Reading the news I see that today was Bill Gates last day at Microsoft. Apparently, they held a tearful farewell in Redmond for him. And it really does mark a significant moment in the history of our industry and a time to reflect.

If I had a dime for every time I read someone say that Bill Gates crashed their machine or was someone personally affecting their life in some negative way, I’d be as rich as he is (well, maybe not). But as much as you may hate Microsoft and the methods they’ve used to drive their vision, you have to take a good look at what Bill Gates and company have done and how they’ve succeeded.

The biggest thing I learned from watching Microsoft is how important it is that you keep focus on software as a business. You may have the coolest widget or the cleanest framework or the fastest algorithm, but unless you have a business story and good business people around you to help sell it, it won’t matter as much as it could.

And Bill Gates knew that. Surround yourself with good business people and you give yourself a chance. I’ve seen it too many times, great technology that has floundered because the team focused too much on the technology and forget to bring the marketing guys into the team, if they had marketing guys to begin with. And it’s frustrating to see.

So on this day, even though I’m trying to build a C/C++ Development environment with the CDT that can beat Microsoft Visual Studio at it’s own game, I pay tribute to Bill for all he’s accomplished and all he’s taught this industry. He doesn’t hate you, he’s just following his business plan.