BusinessWeek has an article on Microsoft in the post-Gates era:
William H. Gates III might still be chairman, but Microsoft's post-Gates epoch is underway. July 27 marked the first annual Microsoft (MSFT) analyst meeting without Gates, the man who for three decades has been the public face of the company he co-founded in 1975. Indeed, Gates was nowhere near Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., where the meeting took place. He's in the midst of a seven-week vacation in Africa, a sign of the executive's shift away from Microsoft. Said Microsoft CEO Steven A. Ballmer, it's "the beginning of a new era for Microsoft."