Gates's Glorious, Qualified Legacy

Microsoft's co-founder will be remembered for helping to spark the PC revolution, not to mention assembling an empire grown hugeand clumsy

The impending departure of Bill Gates from the company which is nearly synonymous with his name represents the end of an era—for both Microsoft (MSFT) and the tech industry. In 2008, the world's richest man will step back from day-to-day oversight of the company he founded with former schoolmate Paul Allen in 1975. While he remains chairman, Gates will center his attention on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the $29 billion philanthropic juggernaut that has pledged to spend billions on health, education, and community development (see, 6/16/06, "Bill Gates' Long Goodbye").

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