People have been hypothesizing about this moment for years. The rumours became even more heightened with the hiring/purchase of Ray Ozzie. Bill Gates’ non-appearance at the keynote for TechEd, which I highlighted here, was another hint. Well, the day has come. Bill Gates has announced that he is transitioning away from his daily duties at Microsoft to focus on his charitable work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, though he will remain CEO in name. Everyone saw it coming, but I personally didn’t think the announcement would come this soon. The transition will take place over a two year period. Ray Ozzie, currently CTO, will take on Gates’ title of Chief Software Architect. Craig Mundie, another CTO, will take on the title of Chief Research and Strategy Officer.