On Tuesday at Microsoft Tech-Ed 2008 in Orlando, Bill Gates gave what was billed as his last keynote as a full-time Microsoft employee. He talked about the past and the future of software development and even made a few product announcements.

Gates said:

“When I think back on the early days of development when we were all programming in DOS, and then take a look at what we can do now with technologies like the .NET Framework, it simply amazes me how far we’ve come. I started out as a developer and that’s what I remain at heart, so I have a personal interest in the future of the field. I am confident that the path we are laying out today will serve you well into the future.”

I doubt this will be the last Gates keynote, and I think it’s very likely that he could return to Microsoft full-time if there’s even a hint that he’s still needed. Nevertheless, this is a speech worth seeing.

Watch the video of the entire Gates keynote (you’ll need to have Silverlight installed):