Microsoft founder and chairman gives final big speech, reflecting on 33 years of Microsoft

Bill Gates says goodbye

Ahead of his official stepping down on July 1st, Bill Gates gave his final public speech as Microsoft chairman this week, looking back on the firm’s industry defining 33-year history and offering some predictions for the future.

Addressing 5,000 developers at Microsoft’s Tech Ed North America 2008 Developers conference, Gates – who will continue to work part time at the firm, devoting most of his time to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – said he was ‘amazed’ at how far technologies had come, warned that progress would not be as fast as in the past, and revealed his trepidation at leaving the role he’s occupied for so long.

"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 have come," he said. "We went from the 16-bit processor with a meg of memory, and now we are in the transition to 64-bit and that is quite soon. Looming after that, though, is an even more interesting challenge, which is that clock speed will not increase at the same rate it has over the past 30 years," he continued.

"[It] is the first time I have really changed my career since I was 17 years old. I do not know what it is going to be like. It will be a bit abrupt, and put me in new territory."

Link: Computer Weekly

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