I'm listening to the Town Hall Meeting right now but obviously, this is a public announcement. Here are my thoughts:
I don't have any insight into how many technology decisions are being driven via Bill versus the people that work for him. I hear great things about Ray Ozzie, but not being technical myself, it's hard for me to say what a good technology decision looks like and the day-to-day dynamics of Bill's current role. As an employee of Microsoft, though there wasn't any advance warning of the news, I can't say I'm particularly surprised by this announcement. You can hear Bill's passion for the foundation when he speaks about it.
I think the potential of Bill to become the biggest philanthropist of all time is pretty cool. The thought of his mind focusing on health care and education issues full time has a broader potential impact, so my excitement around this comes from the perspective of being a citizen of the world versus a knowledge worker or Microsoft employee.
I won't get all the details of the announcement right so best place to get the scoop is here: