He was the boy genius who made billions, the proudly geeky face of Microsoft who set out to put a personal computer on every desktop, and his own software on every computer.
Now Bill Gates, the world's richest man, has announced he'll be stepping back at Microsoft and stepping into fulltime philanthropy on a grand scale. His move comes at a time when Microsoft is facing threats from all sides — when the PC era it has dominated is giving way to an Internet age it has not.
But, love it or hate it, the Bill Gates legacy — his imprint on American technology and industry and business culture — is already deep. He's 50 now, and already in the company of Rockefeller and Carnegie.
Hear about the legacy of Microsoft's Bill Gates.
Charlie Cooper, Executive Editor, CNet
Jason Pontin, Editor-in-Chief, MIT Techonology Review
Stephen Manes, co-author of "Gates : How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry--and Made Himself the Richest Man in America"
Paul Schervish, Director of the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.
This program aired on June 20, 2006.