I've had a sneaking (in fact, a lot more than sneaking) admiration for Microsoft ever since ca. 1982 when I used their Fortran compiler on a little Oki computer with about 64 KB of memory. It worked really well, did the job and was user friendly (for those days).
I really cannot understand the 'Gates is the Anti Christ' brigade. As you say, if it wasn't for him then millions of people would not have access to easy-to-use home computers (until they go wrong of course but that's not his fault).
He isn't actually leaving Microsoft of course, so I'm sure he will continue to have a lot of influence. Which is a good thing as visionaries who actually understand the technicalities are extremely few and far between.