Last modified: June 20, 2006 6:28 AM PDT
Vista Views: Windows in the post-Gates era
There's a lot of work ahead for Ray Ozzie, who replaces Gates as chief software architect, and for Craig Mundie, who will take over research and incubation duties.
To find out what people on the street make of it, we asked our Vista Views panel--made up of ordinary readers--this question: What do you think Bill Gates' lesser role at Microsoft means for the future of Windows?
I am pleased, however to see Ray Ozzie move into the architect position--not because the title suddenly means more than it did, but because it serves as recognition that the move into online services and a tighter integration between the desktop applications and the online services, which Ozzie has spearheaded, will continue. And that is a very good thing.
Perry Reed works by day in software QA for a large home shopping television network, and in his spare time, he hosts The Tablet PC Show podcast.
Barb Bowman is a product development manager for Comcast high-speed Internet who also writes about technology for the Microsoft Windows XP Expert Zone and the Microsoft Vista community.
Bill Gates' new role as "chief advisor" means he can do pretty much whatever he wants. It's basically the same role that John Lasseter got when Apple bought Disney...oops, I mean when Disney bought Pixar. If he wants to get involved in Windows, he will. But I don't think the code OS is what Gates is into anymore. I think he's into how devices work together to create a digital lifestyle.
Robert McLaws is an IT consultant, community leader and Vista enthusiast. He has been running Vista enthusiast site Longhornblogs.com since 2002.
John Kneeland is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is majoring in international relations and east Asian studies.
Chris Wills is an Australian-based graphic designer who grew up with the PC graphics industry and Microsoft, and to a certain extent, Macs.
Bottom line: It doesn't make a difference for the future of Windows.
Mack. D. Male is the co-founder of Paramagnus Developments, a software company building tools and services for podcasting. An avid beta tester, he has experience developing applications for Windows.
Tim O'Laguna has been involved with IT in his career since the mid-1980s, including a stint as a senior information systems analyst. He recently retired after serving 28 years in the California state government service.
Microsoft's future as a leader is fading, and Bill Gates is smart to step aside at the right time before he goes down with the sinking ship known as Vista. Vista may be a commercial success, but it will never be the widespread success that captured the news and hearts of ordinary people the way that Windows 95 initially did.
Wallace Wang is a freelance computer journalist and author whose books include "Microsoft Office for Dummies" and "Steal This Computer Book."
Windows no longer just refers to "Desktop Windows" (aka Windows XP, Vista, etc), but now has diversified into "Windows Mobile," "Windows Server," etc. So in a sense, if Bill Gates had a clout in the operating system, it was primarily with the mainstream area, since the periphery has evolved in its own direction.
Carlos Osuna is a former industrial engineer who jumped over to Web technology more than 10 years ago. He works on Web Services in .Net and Internet banking systems in Java, among other areas.