Gates, whose attention has lately been heavily focused on his $38B foundation, adds this represents a substantial increase in the amount of time devoted to the company he co-founded.
Meanwhile, new CEO Satya Nadella's frequent references to mobile devices and cloud services in this morning's employee e-mail aren't going unnoticed.
Nadella: "Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world ... The co-evolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize — many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning."
Previous: Microsoft names Nadella CEO, Gates steps down as chairman
Update: Microsoft has released a video "interview" of Nadella
Update 2: Convenient timing? Mobile location check-in leader Foursquare announces Microsoft has invested $15M in the company, and struck a licensing deal that allows it to integrate Foursquare's data within its products.