Dear Mr. Gates — I feel I know you well enough to call you Bill. You see, although we have never met, I feel like I owe you a huge debt of gratitude. I started loving technology while playing Pong and Space Invaders and shortly thereafter I became a BASIC programmer. First of all, thanks for ensuring this language was around and simple enough for a person to easily pick up on his own.
It is unclear what the computing industry would be like if it weren’t for you and your company. You seem to have had an uncanny way of beating virtually every competitor your company ever had while you were in charge. WordPerfect and IBM are just a few companies that come to mind and now it seems there is no area of technology where your company hasn’t changed the rules. You built Microsoft into a sprawling enterprise which can strike fear into virtually every company in the market.
It is amazing how many areas Microsoft can successfully compete in at once.
I beleive your company sped the pace of computing and innovation and for that I am thankful. I often wonder what technologies will be around in 100 years and now that I stop and think about it I also wonder how much further behind the technology world might have been if your company wasn’t around.
Sure, there were many smaller, more creative companies which were wiped away as Microsoft grew and a common joke is the third version of Microsoft products are the ones that work but for such a large company, the fact that you don’t give up easily speaks volumes about your vision and determination to win.
Now that you are going on to the next phase of your life which will involve philanthropy, I can only hope you do as much for the needy as you have done for the world of tech. I wish you a fond farewell and good luck!