microsoft staff, Albuquerque, Dec 7, 1978
Top: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, Jim Lane
Middle: Bob O’Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, Gordon Letwin
Bottom: Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, Paul Allen
Not pictured: Ric Weiland, Miriam Lubow.
Gates described this photo in 2009 as “that famous picture that provides indisputable proof that your average computer geek from the late 1970s was not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion.”
(Photo: Microsoft/wikipedia.org)

SEATTLE — Saturday is the 40th anniversary of the founding of Microsoft — the software giant that Bill Gates and Paul Allen created in 1975.  Gates marked the event by sending an email Friday offering advice on what the future may hold.

Gates served as chief executive officer for 25 years before stepping down in 2000. He remains an adviser to current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Gates spends most of his time now working on philanthropic efforts in conjunction with his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In his email Friday, Gates offered advice for Microsoft employees.

The full text of the letter, originally tweeted by Amit Roy Choudhary, is below:

“Tomorrow is a special day: Microsoft’s 40th anniversary.

“Early on, Paul Allen and I set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. It was a bold idea and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible. It is amazing to think about how far computing has come since then, and we can all be proud of the role Microsoft played in that revolution.

“Today though, I am thinking much more about Microsoft’s future than its past. I believe computing will evolve faster in the next 10 years than it ever has before. We already live in a multi-platform world, and computing will become even more pervasive. We are nearing the point where computers and robots will be able to see, move, and interact naturally, unlocking many new applications and empowering people even more.

“Under Satya’s leadership, Microsoft is better positioned than ever to lead these advances. We have the resources to drive and solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry. In my role as technical advisor to Satya, I get to join product reviews and am impressed by the vision and talent I see. The result is evident in products like Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens — and those are just a few of the many innovations that are on the way.

“In the coming years, Microsoft has the opportunity to reach even more people and organizations around the world. Technology is still out of reach for many people, because it is complex or expensive, or they simply do not have access. So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices.

“We have accomplished a lot together during our first 40 years and empowered countless businesses and people to realize their full potential. But what matters most now is what we do next. Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.”

 

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4 comments

  • Skip

    The good paying jobs that Microsoft brings to the NW has really lifted the local economy. People are moving here like crazy and frumpy old houses are selling with bidding wars. Every other car on the read is some European sporty model. MS has changed a lot of things like no company before it.