Today, Microsoft announced that Bill Gates will be stepping back from his day-to-day role at Microsoft (effective July 2008 ... talk about your advance notice!) to spend more time with his foundation. It's not retirement, he said, but "a reordering of my priorities." The market seems suspicious of his new values (five years ago could you ever have imagined Bill Gates, the man excoriated by so many for his heavy-handed competitive behavior, saying "with great wealth comes great responsibility"?). The stock had been up 19 cents on the day, to $22.07, but had already lost half of that gain in after hours trading by 5 p.m.
In other news, Microsoft is using our fear -- of identity theft, phishing, viruses and the bane of everyone's existence, adware -- to hype its Vista operating system. Fear sells. Microsoft SVP Bob Muglia told a group at the TechEd conference in Boston that Vista will be the most secure operating system, ever, and Nate Mook and Tim Conneally from BetaNews evaluate the statement and provide a variety of points that backup Muglia's strong statement (and maybe that fear will be the operating principle of Web 3.0).