Bill Gates surrendering Microsoft helm

SAN FRANCISCO, June 22, 2008 (AFP) – A Harvard University dropout who ushered in the home computer age and made billions of dollars along the way will have his last official day of work at Microsoft on June 27. Three people will essentially fill the void left behind when Bill Gates retires from the company he and friend Paul Allen co-founded in 1975.

Since Gate’s began his transition from leading Microsoft to heading his personally-bankrolled charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his job as chief software architect has been handled by Ray Ozzie.

Craig Mundie inherited Gate’s chief research and strategy officer duties, while former Harvard classmate Steve Ballmer became chief executive officer at the Seattle-based software colossus.

Gates left Harvard after two years to found the firm that became global powerhouse Microsoft. He later received honorary degrees from Harvard and other universities.

After retiring, Gates will remain chairman of the Microsoft board of directors and its largest shareholder.

“I don’t think anything is going to drastically change the day he leaves,” said Matt Rosoff of the private analyst firm Directions On Microsoft.

“If he thinks something is im