Bill Gates may have stepped down as Microsoft CEO and chief software architect nearly 13 years ago, but that hasn't stopped him being involved in the software maker's upcoming releases. In an interview with Microsoft's Steve Clayton, Gates talks up the future of Windows with touch and tablet experiences, but he recognizes this is a big step for Microsoft.

"This is the big time for us."

"People will be pretty amazed about the energy that Microsoft is putting behind this new wave of products," says Gates. "We really saved up in terms of knowing that this was such an important set of innovations," he adds. "This is the big time for us."

Gates praises Windows 8 for the blending various forms of input like speech, camera, and touch — hinting that over time Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will grow into a single platform. On Surface, Gates is equally impressed, stating it's an "unbelievably great" product. "I got my Surface RT just recently, I've been using it day and night," says Gates. "It was one of the first ones off the line and I was anxious to get one…it is absolutely incredible."