Britain is to recognise Bill Gates' contribution to UK enterprise and the fight against poverty worldwide with the sort of honour money just can't buy - a knighthood.
Bill, who is reported to be "absolutely delighted", will sadly not be Sir Bill of Seattle but, as a US citizen, may henceforth be addressed by the honorary title of Bill Gates KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). He joins an illustrious list of fellow Americans previously mounting the British honours podium for their contribution to the advancement of humanity worldwide, including Dubya's peace-loving pa George Bush Senior.
Foreign secretary Jack Straw is also "delighted" at Mr Gates' elevation to the pantheon of the Great and the Good, and noted: "He is one of the most important global business leaders of this age."
"Microsoft technology has transformed business practices and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy, employing 2,000 people and contributing to the development of the IT sector," Straw added.
Gates is honoured not just for illuminating the UK by installing Windows where previously there was darkness and confusion, but also for the work of his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The charitable outfit has ploughed huges sums into various projects including AIDS, public libraries and international development.
We at El Reg would like to congratulate Mr Gates on his knighthood, and take the opportunity to remind both him and Microsoft that the honour must be shared with other holders, and that it would be considered poor form to mount an aggressive takeover bid against Saint Bob Geldof KBE.
He will be collecting his gong from the Queen at Buckingham Palace at a "mutually convenient" time for him and Her Majesty's Government. ®