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Bill Gates writes a moving letter to employees on Microsoft’s 40th anniversary

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, also known as the richest person on the planet thanks to the company’s enormous success, has fired off an upbeat letter to workers at the computer giant as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO 15 years ago, but has continued to play an active role in the company’s development. After vacating his post as chairman in 2014 – at the same time as Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft CEO – Gates assumed the role of technology adviser to the company.

Related: Bill Gates drinks water that came from human feces – for a good cause, of course

In his 375-word message, details of which first appeared on Twitter and have since been verified by The Verge, Gates said in the next 10 years he expects computer technology to evolve at an even more rapid pace than before, adding that advances in robotics mean huge changes are just around the corner.

Gates also talked up recent Microsoft products such as Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens, and thanked employees for “helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.”

You can check out the full message below:

“[Saturday] is a special day: Microsoft’s 40th anniversary.

Early on, Paul Allen and I set the goal of a computer on every desk and in every home. It was a bold idea and a lot of people thought we were out of our minds to imagine it was possible. It is amazing to think about how far computing has come since then, and we can all be proud of the role Microsoft played in that revolution.

Today though, I am thinking much more about Microsoft’s future than its past. I believe computing will evolve faster in the next 10 years than it ever has before. We already live in a multi-platform world, and computing will become even more pervasive. We are nearing the point where computers and robots will be able to see, move, and interact naturally, unlocking many new applications and empowering people even more.

Under Satya’s leadership, Microsoft is better positioned than ever to lead these advances. We have the resources to drive and solve tough problems. We are engaged in every facet of modern computing and have the deepest commitment to research in the industry. In my role as technical advisor to Satya, I get to join product reviews and am impressed by the vision and talent I see. The result is evident in products like Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens — and those are just a few of the many innovations that are on the way.

In the coming years, Microsoft has the opportunity to reach even more people and organizations around the world. Technology is still out of reach for many people, because it is complex or expensive, or they simply do not have access. So I hope you will think about what you can do to make the power of technology accessible to everyone, to connect people to each other, and make personal computing available everywhere even as the very notion of what a PC delivers makes its way into all devices.

We have accomplished a lot together during our first 40 years and empowered countless businesses and people to realize their full potential. But what matters most now is what we do next. Thank you for helping make Microsoft a fantastic company now and for decades to come.”