Bill Gates to step down from duties at Microsoft

31 years after co-founding Microsoft with Paul Allen, Bill Gates has decided to progressively step down from his responsibilities at the company in order to concentrate on his charitable efforts. Today, Bill Gates handed over his title of Chief Software Architect to one of Microsoft's CTOs, Craig Mundie, who will now work at Gates' side on major architectural and oversight duties. Meanwhile, another CTO, Ray Ozzie, has stepped in as Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer. His job will be to take on Gates' research efforts and to handle intellectual property and policy issues.

Mundie and Ozzie will collaborate with Gates until some time between now and July 2008, at which point Gates will finally step down and hand oversight of Mundie and Ozzie's efforts to CEO Steve Ballmer. After July 2008, Gates will stay on as chairman and provide advice on "key development projects." However, his focus will be shifted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he plans to work on global health care and education issues.

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