I think that Bill Gates has done amazing things. His legacy will live on for generations like Gordon Moore of Intel. However Bill will be known for making one of the biggest misses of this generation – Missing Search as a platform paradigm. Bill saw the Internet after Netscape punched him in the nose – we witnessed that. Years ago Google was smart they didn’t punch Microsoft in the nose. Instead, they quietly owned the search market from an infrastructure and services standpoint – by default a monopoly on ad revenue. What do you know..they say “look what we found ..billions”
I worked in the search field from the very early days founded a keyword company then worked at Realnames where Microsoft owned 20%. I had first direct hand experience watching Microsoft blow it from 1996-2001. Gates and crew completely missed search. He must not have been on one of his famous retreats that year. (note: if Microsoft didn’t shut down Realnames they might have had a chance in the search ad market – funny no one picks up on that story of that time).