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The Bill Gates FAQ

In a Q&A on the Microsoft Web site, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates tackled a handful of questions that Microsoft says are the ones he is most commonly asked.

In the three-page Word document posted this week, Gates opines on his happiest moments at Microsoft (getting BASIC to run on the Altair in 1976 and the IBM PC launch in 1981), the prospect for computers to really think on their own (not in the next 20 years), the role of fate or luck in his success ("immense") and the secrets to his success.

Gates also took the opportunity to talk about how he spends his time. "I spend less time in the office than I used to, partly because I have family now but more because electronic mail has freed me to work at home in the evenings and on weekends," Gates said.

He says his work schedule is still 10 hours or more each weekday, not including business-related social functions, and another 10 hours most weekends.

He says about half of his work time is spent with product groups, a quarter is spent in customer-related activities and the rest in "general management activities" like board meetings, press interviews, hiring, budget reviews and writing.

About three hours a day he spends working on his computer. Roughly half of that time goes to Web browsing or trying new software and half is spent reading and writing e-mail and reports.

"I used to work all night in the office, but it's been quite a while since I lived on catnaps. I like to get seven hours of sleep a night because that's what I need to stay sharp and creative and upbeat," Gates said.

To download the full FAQ, click here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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