If you came of age after Microsoft (MSFT) dominated the technology industry, you might well look at Bill Gates' philanthropic efforrs and call him a hero. Others who had to compete against the de facto monopoly that was Microsoft under Bill Gates might see things differently. To them, he was a vampiric force that fed on the lifeblood of software innovation. Then there are people who nostalgically call Gates a hero, not for what he's doing today, but for what he did back at Microsoft. Or at least there's one: Mark Zuckerberg. In September, Zuckerberg said at a conference that Gates was his hero when he was growing up. When his interviewer, Michael Arrington, compared Gates to Darth Vader, Zuckerberg disagreed, saying Gates is "one of the greatest visionaries that our industry has ever had."
Which raises the question: Now that Gates has moved on from the tech industry, can Zuckerberg become to our era what Gates was in his? Is Facebook (FB) the new Microsoft?