Gates Waves Goodbye at Consumer Electronics Show

Dennis Faas's picture

Having etched his own place in tech history, Bill Gates' 'swan song' is now playing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The famous (and to some, infamous) Microsoft leader gave his final speech to the media Sunday night at the Venetian Hotel's Palazzo Ballroom. Ending a dominant legacy that to some was marked my monopoly more than success, Gates' address took time to both look back at his own history and the future of a company he made the most powerful in the world.

With the former cutesy McDonald's tune "Do You Believe in Magic" thumping from speakers, Gates and his executives took to the stage Sunday evening. Shortly after making a 6:40pm entrance, Gates began regaling his listeners with talk of his legacy, a reign marked by unimaginable success and controversy, the latter of course omitted during such a saccharine event.

Speaking of his first keynote address in 1994, Gates recalled "within a few years of that we entered the first digital decade." In the period since, Microsoft carved out the technology market, almost single-handedly. With its weight behind Windows, PCs became the universal home computer. The company made its mark on other spheres, too, like music (via Windows Media Player and its proprietary format), mobile devices (like the recently released Zune), and the Xbox 360, which recently hit 17.7 million in sales. (Source:

Clearly proud of his achievements thus far, Gates remarked "This is just a beginning...Nothing is holding us back from going much faster and further in the second digital decade."

The highlight of Gates' address wasn't his bragging, or the ambitions of the company he made so powerful. Instead, like many of his speeches in the past, it was a celebrity-laden, nerdy, goofball, and downright lovable video that had Gates' audience in the palm of his hand. From workout jokes with Matthew McConaughey to recording rap singles with Jay-Z, the video was a fair goodbye for a man whose work touched (or perhaps strangled) just about every corner of the American and global media.(Source:

Despite the fact that his role is now ending with Microsoft, Gates plans to continue work towards ending malaria, AIDS, and insufficient public education.

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