Logging off: Gates says farewell to CES – what were his successes and failures

As Microsoft’s chief gives his final keynote, Jack Schofield looks back at the career highs and lows of computing’s most influential manOn Sunday, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates gave his 11th, and last, keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas; in future he will focus his efforts on the Gates Foundation and its fight against disease. So, after 14 years, we can look back and ask: how did he do?Well, he gets a mixed report. He did well for the show, reasonably well in tracking the industry, and badly when launching new products. (Transcripts of Gates’s speeches from 1996 to 2008 are on Microsoft’s site at tinyurl.com/2a8nox; the first from CES is the 1998 one.)Gates was very successful in attracting large audiences, and in helping to get CES reported – which is basically how he got the gig in the first place. Plenty of people wanted to see the world’s richest man (as he became in 1995). And if they didn’t find his boyish geekiness compelling, they could still enjoy his spoof videos and celebrity guests, from wrestler The Rock to Slash, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist.

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