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Bill Gates could bring fresh ideas in advisory role

As Satya Nadella settles in at the helm of Microsoft, all eyes are on the “new” guy (as new as a 22-year veteran employee can be). And rightly so. It’s a pivotal time for the company that seems to be lagging behind in today’s all-important areas of personal devices and mobility. But as Microsoft moves into this new era, CIOs would do well to keep an eye on Nadella’s right-hand man.

After six years away from Redmond pursuing philanthropic endeavors, Bill Gates will once again be ensconced in the company’s day-to-day activities as a special adviser to the CEO. Some say more than half a decade apart from technology puts Gates too far out of the loop to bring any sort of needed vision back to the business. But, as this week’s lead Searchlight item details, wherever Gates roamed, he still had one foot in Microsoft. In an industry where nothing is so highly prized as innovation, is it too far fetched to think his time away will perhaps inspire some truly outside-the-box thinking? Keep watching.

Also in this week’s Searchlight: at 10, Facebook is already an old fuddy-duddy (but that might be a good thing); Watson wants to focus on your feelings; Apply and Google join forces for an epic battle; and more.

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