You could have Bill Gates' job! You won't end up with Bill Gates' money, but you could have Bill Gates' job!
What exactly is his job? Presently it involves a lot of philanthropy, and that's the part that he wants to keep, so don't fall in love with that particular aspect. So if you're not giving away wads of cash, just what exactly would you be doing if you take over for Bill? Citigroup analyst Brent Thill suggests the leadership transition "will give a new generation of leaders a chance to step out of Bill's shadow, evolved new business models and develop the software and services vision of Windows Live." That would be a fifty billion dollar shadow these leaders would be stepping out of.
Instead of trying to find a way to take over for Bill, since it seems that he has some flunky (Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie) already picked out for the software chunk of it, why not figure out how to insinuate yourself into the operation at some new and preeminent level? How about Microsoft CRE (Chief of Random Expenditures)? The salary might not be enormous, but the fringe benefits would be incredible. Remember how Elvis used to fly the Memphis Mafia out to Denver in his private jet to grab some fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches in the middle of the night? I'm thinking Bill could fly all the homeless people in Memphis up to Denver for a weekend of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, served by Elvis impersonators. He could buy Lief Garrett's house and turn it into a walk-in rehab center for addicts who never got to be on "Behind the Music." He could buy and sell Donald Trump's piddly three point seven billion dollar fortune and force him to get a decent haircut.
I like the idea that Bill will have a chance to devote more of his life to charity, but I think it's also important for him to use his foundation to level a little karma.