Microsoft Prescription: More Bill Gates?

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Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg Businessweek’s Peter Burrows and Crawford Del Prete, executive VP & chief research officer at IDC, discuss the possible future role of Bill Gates at Microsoft on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”

Time bill gates will be spending at the company and what will he be doing?

It's pretty cloudy at this point.

We know he will have -- if he was to step up as chairman, he would refocus his efforts from the administrative duties to doing what is best that probably and enjoys the most which is products.

It is not clear how much time -- we have heard at least one day per week -- but i think the importance of it is that this is a man -- it's impossible to understate his role there.

The minute he is in the room, people are very much on their game and they are very much -- he is enormously admired their.

It is cultural.

What do you think about this move?

Is this a good move?

Yes, i think it could be a good move.

I think the maneuver that you have to get your head around is saachi needs to be able to be the leader of the company.

Or whoever it is.

To capitalize on the bill gates expertise, you want to be able to deploy him in very measured ways.

I think that can be very much i roll up your sleeves, pretty a product review work.

It does not necessarily need to be very broad or being tied up in the administrative things that a chairman can do.

That is probably the worst and you want to do.

You might want to have bill gates help the company in specific areas.

It sounds like you're suggesting employment of limited nuclear weapons.

It is the founder and largest individual shareholder of the company.

You look at some of the ways that steve jobs was able to create massive transformation at apple.

Why couldn't bill gates be used in a similar way, helping them think through a huge part of the company but that part of the company may have a transformational product.

I think tying up the gates in the administrative things that relate to business reviews and relate to understanding the global strategy, i think that's the kind of stuff you can have a very excellent executive doing but it's not taking advantage of his understanding of technology and where technology is going and where it has been.

Apple was going downhill and steve jobs was there and he sometimes got more in the way them helped.

Can bill gates or will he give them the time it takes to do the job he needs to do?

We will see.

Personally, i think it makes some sense.

You don't have many cases where you have a product guy getting put back in charge of a big tech company.

Typically what happens is where tech companies go wrong is they have the innovator in charge on the, with great products and then they put the sales guy in charge.

This is really an interesting move in that regard.

You look at microsoft, they have had a lot of the right strategy.

I was looking at the history of windows mobile.

They were working on that in 1990. they never got the product right.

Satya nadella is a product guy.

I thought one reason they chose him as bill gates felt more comfortable stepping away because a tech guy would be in charge.

He was perhaps as balanced as steve ballmer.

There were still a tech guy as the chairman.

I wonder how much of this is a little bit of spin.

Bill gates has said publicly he would be spending most of his time with his foundation, not at the company.

Let's listen to that.

My full-time work will be the foundation for the rest of my life.

My wife melinda and i enjoy that.

I get to do it in depth.

I'm not going to change that.

I will help out part-time.

What do you make of his comments?

He seems to minas.

-- mean it.

If they bring in sqatya think about what a leadership change it is.

You see ultimate high energy, it's a complete change in leadership.

They might want to send the message that there has been a lot of changes but bill gates is still in the room.

It has been the bill and steve show.

33 years, one chairman and two ceo's. it could be a seachange in everyone they meet.

What do you think about the issue of time and space and bill gates looking over satya nad ella's shoulder how much progress can be made?

They have a tremendous amount of hard work to do.

I will guarantee you that it bill gates comes in and looks over the shoulder of every decision thatsatya makes, chaos and calamity will ensue.

You cannot have someone whose lights -- whose lives work -- whose life''s work has transformed the present, i think it would be a disaster.

There has to be spin, there has to be a very thoughtful and somewhat tactical deployment of the great mind of bill gates.

Let them figure out the next chapter of their office strategy or the next chapter of their services strategy.

If you do something broader than that and start questioning, chaos will ensue.

Thank you both very much.

Coming up, could connected cars

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