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June 16, 2006

Gates: Market doesn't react and other Day 2 news

Posted by Kim Peterson at 10:20 AM

The tech world is still digesting the news about Bill Gates' career change and its potential ramifications. Here's some of the latest buzz:

The market seems to be handling the news well, with Microsoft's share price down just a few cents at 11 a.m.

Mary Jo Foley has the text of the company-wide e-mails sent out yesterday by Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.

The New York Times quotes Gates as saying that he made the decision "only in the last few weeks." That's a little different than Gates' claim at the press conference yesterday that he decided a couple of days ago.

Other tidbits from the press conference that haven't received that much attention:

Our colleague Brier Dudley asked Gates whether he would move to Seattle, since that's where his foundation is located. Ballmer laughed and replied, "His house isn't very mobile." That's for sure.

Gates has never taken more than a two-week vacation. But this summer, he's going to take seven weeks off -- a decision, Ballmer pointed out, that was made long before all of this talk surfaced about a change in management. Gates said he will spend some time in Africa, including participating in a government leadership forum there, and then will return here "enjoying the Seattle summer."

Gates tried to play down his leadership at the company, saying he really only does things like improve the "architectural alignments" of Microsoft's operations. But then said he works 10 to 11 hours every day at Microsoft. So what is he actually doing over there? On a more serious note, Gates said he wants to stay chairman for the rest of his life, and will always have a very strong connection to the company.

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