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Friday, June 16, 2006 - Page updated at 12:43 AM

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Industry reactions from technology and financial sources

"Bill's someone with a very active mind and imagination. Just like I've done with all my different interests that have been rewarding, I think Bill's going to find new and exciting areas that he can add value to and get excited about. He's such a creative and smart guy."

-- Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft with Gates

"I think it's an improvement. Microsoft has always had the business practice of what's called a fast or slow follower in every major step of their history. All of their major products have been based on other products by other companies. Now, they've run out of taillights."

-- Mark Anderson, independent industry analyst based in Friday Harbor

"The transition of founder and chief software architect Bill Gates out of daily operations over the next two years is a negative for Microsoft in our view. Having said that, the transition has effectively been under way for several years. ... Mr. Gates' delegation of this critical visionary role to Ray Ozzie was an important step in broadening responsibilities beyond himself in the organization."

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-- Analyst Rick Sherlund, in Goldman Sachs research note to investors

"This is the beginning of a major change of the guard at Microsoft. This probably heralds one of the biggest changes in the firm that it's ever experienced."

-- Analyst Rob Enderle, Enderle Group in San Jose, Calif. (quoted in Bloomberg News)

"The challenge is not about Microsoft's profitability or making money. They'll continue to make billions. Do they lead the future direction of information technology or not? That is slipping away."

-- Mitchell Kapor, president and chairman of the Open Source Applications Foundation.He was Ray Ozzie's boss, having founded Lotus Development in 1982.

"Ozzie has been at Microsoft for more than a year. He is well respected by other executives and within the industry. I just don't know if other employees will follow him as closely as they will follow Bill Gates."

-- Analyst Matt Rossof, Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland

"Microsoft and Bill Gates are synonymous. This is an indication that going forward that Microsoft will be a very different company than what we're used to."

-- Analyst Tim Boyd, Caris & Co. Investment bank (quoted in Bloomberg News)

"With Microsoft, Bill transformed an industry. Post-Microsoft, he'll try to transform world health and education. As inconceivable as it may seem, the work he does from here on may determine his ultimate legacy more than anything he did with computers."

-- Paul Andrews, former Seattle Times tech columnist and co-author of "Gates"

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