Photos: A Bill Gates retrospective

As the most public embodiment of Microsoft, Bill Gates has trod many a stage to deliver keynote speeches and otherwise evangelize his company's technology. That role will start winding down soon: Gates on Thursday announced the start of a transition out of his day-to-day role at the software giant.

In this photo from the WinHEC conference in May 2006, Gates introduces the first public beta version of Microsoft's upcoming--and critical--Windows Vista update.

Joris Evers/CNET

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...