As an Independent Developer I've experienced a couple common problems with growing old and planning for retirement.
The first is a challenge for anyone who works for themselves. When you have an occupation without a pension or shared retirement plan you really need to put something aside
for retirement. I reinvested most profits back into the business which mostly went to health benefits. Makes me wonder if adding 3rd party toolbars would have been the best long term business decision.
Another more unique challenge is how to complete a product cycle. Over the years I've developed special relationships with many of my customers. How do you notify a large user base that you no longer support a program because you want to retire? In the case of my flagship WinPatrol product
I found Bret Lowry. A young ambitious and experienced security expert Bret has an
understanding and respect for his customers. Bret is now the face of WinPatrol and owns all its code, graphics and reputation. Many WinPatrol fans have been
using it for over 10 years so it was important to meet everyone's needs. Bret has combined the best of WinPatrol technology with his own experience to create new solutions ready to battle with new security threats.
Over the last couple years, I've updated an old favorite
called Task Catcher. I also created a service to let folks know what personal data has been compromised and how. Customers found
the "BlueHat" service to be curious but most who took advantage of this service
were already educated on best practices for personal security. As more attacks were acknowledged by large and small corporations it became
increasingly difficult and costly to keep up. It also put me in contact with too many untrustworthy groups who were stealing personal information.
I've had many ideas for the future but continued health issues have made me realize I won't be able to make the commitment required of an Independent Developer. As such, I'm taking
this opportunity to officially announce my retirement. I've had an amazing experience working in the personal computer; online service; PC gaming; Interactive TV, Security industry and more. My brain will continue to think, "How can this be better?" as I use my laptop, phone and other programmable devices. Education is still important to me from sharing good computer stories to serving on the board of our local school district.
To my friends who have made donations during my toughest time of medical treatments, I will forever be grateful and will forward your kindness on to others. If I do create any programs that might be useful I'll be
making them available for free. I will also continue to live up to the honor of
receiving the Microsoft “Most Valuable Professional” awards. I hope to have more time
to help answer questions online, write useful Bits from Bill leaks and continue speaking engagements when possible.