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Your views on the news: Bill Gates' UK swan song

Readers say whether they rate or hate when it comes to Microsoft's chairman.

"Thank God Bill Gates does not have the oratory powers of Tony Blair or the media darlingness of Richard Branson. Nor do most people. This is a genuine intellect and human being who ran a business not on hype, but shear will, determination and above all great ideas, excellence and a little luck! Sure he has flaws and is a little awkward. Just like the rest of us... how refreshing and somewhat comforting. However unlike the rest of us, he has worked incredibly hard and his legacy will be long lasting, impact billions or people and go down in history as one of the most influential men in IT or any 'T' ever.

He is also, by many times, the most generous man in the world and shown and embarrassed many a wealthy man and woman that you can survive on less than a billion dollars! I hope he enjoys his well deserved retirement. Cheers Bill."

Nicholas Rogoff

"Why would I want to hear Gates speak on issues not related to his main expertise? It seems we expect general advice and wisdom from people who have excelled in one field, usually in the sciences or tech. But why should Gates know more about economy or social problems than the thousands of experts in those fields all around the world?

Einstein may have been a genius in physics, but he seemed to have a terrible personal life. In spite of that, I'm sure there were many people who sought his advice on personal matters, as though he must know about everything. I don't think he had very good ideas about politics or religion either.

This is why I can't understand Gate's role in Davos and elsewhere. It seems people give great weight to his remarks, but worse yet, he assumes the role of an all around wise man. He should take a cue from his genius-counterpart at Apple, Mr. Jobs, who keeps his nose out of places where it doesn't belong."

Peter C

"Both, actually :) I have to admire the man for what he has achieved, in many ways sheer genius and definitely an inspiration. I can't say the same for the monster that has has created... Microsoft... it is a daily frustration dealing with the problems and chaos that Windows creates, upgrades that wreak havoc, you name it...Gates is a visionary in many ways, the implementation unfortunately is somewhat lacking; well I guess nothing is perfect.

Considering what he has achieved and the projects that he gets involved in outside of Microsoft, I think on balance an inspiration!"

Jacques de Beer

"He has had an incredible effect on everybody's lives all over the world.

Nothing was ever the same after he came along, just like Maggie Thatcher; only time will tell us if we might have been better off without them. Perhaps it would be better if he were to become a Saint rather than a pensioner, then we could pray for his guidance when his legacy drops us in the s--t once again. Come to think of it, that could be a good thing for the Blessed Margaret as well."

Keith Cooper

"I have always seen Bill Gates as a man who found himself with a great talent. He had the presence of mind to recognise this and exploit it. As a result, he created great wealth, not just for himself but for thousands of others. Sure he made a fortune.... but he is also giving away a fortune. What would we do?

I think that he is trying to give back much of what has been given to him. I give Bill Gates a plus."

Tom Dowds

"I started my career in computing in the days of DOS, I still have a complete set of floppies for Windows v1 though I doubt that it would run on modern hardware so, I'm grateful to Gates and Microsoft. Of course and over the years, I have screamed at MS for their random affliction to total incompetence, that bit of bloater-ware called Vista and the 'Vista Blisters' it brings, being just the latest example.

However and in a sense perhaps that is also what is best about both Microsoft and Bill Gates himself, there is a touch of humanity and human error involved, I suspect MS will be a lot worse without him, in true American style it will become a monolithic corporation, always 'smiling' but perpetually deaf. However geeky he may be, Bill Gates is a good chap and what he is doing through his Foundation, is far more important than software so I among many I'm sure, wish him well."

John Haynes

"Peoples' nature is like this: You don't know what you have till it's gone. Don't make up your mind until you have considered this...Forget his talent for world domination for one minute and ask yourselves: How would 'things' have worked out if he had never existed? Then decide."

Paula Lilburn

"[Bill Gates] is a very shrewd businessman, nothing more, nothing less."

Alex Mucha

"I don't regard Bill Gates as either and inspiration or an irritation, nor do I want to knock him for his success. All the issues of monopoly aside, I believe he provided the world with what it need, an OS that was universal.

You can enter any software shop and buy thousands of programs that run on his operating system. It was a necessary at the time and he was fortunate or far sighted enough to realise that fact.

He has been attacked, penalised and viewed with suspicion over the years due to his success. The Americans are usually much more accepting of success and I think it was his geographical place of birth. Had he been born in the UK I think he would have had a much rougher ride than he has had. We Brits have never applauded success in the way we should, rather we have done entirely the opposite.

I would love to have his money, but I am not jealous of him, nor do I despise him for his success. I wish him well in his retirement."

David Hopwood

"Bill Gates will go down in history for systematically inflicting non-fatal grief on an unprecedented scale, at least three orders of magnitude greater than anyone else has come close too. It has reduced a little in recent times but nowhere near enough.

It's possible that Microshaft [sic] will have products worth paying for sometime in the future but I suspect many of us will not be around to see the dawn of that happy day."

Mark Byrne

"Well, I would have called Bill Gates 'the nerd's nerd' but there's a lot more to him than just a computer geek. He's a very successful businessman who likes to project the geekish persona. I think that history will come to categorise him as a philanthropist in the same league as Andrew Carnegie.

Now, I'll go and switch on my Linux box and get some work done."

Jack Briggs

"He is a successful entrepreneur, not a visionary or genius. Fate smiled on him and Windows having had great marketeers and focussed sales people has helped millions of people from school kids to CEOs get ahead and Bill get filthy rich.

Well done Bill."

Stephen Hackett

"[Bill Gates] has changed the world in a way that few humans since the Industrial Revolution have done and during the second act in his life he is giving a great deal of the money he made to charity.

His looking twelve must be God's reward :-)"

Rupert Watson

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