back to article Gates chokes up, WEEPS to Microsoft shareholders amid talk of CEO hunt

Bill Gates today delivered an emotional speech to the Microsoft shareholders, choking up as he described his history with the company and the search for a successor for his friend Steve Ballmer. "We've got a commitment to see that the next CEO is the right person, for the right time, for the company we both love," said Gates, …


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  1. Mike Bell

    "I know now why you cry. But it's something I can never do."

    As icon.

    1. Havin_it


      Nice one. Thank Skynet for screen protectors!

      Also, "I cannot self-terminate..."

  2. Canopus

    Microsoft is still scratching the surface?

    No comment but strange images come to mind :-)

    1. Gray

      Re: Microsoft is still scratching the surface?

      Hmmmm ... rednecks and hounds come to mind.

  3. NoneSuch Silver badge


    Do M$ shareholders want a guy who guts, then sells out, his own company for personal financial gain?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About time Microsoft split itself into divisions. Then the overall head can just be a simple decision maker. The heads of divisions can be the geeky product enthusiasts.

  5. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    It will be an emotional time for all really.

    Maybe just part of the human experience rather than MS experience.

    Besides which staying with a single organisation for so long can make for lots of emotional investment/baggage.

    Were it the Ancient Greeks who thought it profound to weep?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Bill...

    if you really mean this:

    "We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."

    Then you need to stop your company acting like total scumbags in every corner of your business. You need to make products people want, not tricking them into buying your products by badmouthing the competition.

    You need to invest in ENGINEERING rather than viral marketing.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      Re: Dear Bill...

      "You need to invest in ENGINEERING rather than viral marketing."

      But MS has only ever been a marketing organisation, selling third-rate rubbish purely by virtue of marketing genius.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Bill...

        by virtue of marketing genius.

        There is a vast gulf of difference between marketing and plain deception. Only the former can be called genius, like the many Guinness ads.

  7. Levente Szileszky

    "shy and retiring Ballmer"

    ...AHAHAHAHAHA, thanks for the great post-lunch laugh, I almost teared up too (from joy, of course - he's finally really leaving!!!.) :)

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: "shy and retiring Ballmer"

      Pleas, take your shoes with you when leaving, leave the chair.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."

    For those not long in the tooth, one thing MS did create for 'normal' people was that computers crash and it is normal. Secondly, it got 'normal' users to expect computer virii (spelling?), worms and trojans (MS created the whole anti-virus business by accident!).

    And, of course:

    Let alone the committee stuffing to get an ISO on the document format.

    "Make the world a better place" Yeah? Just for MS people, that's who.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: What?

      Copland's "Microserfs" indicates that it was hell for Microsoft people, too.

      "Be nice to me, Bill... please!"

      But at least they got lucite motivators and - sometimes - share options out of it.

  9. Sureo

    Bill Gates crying.....

  10. h3

    Windows 8.1 has done lots of stuff that is for no benefit other than mobile.

    (Don't get why they didn't just only enable that stuff when something was running from a battery).

    For me it has caused loads more hassle than the upgrade from 7-8

    (The workaround for the mouse issues is probably more complicated than anything I have had to do since the Windows 3.1 days just to get individual apps to work).

  11. Goat Jam

    We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place.

    Sorry Bill, but that is just pure, unadulterated bullshit.


    Virtually everything MS has ever done has caused the world to be a worse place. The only people who have benefited from the actions that Microsoft have taken over their 38 year history are the upper managment types in MS and their early investors.

    The number of companies that have been destroyed by the ruthless, illegal and downright immoral activities of MS are legion. of course for every company destroyed there have been countless *people* whose lives have been adversely affected due to their attachments to those companies.

    Even if you were not directly affected by Microsofts bullying rampages through the IT industry there are billions of other people today who have been raised with uneccessarily low expectations about computers based on their ignorant assumptions that computers have to be buggy, malware infested shitfights that they are because due to Microsofts rampant market bullying almost every computer sold on the planet by default has a crappy, bug ridden, malware magnet OS installed on it.

    Every person who has ever purchased a PC and been forced to purchase a MS product along with it has been ripped off.

    This lack of consumer choice and forced purchasing of substandard software has done immeasurable harm to the fledgling IT industry, and all for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of sharks like Gates and Ballmer.

    For that man to stand there and make such a statement with a straight face is a total disgrace.

    Being a ruthless, money grubbing worm is one thing. Pretending you are making the world a better place while you do it is entirely another.


    1. rayc

      Dude u r miserable. Get some sunshine please as your dark side is a real downer.

      1. Goat Jam

        Dude, grow the fuck up

        1. Stuart Elliott

          'grow the fuck up'...

          Pot... meet kettle..

    2. John 156

      Now, now don't you ever forget how you used to queue all night to be first to purchase your new very much improved 16-bit Windows O/S system for your 32-bit computer, and it was so cheap too, worth every penny. You were so lucky.

    3. AndyC

      Agree in part...

      Yes, MS have been marketing and legal scumbags, but, they *helped* bring computing to the masses.

      What was it like in the early 90's?

      There were competing OSs (MS-DOS, O/S2, Windows, UNIX (of various flavours itself), VMS etc), productivity suites (MS Office, although it was separate programs in the early 90s, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3 Wordstar etc) and no unified way to do anything.

      MS and their very clever strategies effectively killed the competition but let the masses get their hands on cheap(ish) easy to use computers with a common UI.

      I know, I know. Most of what they did was pure evil, but do you really think that we would have the computing environment we have today if it wasn't for the single mindedness of Gates?

      In the 2000s MS seemed to stand still. Yes, they still released newer versions of their software, but most of it was rubbish (even XP needed two service packs to become good). Linux gained ground and seemed poised to take over, but the SCO <del>investment by MS</del> controversy tainted Linux, so many corporations didn't give it a first thought, let alone a second.

      Now MS is realising, possibly too late, that the new wave of computing is leaving it behind.

      Corporate buyers will still buy MS, but BYOD may well kill that off in the next 10 years or so. MS may just become the new Novell.

  12. TheOtherHobbes

    "Everybody who works has a real need to be productive."

    Hilarious unintentional irony is always the best kind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah..... Like you can't be productive with Linux, a Mac or even a tablet. I don't understand the productivity argument. I do understand the comparability argument, and I have no beef with MS Office. That's Microsoft's real advantage; not productivity.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Like Hollande declaring that he favors a peaceful Middle East.

    It's time that El Reg mirrored the appropriate image for this article onto its site.

  14. Fill

    End of the Old Guard

    "The Internet is the Home Shoplifting Network" - Gates

    "The iPhone is a sea of icons! It will only sell single digit market sales." - Ballmer

    "Android is so complicated, you need a Computer Science degree to use it." - Ballmer

    "Not impressed with the iPad, don't think it will be successful like the iPhone." - Gates

    It's time for the old guard to leave. They just don't get it. I for one found Gates crying a positive sign for Microsoft, as they are finally letting go. Just... let... it go. Time for a younger leadership.

    1. Malagabay

      Re: Just... let... it go

      But that would spoil all the fun...

      Also doubtful whether there are any "young leaders" wanting to go into "battle" with the antique weapons in the MS arsenal of turds which are poorly designed, insecure, vulnerable, high maintenance anachronisms that continually misfire, lock-up and crash...

      MS is legacy... like IBM mainframes... the world has moved on... the "young leaders" are busy polishing a new generation of products that are poorly designed, insecure, vulnerable, high maintenance turds that are destined to be anachronisms.

      Seems the only option is to ride the "cash cow" into the ground... and I think they know that - hence the tears... so unbuckle your belt... drop your pants... bend over... and be prepared to be shafted... again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

      Basically, IT is good at two things:

      1) Continually reinventing the "square wheel".

      2) Extracting as much cash as possible before the "square wheels" fall off.

    2. BJS

      Re: End of the Old Guard

      Yeah, except that:

      - The Internet kind of *is* the home shoplifting network, but while the shoplifters think they are getting away with something, they are actually paying Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for whatever they thought they were getting for "free".

      - The IPhone *is* a bit of a sea of icons, Pretty much anything that uses icons, from Macs to Windoze to mobes, ultimately becomes a sea of icons.

      - Android is complicated to the point that you would need a CS degree to understand what privacy you are giving up every time you install or update an app. Not that Android is alone in that critique, I'm just sayin'...

      - iPads (and tablets in general) are successful, but they are only impressive to the "point-and-grunt" generation.

      Younger leadership? How about just *leadership*? Leave the ageism out of it.

  15. The Lord Gord

    We can only hope that the next person to come on board has common sense and the strength to say... "Let's clear this mess up" and drop this nightmare called Windows 8 and the Metro interface.

    And, ignoring the obvious change required to get Windows 8 sorted out, I can only hope that Microsoft rethinks the decision to get rid of Small Business Server, clearly the biggest mistake they have ever made in all the years they have been going.

  16. Lapun Mankimasta

    Gates' words from Feb 3, 1976: "Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software."

    The thing is, we're still waiting for this mythical "good software" from Microsoft to arrive. I think this 38-year practical joke has run its course: it's no longer Halloween, and we've had the trick for 38 years, and still no treats.

  17. PeterM42

    I have the answer Bill.....

    ...get someone who is a practical techie and NOT ARROGANT who can set about changing the company ethos back to one that delivers what the customers want, NOT what some a*****l at M$ thinks they want.

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