It’s official: Microsoft’s top-geek-made-good, Bill Gates, is leaving his full-time position as head of Microsoft on Friday. Now that he’s made more money than regular mortals can even fathom (aside from those congresspeople who approve the defense budget), he’s stepping down in order to focus on his philanthropic work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The New York Times:

Although Mr. Gates will spend one day a week at the company, it will be up to his successors, led by Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive, to master the challenges of the Internet or watch Microsoft’s wealth and stature in the industry steadily erode. “Bill’s legacy is Windows and Office, and that will be a rich franchise for years to come, but it’s not the future,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School.

Still, the Gates legacy is impressive. In addition to the software itself, Mr. Gates and his company have fundamentally shaped how people think about competition in many industries where technology plays a central role. Today, there are more than one billion copies of the Windows operating system on PCs around the world.

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