The reason why Bill Gates became the richest man on the planet is simple: he co-founded Microsoft four decades ago. With his co-founder Paul Allen, Gates went on a mission to put a computer on every desk in every home across the globe. Microsoft has since grown to be a multi-billion dollar company that now does much more than what it started off with. To commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary Bill Gates sent an email to all employees in which he details his visions and also thanks employees for dedicating their time and skills for the betterment of Microsoft.
When Gates stepped down as CEO he handed the baton to Steve Ballmer, but remained as a powerful figure on the board. Last year when Satya Nadella took over as CEO from Ballmer, Gates gave up his chairman seat on the board so that the could take a bigger role at the company.
He now advises Microsoft employees on new products. However the bulk of Gates’ time is spent on philanthropy under the banner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Tomorrow is a special day: Microsoft’s 40th anniversary.
Early on, 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. It is amazing to think about how far computing has come since then, and we can all be proud of the role Microsoft played in that revolution.
Today though, I am thinking much more about Microsoft’s future than its past. I believe computing will evolve faster in the next 10 years than it ever has before. We already live in a multi-platform world, and computing will become even more pervasive. We are nearing the point where computers and robots will be able to see, move, and interact naturally, unlocking many new applications and empowering people even more.
Under Satya’s leadership, Microsoft is better positioned than ever to lead these advances. We have the resources to drive and solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry. 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.
In the coming years, Microsoft has the opportunity to reach even more people and organizations around the world. Technology is still out of reach for many people, because it is complex or expensive, or they simply do not have access. So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices.
We have accomplished a lot together during our first 40 years and empowered countless businesses and people to realize their full potential. But what matters most now is what we do next. Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.