Well, Bill, it's just about quittin' time out here on the left coast, so with your final day at Microsoft drawing to a close, we wanted to present you with a little farewell card. It's not much, but we hope you like it.
I can't believe you're already taking off! They even going to let your pension fully vest? Just kidding, I think heard somewhere that you're worth a lot of money or something. Thanks for the Xbox 360 and for always being so damn friendly -- promise I'll try my best to think only of Allchin whenever I bluescreen. Come visit soon and KIT, okay?
Yours Truly, Ryan
We didn't know each other too well, you were a bit older than me, and we ran in different circles anyways, but I just wanted to take this one last opportunity to inform you how incredibly foolhardy that whole Harvard business was. Seriously, what were you thinking? A college degree is an absolute minimum in the modern world, and with your intelligence you really could've been somebody... those mainframes aren't going to program themselves! What the world needs is stick-to-it-ive-ness and Computer Science majors, not a bunch of wannabe entrepreneurs. Sure, you ended up doing alright for yourself, but I can't help but think that with only half a college education you only reached half your potential.
-Regretfully yours, Paul
Can't say I've ever had the luxury of swinging by your office, but I have to admit, I really enjoyed all those press calls. And look, we both know you should have left at the top of Microsoft's game and all, but don't pull a Michael Jordan and show back up wearing a Zune uniform next year, okay? Live a little. And don't spend it all in one place.
Can't believe it's that time already. Is this really goodbye, or are you going to follow your good friend Hov and come back wearing the 4-5, maybe after dropping a Lil' Wayne "A Trilli" remix? Just a thought, something to drop on your Zune one of these days. Anyway, good luck, and thanks for not holding that one time I let someone borrow disk 7 of my Windows 3.1 installer against me.
So long, Bill, and thanks for all the sweaters.
My scratched-up SPOT watch has seen better days, and without you around to promote these sorts of fun, unprofitable, over-the-top geeky projects in the boardroom, I don't know who's going to carry the torch. It's a loss for me personally and a greater loss for large-wristed technophiles the world over -- I think I speak for a lot of folks when I say I wish it was Vista packing up and leaving instead of you!
You've had a good run. Through the great times (DOS) and those not so great times (ME), I won't be forgetting you any time soon. Oh, and that whole not being the #1 richest guy in the world anymore thing? You're still number one to me, Bill. And frankly, that's all that should matter.
I know we didn't always get along, what with me getting an Apple //e back in the day instead of an AT box with MS-DOS. But let's face it: you always had the better games. And for that, I owe you one. If you'll forgive me, I've got a watch here to send you away. A nice one, from 1972, made by this company called Commodore Business Machines (remember them?). Digital, too! Figured you'd dig that.
G'luck Bill, I hope you crack the problems of world poverty and suffering as quickly as I cracked Vista.
I know we haven't really talked since, well, ever, but you were always like the older, geekier brother who didn't know I existed, and it's your passion for natural interfaces like speech and touch that's inspired me to constantly scream at and physically destroy my various computers over the years. That, and several of your products. I'll miss you, man -- hit me up on Live sometime.
PS. I know you and 50 have had some tough times lately, but I just want you to know that I'll always think of you as original G-Unit. That tape is a lie, man.
I'll remember you fondly as one of the driving forces behind my decision to switch to a Mac when I was 13 years old. The divide your business practices helped to build between "creatives" and "suits" will be forever etched in my mind, and your choices as the head of Microsoft will always represent a high-water mark of polarizing nerd ideology. Still, I'll never forget building my first PC, or booting up The Bard's Tale on my XT in glorious CGA -- and for that, I'm eternally grateful.
Your close friend, Joshua Topolsky
[Readers, feel free to leave your own in comments.]