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Strange cults, vocal surgery and the quiet man: Inside Microsoft

Mary-Jo Foley on life after Gates

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Radio Reg Who'd have thought a bad haircut and rocking backwards and forwards in your chair like a child with ADD could pass as must-have traits? Yet, such was the cult of Bill Gates at Microsoft, company employees adopted these to become more like their boss.

Then there's ballistic Steve Ballmer, shouting so hard at one event his throat later required medical attention.

Into this ego-driven maelstrom steps Ray Ozzie: the quiet man of software, responsible for the hated Lotus Notes, who wants Microsoft to become more like Apple.

Join The Reg as we talk to journalist, author and blogger Mary-Jo Foley to get her take on these characters and life for Microsoft without Gates. We also get into the next version of Windows, how it feels to be a member of the team that delivered Windows Vista, and what's going on with new projects like Red Dog and D.

Why Mary-Jo? She's been reporting on Microsoft for 25 years, just eight less than Microsoft has actually been around.

She's also almost as legendary as Gates in hack circles. From interviewing the fidgety man at Comdex before anyone cared about Microsoft to infiltrating the corporate employees' bus to work each day, Mary-Jo's been scooping journalists and frustrating Microsoft's hated PR machine for more than two decades. She gives her thoughts on this and the future of Microsoft without the man who helped found it in her new book: Microsoft 2.0: how Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era.

Microbite

Warning for podcast snobs: there's no fancy music or fades here. We get right into it. You can listen here or through our player, above.®

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