shares the opinions of Harvard drop-out Bill Gates and Reed College drop-out Steve Jobs, who respectively urge students to pursue "work-related learning" and "technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities". Before, I assume, dropping out to start multi-billion dollar companies. I agree with Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, that they're both right, although my rationale is a bit different.
I know some people in the engineering and tech fields who are avid readers, interested in ideas, like the arts... and others for whom the liberal arts and humanities are beneath their interest, a waste of time. It's in no small part a matter of personality, and those (presumably like Bill Gates) who see little value in the liberal arts shouldn't be pressed to take course after course in the vain hope that they'll wake up and learn to like those subjects. If things don't click, it's a waste of everybody's time (not to mention tuition money). Some people will develop a greater interest in the arts and humanities as they mature, others won't. There's room in our society and workplaces for that personality type - and apparently lots of room for it at Microsoft.
What has Microsoft done very well over the years? Leverage the ideas of others into its products? Microsoft is largely evolutionary, while Apple tries to be revolutionary. Both are important, but the latter is more likely to emerge from somebody with Steve Jobs' mindset than Bill Gates'. While Trachtenberg justifiably praises Gates' philanthropy, his recent statements suggest that he endorses a colorless "work-related learning", "test, measure and retest" approach to education starting at the earliest grades. I'm skeptical that his own children would attend a school that offers a KIPP-style learning environment - if not, perhaps he recognizes that the rich have luxuries that the poor do not, and among those luxuries are allowing their children to explore, experiment, play, paint and develop at their own pace. (But if so, that's not the sort of thing you would expect him to say out loud.)