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6/27/2008
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Bill Gates' Legacy For IT

When Bill Gates steps out of his office today for the last time as a full time Microsoft employee, he'll leave behind a company in flux, but one that's been central to much of the business technology revolution in the last 30 years.

When Bill Gates steps out of his office today for the last time as a full time Microsoft employee, he'll leave behind a company in flux, but one that's been central to much of the business technology revolution in the last 30 years.Without further adieu, here are just three (of many) ways that Gates' Microsoft has changed the way we do business. I leave it up to you guys to list the ways he's changed how business technology works, or even if you think he plays a major role in the fact that it exists.

After all, it's the people who buy and run the software who will ultimately determine Gates' legacy, not just the press.

A computer on every desk, running Microsoft software ...

That tagline was one of Gates' early ambitions, and now there are more than 1 billion copies of Windows out there floating around. Chances are, there's one installed on your computer at work right now. For better or for worse, Windows and Office have come to dominate corporate computing like no other operating system or productivity suite.

"We're a Microsoft shop"

I can't tell you how many times I've talked to CIOs and IT managers and have heard this statement. It's something Microsoft consciously seeks, claiming that its software is "better together." This philosophy, baked into Microsoft's ethos and emanating from Gates, has gotten Microsoft into trouble in the past and made many an IT worker frustrated when trying to get non-Microsoft products and Microsoft products to work together. Still, the scope of Microsoft's offerings allows the company to be able to integrate just about everything Microsoft with everything else Microsoft.

Waiting until the service pack comes out

Just like nobody ever used to get fired for buying IBM, now nobody ever gets fired for waiting until the first service pack or the second version of Microsoft's products. This isn't necessarily Gates' own fault, but it's certainly one of his legacies. Early adopters can get punished because of bugs, as Microsoft continues to find out, and much of this could be attributed to a long line of buggy or incomplete first releases of Microsoft products.

Disagree? Think of more? List them below.

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