Force of Personality

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2008-06-25 Print this article Print

Although he was a thorn in the side of competitors, Gates could not have reached the heights he did without something more: a force of personality that has attracted many of the best minds in the industry to Microsoft.

Tim Paterson, the creator of QDOS, came to work for Microsoft; Dave Cutler came over from Digital Equipment Corp. to lead the development of Windows NT; Jim Allchin, a visionary software architect who created the Banyan VINES operating system, came to Microsoft to head development; and when Gates sought a successor as chief software architect, he persuaded Ray Ozzie, the brains behind Lotus Notes, to take up the mantle.

And while Microsoft had plenty of enemies, a critical key to the company's success has been the vast number of friendly developers the company has courted and encouraged over the years. The seemingly limitless installed base of Windows has guaranteed that even small application developers will have a large, and therefore profitable, market into which to sell. The company has attracted some 640,000 solution partners, while 4.3 million people have gained certification in Microsoft technologies.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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