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Microsoft The Almighty Buck

The Microsoft Millionaires Come of Age 360

Posted by Zonk
from the slashdot-editors-accepting-donations dept.
iseff writes "The NYTimes is running a story about the ways in which Microsoft millionaires are putting their money to use. According to the story, there is somewhere around 10,000 Microsoft made millionaires spending money on various pet projects. For example, former programmer Chris Peters bought the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association), while Stephanie DeVaan founded a political action committee and Rich Tong founded Ignition Partners, a VC firm."
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The Microsoft Millionaires Come of Age

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:26PM (#12672663)
    Can't we talk about Google instead?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That is just obscenely absurd for one company.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That is just obscenely absurd for one company.

      I don't understand why this is a problem. A "company" has goals. They figured out, as a company, how to achieve those goals. The people rewarded are the owners, and sometimes the employees. If the employees didn't get the cash, it'd have just gone to the owners. This should be perceived as a great thing!

      The wealth of the company, and their employees is a testiment to the fine job they did, as measured by the votes of their customers, in the form of mo

      • Any comments that this is obscene is pure jealousy.

        I am jealous of the money they have. I do not make a lot of money, like a lot of people, and would really love to be at least a little better off. It is not the money itself that is obscene, but the way in which it was made. You state that their richness is a sign of the 'fine job they did'...

        I disagree. It may be like that with some consumers, but they have systematically rigged it so they cannot be toppled and you are required to purchase their product
    • If you don't like it, then don't buy their products.

      -jcr

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:26PM (#12672669)
    And one William Gates put $53 million back into the economy the old fashioned way by building a house.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=bill+gates+53+milli on+house [google.com]

    • by Neopoleon (874543) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:41PM (#12672757) Homepage
      "And one William Gates put $53 million back into the economy the old fashioned way by building a house."

      Along with over $25 billion to charitable causes.

      http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm [gatesfoundation.org]

      He deserves the house, I say.
    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:46PM (#12672785)
      William Gates put $53 million back into the economy the old fashioned way by building a house.

      Not too shabby. But Mikey Dell's little ranch cost more.

      Odd part is, he pay less in property taxes than me.
      (Average tech worker with average house in same area)

      http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/topstory/ 2985061 [chron.com]
      • by CharlieHedlin (102121) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @07:13PM (#12672931)
        Of course that is for the house, land and everything. Gates house was 53 million by itself.

        The fact that Michael Dell is using an Ag exemption on his house is just wrong, but I know many people who do it, and it isn't just in Texas.
      • I remember reading somewhere that Ross Perot, through various loopholes, pays something on the order of 7% income tax. So I laugh whenever some conservative goes off about how America's wealthy are like Atlas, bearing a world of tax burdens on their weary (but capable and compassionate!) shoulders. Let's give them all a hand, and tax cuts!
        • $75,000 under $100,000 - 8,903,894 returns
          $100,000 under $200,000 - 8,469,199
          $200,000 under $500,000 - 2,018,372
          $500,000 under $1,000,000 - 355,617
          $1,000,000 under $1,500,000 - 85,479
          $1,500,000 under $2,000,000 - 36,492
          $2,000,000 under $5,000,000 - 52,157
          $5,000,000 under $10,000,000 - 12,266
          $10,000,000 or more - 6,836

          21% of the tax returns pay roughly 55.9% of the Federal Income Tax, the 6836 at the top, pay 3% of the Federal Income Tax

          http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0, ,id=96981,00.htm [irs.gov]
          • Thanks for the data. It's a bit tangential to my post, but there it is.
          • 21% of the tax returns pay roughly 55.9% of the Federal Income Tax, the 6836 at the top, pay 3% of the Federal Income Tax

            It's grossly unfair for the top n% of taxpayers to pay >n% of total taxes, and even these flat tax proposals going around don't adequately address this grotesque injustice. I suggest that instead of our current "progressive" system or any of these half-assed flat tax rate schemes, we just charge everyone a flat amount.

            Obviously we can't charge children until we get rid of th

          • WOW, they sure are getting a fantastic deal from the US govt. the top 21% of the earners in this country control over 90% of the wealth and yet only pay 55.9% of the taxes.

        • So I laugh whenever some conservative goes off about how America's wealthy are like Atlas, bearing a world of tax burdens on their weary (but capable and compassionate!) shoulders. Let's give them all a hand, and tax cuts!

          While I can't say I'm a supporter of constant tax cuts to the rich (although I will argue as to what classifies as "rich" - here in Australia, for example, "rich" is apparently someone earning more than AU$100k per year, or only about 3x the average wage) typically the top 10% of income e

    • Well at least people in the software industry spend there money more wisely than people in the entertainment industry.

      After all, Gates said he's going to give away all his money to charity before he dies. Most millionaires would spend this money on their childern to have many generations of wealth, fancy cars with spinning rims, or gambling in Las Vegas. I'm sure you've all seen MTV Cribs.

  • And bill bought... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Virtual Karma (862416) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:30PM (#12672683) Homepage
    And bill bought all these [netaction.org]
    • by hacker (14635)
      Too bad that list stops at 1997. I wish there was one that remained current... I'm sure their acquisitions accellerated over the last few years.
  • Giving back (Score:2, Funny)

    by cheesebikini (704119) *
    The most admirable way Microsoft is giving back: allowing us all to us the digits 1 and 0 royalty-free: http://www.huumor.com/joke_1118 [huumor.com]
  • but that just proves they charge too much for their software. But since these are all guys who own stock I guess that is unrelated to income.

    What I don't get is why these people still work. Bill can never "cash out" so he is not really worth that much. If he sold it all the stock would drop big time.

    Of course. If I had several million I would not work and live comfortably on some tropical beach for thr rest of my life. Ok I got 10 million, I am out of here, I could give a damn about my company politices o
    • The same reason some of us would do our jobs for free, as we either enjoy them enough or think they are important enough.
    • by NitsujTPU (19263) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:45PM (#12672776)
      Apparently you don't understand what it means to charge too much.

      Charging too much puts you in the poorhouse. Charging what the market is willing to bear makes you wealthy.

      It sounds to me as if they are charging correctly. Now, if you want to argue that they have monopolist tactics and such, well, you could build an argument, but to say that charging too much made them wealthy merely shows that you are arguing that MS should be some sort of charitable organization.

      I don't think that I would ever go to any company VP (and I know a few) and tell them "You know, we make too much money around here, lets lower prices."
      • I think "they charge too much" is shorthand for, "obviously the market isn't operating very efficiently in this case."

        The fact is that Bill Gates does less work for each dollar "earned" than a welfare recipient does. I'm not saying that as flamebait, I've worked it out and it's true.

        • What does a welfare recipient do that counts as work?

          I'm not saying that to sound insensitive, I've had a couple of friends who were on welfare for a while. Sure, the one went to college, but a couple of them hung around all day playing Everquest.

          I hope that they don't take offense, but I didn't perceive that as work. They eventually got jobs and moved on with their lives. That's what welfare is there fore.
    • "What I don't get is why these people still work."

      Most of us sign on to Microsoft because we *want* to work for Microsoft.

      Although I'm not one of these millionaire people, I know a couple, and they come to work every day because they love their jobs.

      "Bill can never 'cash out' so he is not really worth that much."

      Um.

      He's, uh...

      Well... ...not really hurting for cash. There are limits to how much money you can spend in a day, you know?

      Plus, he worked his ass off to build the company. Why would he want t
  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:36PM (#12672721) Homepage Journal
    Chris Peters bought the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association), while Stephanie DeVaan founded a political action committee and Rich Tong founded Ignition Partners, a VC firm

    Those were the ones that I felt spent their money foolishly. Personally, I planned to make my money really make a difference, so I invested it in RAMBUS's RDRam, SCO's OpenLinux, and those great people at Maui eXtreem that brought us CherryOS, to just name a few. I also have some money in some really rather secret business, but I can tell you this much... apparently a prince somehow somewhere is being locked captive in a sewer ditch, twelve KM outside of Falusia, Iraq, but he managed to get to a terminal somehow, find me, and ask for some assistance. I stand to make millions by helping this individual simply move his money to a safe place. Now that is smart business.

    Soon I will be on TV telling Donald Trump, "YOURE FIRED..... NIGGA!"
    • As long as they don't invest and reinvest in real estate, I don't care. They could have easily bought houses, then resell immediately. Repeated this process until there is a real estate bubble... oh wait....

  • by SeventyBang (858415) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:37PM (#12672727)
    There is around?

    It's time for some of the "special ones" responsible for posting the material to step aside. This is getting more than silly.

    It's time to clean house and boot the idiots.

    It's not fair to those who submit the stories, only to have some moron with special privileges " edit " (mangle) them to make them grammatically incorrect - mostly, because they don't know what they are doing. I have an authoring background worthy of doing this and I'm certain there are others as well.

    It's time to put them out to pasture, but not to stud. We don't need those genes to continue.
  • by Empiric (675968) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:39PM (#12672741)
    For example, former programmer Chris Peters bought the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association)... If you can't beat them... just redefine the value of "splits".
  • Now I know what I want to be when I grow up. A Microsoft Millionaire!

    Thats probably better (but less fun) than my alternative career goal [popealien.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:42PM (#12672762)
    Tried shopping for a house in New York City? Being a millionaire used to mean you were rich. Now it just means you are middle class with some savings.
    • But these are people with a million in liquefiable assets. If you're a property millionaire (like me) you can only realise that money by refinancing your home (bad idea, interest rates are on the up) or selling (err, where would I live, the median price here is $1.2m ?) The M'soft employees can realise a million dollars in real money, that still makes them very wealthy by most standards.
  • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by binkzz (779594)
    1. People make money.
    2. People spend money.
    3. Fascination!

    I thought "and Rich Tong founded Ignition Partners" said Tong founded Ignorance Partners at first, that would have been interesting news.

    • I thought "and Rich Tong founded Ignition Partners" said Tong founded Ignorance Partners at first, that would have been interesting news.

      Sounds like a great business plan to me- seems like these days, ignorance is a growth market. Hell, just selling to Slashdot alone you could make a small fortune.

  • ...but I was too young to even know what a computer is! I guess one must find himself at the right place at the right time...and in this case..."with the right knowledge." What is the next big thing? I am sure I am of age now.
  • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @06:49PM (#12672805) Journal
    ...buying themselves a new soul?
  • by xee (128376) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @07:01PM (#12672872) Journal
    "Bob Wallace [erowid.org] was a software pioneer, the ninth employee at Microsoft, the worlds top amateur neuroscientist, and a visionary philanthropist who laid the financial foundations of The Heffter Research Institute [heffter.org]. He was also one of the most patient and caring people one would ever meet. When he died of pneumonia at an untimely 53, we lost a great and good friend."
    -Heffter [heffter.org]
    Bob Wallace was indeed an incredible character. I was lucky enough to meet him in a USENET group focused on recreational chemicals. He replied to one of my first posts, and I immediately realized there were some amazing people lurking in the USENET. Indeed some great things have come from the micro$oft billion$. Rest in peace, my friend.

    NY Times Obit [erowid.org], A.D.P [google.com]
  • What, no Paul Allen? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @07:04PM (#12672884) Homepage
    They didn't mention Paul Allen, who has managed to botch being a billionare.

    Bill Gates has a hobby business on the side, by the way. It consists of buying up the rights to all the best pictures in the world. [corbis.com]

  • The African pipeline system. I think one of the ultimate feats of engineering and humanitarian events would be to supply fresh water to villiages in Africa. The proposed system would be simple: Create desalinzation plants on the coast and then pipe water inland. The cost of such a system would be astronomical, but when you calculate what you earned in human lives bettered and saved then you can see its one of the best buys ever.
  • Not news. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Phredd (15463)
    Read it. Its not news. It is a liberal "Ra! Ra!", lets all feel good about being liberal story...but news it is not.
  • "According to the story, there is somewhere around 10,000

    You can't fix the subject/predicate to agree on plurality?
  • Remember the old bus mouse that Microsoft sold? It was their very first mouse, and it needed a hardware interface on an ISA card. I reverse-engineered that driver, and made my own hardware interface for the S-100 bus which could talk to that mouse. Along the way, I noticed a secret string in the driver that said "Chris Peters rules OK!". That was back in 1984 or thereabouts. I'm glad to see that Chris has done well for himself.
    -russ
  • by bmwloco (877539) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @08:51PM (#12673408)
    Did anyone read the piece of propaganda? Only the online NY Times site (not in my Sunday NY Times) has the following:

    "Julie Bick is a former Microsoft employee and the author of "The Microsoft Edge." (Pocket Books, 1999). The people she interviewed for this article include some friends and former co-workers."

    Yeesh. Talk about product placement and corporate tail wagging the dog...
  • Keep it hush-hush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @09:53PM (#12673659) Homepage Journal
    But by 2002, she was itching to do more, so she put her wealth to work in support of abortion rights and helped to found a political action committee called Washington Women for Choice.

    Although Republicans are usually pro-business, if it becomes common knowledge that Microsoft employees are dumping money into "abortion rights" groups, that could make the current administration's position on antitrust a lot less friendly towards Microsoft.

    LK
  • by Civil_Disobedient (261825) on Monday May 30, 2005 @12:26AM (#12674319)
    Unfortunately, the original article has disappeared into the aether, but there's an archive.org copy of what happened to the Original Microsoft 11 here:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040202201554/http://w ww.abqtrib.com/archives/business00/041200_microsof t.shtml [archive.org]

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