It's been over six years since Bill Gates handed over the CEO job to Steve Ballmer. While he's been quoted in various interviews saying how much he enjoys his role as Chief Software Architect, the company has certainly struggled with some of its software initiatives over the years. From his plans to stop all spam by early this year (whoops) to the problems getting their new Vista operating system out the door, the company has certainly run into some difficulties. Microsoft has also been working hard to come up with an internet strategy, but hasn't really found its footing there either. A lot of that internet strategy has recently fallen to Ray Ozzie, who Bill Gates has always been a fan of, since long before he bought Ozzie's company last year. It seems that all of this has combined to make the situation right for Gates to transition out of his day-to-day role at Microsoft, and hand over the Chief Software Architect title to Ozzie. He'll remain chairman, but it's still a bit surprising, given Gates' competitiveness. In the past, he had indicated that he had no interest in cutting back his role, but with people noticing lately that Gates has seemed friendlier and more mellow, perhaps he's finally recognizing that he can let go somewhat of the company he built. Still, it will be interesting to see how smoothly the transition really is, or if Gates feels the need to come roaring back at some point in the future.
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