While his focus these days is on philanthropy and societal issues around the globe, former Microsoft chief Bill Gates says he's still involved in certain aspects of his old business. "Steve [Ballmer] brainstorms with me," he says. "When new product milestones come along, like some planning in Office, I'll be a part of that. Search is probably the one where I spend the most ongoing time. ... There's certainly a lot of mail from me to the Windows group talking about how to make sure Windows is the best choice for all sorts of new form factors."