When You Think about Microsoft, What’s the First Thing that Pops into Your Mind?

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Some of you may think about Microsoft Office, your desk-top software applications for managing your email, contacts and calendars. Maybe you think about Word, Excel, and PowerPoint because you use them every day. Some of you may think about the giant corporation that always seems to be in news, for better or worse. Some of you may think: Bill Gates.

Here’s what pops into my mind: Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It’s the Customer Relationship Management system that we use internally for sales and marketing automation as well as service and case management. It’s also the software that many of our clients use. And, it integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP for accounting and ERP. So I have many reasons for associating Microsoft with Dynamics CRM.

But if I dig deeper, I definitely think about Bill Gates, the young fair-haired Bill with the wire-rimmed glasses, as he appeared on the cover of FORTUNE Magazine in 1986. An iconic image.

Yes, Bill is no longer Microsoft’s CEO. But his work goes on, not just via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but through many other initiatives that bear his hallmark.

Here are a few truly inspiring examples:

  • "Everyone starts somewhere.....," a program that encourages kids to try coding. It’s an effort geared toward helping kids everywhere meet their potential and envision a bright future.
  • YouthSpark Initiative, a global effort that involves thousands of Microsoft employees who travel the world encouraging and inspiring kids to code - from Redmond to Riyadh to Rome.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment of $42.3 billion dollars, and $31.6 billion dollars in grant payments that have been made since its inception.
  • The Clean Water Initiative, literally turning poop into potable water and electricity. The impact of this project for millions of people without access to sanitary water in developing and third world countries cannot be underestimated.

If I’ve piqued your interest, please refer to one of my recent blogs: Microsoft and Beyond: The house that Bill built. You’ll even see a photo of Bill Gates himself, drinking water that was derived from poop! No longer young and fair-haired but wrinkled and mostly gray, there’s still a glint in his eyes that says: I’m not done. There’s so much more to do.

By Marcia Nita Doron, Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics GP/ERP and CRM Partner serving Massachusetts (MA) and beyond.