Business

Gates logs off at Microsoft

Careers

Bill Gates, seen here on his last day as chairman of Microsoft Corp., speaks to employees as Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, looks on during Gates' farewell event at the company headquarters in Redmond, Wash., on Friday

On his final full day at Microsoft, neither man could hold back tears as Ballmer handed Gates a large scrapbook.

Gates, who is stepping back to focus on his philanthropy, sat with Ballmer in a Microsoft conference room and meandered through moments in Microsoft's history. They stopped to get in a few good digs at IBM Corp., whose first personal computers were loaded with Microsoft's DOS operating system before IBM adopted its own operating software and their relations strained.

“They went off with OS 2, we were left with good old Windows, and sure enough the David versus Goliath story came out with the right ending,” said Gates, eliciting laughter from the crowd of 830 Microsoft employees.

Gates, who founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, admitted that Microsoft has faltered along the way, and certainly isn't perfect today.

“When we miss a big change, when we don't get great people on it, that is the most dangerous thing for us,” Gates said. “It has happened many times. It's OK, but the less the better.” ASSOCIATED PRESS

Retail

The souring economy has forced a golf store chain to close, putting some 60 employees out of work.

John and Julian Bunn, the owners of Carolina Custom Golf, announced this week that they will close all six stores, including two in Charlotte. The brothers started the chain 37 years ago as a golf accessories and repair shop.

The Bunns blamed the closings on stiff competition, sluggish economy and lower demand for golf.

“Sales have been slowing since 9-11,” said David Grosvenor, director of retail operations. “Too many competitors have moved into our market and rounds of golf are down dramatically.” (Raleigh) News & Observer

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