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Bill Gates' Retirement Brings Forth End of 2 Eras
Retirement of Microsoft legend concludes his run in the computer world and marks the release of the last format for content distribution. by Derek Flickinger

I will remember 2008 as the end of two eras: Bill Gates' retirement from Microsoft, and essentially the computer industry, and the release of the last optical disk format for entertainment content - Blu-ray.

The two eras, you see, go hand in hand.

It is amazing how far we have come from the release of a 16-bit operating system (OS) running on an Intel processor with no support for hard disks or subdirectories. My IBM DOS 1.1 (circa 1982) is still in the original box.

That OS is how Bill Gates changed the computer and entertainment worlds. It also was the start of how Microsoft brought computer programming to the masses.

Computers Become Entertainment Source

Bill and I first met at NetWorld in 1990 when Windows 3.0 just came out. He was "just another guy in the crowd" then. I remember asking him the significance of the picture of a music keyboard on the box cover for Windows. He said it was in anticipation of where the Windows platform was going.

He was referring to the Multimedia Extensions for Windows, which became the basis for the Multimedia PC Platform when Windows 3.1 was released.

We now had support for CD ROMs, MIDI, and the ability to play sound and even videos from a PC. It was the first time I used a computer for entertainment.

You have to remember, these were the days when Novell ruled the networking world, and Ray Noorda was driving the cost of Ethernet cards down from the now under five hundred dollars mark with the goal that every PC would be networked.

Bill, shortly thereafter, started touting a PC in every home with the release of the successful Windows 3.11.

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