Microsoft investors hunt the biggest game: Bill Gates

Not even co-founder/chairman is safe at Microsoft as shareholders mount campaign to remove Bill Gates

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Why Gates has to go

My guess is the anti-Gates troika is at least in part an anti-Mulally cabal. Investors desperately want Microsoft to make big changes to reinvent itself for the new mobile-centric Internet-everywhere world. Gates is a vestige of the old world order, where people used Microsoft products because they had to, not because they wanted to. And they probably suspect that a car guy doesn't have the vision required to steer Microsoft through this brave new world.

But who is that person, exactly? And who is qualified to find him and/or her?

Longtime Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott has a suggestion: Ray Ozzie -- the former heir apparent who either jumped or was pushed from his post as chief software architect, after it became clear that Ballmer was as likely to change Microsoft's direction as a zebra is likely to change its stripes from vertical to horizontal. Ozzie at least saw what was about to happen to the post-PC world, even if he proved powerless to do anything about it.

Bonus: Ozzie was handpicked by Gates.

The truth is, those anonymous investors who want to lop off Gates' head and feed it to the crocodiles don't have any more of a clue than Gates & Co. do. What they really want is Steve Jobs. So far, though, those are in rather short supply.

Should Gates get the boot? Should Mulally get the job? And will either move make a difference in the direction of Microsoft? Post your horizontally striped zebras below or email me:

This article, "Microsoft investors hunt the biggest game: Bill Gates," was originally published at Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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