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    Vic Gundotra

    In 1991, Vic Gundotra, a 21-year-old programmer at Microsoft’s Washington, DC, office, showed some of his demos to Steve Ballmer, then Microsoft’s head of sales (and now CEO). Soon after, Gundotra was moved to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA. There, Gundotra and colleagues ran the skunk works project that resulted in a new architecture for supporting company software applications across many kinds of computers; now knows as .Net, it won out over several established projects. In 1999, Gundotra also wrote the code for the network software that underlies .Net- which crystallized “Web services” for Ballmer and Bill gates/ The code sparked Microsoft’s next PC operating system, Longhorn (due in 2005) will be driven by ,Net. Gundotra is a born proselytizer for technology: he uses a tablet PC to take notes during church. He doesn’t know if he’ll stay at Microsoft forever, but he says, “If you want to change the world, it’s much easier to do it at Microsoft.”