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In pictures: Bill Gates' goodbye speech

Microsoft founder bids adieu to developers

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates delivered his final publicly scheduled speech as a full-time Microsoft employee today to a roomful of software developers, telling the audience: "the success of Microsoft really is due to our relationship with developers".

UPDATE: See - Video: Bill Gates' final Microsoft speech

Gates started as a developer 33 years ago when he co-founded Microsoft, and the developers of the Windows OS are a primary reason the company is an industry powerhouse. The latter is not lost on Gates, who kicked off the TechEd Developers conference, addressing what is perhaps his company's most loyal audience.

Gates spoke only briefly about his July 1 transition to spending most of his time at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, calling it "a bit abrupt".

"It will put me in new territory," he said. "That's the first time I've really changed my career since I was 17 years old. I've been completely immersed in software."

Aside from that mention of his upcoming career change, the speech was textbook Gates, who for more than 30 years has been the face of Microsoft and the one responsible for laying out its future vision. Today he did more of the same, outlining future directions for application development and services, the latter being a more recent topic of interest for his company.

On the former, Gates unveiled Microsoft's future direction application modelling, part of Project Oslo, Microsoft's application-development plan for making it easier for developers to build SOAs (service-oriented architectures). SOAs allow the underlying software running a company's network to communicate with software and pieces of software outside the firewall using standard network and application interfaces to create composite applications.


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