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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Good-bye Bill!

(Picture provided by AP)

Good morning, Netizens...

The chances are quite good that most of you are reading this piece this morning because of the baby-faced geek at the lower left hand of this morning's picture, for without young Bill Gates, pictured with the organizational structure of Microsoft in 1978, you probably would not be running Windows software as you know it today.

Top row, the founding fathers of Microsoft are from left: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace and Jim Lane. Middle row, from left: Bob O'Rear, Bob Greenburg, Marc McDonald and Gordon Letwin. Bottom row, from left: Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood and Paul Allen.

First, such as I can, I am going to briefly list of history of Microsoft, excluding those portions which are covered by a non-disclosure agreement between myself and Microsoft.

In 1981 Microsoft joined the computer generation to be with the completion of MS-DOS 1.0, which was ugly, not Internet-aware and yet was popular enough for Microsoft to claim a huge chunk of the then-fledgling market share as compared to CP/M and other operating systems. Windows 1.0, a truly hideous graphical interface, followed. In 1987, Gates becomes the youngest self-made billionaire. May 1990, Windows 3.0 is released, purportedly the only “windowing” software for Intel PC's. August 1995, Windows 95 is released. May 1998 Microsoft is sued by the U.S. Government, for anti-trust violations. In 1998 Windows 98 was initially released, although it bombed within days of its release, which is why we still have three different versions of the same software. In 2000 Bill Gates steps down as CEO of Microsoft, handing those tasks over to others. On February 13, 2001 Windows XP is released, and in November of that same year, Microsoft settles the anti-trust lawsuit with the feds. In January 2002, after a truly macabre set of high-profile security vulnerabilities, Gates declares Windows security to be Micosoft's “top priority”. In January 2007 Windows Vista was released, followed by half a dozen “bug fixes” nearly all of which were greeted by negative reviews and weak sales.
( all excerpted from a variety of sources, both public and private, including personal archives)

This of course is Bill Gate's final week as CEO of Microsoft because at the end of the month, he is leaving the company he helped created, lo those many years ago. In the parlance of the times, he's come a long way, baby, from a Harvard dropout to the richest man in the world.

Does this affect you at all? Even worse, do you care? Do you have any choice memories regarding either Microsoft or Bill Gates?

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.