Will Bill Gates pull a ‘Steve Jobs’ at Microsoft?

“In naming Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s new chief executive officer, the company also announced that co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates would no longer be chairman, confirming speculation that the iconic tech titan was on his way out,” Benjamin Pimentel reports for MarketWatch. “Well, not all the way out, it turns out.”

“In a curious twist, Gates, now known more for his philanthropic work than being a technology innovator, may actually play a more important role in the software behemoth he founded nearly 40 years ago,” Pimentel reports. “Some analysts see him playing a role similar to the one that his friend and rival Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple in 1997.”

MacDailyNews Take: They also see pink elephants riding unicycles and eating ice cream cones while farting rainbows.

Bill Gates“‘I think what Microsoft is trying to signal is that tying up Bill Gates as chairman and doing all the things a chairman does maybe not the best use [for him],’ IDC analyst Crawford Del Prete told MarketWatch,” Pimentel reports. “In effect, he added, Microsoft is saying, ‘“We see tremendous value in the vision of Bill Gates and we want to use him in a unique way.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Crawford Del Who?

He sees “tremendous value in the vision of Bill Gates?” What the… Wait, is this Gates’ tremendous “vision” that foresaw port-laden, thick-as-a-brick, stylus-based tablets focused on handwriting recognition or is it the “vision” that failed to notice, you know, The Internet?

Pimentel reports, “‘There’s a reason Microsoft got as far as they did under Bill Gates,’ he added. ‘They would be smart to recapture some of that elixir.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Is this Gates’ magical “elixir” that lied to IBM, ran out to bought QDOS, renamed it MS-DOS and pretended it was written by Microsoft or is this the “elixir” that ripped off the Mac’s look and feel and attempted to call it “innovation” enough times to make The Big Lie seem small?

Pimentel reports, “Perhaps in the same way that Apple recaptured its magic when Jobs returned, he added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hoo boy, thanks for the massive laughs, Crawford!

Holy crap, what an epic comedy this fiasco’s going to be!!!

And, BTW, watching Ballmer’s video welcoming Nadella as Microsoft’s new CEO was as cringeworthy as it gets.

(If you haven’t seen it, imagine Jennifer Aniston making a video for Brad Pitt in early 2005 extolling the virtues of Angelina Jolie.)

Our only question: Who was off-camera holding the shotgun on Ballmer, Gates, or did he make John Thompson do it?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “SMac85” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Microsoft names Satya Nadella as CEO; Ballmer’s and Nadella’s letters to employees – February 4, 2014
Satya Nadella? Seriously, Microsoft? – January 31, 2014
Microsoft said to be preparing to name Satya Nadella CEO – January 30, 2014

49 Comments

    1. They are not all wrong, is correct to compare the situations, Bill Gates is right now in a similar situation as Steve Jobs was.. the time when Jobs was fired from his own company.
      But don’t expect to return as Steve Jobs did back then.

      1. One HUGE difference. While away from Apple, Steve managed to create a better OS than Apple had and then brought that back to save Apple. In other words, Steve never stopped working on the next (NeXT) thing.

        In contrast, what has Bill done in tech since he semi-retired? What new advances has he accomplished that he can bring back to Microsoft?

        I have a lot of respect for Bill Gates. But there is ZERO chance that he is going to be able to dramatically restart Microsoft. It is not fair to him to compare him to Steve Jobs, they are not the same kind of animal.

  1. I think that Bill should dream up his cleverest idea and oblige Nadella to commit Microsoft to make millions of them, obviously with their usual tremendously expensive marketing support and bribing of people to adopt them.

    Then when it turns out to be yet another Microsoft failure, people who imagined that Gates could be compared to Jobs might finally shut up. As a bonus, it will be another couple of billion dollars flushed away.

  2. People need to stop with the anti-MS FUD! Ol’ Billy Boy is doing fine! Stop misunderestimating him just like Bush during the 2003 Iraq invasion! Just like Bald Ballmer himself said: “I like that strategy, I like it a lot!” So yes, they are indeed doing fine.

    1. Good point. Bill’s a genius, he’s at least as smart and creative as Jobs. They share so much in common. I can’t wait to see all his fantastic innovations. Nobody can innovate like Bill Gates. He’s told us so himself time after time. Great strategy, I really really like it, I like it a lot. Now get in there Bill and show us what you got. Lead us into the future. Would you may maybe be willing to bring your genius and innovative talent and come work for Apple. We need somebody like you to fill our departed dear leaders shoes.

  3. “In a curious twist, Gates, now known more for his philanthropic work…”

    Another example of Bill Gates getting love from the media for his “philanthropic work.”

    What he did do was to place his wealth in a “charitable trust” tax loophole, rendering it permanently untaxable by the IRS. I do not believe he has to give away the principle EVER – and maybe not even the earnings. He can have his family members administer the trust and they can enjoy a fat, easy living off it, in perpetuity. He can also use to trust to further his pet goals even if they reflect a political agenda (eg, planned parenthood, etc).

    1. You’re so right. Gates is paying his way into the heavenly pearly gates when he dies.

      He’s spent most of his life making crap software that has cost the global economy billions.

      And yes – his ‘charity’ work is a tax loophole… Clever way to save yourself paying 60% tax and make everyone think you’re great too.

      Nice scam billy boy!

  4. Steve Jobs was a discoverer of new lands, a Christopher Columbus if you will. He was not afraid to leave the old world behind in order to discover the new. Steve not only returned to Apple but he remade Apple. He discarded the old boat anchors that were dragging Apple down and struck out in a new direction. He was not afraid to cannibalise existing product lines by inventing new ones.

    Bill Gates is like the Captain of the Pinta (one of the boats that accompanied Columbus). He was lucky enough that Jobs showed the way with the original Word for Mac and Excel for Mac that eventually morphed into the MS Office suite. Without Jobs and Mac OS, Windows 3.1 would never have been born. Bill Gates is what I would call a trekker – someone stepping into the footsteps of a true original, a discoverer of new worlds.

    You look at the transition from Steve Ballmer to Satellite Nutella as CEO of Microsoft. What has changed? Essentially nothing. In order to change MS would have to break free of its corporate market chains. I don’t think anyone within Microsoft is daring enough to discard the corporate market, so it will be more of the same: Windows and Office.

    Gates is a visionary only to the extent that he saw the future through the looking glass Steve gave him. End of story.

    1. BLN says Christopher Columbus was the discoverer of new worlds. That says a lot about people like you. You come to our lands, kill us off, and pollute what little has survived your rapacious mistreatment of our continent. I hope you are happy with what the “Americans” have done to our country. Here’s a hint: We were here first, and you have no right to take what was ours and ruin it.

      1. American Indians came from Asia and wiped out the Australian-originated race that already lived here. American Indians merely stole America before it was stolen from them.

        Furthermore, Indians were forever killing Indians. That’s what they did. And they also exterminated the mastodons and the wooly mammoths.

      2. I wholeheartedly agree, the Anglo centric concept of America is shortsighted and doomed for failure as the rest of the colored world grows around us and leaves the imperialistic propaganda of the so-called discovery buried by a population that knows about the true heritage of native peoples and discovers the cultures destroyed through science and lore

    2. Yup, you hit the nail on the head saying no one is daring enough to break free of the chains, especially the board of directors of Microsoft. They took an awful long time to pick the guy that was right under their nose. I’m guessing he was the “safe” choice to defend the empire.

    3. Good lines BLN, but with a little correction on the historical facts.

      The first European to put his foot on America some 500 years before Columbus was a guy from Iceland, Leif Ericson (Leifur Eiriksson).
      So, Leif was the discoverer of the new lands, like Jobs, and the guy who followed in his footsteps was Columbus aka Bill Gates. Nutella is like the Pinta etc 🙂

  5. Hopefully he might pull his creamaster muscle. If he does, then that would mean no more heirs to Gates’s throne. The Microsoft company will be nonexistent by the end of this decade. You can iCal that!

  6. When Gates and Steve Jobs were being interviewed at All Things D, Bill Gates openly stated that he admired Steve Jobs clear vision of innovation being developed at Apple and stated that he did not have that ability. Watch the video and you will know how this is going to end at Microsoft.

    Oh so clueless. The blind leading the blind followed by a heard of lemmings!

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