Steve Ballmer's Nine Year Retirement Plan

Bill Gates is retiring from Microsoft this year and the exec he left in charge, Steve Ballmer, is ready to leave in nine years.

At this evening's keynote at the opening of the CeBIT computer tradeshow in Germany, Ballmer departed from his prepared script long enough to say, "I've got about another nine good years in this business."

He made the off-script remark while contending that the technology world was entering a fifth computing revolution with the series of major changes taking place every seven years or so. See Mike Vizard's blog item on the keynote.

Ballmer also said Bill Gates is very busy taking free online technical courses from MIT.