Bill Gates may be considering a comeback
There has been no shortage of analysts calling for the head of Steve Ballmer over the last few years, but we don't think Steve Ballmer has been a disaster for Microsoft. Although, the company has been slow to transition to the mobile computing surge, the mobile products it has developed are quality products. Windows Phone 7 is a very nice OS, but came to market a bit late and has yet to find real traction, and Microsoft has yet to get into the tablet game although tablets are expected out next year with the release of Windows 8. Some claim that Microsoft has been lacking an overarching strategy since Gates' departure, but we think the idea of Windows 8 unifying PCs, tablets and phones with Windows Azure powering the cloud is a pretty comprehensive strategy for Microsoft. The problem with Microsoft is more in putting out quality products faster. The company seems to be in a perpetual state of catch-up with no real leapfrogging.
The newest rumor comes from a "prominent chief executive" who told Fortune that someone close to Gates said he might be considering a return to Microsoft. So, we have a chief executive from an unknown company relaying info from someone close to Gates that a return is being considered. Not exactly the hardest evidence around. However, from a stock price perspective, a Gates return would certainly be a shot in the arm.
What do you think?
image source: Deborah Feingold/Corbis
1. Goldeneye (Posts: 344; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)
Absolutely! Bill needs to straight MS they cannot afford anymore f... Ups by Ballmer, Microsoft needs a talented and visionary mind like Bill's
16. Today (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)
2. Birds (Posts: 927; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
Does anyone else get hungry when they hear Bill Gates's name?
17. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)
Is that a pie reference? Where'd that coming from?
3. p0rkguy (Posts: 677; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)
Honestly, I think with Jobs gone it feels as though Microsoft is trying to use Bill Gates. Along with Jobs, he's one of the greatest leaders of all time. If he does end up coming back, the mass is likely to go "BILL GATES IS BACK! Microsoft is going to show us something that's out of this world!"
4. Penny (Posts: 988; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)
As much as I like Bill Gates and his contributions to the world, I am not one of the people who is opposed to what Ballmer is doing with Microsoft right now. I think they have a very interesting vision, and are dutifully executing their strategy to get there.
We never know what will and won't work, but that's just the nature of the game. There would be no guarantees that Microsoft would be better off if Bill Gates were to come back, despite the enthusiasm Wall Street might show for the move. However, I will say that the perspective we are looking at the situation from is incomplete. If Bill Gates is in fact considering coming back to lead Microsoft, it very well could be that Bill Gates may not agree with something Ballmer is planning for the future, or he may have some ideas of his own that he feels Microsoft needs to act on.
19. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
I agree that Ballmer has done a great job as CEO. He has posted some solid gains, has overseen the production of some sound products, and i guess as soon as some things catch on, he could do even better. I think Bill Gates however brought something different to the position much like Steve Jobs brought unlike Tim Cook. Cook might be a solid business man and do Apple proud but does not have that WOW factor that brings some companies attention. Bill Gates brings that for Microsoft that is why its appealing to have him back.
I like how Microsoft is going now and they are certainly setting up for the long game, Bill Gates would only strengthen that.
5. JGuinan007 (Posts: 605; Member since: 19 May 2011)
Bill's not comming back MS changed from always trying to push out product faster after Windows Vista and now takes more time with market research and prolonged testing to ensure a quality product I agree with that and am excited to see what they have cooking with windows 8
6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5281; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Bill would have to get his edge back to be successful in turning around MS. 3 years in the tech world is an eternity. Another thing to consider - he may not have the fire in his belly any longer.
7. Lwazi_N (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)
You would be surprised by the number of great ideas one could gather by just watching the mobile/computer space. We as the users know what we want and what we do not want in our gadgets. So what would make anyone think Gates has not been watching? That he has not developed his own ideas for MS?
Obviously, he could not get his views heard as he is not in the position to.
I think Bill has it in him to save MS and lead them in an entirely new direction!
8. rsiders (Posts: 200; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
Come on Bill Gates! Hey, maybe then Sprint and Verizon will finally get one second generation Windows Phone.
10. jubbing (Posts: 150; Member since: 20 Aug 2008)
Oh snap, bill is back, watch for his attack, cuz he's black. Or not...
11. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
" The company seems to be in a perpetual state of catch-up with no real leapfrogging."
I dont agree with this statement. Outside of phones, where exactly is MS chasing competition? They own the PC and video game space. They own the interconnectivity space (Windows CE is on a lot of things). They own the home gesture space... what better gesture device is there than the Kinnect. They own the office productivity space. What space dont they dominate in other than mobile products, in which they were the last to return to the game with a new OS?
They are in the middle of a comprehensive recollection and connection between everything they do. The new 360 "metro" redesign is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, everything MS has out will be interconnected with other MS products in some way shape or form. No other company has that yet, not even Apple.
They may be chasing their tails a bit in mobile, but they are definitely ahead of the pack in everything else.
14. gotti88 (Posts: 101; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)
smart guy.... i totally agree.... microsoft is still running the game and pc world.... and bill gates still had ideas and revolutionary things in the making and i think hes coming back at a great time.. i think the tablets will be a personal project of his lol!!! gate will and has always been the man...
12. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
"With stttheeve Jobsth out of the way, I can finally be teh "cool guy"!!" - Bill Gates.
15. rob5150 (Posts: 88; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
whether its Microsoft or HP webOS , why can't they develop and promote software that lets android apps to run on their systems? I know the technology is out there. Throw a little money at it and lets have the bet of both worlds.
22. hepresearch (unregistered)
Maemo 5 on the Nokia N900 did... it was called "Alien Dalvik"... it would probably port to Meego really easily, too, but nobody seemed to notice, and it got buried as quickly and silently as possible
18. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
on a side note, when ever i scroll down the page and i see this old pic of BG in the little blurb, i keep thinking he looks just like that kid from Weird Science. :) lol
20. hepresearch (unregistered)
The last thing we need is for the other half of the infamous "Pirates of Silicon Valley" to ride into town and pick up where the late Steve Jobs left off, just with the other corporate super-OS ecosystem designed to offset... err, I mean compete with... Apple. Will the Apple fans complain that Windows Phone is based on the Windows CE kernel, which is descended from the original Windows products, which were based fairly directly on early MacIntosh builds which Bill Gates, technically, stole from Steve Jobs? No, they won't... because Gates and Microsoft are just another half of the overarching establishment that is ever more becoming the whole of the technology world we see today!
We do not need a "Steve Jobs, Part Deux"...
21. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
good read. it would be nice to have him BACK