15 years after the departure of Bill Gates from Microsoft: how the company has changed in this time

“To win big, sometimes you need to take big risks”. It is one of the Phrases that have marked the career of Bill Gatesthe founder of Microsoft, who left the daily management of his company 15 years ago.

As he himself explained at the time, he would dedicate his time to philanthropic work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, although still owns about 1.4% of the company he founded with Paul Allen in 1975.

Gates was studying at Harvard University at the time and was barely 19 years old when he developed the Windows operating system, which would symbolize the start of Microsoft.

Since then, the company has released numerous updates to the versions of its operating system, but it has also excelled in fields such as video games, with Xbox, or consumer products, with the Surface.

In the last 15 years, Since the final departure of Gates from Microsoft, there has been room for 2 people in the company in the position of CEO: Steve Ballmer, from 2000 to 2014; and Satya Nadella, the current one, who took the reins of the company after Ballmer’s departure.

Let’s see how the change has gone to Microsoft during these last 15 years in which Bill Gates has separated from the daily management of the company.

From the start of Bing to the advent of generative AI

One of the first events that took place at Microsoft after the departure of Gates was the launch of the Bing search engine, in June 2009. This was born with the purpose of confronting Google, which continues to this day as the leader in this market, yahoo.

It should be remembered that precisely one year before Microsoft had tried to buy Yahoo and had a market share of 8.2% in the United States in the Internet search business, far behind Google (64.2%) and Yahoo (20.4%), as reported at the time Five days.

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The situation was not very favorable at that time for the search engine business, and Microsoft had to renew its previous proposals: Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.

According to Statistaduring 2022 Bing had a 3.19% market share of the total global Internet searches, while Google accumulated more than 90% of the set, a difference that Microsoft wants to cut with its renewed engine.

Thus, he went ahead of everyone and integrated generative AI into Chat Bing, the new version of a search engine that wants to get ahead of Google’s own project in the field of AI, Bard. Which has also meant the end of Cortana, his voice assistant.

Windows 7, the version that marked a before and after

windows 7

When Bill Gates left Microsoft, the company had almost released Windows Vista, a rather sweetened version of Windows XPand that it was not convincing the users.

If before there were annual updates, Microsoft gradually delayed these to 2 or 3 years and, later with the arrival of Windows Vista, this increased to 6 years. Discontent was widespread and the company released Windows 7 in 2009.

Unlike what happened with the change from XP to Vista, when users chose to leave the first version instead of upgrading, most of them opted for Windows 7.

But with Windows 8, Microsoft went back to what happened years before and introduced an interface to its operating system that was very tedious to use on computers. That version had been designed for tablets and it was noticeable.

Again, it had to be backed down immediately and the 8.1 update was released.

With the arrival of later versions, Microsoft has taken into account the mistakes of the past and offers free updates or improvements to the world gamingamong many other functions.

The rise of Xbox and the arrival of Minecraft

xbox series s


Although the Xbox launched in 2001 to compete with the consoles Sony was introducing, the release of add-ons and later versions of the machine would not come until 2010, with the Kinect Xbox 360.

The idea was to get a device that would allow you to record content and use it as a response on the Xbox, something reminiscent of the old PlayStation Eye Toy.

Even so, Microsoft failed to outperform Sony, which have competed in this market for 20 years in a ratio of 30/70, respectively. Since then, the Xbox One (2013), and the Xbox Series X and Series S (2020) have followed.

With the arrival of Nadella to the position of CEO, in addition, Microsoft acquired Mojang, the Swedish company that created Minecraft, for almost 2,000 million eurosavailable on iOS, Android, personal computers, Xbox and PlayStation.

Microsoft as a renewed products and services company

Microsoft Azure Sphere

The renovation of Microsoft during these last 15 years has been progressive and in accordance with its long-term strategy. Thus, to the traditional Windows updates and Xbox versions, the company has added mobiles, tablets and cloud services.

A proposal adapted to a new decade in which the smartphone continues to lead as the undisputed device and in which data management is an advantage over competitors.

First came Windows Phone 7, a mobile that replaced previous versions and was unveiled at the MWC in Barcelona in 2010. Unfortunately, the acute drop in sales in 2015 led to its disappearance.

With a clear blow to Nadella’s mandate, which in February 2014 had acquired Nokia’s device and services business. However, 2 years earlier the definitive device seemed to have arrived, the Microsoft Surface.

Since then, the terminal has only improved, reaching one of the latest models, the Surface Pro 9, Microsoft’s most powerful 2-in-1 laptop.

However, the company has not neglected its softwaregiven that since Gates’ departure he has bought Skype (2011) and Yammer (2012); has launched Outlook.com (2013) or has progressively improved its Azure cloud servicefirst seen in October 2008.

In recent years, at clear commitment to the cloud and new product launches, Microsoft adds generative AIwith the aforementioned Bing Chat, and the acquisition of OpenAI, the founding company of ChatGPT.

One more example of how, as Gates says, “to win big, sometimes you need to take big risks”.

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15 years after the departure of Bill Gates from Microsoft: how the company has changed in this time