Bill Gates, the nerdy and controversial co-founder of virus-y software monolith Microsoft is handing over the reins of his monster corporation. His last official workday will be June 27th. "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." But will become of poor wittle Microsoft when daddy leaves?

"'The challenge Microsoft has when the founder departs is remembering its heart,' said analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group in Silicon Valley. 'At some point the firm has to take the essence of what made Bill Gates successful and make sure that is preserved. Whether it is a company or a person, once you've lost your heart there isn't much left but a shell.'

"'They are in trouble on the desktop (computer software),' Enderle said. 'Microsoft started as a desktop vendor and suddenly it is its weakness.'

"'Microsoft has to leverage its strengths; right now it is thrashing a bit,' Enderle said. 'The company is on its own. The training wheels are off. It needs a way to point itself in the right direction and peddle like hell.'

"Microsoft's server and tools division is its most profitable unit. It's entertainment unit, which sells Xbox videogame consoles and gaming software, has yet to make a profit.

"'You could see Microsoft struggling after Bill Gates stepped out of day-to-day roles,' Enderle said. 'A founder takes such a larger-than-life role and directs a company in very subtle ways that are often forgotten when a founder leaves. That gap, for a lot of companies, has been almost terminal.'" [Breitbart via Drudge]