Social Enterprise

Bill Gates is not in charge so get over it and move on

A recent Windows Blog poll shows that there are still a significant number of people who still consider Bill Gates to be the man in charge of Microsoft. The question is how?

On May 13, 2011, I posted a simple true or false poll in the TechRepublic Windows Blog:

True or false poll: Bill Gates still runs Microsoft?

My curiosity was piqued by the continuing parade of anti-Bill Gates rhetoric I see in the discussion forums attached to this blog. I received another on the date of this post's publication: Windoze 8.

I think it is obvious that Bill Gates is no longer managing the day-to-day activities of Microsoft, but according to the poll results, 14% of the poll respondents feel differently. Perhaps they would like to tell us how they think Bill Gates is still the man in charge, because I find myself discounting most everything those 14% post in the forums?

Again, I want to mention the good work they are doing at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. When you want to talk about where Bill Gates attention is focused, that is where the conversation should begin and end.

**********

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

28 comments
dfa19
dfa19

I've seen some poeple post because he is Chairman and owns the most stock he's in charge...that's idiotic. THE CEO runs the company, the chairman is head of the board. Completely different, the chairman and the board can remove and nominate the CEO but they are not the CEO. CEO is accountable to the board. Gates would have had alot more innovative ideas than the CFO Balmer has had.

KeithBa
KeithBa

Not everyone is well-informed or stays up-to-date in the latest tech company trivia. I still equate Bill Gates with Microsoft even though I know him to be well removed from his position. Also, of the 14% that are bashing Bill Gates, how many are actually Microsoft users? I see non-Microsoft users post anti-Microsoft slogans in Windows forums all the time (for whatever reason), perhaps as an effort to get us to turn from "the dark side". ;) From your post it sounds as though you are implying that these people do not believe that Bill Gates is not in charge. Perhaps you should lead them to a link where it states as such. I can't believe I even took the time to respond to this nonsense...

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

Bills WAY TOO Busy funding population control thru his foundation to make time for running Microsoft. So why then do so many still believe Gates is in control? Probably because the 2 (Microsoft and Gates) are as synonymous as APPLE and Steve Jobs and so there will always be a few that will believe Gates still runs things not matter what, at least until he's passed on or everyone who grew up during the the reigning years of MS (1990 thru 2008) has passed on.

abakalidis
abakalidis

So here we are all wasting brain cells about who run MS (?!). Honestly, I do not care. What I care about is the company's attitude towards "me". So, perhaps a better blog post that could trigger a more realistic discussion would be something related to "how do you feel about MS actually creating products, then pricing them high and finally allowing people to crack them so they can demand that the companies they work for buy them?"

mykejeffers2
mykejeffers2

...doesn't the Chief Operating Officer NOT listen to the Chief Stockholder of the company...sounds like a recipe for termination!

Dethpod
Dethpod

Don't you ppl have better things to do? I know Bill does. He just donated $ 2.3 billion to vaccinate over 80 million impoverished children. Yeah... he is an evil man. Also, how can anyone that spells Microsoft with a dollar sign expect to be taken seriously? Get over it. SRSLY.

Old Timer 8080
Old Timer 8080

The level of professionals in the blogger/journalist department is going downhill.... The real question should involve the BEHAVIOR of the people running M$.... BallsMore BEHAVES like Bill Gates...the management STILL ACTS like Bill Gates is still running the company...the same DESTROY OTHERS ( companies and internal personnel ) is in place.. Wtness the recent court ruling.... It is getting close to the time that I will decide that TR bloggers/journalists are irrelevant and I will stop wasting my time on these fora....

ctisdm1
ctisdm1

Upon his "retirement"...... still Board chairman and largest single stockholder. Guess "not in charge" needs a better definition here.

sboverie
sboverie

On one hand, the 14 percent represent the lowest levels of being informed, then on the other hand the same 14 percent are given too much power to set the dialog. What is the percentage who knew that Gates retired 10 years ago? I do agree with some that we do think of Gates when we think of Microsoft. This should be in the same line as thinking of the USA with George Washington's face as the image of the early nation.

info
info

Dunno, but when I think of Microsoft, I think of Bill Gates, not Steve Balmer. It's just a reflex, and a lot of people stop thinking after the 'Gates' part... It could go both ways. Bill could be the impartial businessman he probably is and retire with his Billions, not really caring if MS is run 'into the ground' (relatively), only talking to Balmer and crew while passing through in a social and friendly way... Or he could be like most other people that have built 'their baby' from the ground up. Retired or not, Board of Directors et al. or not, things turn out pretty much like Tony's first comment above. He might keep tabs on most of the goings on and, no matter what THEY say, when HE bothers to talk and 'make suggestions', everybody listens...

randallizm
randallizm

Why is this discussion even here. It doesn't matter who is running it now, the same rules are there and the worse and worse will be blamed on Bill. Do you think people like Fords because they are getting Henry building them. They aren't even made in America anymore, so you can't really call them American cars, same with Microsoft, it isn't a company responsible for American made programming either. People are saying "thanks Bill" whenever they have a problem now, just as they did when he was running things, and that fell off in the IPO stage and went down steadily until he left, but the damage is done. No one is going to get over it, and they are not going to put the blame on the guy that is there now paying for the mess the best way he can to save a dying giant. And just as the devote Ma Bell supporters of the past, you best get used to the constant death rattles of the company that has so many people clinging to the nursings, because when it is gone, it is gone! My advice is to be ready to ween off the Microsoft breast before you have to cry about it. After all, it will cost less to do so anyway. Sined, Never crashing, never virus worried, never frustrated about my computer going down, or spending all week trying to figure out how to get back to work, because MS is not my OS!! Bye.

sp1nna
sp1nna

Last time I checked when gates was running that joint they were making money and MS was doing well

seanferd
seanferd

half the crap that they do? Whether Gates is "running" MS is a minor issue which barely affects anything. Forty-odd percent of USAnians think the earth is around 6000 years old, and they have an agenda, just for example.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Some people do live with their heads in the ground...

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

If you are in the 14% camp, why do you think Bill Gates is still the man in charge at Microsoft? How do you come to that conclusion?

sandyman_2000
sandyman_2000

Vaccinations are the leading cause of autism.. .. And Bill Gates is all about information, right? Was this philanthropic gesture based on his informed decision?

Weatherlight
Weatherlight

I recall Gates starting to sell off some stock a little bit after his retirement (when he was getting his foundation started and making donations to different charities) and having every ya-hoo commentator commenting "Is this the end of Microsoft?" and headlines like "Gates bailing on Microsoft". Seriously, he retired, wanted to do something with his money and found that he couldn't without losing it, and killing the company he created. Seems like a logical choice to keep it in Microsoft stocks,

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

I think the idea here is that he is passing the torch and has other things to do. I don't work for M$ and I don't know how much sway he holds with those who do but it's safe to assume that they ask for his opinion or get it on occasion. There are many people involved in the success of an organization. Steve Ballmer isn't M$ and neither is Gates. They are like the president of the US. They are the spokesmen. They give direction. It is a large team of people that actually make the little decisions that end up being what you see in the end.

sandyman_2000
sandyman_2000

I agree.. when I think of Microsoft... (eat it .. sleep it... drink it.. live it.. develop and debug, support, and supervise it.. and much more and have for so many years) equate Microsoft with Bill Gates.. who wouldn't? .. Matter of fact.. i had to scroll down to recall just who is in charge. Sandy

jdr_03
jdr_03

And for centuries before the last, everyone thought that the universe was eternal (well, not everyone, the religious said there was a beginning). Science still can't tell us where DNA came from. Einstein has told us how a day's length is based on perception, not just time (making the 6,000 year people, both right and wrong). All of that still doesn't explain why people think Bill Gates still runs Microsoft (or why a person on TR would think that it is news).

dhays
dhays

Do you have absolute proof it is not? Neither do we. We believe in a creator and what he said, not in some hazy science that cannot be proven.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Bill : So how's the company doing Fred? Fred : Pretty good, we have plans to do better. Bill :Like what Fred : We are going to enter the space race Bill : No you aren't. Fred : I don't think you realise we are charge now. Bill : Goodbye Bill So Jim how's the company doing. Jim : Much better Sir Bill, now that ashole Fred has gone. F'ing space race, sheesh. The trick for those in charge is to persuade Bill that they can be safely left in charge...

catpaw
catpaw

Vaccinations as a cause of autism has been so completely discredited, I'm surprised to see it even mentioned here.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

The very processes that run your computer are based on scientifically verified knowledge that is also used to date the age of our planet. I won't hold that against you, since humans have a built in bias toward "magical thinking"; that being the source of our racial optimism in the face of a rather uncaring and hostile environment. Otherwise we'd all succumb to helplessness and dispair, and just sit down and die.

KeithBa
KeithBa

Looking back I would have to say that many products have actually improved since he left, perhaps the new management is trying less to stymie progress...

catpaw
catpaw

On the contrary, you haven't proven anything. There are many articles that exposed the autism and vaccine link as based on dodgey science and medical fraud. You've done nothing more than deflect the argument. Please supply studies (not anecdotal tales) of the link, backed up by science.

BlueCollarCritic
BlueCollarCritic

The boilerplate reply of ???Vaccinations as a cause of autism has been so completely discredited" has been exposed 7 ways to Sunday, hundreds of times over and so I'm surprised anyone is foolish enough to try and use it. @catpaw - See how easy it is to dismiss something without proof just because you don't like the truth? You're in good company though as the world???s smartest people (several hundred years ago) you used to say this: "The idea that the Earth is not the center of the universe and that it revolves around the sun has been proven to be Junk Science by everyone. In this matter the debate is clearly over and Earth is the flat center of the known universe". Those people were as confident if not possibly more then you in their stance. As you already know they were proven to be wrong. Just imagine what the supposed "majority" knows today that will be proven wrong tomorrow? Its fine and even a good idea to have a differing opinion on something but dismissing an opposing stance simply because you don't like what it could mean or worse because it goes against what leaders have told you to take as your stance on the matter is at best a sign of weak minded simple-ness.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

.Net and VS 2005, which pre-date Bill taking a back seat. All of those were driven by competition, toom while for anyone at MS to get used to having some....