Microsoft has different leadership than it did 40 years ago, but that leadership has proven to be very formidable in the eyes of the company’s co-founder Bill Gates, who wrote a letter to employees on the company’s 40th birthday. It was on April 4th, 1975 when Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft. While the rest has been history, Gates had some impressive words for Microsoft employees to think about as they head into the next generation of personal computing and technology.
Gates started his letter by pointing out just how the company came and how far their ideas actually stretched in the raw application. He said, “Paul Allen and I set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. It was a bold idea and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible.” A bold idea it was, but one that actually became the guide for the trajectory of technology in homes, and with people.
He also talked about his role with the company now that he is no longer involved in the day-to-day operation. Gates pointed out that he remains very happy and very excited about where the company is going, and the types of products that the company is putting together under Satya Nadella’s leadership. He said, “In my role as technical advisor to Satya, I get to join product reviews and am impressed by the vision and talent I see. The result is evident in products like Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens — and those are just a few of the many innovations that are on the way.”
He ended his letter by thanking everyone for their hard work and pointed out that the company is what it is today thanks to the dedication they had exhibited to this point. He closed by saying, “Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.”
The next several years and the next several decades will be very interesting for Microsoft as they attempt to lead out from the leadership of their own founders. Just as Apple has had to do since the passing of Steve Jobs, as Bill Gates continues to get older – they will have to make new decisions on where the company will go creatively and beyond.