Why Bill Gates is Richer than You

part of the Career Guide for Engineers and Computer Scientists by Philip Greenspun, mostly in 1997

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The Short Answer (to "Why Bill Gates is Richer than You")

"Bill [Gates] is just smarter than everyone else," Mike Maples, an executive vice-president of Microsoft, says. "There are probably more smart people per square foot right here than anywhere else in the world, but Bill is just smarter."

The New Yorker, January 10, 1994
"The obvious mathematical breakthrough would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers."
Bill Gates, The Road Ahead, Viking Penguin (1995), page 265

The Family Answer

A lot of immigrants look up to Bill Gates as proof that the American Dream is achievable by anyone. They don't seem to realize that William Henry Gates III comes from one of the wealthiest families in the Pacific Northwest (see "How to Become As Rich As Bill Gates"). Another way to look at this is that the birth of Jennifer Katherine Gates on April 28, 1996 proved that America is still a country where anyone, regardless of race, creed, color, or software quality, can go from having a rich white Anglo-Saxon Protestant daddy to being a rich white Anglo-Saxon Protestant daddy.

"To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable" -- Edgar Bronfman

"Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million." -- Jean Jacques Rousseau

What the Government Should Do About Microsoft

"My experience tells me that, instead of bothering about how the whole world may live in the right manner, we should think how we ourselves may do so. We do not even know whether the world lives in the right manner or in a wrong manner. If, however, we live in the right manner, we shall feel that others also do the same, or shall discover a way of persuading them to do so."

"Non co-operation with evil is as much a duty as co-operation with good."

Real Swaraj will come, not by the acquisition of authority by a few, but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused.

-- Mahatma Gandhi

Should the government be suing Microsoft for violating antitrust laws? Perhaps. But doesn't it seem kind of odd for government lawyers to be typing Microsoft Word documents about how bad Microsoft is? If the federales were serious about increasing competition in the world of software it would be much more effective simply to convert government operations to open-source software. For very small organizations it may not make sense to use open-source software. The cost of hiring a programmer to add a feature or two to Linux or Open Office, for example, can't be recovered if you only have five employees to use the feature. But the U.S. Government has millions of employees. Whatever it costs to improve the open-source software that the feds use will be much less than the government currently pays to Microsoft in license and upgrade fees. And, by releasing those improvements back to the community, the U.S. Government will greatly strengthen the market for open-source software and support.

[I wrote this section in 1997 when the Clinton Administration sued Microsoft. Since then GNU/Linux has improved substantially and now far exceeds government desktop IT requirements. However, U.S. federal and state governments have continued to hire lawyers to pick at Microsoft instead of hiring programmers to port their Windows-only apps to GNU/Linux. Then they express surprise that Johnny wants to major in Law instead of Computer Science.]

Will Society Free Itself?

In the absence of government intervention, is there any hope of society freeing itself from the Microsoft monopoly? Perhaps. Consider Microsoft's mainstay product: the desktop computer system that costs $10,000 per year to administer and lets you work by yourself. What most users want, though, is a cheap simple device that lets them collaborate with others. Successful collaboration with others typically requires that someone run a big reliable server (see Chapters 1 and 17 of Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing). Thus the market for computing may in the end boil down to simple stuff to be used by consumers and reliable stuff to be operated by professional IT staff. Windows is way too complex for most consumers and difficult to justify on the server side when you can run Linux for free.

Microsoft Corporation will survive of course. By acquiring WebTV, a simple Internet appliance, they've got a toehold into the future of the desktop. By acquiring Hotmail they've got a toehold into the future of server-based applications. But to sustain their position as one of the most valuable companies in the world they may need to develop valuable services that people will want to use every day. Historically the most valuable company on the American stock market was AT&T. They had a monopoly on telephony, something that most people needed to use a few times every day. Whether Microsoft Corporation is creative enough to develop something similarly essential, in the absence of the legal monopoly held by AT&T, is an interesting question.

Other Internet Resources




Photos used by permission of a friend who prefers to remain anonymous.
philg@mit.edu who couldn't have built this page without Billg@microsoft.com

Reader's Comments

I think Bill Gates is wonderful. I am poor as dirt, but there's no reason bleaming one man for everyone's woes. Of course, he is stinky rich, but hey, he earned it. Whether by luck or genius or not, it doesn't matter. The man is a competitior, and he does whatever it takes(in a honest way) to win. I don't see people crying and whining about Michael Jordan because he always wants to win. Please, leave the guy along---he already have enough problems and stress with the feature of the world's computer technology on his shoulders.

-- Kwame Tuffour, December 18, 1996
I would like to see more discussion on how Bill Gates made his money. More specific on how Bill stold the operating system from David Kildorf. The world according to Bill Gates is not to be a genuis, but how to be a pirate. How could Bill Gates not know that he was purchasing Kildorf's operating system for 50,000 dollars from some jerk in Orgen. Just change the C: prompt to A: prompt and you have a new operating system called DOS 7.1 and sell it to start your software company. If Bill Gates can steal software than everybody should be able to also. Why pay those high prices for Microsoft software when everybody should get it free. - Just like Bill Gates. If you did a print test on the first IBM computer's with Mircosoft operating systems, you would have seen David Kildorf's name. Bill Gates is worth 18 Billion dollars because he stold Kildorf's work. Nobody should get left holding the bag for expensive software after the bigest theft in the 20th Century. Bill Gates motto should be: If you can act unethical but still remain legal in a court of law, - than do it. This reminds me of O.J. Simpsom. END

-- Kevin Koss, December 27, 1996
Yeah, I hear y'all...blah..blah..blah. But what I like is when Billy boy was late for a Rotary speech in Seattle he made his driver look for a parking meter space because Billy boy didn't want to pay the $12.00 hotel parking fee. I lived in Kirkland, right on the waterfront, just two miles from his American version of the Taj Mahal and believe it or not when Bill travels from Redmond over Rose Hill he'll stop for an ice cream bar. Well, Billy boy remains a coupon clipper for Dove bars. He fumbled around in his pockets for .50 cents off coupon and kept people waiting in line. Finally one guy said..."hey look, I'll pay the fifty cents..I'm late." Ahhh...that Billy boy...what a trip.

-- Ed Cain, January 3, 1997
I am a Computer Science Major who will probaly be a millionaire one day. I admire Bill Gates for his ambition and drive, but I feel he stole ideas to achieve his status. Two people who has aspired me in life is Mr. Gates and Tupac Shakur, both are workaholics and at the top of their profession. The difference between the two of them is Tupac didn't steal his ideas. If you put these two people together you have me minus the shoplifting. It's like he got away with a $30 billion dollar crime.

-- Steve Perkins, June 7, 1997
A few months ago, it was announced that Brother Bill was going to donate several hundred million dollars to assorted charities. Not to be outdone, Ted Turner antes up one billion for similar causes. Get real! I challenge both of these men to tithe (give 10% of their income), like so many elderly and low-income folks do every Sunday morning. Surely they can spare a couple of billion that they could never hope to spend otherwise. Who is more charitable? A mega-billionaire who gives away a few hundred million or a homeless man who gives away his last dime?

-- Chris Shaner, October 11, 1997
Brown-noser

Leonardo da Vinci's 500-year-old scientific document Codex Leicester -- bought by Bill Gates for $30.8 mil -- will be the centerpiece of a Seattle Art Museum exhibit opening next Thursday. To hype it, the Microsoft man took a bunch of fifth-graders on a preopening tour. One smart-aleck piped up:"Leonardo didn't finish all of his work, and you didn't finish Harvard or your first computer program. Do you think you are like him?" Gates sorta deflected the query and went on. Another kid said the best thing about the tour was "walking around with the richest man in America."

-from the people column at the Miami Herald

-- Lord Windeshmere, October 18, 1997

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Microsoft Addresses Justice Department Accusations REDMOND, Wash. - Oct. 22, 1997 -- In direct response to accusations made by the Department of Justice, the Microsoft Corp. announced today that it will be acquiring the federal government of the United States of America for an undisclosed sum. "It's actually a logical extension of our planned growth", said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, "It really is going to be a positive arrangement for everyone". Microsoft representatives held a briefing in the oval office of the White House with U.S. President Bill Clinton, and assured members of the press that changes will be "minimal". The United States will be managed as a wholly owned division of Microsoft. An initial public offering is planned for July of next year, and the federal government is expected to be profitable by "Q4 1999 at latest", according to Microsoft president Steve Ballmer.

In a related announcement, Bill Clinton stated that he had "willingly and enthusiastically" accepted a position as a vice president with Microsoft, and will continue to manage the United States government, reporting directly to Bill Gates. When asked how it felt to give up the mantle of executive authority to Gates, Clinton smiled and referred to it as "a relief". He went on to say that Gates has a "proven track record", and that U.S. citizens should offer Gates their "full support and confidence". Clinton will reportedly be earning several times the $200,000 annually he has earned as U.S. president, in his new role at Microsoft. Gates dismissed a suggestion that the U.S. Capitol be moved to Redmond as "silly", though did say that he would make executive decisions for the U.S. government from his existing office at Microsoft headquarters. Gates went on to say that the House and Senate would "of course" be abolished. "Microsoft isn't a democracy", he observed, "and look how well we're doing". When asked if the rumored attendant acquisition of Canada was proceeding, Gates said, "We don't deny that discussions are taking place". Microsoft representatives closed the conference by stating that United States citizens will be able to expect lower taxes, increases in government services and discounts on all Microsoft products. About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers, and democratic government. The company offers a wide range of products and services for public, business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing and free society every day. About the United States Founded in 1789, the United States of America is the most successful nation in the history of the world, and has been a beacon of democracy and opportunity for over 200 years. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the United States is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation.

-- PeeWee --, October 24, 1997

The problem with Microsoft isn't Bill Gates. (Well, not directly, but his policies.) Microsoft now has enough capital to buy up any upstart company that looks as if it might just be able to compete. This is not a good thing. A couple other notes:

Re: Trust Lawsuit It *is* possible (easy, in fact) to run Windoze 95 without Internet Explorer. The only functionality you lose is being able to view GIF/JPEG images easily, but who wants to boot up a goliath like IE to view a 20K picture anyway? I bought SoftWindows 95 and removed IE with no ill effects.

Re: Washington I live less than 60 miles from Redmond, and I just want people to know that people here at ground zero hate Bill as much as all of you. In fact, I recall a Microsoft employee at a picnic: Person: So, I hear you work for Bill? Employee: We all work for Bill. Most people just don't know it yet. Also: Washington is a great place to live, but we already have our quota of Californians for the next 3 centuries. In you live in California and plan to move to Washington (especially Lake Stevens), please don't. Our drivers are bad enough as is.

- James Schend Macintosh C Programmer

-- James Schend, March 12, 1998

i am new at the wonderful world of internetting & have avoided computers like the plague, so please take my notions with a large grain of salt. it seems to me that for someone-anyone-to rise to a position of power that bill gates apparently now occupies, there had to have been a pretty big vacuum in the way of alternative leadership. if he's so bad, where are the "good guys"? i thought this fair country of ours was supposed to be built by & for those of us who pursue our dreams and rise to the occasion. what happened, then? if gates is so stupid/evil, such a loser, how come all the sour grapes? if you..or anyone..can do it better, then stop whining and crying i your beer and do it. i'm just an average citizen, but i do know i can do whatever the next guy can do. all i have to do is learn about it and rock with it. you guys seem to know an awful lot about the computer stuff. so DO what you know how to do. otherwise, i must conclude that there must be some other reason for your attack of gates. smells like a POLITICAL vendeta from here...or, maybe you really don't want compteition to allow the best to rise to the top. i'm probably way off, and i am easily confused by this hi-tech business, so please take my comments for what they are...it just smacks of ralph nader to me, and i have never been thrilled with him. thanks for the soap box.

-- banshee13 --, March 13, 1998
As an MS product user (not a programmer, analyst, technoid, whatever) who remembers the "good old days" when many obnoxious arrogant turf warriors controlled the pc environment -- I think many of you are missing the point. Can any of you remembering when businesses had to buy 12 different programs that didn't talk to each other, were expensive to buy and difficult to maintain, and there was no obvious progress toward standardizing anything except profits? (I DON'T THINK BILL GATES INVENTED THE PROFIT MOTIVE OR STOCK MARKET) Idiots created the situation where MS products met a real business need...and Bill took advantage of the situation. And now it's a lot easier to complain instead of doing something creative and USEFUL. There's plenty of need out there...

-- M H Darr, April 16, 1998
Did you know that Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller built their monopolies using the same technique? In the 1980s, Bill Gates got the computer manufacturers to pay him the price for Windows for each computer they manufacture, regardless of whose software is on it. In the 1870s, John D. Rockefeller got the railroads to pay him a rebate for every carload of oil they ship, regardless of whose oil it is. Same deal! How did they manage such deals? Mostly by bribing the officials of the other companies.
For more info about monopolies, and the international corporate oligarchy, see my web site, http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/87 96.
Lust for power makes some people do spectacularly ruthless things!

-- Jeff Putman, May 20, 1998
I find it funny that the US government is suing Microsoft. In my mind, the govt is mostly to blame. I remember making our first home "PC" decision. Dad worked for the government. They used IBM PCs (almost exclusively). Guess what we bought... The workplace drove the consumer demand. Not the other way around (sorry Mr. Jobs).

-- Alan Schunemann, June 17, 1998
Sure the man is rich, and intelligent. But one thing we have to admire is that he's still goes to work. May be is because of greed, and he wants to make sure his money makes more money, but you have to give him credit for being persistent.

-- J.A. Obando, June 29, 1998
Why would anyone in their right mind want to support bill? 1. Are you people all blind? Can't you see he's buying stuff faster than you can blink! He's trying to gain total control of our wonderful country. His first step will be to wipe out netscape. Once netscape is out then he will have FULL CONTROL OF THE INTERNET!!! Lets not wai to see if this happens. 2. He stole his OS from a couple of people. First the Macintosh had the OS to start out with. Steve Jobbs the founder of the true windows wasn't given the credit he deserves. Even think about how many time have you had to fix your Mac on comparison with you PC?!?! I've worked with both macs and pc's. I Use the macs for graphics and work. The PC,well, I only use for games! THATS IT!! Thats all A pc is good for! 3.Windows 98. WHAT A RIP OFF!!! Its slow. You can get the sme desktop features by installing the free IE add on. Why would you pay 100$ for that!! The other main fewatures i noticed were more colors(this remind you of a Mac?),and things slide instead if pop!! thats all i have right now please e-mail me! plop@nstep.net

-- Tyler "plop" Steiner, August 6, 1998
I must say, that all of you who do not recognize the absolute genius of Bill Gates are stupid. You say that bill gates stole this operating system. Hmm.. i find this interesting. If he stole it from steve jobs, why hasn't Mr. Jobs relentlessly sued him and such. Because Mr. Jobs has no basis to support this. Macintosh operates NOTHING like Windows 3.1 or Win 95/NT/98. Now for the mac dissing. Mac's are good for 1 thing. Graphics. Thats all. Anything else a mac sucks at. You look in all the elementary schools of america.. You wont see a PC. Youll see a mac. Why? Because Mac's are only used by people with undeveloped brains. Now, as for Office vs. Corel. Office seems to be working MUCH better than corel on my machine. Corel locks up, faults, and messes up many times. And dont say its my machine, i have a P333, 128MB Ram, whole 9 yards.

Finally, my praising of Bill. Bill was SMART enough to allegedly buy someones Quick And Dirty Operating System, put a few improvements on it, and sell it. Now, look at this. He took the lead, and he made the money. Thats where he is a genius. He has done nothing wrong. He has just made all the right moves. With the release of Windows 95, he made the best move of his career. He changed windows so dramatically that there was no way it could be compared to a Mac. Even today, it cannot be compared to a Mac. With Win 98, people say it runs slower than win 95. I happen to disagree. Win 98 is SOOOO much better than 95. Not for the improvements you can see, but for the ones you can't. The crash bugs have been minimized. Ive had it for a couple months, no crashed. As where 95 first month crashed. You should all not be wasting your time ralling against Bill. Thats stupid. No matter where you go in the computer world, some part of it will be developed with a Microsoft Infulence. This page, somewhere had a microsoft infulence in it. Another thing with microsoft's "monopoly" is that one is it is self-made therefor completely leagal. Also, there are altenatives to Windows. You could always do the Linux thing or play around with OS/2 (Which is a big rip off of the Win 3.1 GUI). So, you do have the freedom to break from Bill. But your better off not to.

-- Allen --, August 10, 1998

I am a hard working American father of four in my mid thirties. I have read everything I can find about Bill Gates, both good and bad. He inspires me. He is everything you little people hate. He is smart, poised, creative, undaunted, focused, successful, driven and rich. It makes me sick to read the drivelling comments and accusations of you ugly little worthless idiots. One of you feeble little mindless dolts even concocted a formula equating his name to "The number of the Beast" 666! Are you kidding? How dare you? YOU and your jealous, envious kind are the evil in this world. You waist your time fabricating and twisting the truth. You dedicate your efforts to the destruction of others while never creating anything. You are the puppets of "The Unmaker". Your lies are testimony to your lives of destrustion, illusion, hate and accusation. I hope Bill Gates makes a trillion dollars and keeps every last dime. He is making it, You are not! You self proclaimed intellectuals are producing NOTHING! You are worthless. Put down the book, get up off your ass and create something! If you can.

-- -- --, October 27, 1998
Sheesh... (Phil, you are a classy photographer and have done a great public service by creating photo.net, but this is seriously misguided.)

Bill bashing is infantile at best, so I won't waste everyone's time with another opinion about this. But I do have something to say about Windows and Microsoft's success in general. (As a matter of disclosure, I previously worked for Microsoft for 8 1/2 years.)

For individuals, what software product is "best" is a subjective thing, and will vary depending on how one values different criteria. But modern markets are very efficient. Over the long run, most people buy what works. And people choose Microsoft software because it works. Not because it is bug-free, or because it is more elegant than the Mac or more stable than UNIX, but because it works based on the criteria they judge to be most important. Simply put, Windows "works" because it best supports the PC model of computing.

The PC model of computing separates hardware from software to allow interchangeability. This means you can buy a computer from virtually any manufacturer and run software on it from virtually any developer with virtually 100% compatibility. Does HP make a better, faster, cheaper server than IBM? No problem, just buy the HP box--your Windows software and applications will run unchanged, and your users and administrators will barely notice the difference. (Try a UNIX migration from AIX/PowerPC to HP-UX/PA-RISC sometime and compare the experience.)

The PC model, with its open approach, provides greater choice than any competing paradigm. PC vendors compete with each other vigorously to offer compatible products at the lowest prices. Companies like Apple may offer proprietary platforms that are more elegant, but they end up competing with thousands of companies working in the aggregate to add value to the PC. (In part this is why it's difficult for a proprietary architecture to generate the volume to become a dominant standard.)

Microsoft's success as a company is based on it's fundamental belief in the PC approach and in the economies of scale created by volume. Windows is a better PC OS because Microsoft is not beholden to any hardware vendor or architecture. OS/2, Solaris and NextStep all have marginal share in the PC space in part because they are created by hardware vendors who have NO INCENTIVE to ensure their OSs REALLY support the thousands of available hardware products from other manufacturers. (And in IBM and Sun's case because they are building "operating systems" instead of products a consumer might hope to use.)

UNIX is a noble idea, but the UNIX business model allows hardware vendors to uniquely customize the OS for their platforms, creating barriers for customers and fragmenting the market for developers (good from a computer vendor's point of view, bad from a customer's point of view.) Developers must uniquely port, optimize, and market their UNIX applications for each major platform--at least Sun, Digital, HP and IBM-- driving up costs substantially vs. developing for the PC market.

There will always be room for other approaches but a mainstream technology requires standards like those that Windows provides. Imagine buying a VCR from Samsung that can't play tapes recorded on a Sony (or film for your Nikon that you can't use in your Canon)... Yet this is exactly the kind of "choice" that the government would create with its lawsuit against Microsoft.

The great thing about the choice created by the PC model is that EVERYTHING is interchangeable, including the OS. You can run at least a half- dozen commmercially available alternatives to Windows on your PC (try that on a Macintosh). If someone someday builds an OS that supports the PC approach better than Microsoft, Windows will get rapidly replaced. Microsoft knows this better than most, which is why the company is such a vigorous competitor.

-- Gary Voth, November 9, 1998

For some well thought out comments in support of the open source software development model, take a look at: http://www.shirky.com/opensource/

-- Andreas Yankopolus, January 10, 1999
There are facts about Microsoft's products that would support the DOJ case if they were more widely known. I know of two particularly annoying ones: 1) Visual Studio 6 is Microsoft's new integrated development environment (for Java, Visual Basic, C++). It provides context-sensitive help. The previous version, version 5, also provided context-sensitive help, but it worked much better. For example, in version 5, you could cut out sample code from the help, and paste it into your program. Why is version 6 worse? Because the help is stored as HTML - Microsoft HTML, not standard HTML. Therefore anyone using VS6 MUST install Internet Explorer 4.01. They get no benefit from it - the product is worse for it - but they do have to install Microsoft's browser (you even need it to INSTALL VS6!). That is not an open market. 2) Since Microsoft C version 6 (NOT Visual C++, I'm talking about ten years ago) Microsoft's C compilers have used code-generation strategies that make the output from these compilers incompatible with any other vendors' compilers. The code they output is strange - the compilers do things that a human machine-code programmer would never do (detail below). Once upon a time, it was common to purchase libraries of object-code routines (pre-compiled bits of program), and link selected routines into your own program. You can't do this with Microsoft's C compilers. That is a restrictive practice. (Tech. Detail: Microsoft C compilers assume that any external library code has the CPU direction flag set to 'Forward'. A human programmer would never make any assumption about the state of the CPU flags. Setting and resetting the direction flag on a modern Intel processor takes zero clock cycles, so this is not an optimisation). In both of these cases, we see Microsoft making their products worse (less useful to the people who use them, harder to install and use) for no good technical reason. One can only suppose that you must have IE4 to use VS6, because Bill wants you to use IE4. And the only possible reason for not having corrected the direction-flag glitch is that it makes it risky to use competitors' compilers to produce re-useable object code libraries. Microsoft sometimes do things to make their products better. But they also sometimes make their products WORSE if that will help them gain market share by excluding their competitors. Anti- trust legislation is designed to protect consumers, the DOJ case is a proper application of it.

-- Jack Cleaver, January 26, 1999
"Bill Gates, CEO of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation."

You really don't have to dig too deep to see the parallels, do you? Go through Douglas Adams' works and find everything he ever says about the SCC, and substitute the name Microsoft. Works every time! But here's my favourite:

"...of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation products: 'it is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all.' In other words - and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's galaxywide success is founded - their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."

-- Jon Salsberg, February 6, 1999

Personally, the more money you have, the sweeter life is. Think about it... if you HAVE money, you tell everyone "Life Is Good!". If you DO NOT HAVE money, everyone thinks you're an asshole for the way you're acting. It's a simple law of psychology, really. Answer me one question... if you were as rich as Bill Gates, would you be an asshole?

-- Matt Coulter, March 11, 1999
To all those who feel the urge to talk of others and their actions, take a good, long look in the mirror and then tell us how you wouldn't have done the same damned thing Gates did given the opportunity. This puts you into one of two categories: bilionaire or liar.

-- Sean Lester, March 31, 1999
I find it amusing how some readers of this page cannot appreciate it simply for the humor (isn't it listed under that subheading?). True, there are whiners out there who bash Microsoft because 1. Billg is richer than they will ever be and 2. they are engineers but are not not good enough to be hired by Microsoft. 3. they are not engineers and have no clue of what they're talking about. But "Why Bill Gates is Richer than You" is just one of Philip Greenspun's humorous observations about society. He has the same controversial yet funny views about other issues/organizations such as the MIT tuition, the Media Lab, and his own engineering degree. Anyone who has met/talked to Philip knows that he is not a "whiner" nor is he jealous of Bill Gates' wealth.

I have no doubts that 99.99% of the people on this planet, when given the chance, would choose to be as rich as Bill Gates. But change the question to, "Would you like to *be* Bill Gates?" and I personally would answer "No." Why not? Because it's not worth my life to be as rich as he is and yet do what he does. He does not have a life, in my opinion, and he lives in constant fear that his "monopoly" or "market dominance" or whatever the P.C. way of putting it, would end. As a graduating computer science student, I do not want to spend my degree and education doing that. A computer scientist in our time can basically go off and do whatever he/she's interested in, be innovative, do great things for the industry/society, and the money will follow. Maybe we won't all be as rich as Bill Gates is, but rich nonetheless. (How much money can you, personally, spend in your lifetime anyways???) And that was what Philip Greenspun taught us in his class. So I can testify that Philip, the author of this page, wrote it for the "humor" and not the "whining" because he, too, does not want to be Bill Gates even if he had the chance.

On the other hand, Bill Gates and Paul Allen did the best thing they could have done during their time--exploited the PC market and the money followed. The comment by the former Microsoft employee above is well-made in the sense that it explained why and how Microsoft got to the place it is today. It timely grabbed the PC market, standardized everything, and helped make personal computing ubiquitous. However, now we see another movement--the Internet. Whoever that can do what Microsoft did to the PC--giving the Internet standard, ubiquity, and useability--will become the next Microsft. Don't we see the trend? IBM--> Microsoft--> ???

A significant portion of the opinions worries what Microsoft is doing to the market is unhealthy. Monopolies are actually a part of capitalism, and I don't think anything will ever change that. We find the Microsofts and Intels because the technologies have matured in those respective industries; and we no longer see innovation because by now, PC technology has gotten a bit stale. But that's not true of the Internet and distributed computing, out of which we'll continue to see innovation through the next decade, regardless of Microsoft's current monopoly.

To the person who asked about Microsoft employment above: Although I have never worked for Microsoft, I have closely known people who worked there and have interviewed there. Since I don't see your question answered, I will attempt to address it. You don't have to be an "in" person. The company has gotten so huge it hires entry-level people based on 100% merit. They care about how smart you are, how fast you learn, and how well you can think on your toes. And they will attempt to evaluate those characteristics during your interviews. If you really really only want to work for them, just submit your resume and wait for an interview invitation. Beware though, the company is so huge and rich that they do not pay too much attention to the individual applicant. Either there is a "match" of interest or there isn't.

I think Microsoft is a great place to work if you want full-time job stability (job tenure, good benefit packages, good work environment--nice buildings, free soda, lots of budget) or a fun summer internship experience. If you are looking to do achieve or make a difference in the software industry (or get rich, for that matter), you're better off going to a smaller company that makes more innovative products (In 1999, MS Windows is NOT innovative. It was in 1989).

-- Aileen Tang, May 6, 1999

Some people who watched Pirates of Si Val are led to think that Steve Jobs and Wozniak did nothing but walked in to plunder PARC technology. That is very dramatic and appealing indeed. Many who write or believe such after watching that TV show were probably crying in diapers while my friends and I were hacking the Apple. The TVmovie really dispersed my earlier knowledge that the original PARC window was really cumbersome and not saleable. Perhaps that was why Xerox execs were not impressed. If the TVMovie is accurate I stand (or sit to type) to be corrected. Still, has anyone seen the ancient Apollo interface. (UNbelieveable: The other day I hoyed to my colleague, "You still use that Apollo fossil. Why don't you move to CDE?") That cumbersome interface, I believe, could still have been better than PARC's. Finally, Windows NT / 95 has the best look and feel.

Such happens in this country, that the colonists sailed in to conquer and improvise the land, and then immigrants walk in to occupy and improvise. Unfortunately or otherwise, that's the spirit of the land.

Still, I'm thankful that Apple (and the subsequent PARC people who were employed by Apple) gave us the real interface. I still can't be persuaded to believe that PARC had the vision to pull it through by themselves. It takes a lot of sweat to move from conceptual and prototypical technology to marketable objects. However we also have Apple to blame. They have created such an interface that if absent we would have a lower technology entry thresh-hold and we would probably be using holographic technology now. Which would have been better. Now Bill Gates, by hook or by crook, has taken it (the technology barrier) further. It'll be a long time before we really see a non-panel interface which would be more convenient and robust.

-- Syloke Soong, July 2, 1999

And yet the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science will in the not too distant future relocate to a new Center for computer, information, and intelligence sciences which is receiving major funding from our good friend. Why is MIT accepting money obtained using highly questionable business practices?

-- Andrew Grumet, July 4, 1999
if mister gates had not broken the law i would see no problem with what he has done to/for us.... forcing companies which desire the 'favor' of being allowed to sell microsoft products to sign restrictive anticompetitive agreements is simply unconscienable to say the least. lets not forget the questionable merger between windows and dos.. its like saying you cannot buy the car without also hiring the automaker to contruct for you a garage, and provide gas for the lifetime of the car. if the automaker was one with 75-90% of the market share for automobiles, the competitors for cars, garages, and gas, would be choked off to the point of the automaker having monopoly power over all of these areas which in the beginning were't intrinsically interwoven. Bill Gates as a person, I have no comment for. but i do hope microsoft loses a major court battle which "shakes their very foundations" -- or even blows them out of the water.. time will tell, i guess

-- none --, July 23, 1999
This is the decade of the "two Bills". They are very much alike. There is some evidence that they are friends. Both have achieved fame and fortune in similar ways. Simply stated, they were both very lucky. Both behaved outrageously in semi-obscurity. Both received the benefit of the doubt (Clinton by the press and Gates by the market) even when it was clear that they were misrepresenting themselves. Both have taken extraordinary lengths to rewrite their histories. Personally, I think that the climb of Gates was somewhat less distasteful than that of Clinton--largely because the damage was possibly less pervasive.

The real question in both cases relates to the relatively near future. Gates succeeded by achieving a clear, focused goal that was carried out over many years--a machine with his stuff on every table in the world. Microsoft recently changed that objective to a really murky, unfocused "mantra" that is a clear sign that the company has lost its edge. Other new entrepreneurs and competitors will likely be able to articulate new objectives and models, but will surely not match the net work spike that Gates achieved. With Clinton, the question is whether we are due for an infestation by more of his type or whether we as a people will become more discriminating. I do not hold up too much hope for that.

-- Ken Tingey, July 30, 1999
Jeez, guys. It ain't about money. The first time I ever heard of Bill Gates, it was because of a letter he wrote calling me and all my friends thieves. Since then he has stolen our ideas, made changes in his operating system specifically to be INcompatible with our products which were based on ideas he couldn't steal, and stolen our money whenever we've bought a new system (even when we didn't want the Microsoft OS, we still wound up paying for one most of the time). Who is the thief in this picture?

-- Ray Dillinger, August 16, 1999
Hey, understand Bill Gates isn't the real problem here , he's just a nerd that got lucky.The real evil here is the US government. They heavily subsidise,fund, high technology industries using the US public's money and then allow private individuals, Gates, to reap all the benefits, in order to 'help' the economy along, i.e, as Chomsky say State Welfaree for the rich . The real problem here is the system that allows this gross indecency to take place, that exploits most of the world to feed its greed. Gates is just a pawn , he's in the public eye. You need to examine the whole corporate phenomenon of the late 20th century, you can't just get involveed cause your computer crashes a few time,just when it affects you directly, you need to be aware of the whole situation.

-- Harry Foetus, September 6, 1999
All one must do to become as rich (on paper) as Bill Gates:

Lie, Cheat, Steal, Stomp, Beat and Kill.

Watch the flick "Pirates of Silicon Valley"; it treats Gates much to kindly.

-- Jay Mason, September 7, 1999

There's nothing wrong with Bill Gates that a good stock market crash won't fix.

-- Pat Lander, September 28, 1999
Here's the amazing thing, all of you are right!! In my eyes, the story of "nerd-boy shows them all and becomes a winner" is a great one. This story inspires and impresses me right up to the ending where Bill's "started on a shoe-string" company becomes the biggest, and Bill becomes the richest man in the world. But that is the problem, instead of letting the story end there and having the Bill character go do something else like start a whole new company from scratch, or switching his goal from being the biggest company to making the absolute best product, they had to make an awful sequel in which Bill and co. do anything necessary to destroy their competition. Bill mentions in his book how much he loves movies. Unfortunately for us, it seems like he took movies like "Wall Street" and "The Godfather" much too seriously. Reading comments and interviews from his associates it becomes clear that the richest man in the world is deep inside still the socially inept nerd-boy that needs to prove he can win. Successful movies always get imitated. It makes me feel better to imagine that right now there are a couple of hacker kids working in their basement on a project that will become the next great OS. It will be so error-free and easy to use that its instant popularity will make it impossible for some corporate giant to stamp it out.

-- Jesse Demayo, October 7, 1999
In 1991, I read an article from Harvard Business Review, by Shmuel Halevi and Andrew S. Rappaport called "The Computerless Computer Company" (this article was a McKinsey Award Winner).

Its ideas made me change my programming focus into MS-Windows based development. They prophesized: "By the end of the century, the most successful computer companies will be buying computers rather than building them. Defining how computers are used, not how they are built, will create real value".

Later in the article, they explain how Apple could have done the same as IBM and licensed their OS, thereby becoming the mass market standard besides the quality standard.

One thought - greed - prevented the company from seeing the mass-market idea.

Conclusion: "The missed opportunity was vast. Put simply, Apple could have been Microsoft." p.73

***** Small minds discuss about people; Middle minds talk about facts; Great minds dialog about Ideas *****

-- ca m, October 16, 1999

you are invited to play this monopoly game online. have fun.
http://www.ms-monopoly.com/

-- Martin Carmichael, December 1, 1999
I admire Bill Gates most not for his technical skills, but his business intelligence. Although the means may not have been the most moral, it takes more than pure luck to build the software empire that is Microsoft.

-- Shaun Foley, July 11, 2000
I find it sad that many people are so convinced that net worth equates to success. I don't think anyone can be successful without being happy. How happy do you think Bill Gates is? There are reports of him fuming mad at meetings, he has to fund forged articles to praise his company, he has to dish out pamphlets at computer industry conventions to persuade people that he's an innovator. These are not the actions of a successful (or ethical, or honest, or respectable, ...) man.

-- Josh Joyce, July 12, 2000
Well, Gates isn't lethargic - he isn't a low energy type. He adores his environment of extremely intelligent people exclusively. He liked Harvard for that, also. I remember the issue of Popular Electronics with the Altaire cover that got him to leave school. At the time, I skimmed the story and figured it for expensive uselessness. When Gates and Allen saw it, they figured that since they couldn't come out with the first PC, they'd better switch plans and sell the outfit that had (Altaire) on using their software, which they did. The plan that was crushed got a fast reformulation and quick action. I think he's done this repeatedly. Maybe anonymous anonymous can think of a few times. In most people destroyed plans call up less productive responses: devastation, grief, anger, hatred, spite and may I say envy so although there's a lot more to why Bill Gates is Richer than you for me this one will do. As for where to claw or peck, he isn't saint: can you spot where others have drawn blood? If you're into it that's where.

-- Michael Jennings, July 30, 2000
We as Americans like to root for the underdog. We don't watch Bullfighting, but when we have to, we root for the bull, not the guy with the sword.

It is this mentality that makes Bill Gates the easy target. He got to where he is by working the system and taking no prisoners. For that he is the enemy. For that, this page exists.

I am a programmer, and I manage a team of programmers and collectively we work for a company that integrates computers and software for large companies. If Bill Gates never existed, we would be in dee trouble.

Anyone around in the early to mid 80's when the Apple ][ line, IBM PC, Amiga, Commodore, McIntosh, Lisa, TRS 80, Atari, and other personal computers were around? I was. You would walk into a software store and there would be 7-8 sections, one for each major manufacturer. The software you found in the Amiga isle looked great, but you cannot run it on your PC. Each manufacturer had different stuff with few exceptions (Lotus 123 had a few versions). Each section had about 30 different software packs, ranging from games to business tools. Now imagine if that condition still existed. Without ONE CLEAR WINNER in the O/S market, software would cost 10X as much and there would be 8X less of it. Authoring it and testing it on a single platform is tough enough, now port that to 7 others! That is at least 7X the work.

Right now my division focuses on Web Application Development and there are 2 browsers we support: Microsoft and Netscape. Is Netscape a better browser? Not for us programmers. Netscape may have invented Javascript but we have never written an applet that failed in IE and NOT on Netscape, Netscape is a BEAR to write to as it forces such a tight adherance to the Javascript standard. Microsoft did what the article above suggested, took open source and improved on it, and if the whole world went IE tomorrow my life would be greatly improved. If the whole world went Netscape my life would be greatly improved. Right now the 50-50 fragmentation means a lot of extra work for us, and if we had a tru one-browser world we could write a lot more, cooler applications.

Talking about how great Linux is is funny to me. I love Linux, don't get me wrong (I use Linux as our company's proxy server), and I love Apple too, but the way I see it, the computer and the OS is just a platform. That's it, a platform. It's the SOFTWARE that matters.

Example: I have invented a car that runs on water, emits no pollution, goes 150MPH and costs $19.95. Only problem is that it can only be driven on Fresh blacktop on sunny Wednesdays. Do I have the greatest car in the world? Sure do. Will anyone buy it? Nope. The car isn't what people are buying, its the total package. People don't buy Windows for Windows, they buy it because it runs the software they want. Linux is the car I described, a GREAT idea, but if my new video card and Quake 3 doesn't run on it with my whiz-bang Soundblaster Live audio card then forget it.

Windows is "Fat" and "Unstable" because it didn't have the luxury that Linux has of being the OS that doesn't have to be supported by any manufacturer or used by "Newbies". Strip out all the fluff, wizards, DirectX APIs and other stuff to make it compatible and user friendly and you end up with like a 1MB core. Linux just hasn't piled as much on (yet) because nothing works with it so they don't have to worry about compatibility.... :)

Sorry people, but Bill Gates did you all a favor, you just don't know it or appreciate it. As a programmer if the whole world went Linux tomorrow I'd be happy but you all would be cursing Linus for being the spawn of Satan because he'd be where Bill is now. A prevalent O/S that's not perfect is better than a fragmented market full of "perfect" O/S's. Breaking up Microsoft is the dumbest thing this country has ever done, and I hope it all falls apart. Penalizing people for success usually only happens in Communist countries where all wealth is shared, it has no place here.

If Microsoft's breakup leads to a 3-way or 4-way race between Apple, Microsoft, Linux and BeOs, you all will be VERY sorry. Computers that sell for under $1000 will suddenly jump to $1500 because they have to have compatibility with most systems, or even worse, make separate models for each OS, lowering the sales volume on each which ups the price even more. Software will skyrocket and the packages you know and love may no longer work on your preferred OS. Maybe you will buy 2 of those $1500 computers so you can run all your favorite games and apps?

2 weeks ago I went into EB and picked up a new game: Heroes of Might and Magic 3. It cost $55 but I wanted it. I got home and found it was for Linux only and had to return it. Just wait until your local Babbages has to go back to the 5-7 shelves for different O/S's, the chaos will be funny.

We don't like Bill because he's rich. Richer than all of us. I agree Bill isn't Mr. Sunshine, he's a hard-nosed businessman that doesn't mess around, but there are a lot of those out there, but we aren't trying to dethrone them because they don't have $80Billion.

On second thought, I retract my statement about not wanting Microsoft to break up. If Microsoft goes away I figure I can quadruple my staff and charge 2X as much to do the same work because I now have to specialize in several O/S's, and I can wring you silly consumers for all your worth because hey, you wanted a choice. Now you got one.



-- Colin Erven, August 15, 2000

<rant>

A few of you "Bill Gates is freakin' awesome" MS-lover types might be interested to know some of the facts about the Xerox/Macintosh/Windows interaction. I will try to include links to corroborate what I am relating here. The main source of this info comes from here. I suggest that you read this page and all the other related links found here; you might be surprised at what you find.

The upshot of the pages on the above-mentioned site is that MS did indeed steal much of Apple's code for the Macintosh GUI, but that Apple did not steal from Xerox. BTW, even if Apple was guilty of stealing important code from Xerox, that would NOT give MS the right from Apple! Ever heard "two wrongs don't make a right"? A summary of the information from the link above: Apple was doing basic research into the concepts and applications of a graphical user interface (GUI) long before Steve Jobs visited Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). An ex-PARC employee (Jef Raskin) later convinced Jobs to visit PARC to see what they were doing with the concept of the GUI, and Jobs consented (the Macintosh project had started in 1979; the "visit" to PARC was some time after that).

One very important point to keep in mind here: PARC was and still is devoted solely to RESEARCH. Their scientists and technicians are paid to propose and develop technological concepts; they do not develop and have never developed marketable products. That is the responsibility of the rest of Xerox (or anyone else who can pony up the clams to view PARC's research).

Xerox was developing a GUI, true; however, PARC's version of the concept was very different from Apple's version (BTW, Xerox didn't have a product based on PARC's research until AFTER Apple had developed the Lisa). PARC's GUI (later packaged up for the Xerox STAR) had windows, a mouse, a keyboard, the whole nine yards. Here's where things differed: the keyboard was a chording one, much like a court reporter might use; Drag-and-Drop didn't exist on the STAR; there was no direct manipulation of windows (to move them, you had to select the Move command from the window's menu, and enter in the numerical position coordinates); and the STAR actually adopted some of Apple's GUI developments! Wrap your minds around THAT one! Not to mention the fact that the Lisa (and later the Mac) was designed from the get-go to be a personal computer, whereas the STAR was more of a mini-computer (a miniature mainframe, essentially). To say nothing of the clipboard; icons as documents or programs, rather than commands; self-repainting windows (an Apple innovation); and software that could be internationalized fairly quickly and easily.

In short, Apple never acquired any code from Xerox PARC, nor would any acquired code have worked (PARC was using SmallTalk and CPUs very different from the Motorola 68000); though many of the GUI researchers from PARC later worked for Apple. Add to this the fact that Apple paid a rather large sum of money to view the research that PARC was doing with GUI's, and a re-iteration that Apple was ALREADY WORKING on a GUI long before the (in)famous visit, and you have absolutely zero case for Apple stealing from Xerox. Period, end paragraph, case dismissed.

Now, we come to the Microsoft contingency. As it turns out, MS was one of the first application developers for Apple. Previous to the arrival of the Macintosh, MS made programming languages, and later DOS. Steve Jobs knew that if the Macintosh were to be commercially viable, it needed software. It just so happened that MS was trying to break into the application market, and a new platform meant new opportunities. Without the Macintosh, MS would not be the application developer it is today!

However, Bill Gates liked what he saw (in the Mac) a little too much: he threatened to pull apps at the last minute before release unless Jobs licensed parts of the mac GUI to MS for MS PC applications (remember that Windows started life as an application suite, not an OS shell), and Apple had to drop MacBasic, which was complete and much better than MS's version (at the time). MacBasic had concepts that MS "borrowed" when it created Visual Basic; what VB couldn't get from MB it copied from Apple's HyperCard language. If you were to look at source from early versions of Windows, you would find names and data structures identical to those on the Mac GUI.

MS was smart, though, and changed the names of some functions, or changed the order of some things, to make it look different. Plus, they changed the "look-and-feel" at first (until Windows 95) to avoid lawsuits. But the upshot is that Microsoft did not actually do their own work on a GUI: they forced Apple to give them key parts of the operating system and GUI code. The way that the Apple-Microsoft license worked made it difficult for Apple to prove infringement, which is why they lost their suit.

To conclude: Apple bought the rights to view Xerox's research into GUIs, paying Xerox in stock worth millions. Microsoft forced Apple to give it key elements of the OS and GUI, so that they could copy it. Otherwise, MS would pull apps just before they shipped. In reality, MS owes a lot of its success as an application developer and even as an OS developer (separate from a programming language developer) to Apple and the Macintosh, yet Gates saw fit to stab Apple in the back and rip off the Macintosh OS and GUI, rework it to function on the much lower-quality (at the time) PC hardware, and sell it as a truly unique innovation, along with saying essentially that "Apple stole, so we did too".

</rant>

-- Nelson Butterworth, October 31, 2000
All right. I've read the entirety of this page of goofy drivel. I have a pretty unique perspective, so I figured I'd share some of my own drivel. See, my dad was one of the earlier programmers on Microsoft Word. He worked on MacWord principally and retired a millionaire about a year ago. So, since 1984 (hee hee), I've been living a block from the Microsoft campus. I used to sit around his office while my dad cussed at bugs because my mom, also a programmer, but for the Seattle School District (yuck, sucky job), was busy. I used to go down the hall and ask inane questions of his boss, Charles Simonyi, a really smart guy who worked for Xerox before he came to Microsoft. He's in charge of their intentional programming division now. My impressions of Microsoft: It is really an awful lot like MIT is reputed to be. Lots of very smart, dedicated people. Lots of nerdishness. Waterfights in the hallways, juvenile pranks, caffeine overdosage. Sure, they have soda pop coolers in the break rooms, a fact some morons have been abusing. Programmers drink loads of soda. I drank a lot when I was there, too. Stuff like that is what made it worthwhile for my dad when he was out on "Workaholic Wednesdays", when all the programmers would be there for a day and a night working, returning sometime Thursday morning to sleep a little before going back to work. That is, when he didn't just sleep on the floor in his office. The period before Word ships is always called the "Death March", and for a reason. You definitely have to work for your money there. So why would anyone do this kind of stuff, you ask? Because most of the programmers seemed to enjoy their work a lot. They have a real aristocracy of talent at Microsoft. For my dad, who went to the University of Nebraska and got in because he was good, it was like going to an Ivy League school that cared about its students. Compare this to IBM, which used to say "if you aren't a 'suit man', we don't want you." (actual quote). Sometimes you'd see guys in the Microsoft offices who weren't even wearing shirts (if it was hot out). One of the coolest things for me was the "Idle Loop" room, full of old video game machines that didn't run on quarters. Now there's a lot of jerks here complaining about how Microsoft "is only good 'cause they stole <so and so's> idea." Bull. They have the best programmers in the country, they treat them pretty nicely, and they give them responsibility. They don't have a supervisor or VP breathing down the employees necks. It was common to hear "find a way to solve it." around the offices, not "this is how to do it". There was usually one big chief for every ten or twenty Indians, meaning that my dad usually just went to talk to whoever's code was causing a problem, rather than going to his boss. There's a lot of cooperation and respect at Microsoft, at least in Applications. Back in the day, MacWord had something like six people working on it, including Charles. Microsoft goes for small numbers of really good programmers, rather than the "masses of asses" strategy used by companies like IBM and Digital. Having said that, I should probably mention that most of the guys in Apps didn't think much of the OS guys, so it might be true that they aren't as good. I doubt it, though. I wish I could remember the names... there's some articles that came out a year or two ago that talked about Microsoft's monopoly on the smart CS minds. You can really feel it around the Seattle area. I've talked to two or three guys who tried to start up companies but couldn't find any good programmers because anyone good got themselves hired by Microsoft. It seems to me that this is a bigger problem for the competition than any supposed unfair market advantage. Look at Apple, a company that fired the best minds it had back in the late eighties. Where did all those guys end up working, hmmmm? Microsoft. And to these goofs who keep acting like Apple is some hated enemy of Microsoft's just because of the OS aspect, you should know that Apple holds a big festival at the Redmond campus every year, kissing up to the Microsoft programmers. Apple needs Microsoft pretty badly. It's Mac users who are inimical to Windows. And don't get on my case. I'm writing this on a G4.

Somebody way back there asked about applying to Microsoft. The way I understand it, they put a lot of emphasis on the interview. You get interviewed by a programmer, if you're looking to become a programmer. Not a HR bozo. The programmer asks you a series of really really hard coding problems and then watches you solve them. My dad used to do this. He still won't tell me the questions he'd ask, but they sounded hard. The deal is, the folks at Microsoft are very interested in how you think and what you can do. Don't expect to get in just because you went to Stanford, but there do tend to be a lot of big-school guys there 'cause they often know what they're doing. If you want a job, learn as much about code as you can and don't claim you can do what you can't. People who write on their application that they can write in fifteen programming languages often get hard problems in all fifteen. I've heard some horror stories about applicants being asked to write some really complicated stuff in Assembly code, so don't brag and don't lie. Just send in the goods and make sure you know what you're talking about.

Now, I'm sure some folks want to hear about Bill Gates.

My dad's talked to him a few times and he can certify that he yells when he gets mad, but he also gets really intense. Either he's saying "This is total shit" or "Brilliant, brilliant". Occasionally at the same time. He rocks back and forth when he talks and he doesn't have a lot of interest in his appearance. I've heard that Gates really is borderline autistic, and I believe it, having seen him at company picnics and such. Once, on the way back from one of those picnics, he passed our car in his dented-up Mercedes. He was reading the Economist as he drove. He had it on the dashboard and he was reading it without looking at the road. The top of his car was all dented because he had the habit of throwing his briefcase up there when he was getting in. Shittiest looking Mercedes I've ever seen.

Anyhow, Bill Gates seems to be as smart as they say. He knows his code, according to my dad. He's very good at keeping track of what the various parts of the company are doing. He meets with the various project managers very often, and you have to understand that the project managers are only one step above the programmers and two steps below Gates himself. There is not a lot of vertical room in the Microsoft org chart. Considering the number of employees, it's pretty impressive that there's only five or six levels of authority in the entire company. Gates is not dapper or anything, but he's smart and very very intense. He's pretty close to the perfect boss for a technology company. Before anybody at Microsoft had any money (we used to have trouble buying milk), everyone liked and respected him for being an excellent programmer. Despite all the crap I've heard about him, I think he's still just a very eccentric and very driven nerd. You could name a number of scientists and programmers almost as strange (think Stephen Hawkings, Erdos, etc.) Hell, Steve Jobs is easily as screwed up as Bill. "Reality-distortion field" indeed.

Anyhow, this is pretty long, so I'd probably better wrap it up soon. I'd like to make a final note about Steve Ballmer, the new big cheese at Microsoft. I've actually shook hands with him and talked to him a little. He's as tall as I am (about 6' 4") and he's got a really shiny bald head. He's also got a funny kind of charisma. Like Bill, he's really forceful. He used to work at Proctor and Gamble in the blueberry muffin department and he's influenced Microsoft a lot. At Msft, they talk about "eating your own dog food", an allusion to P&Gs habit of having its execs, Ballmer included, eat the product all the time at home. Microsoft goes by this philosophy too: the Company Store gives huge discounts on Microsoft products. Ballmer, however, is not a tech guru like Gates, or Myrhvold for that matter. He's a marketing genius, and he is the one to blame for the buggy and crappy nature of Windows 95/98. He yells "Ship it, ship it. Get it done fast." so much that the programmers let some lame bugs through. He'll do a much better job as head of the company. Watch out for Ballmer. He's smart and much more socially adept than Bill Gates. And Nathan Myhrvold is just cool, even though I've never met him.

So... The DoJ lawsuit is bullshit and political maneuvering of the most pernicious sort. You whiners really should get off your butts and make your own damn money. Did you hear that Gates is only planning to give his kid a million bucks and give away the rest? Just remember- philanthropy is much harder than making the money once you get to a certain point. If you can't see that, you need to think a little more. Whatever, so ends my rambling reminiscences.

-- Greg the Mighty, March 29, 2001

Lots of good perspectives from both sides of the issue. One of my personal pet peaves is that whenever somebody wants to start bashing Microsoft, it turns into a "Macitosh is so cool" load of crap. Macintosh is not cool. They have been a company who was always doing what Microsoft is only now beginning to do fully. "Everything that runs on my OS will be mine and under my control." The closed environment of the Macintosh computer market spelled its own demise. Someone put it rather aptly. Apple/Macintosh could have been where Microsoft is today. The problem was that Apple didn't have someone else holding ownership of their Operating System like IBM did. The persistent assertion that the world would be better if the Mac OS could be magically transplanted into the current place of Windows OS; I doubt that. The greatest driving force to make Mac OS more stable and better has been Macintosh trying to save their market share. Graphics would have been better certainly. That is the one thing Mac has left to save itself with; graphics. The Mac OS is still just as big of a piece of crap as Windows 95/98. Motorolla makes a wonderful RISC chip for Mac. Mac OS-X may fix much of what is so irritating about the Mac OS thanks to the Linux community. Its is still its own little closed community and that is why it will continue with only marginal success. Microsoft went the intelligent route, mostly by dumb luck.

One thing I thought was funny was the suggestion that if Linux was to take the place of Windows, Linus Torvalds would become the next Bill Gates. Main problem with that theory: How much does our dear Linus make off of each distribution of Linux? (Hint: He gave the whole OS and source code away for free from the very beginning.) If the world went to Linux, I'm of the opinion that things would get quite a bit simpler. Everything you need to program for the Linux platform is open-source and free to be accessed by anyone. No single entity controls Linux, so corporate bullying like that of Microsoft couldn't occur. Linux provides greater overall versatility. What other OS can run an old 486, a computer with any Pentium or AMD CPU, Mac G3 or G4, Dec Alpha, or most any other computer type and actually outperform the native OS in almost all cases. For those that have the overwhelming need for a nice pretty graphical user interface, its readily available and will even look and feel just like Windows if you want it to (minus numerous bugs and crashing of Windows).

Is Internet Explorer's current release nicer than Netscape? Very likely it is. Makes perfect sense to me. Microsoft has had the time and money to bring IE up in the world, a far cry from the unholy piece of feces that IE 1.0 was. But when comparing Netscape to Internet Explorer, bear a couple of things in mind: Who is making the operating system that both of them have to run on? (Think back to that press converence where Microsoft was going to show the world "Windows 98 does not crash Netscape." and it all ends in a blue screen of death. Wonder how that happened?) Netscape did fall behind in many areas and Microsoft saw to that fact. They didn't need to imbed IE into their OS. Windows runs better at most applications without it (if removed VERY carefully). The same general idea readily applies to Office vs. Corel comparisons; who makes the OS that it all runs on?

The other irritating theme that doesn't seem to want to go away is the idea that anybody speaking badly of Microsoft is just jealous of Bill Gates and company. Would I want his bankroll? Maybe, I don't know what I'd do with all of it. My hatred for Microsoft comes from one thing: personal experience. Its difficult being a Computer Science student with that ungodly Visual C++ 6.0 as your compiler. Assignment requires the overloading of istream and ostream operators and specifies that friend fuctions are to be used. (An incredibly easy thing to do normally.) Visual C++ 6.0 will not allow friend functions to access private data. Assignment becomes impossible without doing some really funky stuff. The solution is nearly as bad as the problem: A 150 MB download of service pack from Microsoft web page. I never knew how bad Windows was until I was introduced to Linux. I had never realized how much slower my computer was running just for the sake of the Windows OS. I still remember Microsoft Works, one of the earlier bundling ventures by Microsoft. Works was awful. Text was never transferable to other word processors. Don't recall at the moment where Microsoft first pirated Word from, but it wasn't their program to begin with. Same story with Excel. Windows NT 1.0 was a nightmare. Windows 2000 seems to have fixed most of the worst problems with NT, but my hell, LOOK AT THE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS!! So what if most new computers have the extra hundred-odd MB of RAM to waste. I can think of a lot more useful things to consume my RAM with other than a super-bloated OS. Windows 98 crashes on me all the time and I've been warned that Windows Me is worse. I feel sorry for those that jumped on the Me bandwagon early. Most are paying sorely for their mistake. I believe those who have stated that Microsoft is a company full of very intelligent people, etc. I've known some people who hired on there. I can almost understand because the quest to mold numerous pieces of s##t into useful things is a difficult one. But couldn't all of these incredible computer geniuses at Microsoft come up with something that is both brilliant AND simple?

In the end result, Microsoft's success was 10% intelligent business moves, 20% piracy and 70% blind luck.

-- Bonkers The Clown, April 12, 2001

I continue to be amazed by all of the deeply engrained hated of Bill Gates and Microsoft. When these techno-simpletons finally pull their heads off of their office cubes, they will find that the TRULY evil that is among us today are the polluters of our world. I wish as many people hated Big Oil, Big Chemical, Big Mining, and everyone who owns an Big SUV, as much as they do Big Software. One hundred years from now, while we will deeply regret not having stopped the Corporate Planet Poisoners from ruining our only home, we won’t care what desktop OS was used at the turn of the Millennium. If the Linux heads spent as much time today developing alternate energy technology, rather than alternate software, THEN we might have a chance.

-- Greg ml, April 21, 2001
Bill Gates. Rich or not, he obviously made a few good decisions. 1st comment. On Kevin Coss' statement Dec 27th 1996. I'm as about poor as it gets, I clip coupons, when I get rich, I'll still clip coupons. How do you think rich people stay rich. Yes. They invest. Yes, its easier to go from 10 million to 12 million, and hard to go from 0 to 100. So he's rich, and he's smart with his fortune. Jealous?

2nd comment: I work for First Union and I will be rich one day. Ambition is a powerful tool. Rich isn't my goal. Being very financially stable is my goal. Bill Gates pushed to where he is at that point. For the rest of his life. Let the man enjoy it. I'm 25, I'm studying business law and I've learned enough to comment on his "monopoly". He has an obligation to the community and that should be kept in check. Besides that, let him ride that wave of green.

-- Travis McCray, April 23, 2001

Saying Bill stole ideas is like saying other motor companys stole from Ford, or airlines stole from the Wrights. Money is the root of all happiness. llt

-- Larry Truesdell, April 25, 2001
The two posts that really stood out for me were the one that basically said "a monopoly is good for software because it lowers programming costs, leading to more products at a lower cost," and the other one that said "Gates is very smart and has the right kind of management." I have to say that, as much as I hate the MS monopoly, these are correct observations.

Monopolies are neither good nor bad. They are a useful way to deal with expensive situations -- by guaranteeing profits to an expensive enterprise, you reduce risk. They have the terrible side effect of "making the rich, richer" and thus, are fundamentally unfair to every business that's not a monopoly.

Windows succeds, in part, because it reduces the expense of developing software and running computer systems. Granted, this isn't completely true anymore because of Linux, but until Linux helped defragment the obnoxious unix server market (hpux, aix, solaris, bsd, unixware, sco, irix, etc. etc.) system administration and software development were expensive and risky. Linux is a viable competitor to Windows because programming for Linux or BSD is relatively inexpensive. It's still expensive, because there's a programmer shortage, but anything that helps here has a huge edge.

Microsoft succeds also because it has a flat management structure that rewards loyalty. Microsoft, unlike Apple, has a reputation for retaining people. Granted, it is a bitch to get in, and the temps get screwed, but they treat their core well. The bosses are technical, and smart. For an engineer, at least, it looks pretty good.

Again, Linux and BSD threaten, because they also have flat management structures. Better still, open source (when successful) tends to have a better disciplined development methodology. So developers can remain happier for longer periods of time.

It would appear to me that the lowest risk option at this point would be to fertilize the market for BSD or Linux to take over the low-level OS functions. It's more socially compatible with democracy. It's already "free" and thus paid for, which is always a sticking point with granting monopolies.

-- John Kawakami, April 28, 2001

Let me put my position firmly. I am pro-Microsoft. I have sound, intelligent resons for my views. I am above the petty, speculative claptrap that Mac- and UNIX-bigots extol so freely and regularly.

Now that we understand each other, I am prepared to throw down the gauntlet. To paraphrase John Major, it's time to 'put-up or shut-up'.

Allow me to use an analogy to illustrate my first point. The subject of genetically modified food is as deeply specialised and scientific as the software engineering process. The issues of genetically modified food affect everyone in society and we all have the right to air our views. Unfortunately, those who attempt to slander G.M. foods without care for facts, reading or the subtle intricacies of the science simply do not have a place in the forum and appear untimately foolish. Software engineering is a science too and I believe we should expect no less in this forum than in other scientific discussions.

CHALLENGE 1: Talk is cheap. I challenge any one of you to back up your criticism of Microsoft with solid, impartial, scientific principles and fact. Do not under-estimate my definition here. I do not expect a list of your personal gripes with the Office UI. Name specific bugs that you have found, with detailed steps to reproduction. Illustrate places where HCI principles have been violated. Name components that fail to fulfil their requirements, or fail to perform with satisfactory memory or processor usage. Some details of your academic qualifications would be useful too. Without real evidence, I am afraid you will be left in a subjective abyss. If there are students of the computational sciences out there who are prepared to offer intelligent opinions, I will listen without judgement. Unfortunately, the order of the day seems to be that of unqualified rhetoric to which the authors are not answerable. PROVE ME WRONG!

My second point is that of anti-trust. Let us make no bones about this. The story about anti-trust gets inflated daily. At the core of the anti-trust law suit is the issue of amalgamating IE with the OS; nothing more, nothing less.

CHALLENGE 2: Microsoft integrated IE into the OS for a good reason: customer practicality. As with every other major software vendor in the western world, Microsoft added Internet features to its products during the 90's. Before Windows 98, each and every product required one to install the latest version of IE for the product to run. By integrating the browser into the OS, this requirement was voided and the consumer benefitted. Your challenge is to argue that it was a bad move and to provide evidence that no other corporation has ever done the same thing.

I have plenty of other challenges for you, but for now I look forward to hearing your responses.

-- Greg Bellingham, April 30, 2001

1. You cant say Linux or Unix is better than Windows, cuz they r totatly different OSes with totaly different objectives. 2. Microsoft and Windows are GOOD! Just like any other software company, they have made some crappy software, but overall they are one of the very best software companies in existance!

Please disagree with me, i like arguing...

-- Adam Suver, May 3, 2001

in view of all that was and will be said by everyone...lets face it...he is a brilliant business man! perhaps the best there ever will be...im 21 and will take his place one day...but untill then...go for it bill you worked for it...you made it happen...you made microsoft...so why not you enjoy all ur wealth??? let him be people..if unix/linux is ur way to go then go for it...lets look at bill gates as a business man and not as an os!i must admit i hate the blue screens aswell but hell thats why i duel boot win/linux... there are ways and means to go around everything...

bill gates you worked for it! please enjoy it! u are a brilliant business man!!!

who care to disagree??? :>
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-- winston nolan, May 16, 2001

Good day to you all, I just got done going through this page and reading all of the comments. I will have to say that the divesity of " Bill Gates and Microsoft" like and dislike, are not surprizing. Now I have looked at all of the comments from a 33 year old former active duty Marine's eyes. I am going to collage for the first time in my life studying the Information Technology field. I am not a good programer just a guy whose talents lay in the ability to manage people doing more with less, as the Marine Corps always does more with less. The views that I am submitting are my own thoughts and in no way defend or discredit Bill Gates and Microsoft, so here goes.

History has taught us many things, like where there is a will, there is a way. Man from the begining of time has innovated raw objects into tools to ease his ability to perform certain tasks. Lets take the hammer for instance, somewhere, sometime Grog (the caveman) discovered that by putting a rock onto the end of a stick, not only allowed him to pound on something harder than ever before, but also applied less wear and tear on his body by doing so. Now Grog desides he must name this object,(for the sake of understanding he calls it a "hammer"). Now other cavemen and cavewomen, see this great thing that Grog made and start making and using a "hammer" of their own. This is part of the human condition of assimulation. The human aspect of seeing and using an object and desolving it into our everyday life. Now if Grog had never discovered his "hammer" ( and for the sake of arguement no one else discovered this either), today millions of handymen the world over could be using something that looks like, lets see, a wheel to pound in nails to build things everywhere. The point I'm trying to make is, there is something to be said about being the first to the market with a product. The sooner you get the public to see and use something, the ability to condition peoples "need" for that product will for the most part, aid in your ability to gain control of the publics purchases. I belive that is what Bill Gates has done. He may not have been the first one out with the computer but, he was the first to get the public believing that his computer and operating system was what everyone needed. Now as to the aspect of, Did he steal or not steal someone elses work. Now in war and in everyday life mans survival is nothing more than a giant chess match. Who can out play, out smart whom. Now Grog with his rock on a stick hammer, wasn't conerned with I invented this so all others must pay me for my idea in order to use it like we are today. Taking and idea or object and modifying it be used as a "new" thing is not a new concept. Todays hammer looks nothing like Grogs first work, just look at all the different, but very small changes that it has, and every different configuration has a new patent on it, no matter how small the change is. Out smarting and out playing the game of bussiness is done by making small changes to already known practices. There isn't anyone (in my opinion) that hasnt modified or bend a rule to accomidate our own personal agenda. Bending the rule or using the rules to every advantage is how we out smart and out play others in business, just like in chess. Money is good! We all need it to live right? Ok great, heck thats what we all went or are going to school for, to get that degree so we can out smart and out play everyone else in our persuit of the bigger paycheck. This is what Bill Gates has done, he modified an existing working object and got the public to believe that this is what it can't do without. Am I saying that he hasn't broken any rules....? No of course I'm not, I am not in the inner loop of information and have the knowledge to even begin to make such judgements. If he has broken the rules then of course he should have to be held acountable for them. But the whole point of this is Bill Gates has played the game better than anyone else and therefore is why he is where he is today.

Martin Meek

race_64116@yahoo.com



-- Martin Meek, May 16, 2001

One of the biggest issues that is often ignored when discussing the question of the Microsoft Monopoly is the question of where MS's market dominance is really important. The justice department successfully (it is now under appeal of course) sued MS over the issue of adding IE to windows, but that particular issue was chosen because MS's behavior violated a consent decree from an earlier legal action. It is not necessarily the largest issue for consumers.

Personally, I've always thought it was ridiculous to argue about what is or is not part of the OS. Working with Linux has demonstrated to me that the graphics system can be a separate program, as can file managers, and any number of utilities. Remember when the extended memory manager (for DOS and Windows 3.1 and earlier?) was a separate program? Basically, it is an argument that no one can win.

Where is MS's market dominance really creating a barrier to entry? Office applications. Most people that use a PC need to use (or think they do) a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program. Right now, a huge majority of users use MS Office for these tasks. If you want to work with anyone else on documents, you need to be using the same software (and the same version!) as those you are working with. That means that unless you work alone you have little choice but to use MS Office. If you need MS Office, you need to run Windows or a Macintosh (MS has actually made recent versions of Office pretty compatible between Windows and the Mac). If MS were to stop supporting the Mac, Apple would have a very hard time surviving.

I personally use Linux for most of may daily work, and have for years. I can do that because I am an Engineer/Scientist, and the applications I need are available on Linux (Scientific apps like MATLAB, Maple, and Mathematica, as well as lots of freeware). I also prefer to use LaTeX for most of my writing. The _only_ time it is an issue that I am using a different OS than much of the world is when people send me MSWord documents. If MS were to release a compatible version of MSOffice for Linux, Linux would see much greater use on the desktop. Will MS do that? I have seen rumors about it on the internet, but I doubt it. They have too much to lose.

There was a recent article on linuxplanet about why Linux is dead on the desktop, and it is all about availability of desktop apps. (http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/opinions/3387/1/) I disagree with much of the article, but they do have that part right.

Is the market dominance of MSOffice hurting consumers? That is the fundamental question that should be addressed by anti-trust litigation. I would say yes. A few years ago, when there was a lot of competition in the office software market, you could buy WordPerfectOffice, SmartSuite, or MSOffice, each for about $100.00. MSOffice now costs three or more times as much as the other options. Is that because it is that much better? I don't think so. Could MS sell it for less and still make a profit? Absolutely.

Some folks are glad to see that the market dominance of MSOffice has created a level of standardization. Yes, standardization is a good thing, but monopolies are not the only way to achieve that. The internet works so well because of open standards, not closed ones. this is something MS is apparently trying to change, but it is best for the consumer that way.

One other note. You mention that The US Gov't could use all open-source software in it's daily operations, and save money, as well as provide a major boon to the rest of the software using world. I have often thought this, but it will never happen, because many of the lawmakers think that one of the major roles of the Gov't is to provide opportunities for private corporations to make money. Yes, the gov't hiring programmers and companies to write software fits this bill, but while there is money to be made in open-source software development, it will never provide the massive money making opportunities that closed source software provides.

Now I just wish I could think of something funny, as this discussion is in your humor section...

-- Christopher Barker, May 23, 2001

Bill Gates is a great man. Yes, He's flithy rich. Yes, he may have gotten it all in a weird way that we cannot comprehend. Yes, He may be hoarding it all. But, Wouldn't you???? I would do the exact same thing Bill is doing. We're all jealous of Mr. William here. Can't you just leave him and his Taj Mehal alone???

-- Mike Crompton, May 29, 2001
Well, folks I'm a CISCO man but i still work in a Windows enviroment. I think that Bill is a great guy.

-- John Gardner, June 18, 2001
Software industry is a specific type of business, in a way it is unique. Unlike other business where companies competing with their competitors only, a software company have to compete with itself. The reason is: software is not wearing away. If you owe a car and it is a good car and it satisfies you today, tomorrow you still be on the market looking for a new car, because you car will get old, the body will get corroded the engine will break often and etc. But if computer program (I mean software not hardware) works today it will work tomorrow. And unless you needs has changed you will not need another program.

If you, as a software company, has perfect software product today, you can sell it for a lot of money, but tomorrow you will be out the business: everybody who needs you product already bought it, the product is very good it is doing perfectly everything they need, what else can you offer? Anything that you can offer will compete with your own previous product, and if your previous product was good, you are going to have hard time.

First interesting conclusion out of this observation is that even though Microsoft Corporation is a monopoly that does not mean they do not have competitors, they do, and the name of the biggest competitor is Microsoft Corporation.

Second, almost all software companies are employing certain techniques to stay in business. These techniques range from (A) putting out programs that are on the first place deliberately imperfect and may be even full of bugs; to (Z) putting out, first, really good products, but then wrongly convincing customers that what ever they bought two years ago was not that good and now they have to buy something else.

This techniques are unfair and often enter into gray areas of the law, but the matter of fact is: almost ALL software companies are using them; Microsoft and Bill Gates just happened to be the most talented ones, not necessary in software engineering, but definitely in applying stated above business techniques and inventing new ones. And before we blame Microsoft and Bill Gates lets look at the problem in GENERAL. Lets start discussion what is fair business practice what is unfair (specifically software business practices). What could be done and what should be done to fix it. What is necessary evil, that we have to live with and what is unnecessary evil. Lets fix the law first, lets make these _gray areas of the law_ being black and white. Lets clearly say that this is legal, and that is illegal. And then lets prosecute those companies who break the law, because they break the law, not just because we dislike them.

P.S. Please do not misinterpret me. I am not suggesting another _conspiracy theory_. I am not saying that all software company got together in the dark corner and conspire against users of computer programs. Software companies just learn these techniques by themselves, live is the greatest teacher. Whoever did not learn is not longer in business!



-- Greg Dorfman, June 18, 2001

I find all of this drivel just disgusting! How many of you wouldn't trade places with Bill Gates if you had the chance? I mean all he had to do for his first handfull of silver was give one kiss in the garden of Gethsymane! Who wouldn't do that if they had the chance ?

-- J Wilburn, June 22, 2001
Billy Gates is Satan because he is trying to brainwash his consumers to worship satan which is Billy Gates because his favourite number is 666 which is the number of satan because he is satan. And we need to buy Apple computers because Steve Jobbs is God.

-- Thomas Hoeweler, July 3, 2001
My personal opinion of Bill Gate? I am ADHD and when I Rantz I Rantz. You do not have enough Hard Drive Space for me to start. The amount of hours I have spent reformatting, debugging or just walking around Ranting about this moron. Oops! I better stop...A file that, believe it or not, significantly cuts down on crashes is "AntiCrash17". This is a Java script that loads on start up. I thought that it would be a pain ‘cause of the way it loads, But now only my browser crashes and not the OS. A simple fix for that simple minded...

Suggestion-Open a spot for "Software and Other Fixes for Bill Gates Follies" (Perhaps a more appropriate tittle would be "Bill's Dill-Toy Shop). Let us bring them to you - then we all can try it out - grade it accordingly - and smile as we get to win one for a change.

-- Gary Stonecipher, July 3, 2001

"The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth." Finally, the Bible actually says something that might come true. We all made Bill Gates rich, so why are we complaining? If we didn't want his product, we would have bought Mac and then we'd be calling Steve Jobs the devil. It's nuts. The guy deserves to be rich. He's smarter than I am and has done more for the world than I have in terms of technology advancement, so maybe he should make the big bucks. Persoanlly I'd rather see my money go to someone who is doing something that will help me in the long run, than a guy who shoots a ball through a hoop. Just my two cents.

-- Vaughn Smith, July 16, 2001
After 20 years of systems analysis and programming on a variety of systems such as Unix, Solaris and Windows, I've finally reached the boiling point. Last night, after installing a device driver for Logitechs wireless optical mouse, my freshly installed Windows 98 machine crashed once again. I have resolved to get even. All businesses cycle and luckily in this age of technology, the cycles are faster than ever. 80 percent of developers dislike Windows (dislike is a nice word here)... Most typical end users don't know enough about computers to judge Windows, but corporate America is now questioning their continuous Windows investments. Fellow developers, never fear, revolution is in the air. Bill Gates is admittedly intelligent, and very very very greedy... instead of a logical stable operating system, Windows is purely the sum of 20 years of greed. Bill Gates was in the right place at the right time, with the right amount of connections and money (he was born with a silver spoon) and yes... intelligence and greed. Luckily, greater intelligence will prevail.

I've invented a new computer language called KIS (Keep It Simple). It's based on Java and could be the start of a new computer revolution. Look for it soon... Bill Gates, you can KIS your #$% goodbye!!! (P.S. Any talented programmers with Java/JVM experience that would like to contribute to this grass roots effort, please register and contact me!)

-- Ernest Citizen, July 17, 2001

I am Stability from UOVS. rememberyou work in a Windows enviroment. Bill Gates is my man. Believe it.

-- Teboho Richard, July 25, 2001
I am Stability from UOVS. rememberyou work in a Windows enviroment. Bill Gates is my man. Believe it.

-- Teboho Richard, July 25, 2001
He is just highly skilled in the game of business. It never ceases to amaze me how the most successful people in America are considered evil, dishonest, or any other thing that creates social ill. Bill Gates, however he did it, succeeded beyond anyone else. Instead of being jealous of him, we should study him, and how he did it. If there were things he did that were socially unacceptable, we can look at that, but nobody is perfect. I doubt any of his personal weaknesses justify making him the explanation for our social ills. Bill Gates has created more wealth, through Microsoft, than any other company in the history of the U.S. We should be thanking him for our economic prosperity being further advanced in our country. Isn't that a principle our country was founded on? We need more entrepreneurs like him.

-- Jim Anderson, July 27, 2001
It's nobodies business why Bill Gates or anyone else is richer than the rest of us. Envy and hate are true signs of stupidity and they are the only evil that plague this planet. It’s obvious that many who believe themselves to have little tend to hate and envy those that appear to have more. If there was any justice in this life the people who despise wealth and corporations would get what they deserve and be place in Third World Countries, where there are no corporations and wealthy people to trouble their souls, if they have any.

-- Pete Veronese, July 31, 2001
Is Bill good or evil? I don't know, I never met the guy. Why is he rich? He standardized stuff. I would argue that Microsoft is more than a little paranoid about products and control, but not exactly evil. I hope that MS's power will break down now as Java and HTML become more popular, but on the other hand I do appreciate that someone or something big enough to get things standardized existed. There was a time when computers had a bloody nightmare just getting organized, and we needed something massive force stuff into some kind of order. Now Microsoft has outlived the need and is corrupting other standards, we can fight that by obstinantly holding to real HTML and real programming languages, and encouraging others to do the same. I for one am content to wait, largely because I'm to unskilled to do much else.

-- Dan Foeller, August 2, 2001
When this discussion ever comes up at dinner parties, a bar, or golf course, someone always compares this to planes or automobiles at the beginning of the century. I think its a smart analogy. Who invented the automobile? Did someone else like Henry Ford or Mercedes steal some or all of those original ideas? Yes. Does that mean that Ford was just born with a silver spoon, was at the right place and time, and didn't contribute much to its success? C'mon now. Bill may have lifted some crucial ideas from someone who was either dim or slow enough to think their own ideas were not important to the future of computers. Snooze you loose.

-- Patrick Wilson, September 2, 2001
Well, for anything or everything he has done whether good or bad, we should give him credit for what he has done to our lives.

He has given major contributions and i know all of you are aware of that. If it wouldnt been for him our technology wont developed this fast y'know.

You can't blame him for what he is now, he got there because of hard work, for many lack of ours of sleep, etc before he even get there, it just happens that he is a genius and he's got good strategies that is rare in our society.

and for one thing, i may have been moved by all the articles i read about him ( positive or not). I thing i can conclude, he is not greedy!!! WHY? he donates at charities, bid sums of money to the unversities, libraries and stuff. And oh by the way, he even siad that he's not going to leave all he has to his childrem, only just a couple of millions and the rest will be given away. Imagine that sum of money, all his work, all what we have purchased from him anyway will be given back to us anyway so why complain? it may not be directly given to us but in someway for the needy ones.

Moreover, if he is greedy enough surely he wont do things to improve his stuff? he'll just continue selling the products without improving it? but no he is pouring out all he has known just to meet the consumer's needs. I havent met him like most you do and i maybe naive because i dont know much about the programming stuffs youve been talking about in your comment. Im just starting out in college for computer science, just turned 16, but as what i would like to tell you ( a million times been said)" YOU'LL ALSO DO WHAT HE HAS DONE WHEN YOU ARE IN HIS SHOES!!".

And hey before you critisize someone, look at yourself first and let's see what rights you have, not all of us are perfect you know!!

-- Casey K, September 25, 2001

First of all I would like to state that there is a reason for everything. My personal belief is that there is a Supreme controller of the universe. I believe there is a very good reason bill gates has been deligated to receive such a large sum of money. I know that with all of that money comes a lot of resposability. The whole reason for us, as human Beings, in my oppinion, is to become conscious. To evolve intelligently. To become aware of your surroundings. To become conscious of, all of your brothers and sisters the human race as a whole not segrigated. In my mind I can find no reason to talk unkind words about a man who has a mission to eliminate ignorant thinking and reintroduce a positive new way for the human race to think. If we could all live as an intelligent society and all work together for bringing food to our starving people and clothes and help for our brothers and sisters in need. Then ignorance will be wiped out and intelect and pure love for a higher power will prevail. If we do not accept and harness this new technology and new way of thinking then what shall we evolve to. There is no other way but up! To accept the world is changing and people are taking dramatic steps to see that happens. What we as a nation and as individuals can do is to accept consciousness and practice service to our fellow beings in the best way we know how. When you are in the service of your fellow being you are in the service of your god. So me personally will have to say instead of pointing any fingers I shall do my best and turn my finger around on myself and point it where it belongs. I hope this meets you all in good health!!! GOD BLESS OUR MOTHER EARTH!

-- Derek Z, September 30, 2001
I would like to suggest to Bill Gates that he is rich enough and there's no need to pursue so much money in one's lifetime. To spend more time thinking about the meaning of life,leaving more time with the families,and friends( if he really has any). If I were Bill, I would close my company, travel around the world with the ones I love, and learn more languages till I die.

-- Elizabeth Chang, November 2, 2001
he's a balla and do him i bet he got mad bitche's and things he just need to come to the hood wit some of those scrilla

-- robert lowe, November 18, 2001
you seem to be a very bitter person. Bill gates has money. Weather or not he stole his ideas from someone eles is a mute point. at one point Oprah was the ricjest weoman in the us andshe is dumb as rocks. so who rally cares. you need to get a fraking hobby. and stop wprrying about bill gates. By the way is your computer run by windows?

-- s m, December 26, 2001
im richer than he is..

ner ner ner

-- Sultan of Brunai, January 7, 2002

Addressed to the Socialists.

I am sick of surfing the net' and seeing such backward thinking attitudes that people have. Bill Gates DOESNT OWE YOU or ANYONE ANYTHING.

The reason we live in North America and do not desire to escape is because of the possibilities tha Bill Gates has achieved. He is not exploiting his position as President of the US, He is not the leader of some UN Committee or a dictator that gives him total control over people, he is a businessman. He is not rich because he has stolen money from 'his people' or his 'motherland', or any other kind of nonsense. His 'privilege' or 'luck' as some call it is NOT due to his position at birth, his race, or any other pathetic reason LOSERS give successful people. He has become the richest man in the world due to ONE thing...freedom. This is beautiful because this is not something that you are born into, or only a priviliged few can obtain through permission from the government (at the moment), therefore ANY of you could do the same thing.

The second any of you start to think that he should give something back to the people or think the anti-trust lawsuits are constitutionally legal and that the Government is right in what it is doing, you are showing your true philisophical viewpoint as a collectivist i.e. Fascist, Communist, Socialist, Tribalist. If you see those words and do not cringe at their mention you had better rethink why you live in North America, or even better, make plans to move to the mountains or CUBA or CHINA, where the people will accept your views since they are your brothers. You and your brothers can complain about the immorals in this capitalist society...but dont complain too long or get off topic because if your view differs from all your 'brothers' then you must be wrong, therefore during your 'justified' imprisonment and torture you can thank your brothers for reminding you of your mistake and why you love your Collectivist country.

The reason those ideas wont and dont work, is not because it has not been mastered yet, it is because they DONT work. People need to produce, they need to do something with their lives. It is not my responsibility to take care of the welchers and moochers, and if they can't, or worse, won't, stand up and be adults and do something rather than complain and constantly try to bring people to their level, then let nature take care of them. That is the reason that humans have gotten this far, why go backwards.

I write this not as an anglo-saxon middle aged executive. I write this as a first Generation Canadian who is perplexed at a large part of this continents socialist attitudes. I am 21 years old and plan to take advantage of this opportunity I have been given on this earth to do something with my time I have, so when I am on deaths door I can look back and say I did everything possible I could. I will make a complete success of my life while humoring myself reading sites like this about why I am hated, and the evils of selfishness...HA

This world is here for us as human beings to enjoy, to experience, to live. Anyone can do anything, so rather than waste your life on this earth preaching 'self-sacrifice' and 'live for others' and wondering why you never feel fulfilled, why you have accepted guilt and fear as being 'Normal', why you depend on religion, why you depend on what others think... Why dont you realize your potential as a Human Being and the unlimited opportunities that await you and do something, anything.

Do NOT critisize businesses or people who achieve, and most of all DO NOT EXPECT that any of them OWE you anything, THEY dont and I dont. Be an adult, use your ability and get it yourself. (If these viewpoints interst you and they DAMN well better, unless you want your grandkids to grow up in a much more 'controlled' environment than us, then check out Objectivism and Capitalism on the 'net) Mike

-- Mike A, January 14, 2002

Give me a break, Mike. Capitalism is all well and good, but it stops working when a company like Microsoft uses its power to prevent people from making educated choices. Do you honestly think that a company with an operating system that is superior in every way to Microsoft's would survive without some kind of controls in place? Microsoft can buy or crush any threat to their monopoly, so forget about any serious competition. While you're at it, why not deregulate the media industry? How long would it be before mergers and acquisitions left us with one or two companies owning every TV station, newspaper, and ISP? Now THAT sounds like China.

Good for companies that are successful. Good for them even if they have a monopoly. But when they abuse that monopoly to the detrement of the citizens, they need to be reigned in.

-- Tony Tiger, February 4, 2002

Me!


Hi. I have read most of the paragraphs there, and I don't understand why people dislike him. I agree with one who said that they are jealous of him, and it seems 100% true. I like Bill personally, and my dream is to meet him one day. If this happend to fall in the hands of Mr. Bill, then pls. Bill, i just want to see you for a minute... To all who don't like him, your just jealous.

-- Fady Shlah, February 9, 2002
Tony thanks for the comment. Let me reply. First, my initial comment was to the few people remarking on this page, about the immorality of making money, and the evils of Bill gates, (I should say that when I stumbled on this ‘Bill Bashing site’ I was pleasantly surprised to see a majority of the responses not against Bill or Microsoft, but instead in defense of them.)

Back to you Tony, let’s dig a little deeper than tired clichés and hypocritical moral statements that you so easily drop. I suggest you study a little bit more, on the topic which you denounce in your statement. Its too easy to say things like your first statement ‘Capitalism is all well and good, but it stops working when a company like Microsoft uses its power to prevent people from making educated choices.’, (which, Tony, by the way is a paradox). That typical knee-jerk reaction is comforting to you and others, (you’re not alone, unfortunately), when you say it, because you think you are basing it on a sound and ‘right’ moral belief, correct? But if you actually think of the implications of what you said, I believe you might consider rethinking or rewording it.

First of all capitalism doesn’t stop working. In the way you refer to it ‘not working’, this is actually BECAUSE of government intervention, (whose purpose is to make decisions for people because they don’t have the ability themselves, right? Wrong. Allow me to address this shortly). The only way it might seem that they system is failing or doesn’t work is when you are short-sighted, uneducated, immoral, or simply confused (there is a lot of information out there). Your statement regarding people unable to make educated decisions, states your deeper belief (possibly subconscious) that people are too stupid to come up with a decision on their own without the intervention of the government, because a company (made of humans) can outwit them. That is incorrect. A company might be able to defer the truth, or avoid it completely, yes. However how long could that happen? It is impossible to do for any length of time. Take cigarette companies for an example. You might want to bring up cigarette companies. You might say ‘They’re big companies, they make money, they compete between each other, but they produce a product that kills. Isn’t that what you’re defending Mike? Are you in favor of death to make profits?’ Yes they do make money, yes they are a product of the capitalist system or are they? They have only survived this long because of government intervention. How long would a car sell for, if it had a habit of blowing up after 30,000 KM? It wouldn’t. So when I argue against the government interfering with business it is because of this. The cigarette companies false and misleading statements, as well as their product were protected from harm because of their large government payrolls (and the ability of the government to INTERFERE with business). This helped stifle the education of their products to the consumers. That (government interference) by the way, is NOT capitalism. This misinformation happens all the time by unethical businesses, or people who live off the stupidity of others. I am in no way endorsing that kind of business ethics. Capitalism is self correcting thanks to the judicial system that is in place for this purpose, i.e. note the record lawsuits against the tobacco giants in the last few years. This judicial system allows the people who ARE uneducated, a chance to fight back once they become educated, and not be forced to take it bending over upon their discoveries. You may bring up the point about the length of time it took to bring cigarette education and the imminent lawsuits, and the destruction of lives because of that wasted time. Don’t forget, the reason that ‘cigarette education’ and the lawsuits have taken some time to get to the ‘self correcting’ position we are witnessing right now, is DUE to the governments irresponsible and immoral involvement with business. Conversely imagine a country or a system in which there was no recourse for the people, or no retribution for false or misleading propaganda of products, or systems, that matter-of-factly lead to human suffering (in this case Lung Cancer). So Tony, Capitalism doesn’t stop working, it actually is continually improving and advancing.

You also stated ‘Do you honestly think that a company with an operating system that is superior in every way to Microsoft's would survive without some kind of controls in place? Microsoft can buy or crush any threat to their monopoly, so forget about any serious competition.’ In answer…Yes I do. You probably would have said the same thing about IBM’s dominance, back when Microsoft was starting. Ever heard of Ford? I heard once something about how…they invented automobiles, and….(what was it?)…Oh yeah, changed the standard of production and had the highest paid employees anywhere (in that industry). Imagine the objections raised by the employers of the employees leaving previous jobs to work at Ford. Imagine the critics of that time, and the moral stands they would take against Fords dominance. How did vehicles get to the point they are today? Because of competition. Chrysler enters the market and creates a better model of vehicle, therefore Ford (if it wants to stay alive) better outdo Chrysler. I’m sure many car companies failed trying to compete in the industry, but, it is because of those failures and successes that the car companies know what works and doesn’t, i.e. cars with GPS, A/C, Power windows, etc. Do you see the problem with your statement? Do you think we would be better off without the automobile, or better off without that industry revolution? If you do, I will have to disagree with you. Solely because I feel technology is good. Because of technology we live longer, we are healthier, and happier. Thanks to technology, advancement and, heaven forbid, competition.

Lastly, your comment on media. Using your example of media, I’ll show you how mistaken you are. Example: There are two companies running all the television stations, lets say NBC and ABC. They own all the networks You forget about the reason behind why, using your example of ‘sounding like China’ is a bad example. (By the way I am in no way an expert on China or its current political situation or reforms, I am simply using that country because it does provide more or less a system we can use for arguments sake.) First of all China (or other communist, dictatorial nations) don’t use these (television and newspapers) as a business. They are simply an effective tool to quickly transfer propagandist ideas and misinformation, used to stifle and mislead their ‘subjects’ (which wouldn’t work in our nations now because we have had the chance to be educated about how wrong that system is). Conversely we (Western World) use these means of communication as a ‘business’, therefore since it is a business, the same rules of business apply. The company has to offer a service or product that will be purchased by some of the population. If this is not achieved, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you will fail. Back to the example, if the western world was run by two media giants (without government influence), how long would it be before those giants would make a mistake, forget about ‘the little people’, piss off enough people (because of the limited of shows the consumers can now watch) and a smart individual would start a small station running the programs that the disgruntled viewers want to see. This action would prompt a series of other networks to pop up based on the premise of, lets say, ‘by the little people and for the little people’. Since the media giants are beginning to lose money (because advertisers now have another choice of where they can advertise) they (media Giants) can either take the approach of the smaller networks, buy them out (if the smaller ones so choose, remember nothing is forced i.e. NO government intervention), or perish. If people are watching the smaller networks because of their specific programming or their interesting news giving style this will prompt the other networks to follow suit (and provide what the consumers want). So, given your example of media giants taking control of the nations information and the consequent fears of them controlling your brain through advertising and programming you will see that it is impossible. No matter how big they get they cannot own all the newspapers, all the cable networks, all the media companies, and force the people to do their bidding. That Tony, is what Capitalism is. Companies cannot force you to buy their products, they can make it harder, yes, but if the consumers demand it, it will be produced, its as simple as that, and if the company they are accustomed to cannot or will not produce what the consumer wants then I will.

Try not to be short sighted. Imagine if our great, great grand-parents were short sighted. They wouldn’t have left feudal Europe to start the process for a better life for their children. Capitalism would not have been started, and you and I would be in a much different place, daydreaming of a free world, in the moments between the whips of our ‘superiors’.

-- Mike A, February 9, 2002

Sorry about the weird jumbled writing in my comment above. I wrote that comment in Microsoft Word and then transferred it to this post. I guess if I dont want this to happen again, I should buy some software from another company (since Microsoft hasn't obviously figured out a way to transfer documents from word files to this site without the weird addition of various symbols that you see above). And that company probably competes directly with Microsoft so I will support the underdog in this case...until Microsoft comes out with a better product. Isnt Capitalism Great!

-- Mike A, February 9, 2002
A lot of people don't know what it takes to be successful. Success is a planned event. Bill Gates wasn't walking down the street and BAM he was hit with a BILLION DOLLAR income. He ate, slept, and breathed Microsoft. He didn't give up when the times got hard. He stayed persistent, and consistent in making his dream come true. Just a quick thought to whoever reads this. If you look at the Forbes 400 Richest Americans you don't see Joe Bob the office manager wealthy. WHY you may ask? Because he has a job. The 400 richest americans all own their own business. You can't get wealthy off of a job that's it period. With your own business you have control not someone else that dictates how much you make and where you live. As a business owner you can't be fired (that's a tip by the way)!!!! On a job you could walk in and think you have security and they no longer need your services. So I give much kudos to Bill Gates and his staff for wanting to succeed.

-- Dorrian Weaver, February 22, 2002
To all you fools who think MS is a dumb monopoly and find out millions of reasons y it should be broken up, i have 3 words for ya.
GET A LIFE.
u wonderin y, im posting? im bored as hell and i think bill gates is a decent person. im in 10th grade taking computer programming II and i want to grow up to be like him. linux died cuz it was incompatible w/ most win software, and mac lives cuz its macos supports win software. i bet most of u losers dont even know MS actually helps out mac and linux.
or u probally didnt know that win xp runs on a linux/unix backbone, and dos is just a sheet on a mattress. u see ms uses a linux/unix spine w/ a graphical user interface for all the dummies who r too lazy to learn to use a dos/ unix environment. did i say that xp vs. 2 pro kicks ass?
i wont lie though. win xp and all the wins for that matter could be better. but one things for sure, win xp crashes not. almost a year w/ no friggin crashes or lockups. but the friggin ctrl/alt/dlt new interface is gay. and how win xp records all your friggin moves down 2 every last keystroke is gay too. though ive found ways around that, hehe. so to wrap all this bs up i have to say this site is a cool site and the new win os has been cracked open and a few ppl on the web have streamlined win xp to work w/ the cool look and feel w/out the gay addons such as the new cntrl panel or how u cant configure everything. sorry i went on and on, what a hypocrit, huh? feel free to e-mail me w/ comments.(though i wonder whos reading this, who has the time to read all those damn entries, hehe)


-- Brandon Carter, March 1, 2002
OK!... Linux... dead... ARE YOU STONED?! anybody who is dumb enough to Run a windows machine as thier server is the most retarded person on the face of the earth. Think about it. Linux is the fast server on the fast of the earth and it's free it's scabable and inexpesive and if you don't believe me that LINUX is a better serevr you best be checking the recent news about IBM aquiring linux to replace thier own FAMED AIX which is also a UNIX based operating system. Windows 2000 embedded fits on two things. A desktop PC and a server. where as Linux fits on everything from MASSIVE MAIN FRAMES to a friggin WATCH!. I am a linux developer I work on my own time at home. I am no programmer but I build server and desktop enviroments using FREE SOFTWARE. and Microsoft impedes my work by copywriting thier extensions and file formats so it makes it IMPOSSABLE FOR ME TO DEVELOP A WORKING DESKTOP MODEL FOR EVERYBODY TO USE, I could use the formats and the extensions but then i would SUE SO BAD I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO AFFORD THE POWER TO OPERATE MY COMPUTER. You can thank your wonderfull bill gates for that you 10th grade know nothing. Don't presume to know what the hell your your talking about because you don't. Bill Gates has set back computer technology 20 or 30 years it wasn't until 1990 when one LINUS TORVALDS released his kernel for the GNU comunity that this began to change. www.GNU.org <--- GO READ! learn something... you want to be a programmer.. well there is a FREE COMPILER called GCC read learn and develop and share the knowledge THATS WHAT GNU AND OPEN SOURCE IS ALL ABOUT. The only thing thats stopping GNU/Linux from becomming the #1 desktop in the world is the fact that ppl have been forced to use Microsoft for so long they have no IDEA what it would be like using anything else. They Say stuff like "linux is to hard and it's all command line." they should go here www.KDE.org Or "Linux doesn't have any Commercial office software" they should go here ----> www.corel.com "Linux lacks support for it's users" irc.openprojects.net (use mIRC,Xchat or any number of IRC clients) or www.linuxdoc.org.

In closing i would have to say ppl like Bill Gates who hinder Human advancement should be imprisoned for Intellectual Dictatorship.


Image: poweredby.png

-- Linux User, March 2, 2002

it has to be said that with the ever growing possibility that microsoft will be broken down or even turned in to a windows lite edition with no IE or Media player bundled in to allow competiton to the microsoft monopoly which is GREAT!.BUT who will still be able to challenge their dominance in the market? Linux?apple?solus? well i think the answer is no-1!! u c even if they are not allowed to bundle software with their windows editions in the future.they will still have a huge advantage and monopoly in the market what with the innovational idea of microsoft tv!also what is to stop microsoft charging for IE and media player? as there are always 'suckers born every minute' who would if given the chance pay for things that are free with other software manafactures! with all this it looks as though the future is definately MICROSOFT:-( Wot do u all think?????

-- tom pritchard, March 3, 2002

Sure, Bill would be well-off even if he had been born mentally disabled, or he was lazy. But Bill was neither. Bill was smart and he worked his ass off. He came in with the perfect product for the times. If Bill had never been born, someone would probably have taken his niche.

It was work, smarts, and luck that made him richer than us. If he lacked any one of the three it probably wouldn't have panned out.

Bill and Melinda do a lot of good for the world. They probably contribute a lot more money (energy) into beneficial causes than all the people who bitch and moan about how he's evil and greedy.

To anyone who says Windows sucks, well, I'd like you to make an operating system that runs on a huge array of software on a wild array of hardware. Correctly tuned Windows machines are a joy to work with. So they crash every now and then. Well, look at the programs you're running on them and the hardware you're using. Most of the chips are cranked out in Malaysia like Doritoes at the Frito Lay factory. And the software can be buggy, too. And think back to the 'good ol' days' of computing, where the best games or programs you wanted were always matched with an operating system you didn't have. Yeah, Windows sucks. It makes everything uniform and everything work together. God, that sucks.

Nothing lasts forever, and despite his brains and business success, it's only a matter of time before a new baby genius comes along and dumps Microsoft on its ass. That'll probably be good for Bill and Melinda, because then people will think of Windows as 'the good old days,' and level their sites at the new richest person in the world.



-- Jeremiah Timmins, March 7, 2002

This is addressed to poweredby.png's comment.

'In closing i would have to say ppl like Bill Gates who hinder Human advancement should be imprisoned for Intellectual Dictatorship.'

Earlier in that statement you said this '...Microsoft impedes my work by copywriting thier extensions...' Ok, by saying this and giving kudos to LINUS TORVALDS for writing free software, I assume you are disagreeing with the patent process, copywriting, trademarking, etc. i.e. protection of intellectual and physical property. Let me enlighten you as to your error. First I know nothing about programming or developing and kind of software, but the same rules apply to software developing as they do for manufacturing cars and trucks. You are trying to make a living doing something with computers, correct?

Your argument is this. That it is wrong (immoral) for somebody (Microsoft)to place a protection on their product/idea/design because it is hindering your ability to develop something for you to do business and earn a living. The reason you dont like this is because it effects you personally, so you adopt an attitude of 'who cares about the other guy, hes richer than me, and I DESERVE a break!' Why?...Just because....because....I have less than him....and it's not fair!

Lets imagine that there was no patents or restrictions on those specific files you want access to. If there is no restrictions, then what would happen next is not too hard to predict. You (or somebody else) would run with that ball and argue that they feel it necessary to make another part of Microsoft illegal to patent a product, and their argument (as yours is) states that they cant reach the level of productivity they want because of the restrictions Microsoft has. Sooner or later other competing companies of Microsoft would realize how easily they can destroy Microsoft piece by piece on the simple argument that 'it is not fair to our business' :( . Now you may agree with all this, and believe me some people will (they'll say stuff like 'Too much corporate greed', or 'make room for the little guy' and other flimsy, no thought, seat-of-the-pant arguments). So now lets just say that Microsoft is no longer able to retain control of any of its patents, copyrights, etc. because you and others like you have managed to convince the judges and others that your quest is a good one. It is 'good' (you argue) because Microsoft has 'enough' money, they have 'enough' products, they should let the little guy have a chance (sidenote- who is to say what is enough? Are we supposed to come up with that number by comparing ourselves to the smallest weakest companies? That's what your saying, and if we do that...is that...PROGRESS?).

Ok, so Microsoft is now out of business.

You still may not see the problem, but here it is. Now that you (and your counterparts) have managed to instill these thoughts and new laws into the justice department as well as into the social fabric of society you have managed to do irreprable harm...to yourself.

How? Well Microsoft will only be the first to go down, because the little man wants a break. Next it will be other major players in the industry to go down as well, (hell, if it applies to one, it applies to all). Soon all the major coroporations that produce the software and equipment to the other major players (that are now no longer allowed to license their property) would be out of business. Now, since you personally make your living by developing computers, software, or whatever it is you do, you (as the little guy) are hit next. Since no company has the right to hold patents or rights to their intellectual and physical property, there is no point to develop new projects or ideas since they will just be stolen anyway. Therefore, under your "People against Intellectual Dictatorship" ideals, you have successfully made all technology free of restrictions, but that existing technology is all you are ever going to see my friend. No other company in the world will try to develop new ideas or software, because it is a waste of time, they may as well spend their time on something that produces an income. And where does that leave you the little guy? On your ass bitching about how this was all because of Big Business, or The Environment, or your horoscope. It is quite easy to determine the next events...

Since destroying ("getting rid of intellectual dictatorship") was so successful, and now those companies and 'Greedy' men are broke, what will we do next? Well, there will be other companies left, and other industries obviously that will survive without the computers (as we did before), however you're still broke, and they are still making money. So now you want to get into the steel industry or mining but there is a company already working on 'their land' mining it successfully and they wont agree to give it up to you. So you and your people go back to work arguing now (to get that coal mine) that "Who's right is it to own a mine? It is the earths, it is not theirs, it should be given up to me and my friends because we are 'For The People'. We are only small business men who DESERVE a living like them (as if it is a RIGHT to earn a living)."

Sooner or later there will be nothing left for your kind of people to take anymore, because anyone of ability will have quit producing, why should we produce just so our work can be stolen? You, or someone with similar ideals would then try to get in power and MAKE people produce....and that my friends is what we call ....COMMUNISM. And we all know how fun that can be right?

Therefore, I hope you can now see how those patents and copyrights that make you so mad, do quite the opposite than what you implied by making statements such as 'Intellectual Dictatorship'.

You're obviously not an idiot (you own your own business, which is good), so I am sure I dont need to elaborate on the 'benefits' of Communism. I am just trying to show you the consequences of what those kind of thoughts do. So the next time you want to gripe and tear apart some kid for not understanding the real world as 'you do'?!? You may want to take an extra minute before you commit your thoughts to a message board.

Mike



-- Mike A, March 7, 2002

I believe we all owe Mr. Gates an apology. Perhaps he also owes us one, but we have neglected to ask him--in our discussion of why he is richer than us--whether he is happier than us as well. Our oxymoronically right-minded Canadian friend (not that there is anything wrong with that--it's just not something I'm used to) proudly prolaims his aim to conquer all obstacles, like Gates, expressly for the savory scrumptiousness of that one moment before death. That is ridiculous, thought believable: many people believe that, although their presents actions make them feel unhappy, they are leading towards a greater future.

The parallel runs smoothly alongside Gate's case: to jump through the hurdles for the duration of one's life at the expense of the present is akin to having $60 billion locked into a company under social pressures. He has built the largest stress ball in the world. Likewise, any straight male over 12 will admit to wanting a gorgeous girlfriend. But would they want a girlfriend as high-maintenance as Microsoft? Would they want a $60 billion girlfriend? One that keeps getting in trouble with the government? [Note: For those who cannot see past detail, I'm sure that more than $60 billion is actually tied into Microsoft, and that in the future the number may be way off. I'm going of the Clock of Gate's personal tie. That is what is important here].

I am not saying that he is not happy. I am saying that all his money does not buy him the freedom that the homeless man I greet on my way to school (who happens to look like the Buddha) seems to exude. Freedom also means freedom from debt; and debt is not always financial. I believe the Sultan said it best: nar nar nar.

As for politics, we must remember that the Capitalist vision is a business game based on the fictional tale that we all WANT supreme power over our fellow humans. If this were true, why is "more" never enough with those who have "much"? And why can "we got each other" be more than enough for those who have "nothing"? Perhaps becuase the latter are weak...or perhaps because the former are weaker, so weak, in fact, that they cannot break through their own solitude.

Mike, if you still believe that Capitalism fosters freedom of choice (which still does not directly lead to true freedom), please do your "lefty" homework: Noam Chomsky, Maurice Berman, Don Delillo, etc. I am not affiliated with any political party, but I think it is important to actually read the sources, be it left or right. A beautiful illustiation of this is in Chomsky's "On Language" discussion. To paraphrase: one of the crucial Laws of Power lies in offering a spectrum of choices, all ranging within the Master's Control. Thus, we are either "Liberal" or "Conservative" in the mainstream, though there is very little difference. And we are either MacOS or Windows (unless we are 10th grade programmers, and we know that winXP eusez lin plat 10:anti-soc need girlfriend.com). In reality, there are limitless manifestations of our free will, but as long as they remain Pop/Rock/R&B/Jazz (what's "jazz"?) categories, we will never know the full extent of our minds.

In conclusion, the reason I bring this up is because such limited categorical perception imposes the exact black/white dichotomy of success in today's American "Democracy". [Note: for readers in the future, I predict that by 2008 we will have officially changed our name to the American Empire.] We take such pleasure discussing the validity of Bill Gate's financial success because we see our lives as either Gate's stlye successful or total family-shaming failure. Gates knows one thing better than you. He sees one thing more clearly than you. And this is why he is richer than you: He understands that there is nothing meaningful about money that isn't a human construct. Money does not exist. That is why it can be digitized and flowed by the virtual dump-truck full loads through his eWallet. Money does not exist; but hunger, war, love, do. The most profound thing about this website it that, by watching the Real-Time Bill Gates Wealth Clock, you can see the population grow one-by-one. Each new baby contributes, on this date of March 24, 2002, $10.38 to the Bill Gate's fund. And he, in return, will contribute a lifetime of digital information to the wealthier portion of those babies. On the surface, it will make a world of difference. But one who dives deep into the sea does not choke on the sludge floating at the top.

G. Vincent Geary

Chairmain of My Own Private Universe

Owner of Future Media Room at Bootleg Studios

-- Future Media Room Bootleg Studios, March 24, 2002

I think we tend to exaggerate both the power and importance of Bill Gates and Microsoft. They both are gonna be around for as long as they make a decent software. I know many would object and say that theirs is not a GOOD software. But hey, we are talking the products here that are used by the whole world on the daily basis - you just can not avoid making mistakes! And as far as their business strategy is concerned all I can say is Netscapes is no better. Remember Netscape was the first to start giving its browser away for free? What is their claim on Microsoft for using predatory practices in the browser market if not the climax of irony? Bill aint got no style? But the Macintosh missed its chance to get in the lead thanks to rev. Steve whose first iMac was just too special and swanky to allow its clones to pop up. But you know what? Strange as it is now is the time when Microsoft and its founder are the most vulnerable. The giant is too big to see his own toes. Im not a passionate Microsoftie but I dont want them to flunk as well. All I know is that they are just one mistake away from ruining themselves. Dont you think?

-- kirill levadny, March 29, 2002
In response to Mike A., who commented that Bill Gates doesn't owe us anything, I disagree. I've worked (and played ) with computers for about 25 years. I have seen MS grow from a tiny upstart to the great behemoth that it is today. Gates and his company have acheived this current position by exploiting loopholes in the law and lobbying to change the laws to preclude competition from using the same tactics. Gates and his company owes us our money's worth. He and MS have worked very hard at limiting our choices to make sure MS provides the OS, and to use the OS as and advanage for MS software. Most people have been depraved of quality software, they think it's normal for computers to misteriously lock up. They think rebooting several times a day is normal. They owe us quality, they owe us the acknowledgement that we the consumers are the reason they exist.

-- Gary Clouse, May 3, 2002
why bill gates is richer than you... he has a thought of using old computers and up dating them for the people that he thinks with his invision for the future. hey it works"" so he has all that money and dosent have the time for the poor shmoo out there, well he has the means today for his work and yes he stole things to get to it most rich people canive to get to the top any way. sure we all like to have 1 third of what this guys worth, but greed has a way of comming back to people who obtain wealth for an evil purpose,what goes around comes around, if in deed he would do good with this wealth he abtained ten great if not shame on him,good for anyone that takes a chance with ones head and back bone and achives his or her goals in an honest way more power to them,to lie cheat and steal to get to the top like most people today in politics well you cant throw the book at one guy that proved that he had a ambition to do right in his own way and obtain great wealth in doing it,i say to bill gates help the people that need thier bills paid and debts owed credit cards ect,, look into everyone you help and give a heads up to all people in every state dont make them wealthy just debt free and you would be doing your self a great justice in the world with respect and honor for all the people, and the figures about how much money you have well look at the interest on a billion dollars it's over 87,000 a minute just think you could solve the worlds proplems and become a great humaniterian in your own right, go for it bill and if you need help doing it just ask i will show you the way free of charge, and to all the people that think im right well keep telling him (bill gates) pay forward and feel good about it,,,,,,,EJA

-- ED Anton, May 27, 2002
There is a difference between law and moral rightness. The courts are there to enforce the law, not to decide what is morally right. The moral rightness of a law is best worked out in debates in the legislature, before the law is created. The judicial branch is not there to decide what is moral, only what is law.

The conversation about Microsoft often turns on what is morally right. I hear comments like, "Microsoft just did what any company would do to compete." The implication is that Microsoft was within moral bounds, because they played by the rules that every other American company plays by. What Microsoft has done may or may not be moral. However, that is irrelevant. Companies get dragged into court for breaking the law, not for breaking the moral code.

This is the current law in America: it is legal to have a monopoly, it is not legal to use it to increase your profits.

Regarding competition, America has 2 sets of laws. One applies to non-monopoly companies. The other applies to monopoly companies. There are many things that companies with monopolies are not allowed to do, but that non-monopoly companies are allowed to do. Is this a good idea? I don't know. But it is the law. If you want it changed, write to your congressperson. But don't talk about Microsoft having some kind of right to compete as they see fit. Under current law, they don't.

As to them having a monopoly, they have not disputed that portion of the charges against them. If they are not arguing the point, I think we can all agree that they have a monopoly on desktop operating systems.

-- Lawrence Krubner, July 31, 2002

Hi there alot of people say that bill gates is a bad man but if it wasn't for him do you think that you whould be doing this now on the internet what ever he has done hes done it well alot of work have gone into this i think hes a good man for what he has done...ps bill give me some money..lol...will.

-- matthew william, November 7, 2002
I feel that the American Government can not handle anyone earning more than themselves. They seem to take acion whether it be legal or other against the most richest people. Why can the US Gov let all citizens live as they want, why can they not earn as much money as they want, Bill Gates is not bankrupting anyone, as gambling, drugs and drink does. He has not killed anyone as gambling, drugs and drink does. He has not caused any mental illnesses as, gambling, drugs and drink has. So why this hating Bill all the time, he is clever as Stephen Hawkin was, he is ingenious as Alexandra Graham Bell was, and as adventurous as Colombus was they never was hated! We owe alot to Mr Gates and I would not be here typing this today had it not been for Microsoft! Leave Bill Alone.

-- rose fenton, November 8, 2002
There are plenty of computer geniuses out there. bill gates is just one of them who had the integrity to go further than the rest. just one bean in the barito

-- george washington, December 9, 2002
The Beatles happen to the most honored musicians of all time. Tiger Woods happens to be the best golf player around. Albert Einstein happens to be the most influential man concerning 20th century theoretical physics.

Bill Gates just happens to be the guy who owns the most money. Ask him about his party trick, and it probably ain't much cooler than your uncle Jed's.

-- Peter Meldgaard, December 30, 2002

What in the hell is all your people's problem with Bill Gates. Did you know that with out him you people would still be using a typerwriter or a rock and chisel? Or it could even be worse, you could be stuck using a mac computer!!!

-- None Ya, January 1, 2003
For all of you who do not have any hatred towards Microsoft, I suggest you try GNU/Linux. You will quickly change your point of view, I did. I used to be unenlightened like the rest of you. I said, "Microsoft has the apps and the support of the PC industey, it must be doing something right". The things Microsoft does right is lie, cheat, and steal. They constantly bash open-source, especially GNU/Linux. Unfortunately the information they release is completely false. They make their OS biased towards their apps so that alternativie apps will not work well or at all (DR-DOS, for example). What's funny is that they stole DR-DOS in the firt place when it was CP/M. Unfortunately for the computer comunity QDOS (cheap, unauthorized copy of CP/M) was only a buggy version of CP/M. Consumers still have to live with that buggy 16 bit code in Windows XP. Wait a minute...I thought Windows XP was a 32 bit system completely devoid of 16 bit DOS...guess again. Yup, all that crappy code from the beginning is still there. Innovation? I think not, more like repackaging.

Back to CP/M and GNU/Linux. I think it's funny how much Microsoft has come out against GNU/Linux, an OS that is a free cousin to UNIX. Why is it funny? Their own DOS was ripped off from CP/M and now doing the same thing but legally under the GPL is considered anti-capitalist to Microsoft. Maybe they should be looking in the mirror at the real anti-capitalist, the ones who use practices like charging more for Windows to a manufacturer who sells systems systems not loaded with Windows. How about charging twice as much for a server that is the exact same operating system as the workstation. Where is the fairness in that? On top of that they make it illegal to use the workstation as a server. Why? Because no one would buy it otherwise. They have not used innovation and competition to develop a better server, they just repackaged the workstation with a couple of minor configuration changes.

On to GNU/Linux. Never once crashed on me. It's free. I also got tools for writing C, C++, Objective C, etc, etc; for free. They are superior tools to the ones used by Windows. Linux is also highly configurable. Anything you want to change you can. The biggest surprise came with the apps, the interface, and the installation. Everywhere you look critics say that GNU/Linux isn't ready for the desktop because of lack of apps, non-standardized desktop, and the pain of installation. All of this is false. Anyone who can set up a Windows machine can easily set up at least a Ret Hat or Mandrake OS. It is true that their are a few desktop environments and many window managers but I haven't had any trouble with interoprability. Last but not least are the apps. Almost everything you could want is included with the distibution (many, many more apps are included standard) and all of the apps are better than Windows' versions of the same apps. Anything else you want you can download for free. The only issue is games. I don't play games on my PC so I don't care but this may be an issue for you. Just a side note, GNU/Linux comes bundled with a whole bunch of fun games, not the 3D type, but fun in their own right.

For any of you programmers that may be reading this...if you haven't already, GET GNU/Linux NOW. It is by far the best OS to develop on. Great tools that are all free. You don't even need to download anything more if you don't want. The GCC compiiler is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have a fantastic IDE but I don't ever even use it. The command line interface (CLI) is all I need for developing.

Just one more thing I need to get off my chest. The CLI. People are afraid of it. They think that easier means better. Nope. The CLI is powerful and gives you more contorl than a point and click-at-the-pretty-pictures model (I do use the GUI a lot but the CLI is there when I need it and is much better for most tasks). Don't let Microsoft fool you. Under that pretty facade that is XP lies terrible code, and numerous security vulnerabilities, they won't let you see that though, don't worry, GNU/Linux does. Rest assured if you don't find a bug in GNU/Linux, someone else will and it won't be swept under the carpet like MS bugs, ready to be reintroduced in the next release. You'll be taken care of by the Linux community.

-- Chris Smith, February 4, 2003

I just wanted to add a few things. First, the internet was around well before Microsoft, they did not invent it and if anything they made it worse by implementing their own propietary HTML and ASP which will divide people using the internet into MS/IE and non-MS/IE users...what comes next? Conquest.

Second, don't think Bill is a great guy because he donates money. I could donate a quarter but no one is going to think i'm charitable for doing it. If he actually made a noticable dent in his own wealth to contribute to humanity then it would be a different story, but he hasn't. He's probably making more money from his tax deductions on his "charity". As a bonus to that he often includes clauses in his agreements with schools when he donates money to them that state that the money may not be used for computers other than Wintel machines. He's not helping out, he's ensuring the future of his wealth.

Third, MS has not made technology advance at an increased rate. Bill may have introduced computers to the masses (which is about the only thing I'm ready to give him credit for, and even that was more of a side affect of his greed than anything else) but technology has been stifled by MS overall. No matter how much prettier the GUI looks it's still the same crap underneath. Media players, internet browsers, and office apps have been around before MS built them into Windows. Most people just don't know it because they have never used anything else. Learn something new and you'll realize what you are missing.

Finally, this is a request, if you don't know what you are talking about or can't read, spell, or construct complete sentences, please don't post your nonsense comments. I laughed for a long time after reading that Windows XP is UNIX. That's the first time I've heard an MS advocate make a comment that stupid. Please know what you are talking about before you post. Avoid the "you're jealous" comments because they have no technical validity. That's what MS advocates say when they don't know what they are talking about and to be honest most don't know because if they did they wouldn't be using MS products.

PS (Directed towards Jeremiah Timmins) GNU/Linux runs on more diverse hardware then Windows does. Also Windows does not run on any array of software. Software runs on the OS. As I stated in my previous post, programs for GNU/Linux are far superior to Windows programs. People like you are just afraid of change and learning new things so much so that you would rather stick with buggy software then try something new and much better. Did I mention GNU/Linux has never crashed on me...ever!

-- Chris Smith, February 4, 2003

A few links:
The Linux homepage
Microsoft Boycott Website
OpenOffice.org
Your Linux-A site to buy Linux distros, among other things.
The Mozilla web browser homepage
Please, at least give the alternatives to Microsoft's software a try.

This message brought to you by: Mozilla Composer, a web designing program that creates standards compliant HTML.


-- Some Guy, July 13, 2003
well, I doubt anyone can read the *whole* page anymore, but I've read quite a bit of it - The analogy of Grog's Hammer was an interesting way to put it - but Grog didn't charge people for the right to make hammers. You didn't have to make "hammer compatible" nails, and when someone invented the "nail driver" he didn't get sued, bought out or otherwise discouraged by Grog. Grog's hammer was also compatible with all carbon-based lifeforms capable of grasping/operating tools. I think Linux is actually far more like Grog's hammer than Windows is - it can run on a far greater range of hardware (you can run a fully multi-tasking linux on anything from a 386 up. It runs on many architectures, not just a couple - even wierd stuff it was never intended for - some wireless access points can have their firmware replaced with linux. Even Cisco 2500 routers can run linux (they're still developing some of the drivers for the network interfaces, but the linux core is the same proven code). Now after thousands of years, the hammer's development model has proven it to be a stayer. Given that nearly every person who wants to hit something now uses a hammer, one could forsee that one day everyone who want's to use a computer will use the free, easily obtainable, standard equipment for doing it. For now, only Grog and his tribe know about the hammer.... but that will change.

-- Mike Nix, September 6, 2003
All, I have a very simple take on Bill Gates.

To those who feel Bill Gates is victimizing you or the rest of the world, feel that he has an unfair monopoly, feel that he stole DOS, or whatever: Life is not fair. Get used to it, deal with it, and move on. Download linux and run it, you don't need to let him victimize you. I dislike monolithic corporations as much as the next guy, but there is nothing you can do about it. Stop obsessing. If Bill Gates is the only one victimizing you, consider yourself lucky. The golden rule applies. Unless you are storming Redmond with a guerilla army to destroy microsoft by force, you will never beat them. Even if you did, you probably still wouldn't beat them.

To those who love Bill Gates and what he has done: Keep on getting worms and running crummy software. It will catch up with you one day, when you need your computer the most.

My take: I use windows for applications that only run on windows. Now that OS-X is here, they are getting ported. But then I switch from Gates to Jobs. Either way, for what I do, nothing in life is free. The open source software that is out there, wouldn't begin to fill my needs for my music. Believe me, I have tried. Maybe in a few more years...

Since I am a software engineer by trade, I could help out with the open source projects, but between my son, work and my music projects, I really don't have time. It is more economical for me to simply buy the software. This may change one day, but probably not. When I get home from work, I want to give my son piano lessons, then work on my latest my project, not fix bugs: )

-- nuedor basilort, September 22, 2003

Sorry about lack of English and misspellings...

Bill Gates and Eolas

We have set up a page to unite webdesigners and webmasters in a protest campaign against the annoying 'Accept' button, that will start working on new IExplorer as to avoid payments of royalties.

We are not willing to do the job for MS and modify or throw away our pages, we are not willing to spend hundreds of hours again on a work, that has made Internet interesting, artistic and competetive but now doesn't interest because of tactics and strange movements.

We will further start a campaign to make people stop helping Mr. Gates getting richer each day, as there are hundreds of thousands of non paid helpers now who make things work. He may persist in his attitude to ruin our artistical work, but then we may also start to be fond of no helping noone anymore to install, understand or handle a single product he launches.

In our opinion, this is the best we can do to avoid the elimination of a work of millions.

We do not accept IE changes. They will condemn millons of pages and Internet is also an historical archive that has to be defended.

We've set up a page in Spanish (sorry, but maybe this comment will encourage others to set up similar pages in other languages) to protest. So far, about 1400 webmasters and designers have signed in.

1400 is nothing, we know. It's a drop in the desert. But that's how raining starts. With just one, insignificant drop of water.

Make it rain.

Best wishes,

Miguel Furlock

(Non commercial site)

-- Miguel Furlock, November 10, 2003

Bill gates is a great inventor in this century, if he didnt make windows i couldnt make website, there will be no internet. this world will remain analog.
Attachment: meter3a.swf

-- joey ta, December 4, 2003
The only thing I wish Bill would do differently is give more away. I mean, would it change his life at all if he gave 5 Billion per year to good causes? Hell, he probably has that much of a swing through his stock ups and downs. Obviously, I would be a logical place to start giving.

-- Michael Johnson, March 28, 2004
bill gates is a man i admire not for his wealth but for his dreams and ambision. who says you can't change your stars? i saw one of his movies and it motivates me to stick to what i do best. its kind of funny when poeple say they hate hom because he is not doing anything for them, ask your self, what have i done for my self? have i grabed life by the horns? have i given everything i've got? he had an opprotunity and he seized it, he bursted his ass and wht do u know , sky is the limit, like an old saying in my country," if u can't be the sun, be the moon, if u can be the moon, be the stars and if you can't be the stars be the very best you can't".

-- adetimehin oludamilare, October 12, 2004
I have seen many agreements and disagreements on Bill Gates. Good or bad, inventive or thief, we leave that to a side. What is real and tangible it is that Bill Gates is a person who has known to take advantage of opportunities, using the same opportunities that all we have had but that unlike him, we have not known to use of the best way to obtain the best result. This is briefly, he has succeeded vision, ambition and perseverance. If others have had in their hands which supposedly Bill Gates has robbed to them, how come they did not make a fortune in the first hand with his "million dollar idea", however Bill Gates did, and just because Bill Gates knows how to make real businesses. I do not admire him, I respect the way Bill Gates makes businesses.

-- btuxk com, April 14, 2005
I have no problem with Bill Gates' wealth. More power to him! What I do have a problem with is Microsoft's policy of "forced upgrades". What I mean is how every new version of MS Office changes the filetypes so as to obsolete the older versions, thus forcing folks to upgrade. Come on, how many people need all the features in Office XP? How many people need more features than are offered by Wordpad for most of their writing? And why is it you can no longer create a Rich Text Format document? Oh, you can still save an existing rtf as such, but you cannot CREATE an rtf. Maybe because it has become an open standard, and thus brings Bill no more money? I'm thinking so... There is no technical reason for the recent changes, so I have to go with "sales of Office have been soft recently, so we have to do SOMETHING to force folks to upgrade". Come on, even back when Office 97 came out, a lot of backward compatibility was broken, and MS even claimed some of that was because of "technical obstacles that are impossible toovercome"...until some clever folks overcame them and allowed you to save in Office 95 format again, then amazingly MS figured out how to do it also. I'm sorry, that's just plain crooked. If you truly make the best product, you SHOULD be rich beyond your wildest dreams, but you should not use your leadership position and crooked methods to maintain your market share, without any longer providing value. Most folks who have been around long enough figured out that Office 97 did everything they needed. Newer versions have not been worth the cost of the upgrade. Notice I did not say they were good, I said they were not WORTH the PRICE of the upgrade. Not that much more usable stuff. But Bill has to maintain that standard of living, ergo the changing file formats, forcing you to upgrade, because the new computers your company just bought and came with Office XP will not save in a format your other computers can read, since they are "obsolete". Bill won't sell you more Office 97 licenses, heck, he can sell you 100 97 licenses for you new computers, or force you to buy 3000 licenses of Office XP so all the computrs can still pass files back and forth. Which do you think he'll do. Well, don't take my word for it, go out and try to buy more Office 97 licenses. BANG - forced upgrade. Personally, I'd say go to OpenOffice.org, and quit paying the Bill tax. But that's just me. Oh, wait, and the city of Austin, TX. Yup, they did the smart thing: they figured only 1000 of their users really needed the power of MS Office, the rest could just use OpenOffice, so that's what they put on the other 4000 computers. Do the math, they saved a bundle! (no pun intended).

-- Willy Wonka, September 7, 2005
I dont have anything to add to this discussion as for as the topic is concerned, except, amaze how this blog superbly captures, the various trends of computing, how microsoft was predicted to dominate the Internet with Just an IE, to the present day reality of real Innovation on the Internet, Dominated by n-number of companies.Innovation is still an answer to wealth after all and there is still a lot that we can look forward to.

-- Harshavardhan R, August 3, 2007
I find nothing wrong with Bill Gates . He worked hard and deserves to be what he is now .

Software Engineering is not only about writing code . A technically superior product may not always be a successful product.It is foolish to assume that a software product is just code .Coding is just one part of any project. Sure there are lot of good open source projects , But let me ask you this,how many of them are documented properly?How many of them have documented test cases?How many of them provide active support? I am a Software Engineer by profession and I dont feel quilty for earning my livelyhood.Any 10 year old cowboy can code , Everybody wants to do only the (intresting !) good stuff ! .

Software like any other thing is a product and involves design , coding , documenting ,testing etc and all these need money and effort . So a 'complete software product ' costs money .End of Story

-- Sandeep Mathew

-- Sandeep Mathew, September 10, 2009

I'd say their Monopoly is broken

-- Will Rieske, December 13, 2010
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