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Jeremy Paxman, BBC, Interview with Bill Gates 187

Posted by Hemos
from the good-inteviewer dept.
craggyisland writes "One of BBC's top interviewers, Jeremy Paxman, has done an interview with Bill Gates where he "admits his company Microsoft will one day be replaced." Read the article on BBC News Online " The interview will air Oct. 17, but the conversations seems to have ranged from pornography, the DOJ case (of course), and the charities he's involved with.
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Jeremy Paxman, BBC, Interview with Bill Gates

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  • by Effugas (2378) on Friday October 15, 1999 @04:41AM (#1611909) Homepage
    People get angry at Bill for the rather nasty tactics his company uses...like, say, cancelling Compaq's license to sell Windows because they were trying to remove the Internet Explorer icon from the desktop. Or pulling some Soviet Revisionism on that Linux Netshow Player which disappeared off the face of the microsoft.com planet. Or removing critical Knowledge Base entries regarding Samba compatibility.

    Check out any of the Halloween papers. Is he a geek? Yup. There's a definite sense of betrayal and violent tendancies, though, that's accumulated through years of abuses against the industry as a whole.

    The company's behavior gets projected on him, which may or may not be fair.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    http://www.doxpara.com


  • The article says that the interview will run on BBC Two on Sunday at 8pm (UK Slashdotters take note).

    I get BBC World. Anyone have any idea whether it will be on there?
  • >"The thing we're involved with has democratised >communications and anyone can publish on the >internet."
    >Ah, yes. MS taking credit for the internet.

    Bill Gates and Al Gore, pioneering the worlds future!
    heh.. :P
  • I suppose the truly groundbreaking thing here is his writing it on University machines then still managing to sell it, thus saving him development costs ;) Oh, and getting Paul Allen to go all the way down south to sell it while he sat in Seattle playing Poker, then give Paul a minority share.

    Incidentally, didn't he get someone else to code BASIC anyway? So what DID he do exactly, then?

    He's a fair businessman, sure, but I can't see much evidence of his coding abilities.
  • Two things: 1) Standard Oil was in todays market terms bigger than MS. 2) Rockefeller actually ended up RICHER and I mean way RICHER after the break up. Bill is more likely to be quivering in anticipation of the killing he'll make.
  • I don't see it happening with anything short of a programming miracle. Computers operate solely on logic. It'd take a hell of a lot of work to get anything resembling a real "personality" running on a box that only processes 1s and 0s.

    Take a look at Eliezer S. Yudkowsky's remarks about the Singularity [posthuman.com] as well as Ray Kurweil's "The Age Of Spiritual Machines". Both give detailed, smart looks at the coming revolutions in computing, including AI and the "computer personalities" discussed here.

    The Good Reverend
  • Word may be difficult or annoying to use in some instances, but this is a lot different than saying it is trying to influence what you are trying to say, rather than how you are trying to say it. The language or the tools may make it moer difficult or more easy to get your message across, but unless they are specifically filtering your content they don't control your thoughts, despite what you may think.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The most notorious evidence being what happened to Encarta's entry on "Bill Gates." Prior to Microsoft's acquisition of the encyclopedia product, that entry mentioned Gates as being famous for business practices that many considered ruthless and his apparent need to win at any cost. In the first version after the Microsoft acquisition, all that was removed, replaced with mention of how famous Gates was for his donations to charity.
  • by bodl (41794)
    What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas
    and we're not at all involved in how they choose to use it.

    -B.Gates

    Oh yes? The problem with that is that many people probably can't read it. See?
    That's fascism.

    Use an editor.

    PS. Microsoft didn't invent word processors

    .ds MS "The Big Joke
  • Of course I don't. I think my ironic tone doesn't translate into ASCII all that well...
  • I don't understand why everone is 'Gay-basing' Gates and windows. Windows is only second (after apple) in user friendly environments. Everyone in here need to undersant that most people don't work in DOS or Linux or Unix where everything is almost command base. If you need something to happen in linux, you either have read some sort of news group for information or write some sort of script. While it may be customizable for those who can do it, it's frustrating for the other 90 percent of the population. That is why Windows will always rule and linux will always be FREE. Linux doesn't even know whether it should be a windows application or a DOS type application. When Linux is in windows mode, it almost looks like a cross between microsoft windows and apple interface but yet it doesn't want to be known as a windows application. Does everyone hate MS that much that they don't want to copy a good idea. Bottom line --- linux is as confusing to navigate as this website (speaking for the average people). Some people keep crying about how MS is not original or play unfairly. Hey, life sucks and it's business as usual. If all the other applications or business were so great in the first place, MS wouldn't have a chance. Others may talk about how windows crashes so much compared to linux which some say (i highly doubt) never ever crashes ever since they first installed. Even if MS Window crashes often, these are just life little annoyances. I much rather deal with the intuitive nature of windows than with linux. Atleast with windows, I can start an application by clicking on something. While in linux, I would probably have to type in some dumb command or run some script I don't understand. Oh yea, My netscape doesn't crash in MS windows! My personal opinion: Linux may be favored in the nerd techie arena, but out here in the real world, people use windows. MS Windows will always crash and people will pay 100 for it because it's more convenient. Linux will always be free. Let me ask all you linux fans -- If you had to buy linux for 100 dollars and MS window was free, which one would you favor? Not Linux. A free thing is always a good thing b/c it's free. People tend to criticize things that they have paid for. Lay off windows people.
  • ``he was the first, or perhaps one of the first, to charge for software.''

    Only if you believe that the first computer was the IBM PC.

    Everyone was charging for software for a long time before that. A former boss was part of a team that wrote their own OS for an IBM 370 (or was a 360,... can't remember now) because IBM's was way too expensive. DEC certainly charged for their PDP-11 OSs.

    ``Free'' software was certainly available. Some of it even came from vendors (the DEC contributions to the DECUS library come to mind) but I would say that the vast majority of it did not come from the systems vendors.

  • So are we going to get also scrollbars that see in advance which part of those _damned_ fixed width dialog windows the user wants to see? Scrollbars are elevators, after all :-)

    At least, it would be useful. But no, I wouldn't like scrollbars going on strike and feel depressed because they only go up and down (or left and right).

  • What nasty questions can you ask? What is really going to irk Bill? To be honest, I don't think he really has any area that would bother him in the same way as a politician . . i.e., "So Bill, I'm told linux could destroy Windows and take your company down with it. What do you think about that?" Bill spouts some marketdroid rubbish, etc., but the truth would be "Well, I've made my millions, so I don't really care anymore". You can't crack someone like that, he's footloose and fancy-free.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please, these are valid observations, and probably echo those of most /. readers. Maybe moderation needs to add "improperly classified" to the list of options, in addition to "over/underrated" so that moderators can change the classification of the posts content without changing the post's score.

  • Sometimes Paxman does wimp out.. he's better at scaring politicians. We'll see what he does on Sunday then.

    There was a good Jon Snow interview with Billy-Boy a few months back. Snow did a pretty nice job of making Bill out to be the devil. Let's see how well Paxman does it.
  • OK, point, but I still wanted to see him squirm.

    "So Bill, I understand that you're a soulless marketer who has abandoned his inner geek and given in to sheer greed. How has this affected your view of emerging technologies?"

    Or Something.
  • Mainly because he operate his business with cuthroat, vicious tactics and has no compunctions about lying, slandering and misleading. Or at least his organization doesnt.
    Not to mention that MS's software has been directly responsible for wasting millions of hours in what otherwise could have been useful time - Windows DOES NOT WORK RIGHT and neither do scores of thier applications. Have you noticed this? I sure did. I installed linux 2 days ago after my Win98 system developed a habit of suddenly rebooting everytime I opened my CD drive.
    If I owned 20% of a company like that, I would be ashamed of myself for not fixing IT!!! THEY SUCK!!!

    thats why.

    I wanted to add, I am free to use any catsup I please - if 90% of all french fries were incompatible with any condiment other than Heinz Brand, i would be pissed. Or maybe just use green chile sauce.


  • Isn't this just MicroSoft Bob with voice instead of text bubbles? Will it sell this time? Can we disable these little buddies (I can't figure out how to disable the clip in Word. I've been told it can't be done).

    Speaking of buddies, my wife runs a program that has a talking parrot that read webpages out lout while she does stuff and tells her about other webpages that she may be interested in based on what pages she's been to (it also has some "my portal" type service). I wonder if Bill is thinking of buying the technology from them or just crushing them.

    Wishing I could remember the name of that program

  • The comment you have remind me stupid date trader that post idiotic comment on yahoo board. You call donating money to minority racist. Personally , I am not too high on Bill Gate, but you are just so low. Next time do some significant yourself before critizing others.
  • Was that hefty pullout truly editorial, or was it an advertising section clearly funded by Microsoft?

    I thought that pullout was the advertisement that made the paper free, and surely is no different from, say, any newspaper selling a pullout section of coupons from the local market.

    I have no doubt that Murdoch shapes and pollutes the minds of his readers, but his readers are self-selected - the people who buy the paper are the people who agree with his basic viewpoint. Those who don't can always buy the Guardian. In that context, I think Murdoch's role is relatively benign.

    The real problem with Microsoft is that it's making a concerted effort to be the world's only software company. I don't see Murdoch as even coming close to that. Within the Murdochian universe, you will always be able to buy a competitor's paper.

    D

    ----
  • Um, did you sleep through the whole satellite and cable TV thing here in the UK?

    Sure, nearly all the other channels are worthless shit, but that's what happens when you get large numbers of channels, due to split advertising revenues.

  • I can't wait to see this, expecially the part where Paxman asks him if he's "serious" about selectable computer personalities.

    Personally, I don't see Gates getting too far on University Challenge...
  • I don't know. Obviously he makes some solid contributions that are right in line with most charities - for this I commend him. By the same token I despise him for simultaniously using the organization as a cover to promote MS products in a way that the DOJ wouldn't want to touch for fear of incurring bad publicity.

    Factoring this in, how can you tell whether he's genuinely interested in helping improve people's lives.. or his own bottom line? Given Mr. Gates' previous history, I tend to take the most pessimistic view possible in this matter.. to the detriment of my karma score it would seem. :) Without all the financial data, neither of us can claim that we're right.

    --

  • MS, yes they make software, they claim that they don't control the content.. But thats false..

    MS creates the 'presses' that print the newspapers. Tell me that's not a position of power? All they have to do to anyone is to withhold their presses, to not sell them, or to put in backdoors.



  • I think that's probably just a reflection of Paxman's limited knowledge of comnputing in general. I would imagine this is possible pretty soon anyway, so Bill has a good point here.
  • "Someone who owns a newspaper can pick up the phone to editor and say 'run headlines I like'."

    And someone who is the biggest advertiser in a magazine can cancel all his advertising, to punish them for printing negative things about his products.

    Microsoft has actually done this. Is there freedom of the (trade) press when someone has a monopoly? No.

  • Computers with personalities? Why am I slightly concerned by the idea of Microsoft making semi intelligent computers in the future with personalities? Right now there's programs that wont work on the computer without IE 4.0 or whatever, wouldn't it be a bummer if a Microsoft personality said "I don't like Word Perfect, you should use office" and stopped it from being installed? (Granted, that'd probably violate more laws, but since when has that stopped MS?:)

  • If you need something to happen in linux, you either have read some sort of news group for information or write some sort of script.
    I use KDE and point and click in an even easier to use environment than Windows. I don't understand your point.

    When Linux is in windows mode, it almost looks like a cross between microsoft windows and apple interface
    There are about 20 different window managers for Linux, which are you talking about.

    but yet it doesn't want to be known as a windows application.
    What the hell does this mean? Linux is an Operating System, how can it be a Windows application? If you don't understand the difference than you have no right to post to a technology group like Slashdot.

    Does everyone hate MS that much that they don't want to copy a good idea.
    First of all the MS style user interface is a copy off of Apple which copied of Xerox and for your information UNIX had a GUI before MS did. Check the dates on the Athena widget set copyrights.
    Secondly copying the "windows" feel is what KDE and Gnome are doing, and they are doing it so well that schools in Mexico now use Gnome/Linux boxes instead of Windows or Macintosh machines. Please don't speak unless you know what you are talking about

    Others may talk about how windows crashes so much compared to linux which some say (i highly doubt) never ever crashes ever since they first installed
    This proves that you have never used Linux and are unqualified to talk about it. Secondly my Linux box has been up for two years and hasn't crashed. X11 has crashed but I simply hit ctrl-alt-backspace and I am back in console mode and can start X again. If using Windows 95 or NT you would have to reboot. Some linux boxes however have been up for many years. That is why UNIX powers something like 80% of the internet.

    At least with windows, I can start an application by clicking on something. While in linux, I would probably have to type in some dumb command or run some script I don't understand.
    I start EVERY application by clicking on something, whether it is KDE's start menu or my desktop icons. I delete things by dragging the Icon to the trash, I print things by dragging the icon on top of my printer icon. In fact with KDE or gnome you have more than one desktop and it is alot cleaner to navigate opened programs than windows because each app can run on a seperate desktop, you don't have to constantly close/open windows to get to the desktop icons either.

    Oh yea, My netscape doesn't crash in MS windows!
    Oh gee, guess what, my netscape doesn't crash in linux either! besides earlier you said crashing was just one of lifes little annoyances. And now having one application that crashes as compared to having an OS that crashes is a bad thing? Make up your mind!

    If you had to buy linux for 100 dollars and MS window was free, which one would you favor? Not Linux.
    I paid $50 dollars for Linux as did most everyone else. If it was $100 yes I would pay it, because I get all the updates I want for free. Windows isn't $100 it is $1000's of dollars because every two or three years you have to pay another $100

    A free thing is always a good thing b/c it's free. People tend to criticize things that they have paid for.
    I paid for Linux, I very seldom (if ever) criticize it.

    In closing I would just like to say that I have a 16 year old sister that doesn't even understand the concept of a file format, yet she finds her way around KDE without any problem whatsoever. The poster of the parent to this if confused by KDE and indeed the Slashdot website must have an IQ somewhere around that of a piece of brocolli.

    I sincerely apologize to all those people reading that have learned to walk upright for responding to this obvious troll. It's just that the stuff he was saying was to stupid not to say something, you know?

  • He adds: "Someone who owns a newspaper can pick up the phone to editor and say 'run headlines I like'. What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas"
    Yeah. Bill doesn't ring me up and tell me to replace MHz with Mhz. Word goes ahead and does it for him.


    [Billy]claims never to have heard a Bill Gates joke.
    No! Really? "Say, Bill, I heard a good one the other day."
    Fifteen minutes later your dog's head is in your bed and someone's installed W98 on all your machines.
  • Actually, I would pay $100 for Linux... I was
    seriously considering picking up 'coherent' or whatever the $100 unix-a-like was before Linux stormed the scene.

    Anyway, a quick comparison...

    1:
    Windows is a GUI running on top of DOS.

    Linux w/Xwindows is a GUI running on top of, well, Linux.

    2:
    Windows stores its system parameters in an easily corrupted and largely undocumented 'registry,' except when it stores them in an 'INI' file.

    Linux stores its parameters in a scattering of thoroughly, if arcanely, documented text files.

    3:
    Windows provides an point-and-click interface to some systems settings through the 'control panel,' and to other systems settings in a scattering of controls in the various desktop tools (see User Interface Hall of Shame).

    Linux provides a variety of point-and-click interfaces to systems settings, depending on your distribution, KDE/Gnome/Window Manager choice, etc. I'm not really sure how mature any of these tools are since I don't use them, but we can give the point to Windows for the sake of argument.

    4:
    Windows requires you to use the GUI/Mouse for many of the common operations.

    Linux requires you to use the command line for many of the more obscure operations.

    5:
    Windows has lots of useful commercial software, but little, and often poorly ported, freeware.

    Linux has lots of useful freeware, but little,
    though usually properly ported, commercial software.

    6:
    Windows crashes frequently.

    Linux rarely crashes.

    7:
    Windows is supported by hordes of trolls.

    Linux is supported by hordes of flamers.

    Summary: 1 is a tie, 2 is a marginal victory for Linux, 3 is a matter of preference, 4 is a matter of preference, 5 is a matter of preference, 6 is a clear victory for Linux, and 7 is a major blow to both sides.

    Thank you, but your points are invalid and unsubstantiated, please move along.
  • Windows may be blue out of the box, but there are ways to make it much more happy. At least the part [pla-netx.com] of it you see most...

    -
    /. is like a steer's horns, a point here, a point there and a lot of bull in between.
  • This article has inspired me to new artistic heights...

    the big software man
    he's scary rich and truly
    thinks he earned it all

    (and yes, tounge firmly in cheek on that "artistic heights" thing)

    Freakho
  • You could spend the next week in a hotel or something and hope that it comes on the b****y awful BBC World?

    jsm
  • to paraphrase Henry Ford:

    "One of the things you will be able to select is the personality," Gates tells his interviewer.

    "You're not serious?," Mr Paxman asks.

    "As long as it's Bob," answered the squeaky one.

  • Bill Gates is often described as being in his own world. Finally we have proof:

    ...outlines his vision of the technological future and claims never to have heard a Bill Gates joke.

    Now, really. You don't have to go far to hear a Bill Gates joke. He must REALLY be isolated on his little perch with his VPs around him.

    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • by dougman (908) on Friday October 15, 1999 @04:56AM (#1611952)
    Yes, yes, your old pal the DougMan has in fact secured the currently-unreleased transcript of the Bill Gates interview conducted by our good friend Mr. Paxman. And it seems likely to THIS secret agent that some of this interview will never see the light of day...so to whet everyone's appetite, here is what will probably be a lost snippet from the interview, never meant to see the light of day... (lights please)...

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: Microsoft is innovating in many ways.

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: Microsoft is an innovator in baby seal technology.

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: Microsoft has made the lives of many baby seals easier with its technological innovations.

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: (long pause, no answer)

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: Windows 2000 will enable baby seals everywhere to enjoy the benefits of Active Directory technology.

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: In the future, baby seals will be able to talk to their PCs , and the PCs will talk back.

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: Eventually, all baby seals will be replaced.

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: (nervous twitch, long pause)

    Paxman: Have you ever clubbed a baby seal?

    Gates: (violent shaking, Gates, falls to the floor and suffers a grand mal seizure. After being tended to by medics he gets back up and sits down.)

    Paxman: I'll take that as a yes. Have you ever kidnapped babies and sold them on eBay?



    There it is folks, a world exclusive. Don't share this with anyone!


  • the BBC may wait to put up the good stuff until the interview has been aired..
  • I got the impression that the BBC Online "article" is basically just a teaser for the broadcast interview on Sunday ... as written it's a very general and woolly overview.

    Hopefully Paxo will be on form when we get to see the real thing. :-)

  • MS creates the 'presses' that print the newspapers. Tell me that's not a position of power? All they have to do to anyone is to withhold their presses, to not sell them, or to put in backdoors.

    Except for the bottom line that this is genuinely antithetical to Microsoft's culture--yes, this is unethical even to them. Can you even concieve of a remotely relevant time they've been anything but content neutral? Hell, the worst I've heard of them doing is being a bit slaverish on the Bill Gates section of Expedia. But that's to be expected--for crying out loud, the man is worshipped at Microsoft, and you'd expect the same stuff towards Larry Ellison at Oracle or (especially) Steve Jobs at Apple.

    (Then again, even I, former Apple IIgs geek, have to begrudgingly respect Apple for its come back from the dead recovery, seemingly at the hands of Jobs.)

    This isn't Microsoft's Motif. They don't care what you print on the presses, as long as the presses are theirs. That's it.
  • I think the Murdoch angle is interesting. Murdoch thinks Gates wants to take over the world. Gates says he doesn't want to take over the world, but then he says how they have changed the world. Murdoch like anyone infringing on his turf, and I think this statement proves Murdoch's point to a degree. I think Gates trys to do whats good for the society and make money at the same time. He is just a real smart guy with the resources in the right place at the right time. Too bad his thinking about what would be good for society is so different from the rest of us. He would not turn down the title of King of the world if the nations declared their loyalty. Hehe theres a Y2K nightmare for yah.
  • Let's not forget that many people thought that 4K basic was impossible...
  • Aparently gates does that all the time.
    He may be over 40, but he's still childish in a pretty cool kind of way for the world's richest man.
    He also ordered spray cheese and coke in the DOJ interview.

    I think he's cool :)
  • I've made some significant donations (for me, anyway) to VA Research and ASL Workstations. I am very much a Linux enthusiast. I'm saving tons of money, and getting excellent quality software.

    But I am a recent convert. Why? Because Linux, at least in the backwaters I happen to frequent, wasn't even on radar until recently.

    Yes, I'll admit it, I've spent a lot of my life running DOS, Windows, Windows 95, NT, etc. Why? Because for the money I had (then as now, now much), it did the job.

    What else was there? Macs? Cost too much. FreeBSD? Some other *nix? Running on what and doing what?

    Microsoft made a product people wanted, and in the market segment they targeted (the bottom of the pyramid), they had little real competition. And that market segment was enormous. And they got enormously rich.

    And who was in the "glass house" then?

    So now Linux is in the same space. I'm glad. I really am. But the comments I'm reading here annoy me in exactly the way that Microsoft does. A lot of arrogant testosterone-laden chest thumping. I'm even reading that Microsoft Word, by virtue of its design, is distorting people's thoughts as they are put into words. Someone's been smoking some fatties, that's for sure.

    I'm really not trying to incite a flame war, but even Linus himself admits that Linux has to make better progress on the desktop. Maybe other people interpret this differently, but the desktop to me is, well, let's see: word processing, spreadsheets, CADD (give me a real CADD package in Linux, please!!!), and so on. Who's the competition here? Who's on top?

    Sure, you can do most anything you'd like w/ Linux. You can. My mom can't. And I bet yours can't either. Do you care? I do.

    Have some humility.

    Linux will be big and important. So grow up. Don't repeat the past.
  • OK, and what is MSNBC again? I'm not saying he manipulates headlines, but to claim it's not like a newspaper... is like claiming Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly.

    hmm, you say that like they haven't claimed that....

    Jeff

  • Paxman only plays hardball with certain politicians, depending on the BBC's bias at the time. I've seen him turn into a complete big girls blouse when interviewing certain Cabinet ministers.
    I'd love to see Bill interviewed by a total animal like Clive Anderson (anybody remember him completely taking apart Jeffery Archer a while back?), or a terrier like Raj Persaud. But how much of the interview do you think the Micro$lop spin doctors will leave on the cutting floor, even if Paxman does have a workout on Barking Billy?
    And I'll bet this is never mentioned in any interview, but it's a great link. [pla-netx.com]
  • The Blue Screen Of Death - what other operating system has the BSOD?

    Oh, be fair. The BSOD is just a cheap rip-off of the Amiga's Guru Meditation Number.

  • I think it might have been to charge a fee per computer for the privilege to include MS-DOS preinstalled so that users can use the computer after unpacking it and pulling out hairs learning DOS.

    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • Well, in fairness, the article looks more like a teaser for the segment on BBC-2 than a report on the interview per se. So, it's not too surprising that it's short on "useful information". They want you to tune in to the interview.


    As a side note, I had the opportunity to see Bill Gates speak when he came to Indiana University, and I have to confess that he is a compelling speaker. He can seriously turn on the charm when he wants to. Whatever you think of Microsoft or Gates himself, it's sure to be interesting viewing; tune in if you possibly can.

  • by cliffski (65094) on Friday October 15, 1999 @05:08AM (#1611973) Homepage
    Everyone seems to slam Bill gates but at the end of the day, hes a capitalist in a capitalist system, playing by that systems rules and winning. If you want an alternative system then fine, but dont knock bill for being too good at the game. Microsoft fights dirty, just like all small young eager companies do, they just get the hunger beaten out of them when they get older. If you had a chum running a little software company who fought just as eagerly for his company as Bill did, yet only tunred over $50k youd think he was an underground geek hero. The fact that this particular geek won big time shouldnt change that.
    I applaud Bill gates, hes one of the only hugely rich guys who is one of us (hes a coder just like most of us geeks).
    And BTW, I have 2 windows machines at home that never NEVER crash, despite one being used as a development environment. I may get flamed for this, but Windows98 is as stable as any other operating system ive seen...

    Cliffski
  • I have to say that I create text files in notepad when working in windows because I hate working around the preformatting commands in Word.

    But to their credit, if you take the time working through all the options you can usually turn all that stuff off and create a pretty decent text editor.

  • First off, CHILL with the all caps, and 2nd, read your history. He took every idea (and this isn't something we /.ers made up) he ever had from people who didn't see their value and basically gave them to him. His one skill is foresight, which is deserving of some respect, surely, but there are lots of people who have had geater foresight than he and never received, and occaisionally never even asked for, rewards. Add to that that he takes credit for just about every innovation in computing exept for the transistor and you may begin to see where this dislike came from. 'Kay?

    Freakho
  • Hey, I wonder if we could get Channel 4 to persuade him to do an interview with Mark Thomas? ;-)
  • And I'll bet this is never mentioned in any interview, but it's a great link.

    Actually the anti-IE page works pretty good in IE....Hey, stop formatting my hard drive!
  • This is rediculious. Seeing as billg makes the word processor, hasnt anyone thought that he could have the power to sensor Murdock's newspapers with just afew clicks of his mouse?

    And that brings up a new point, what happens when the world moves online, to read electronic news papers? What happens if billg changes the license agreement that comes with ie4/5 so that you can only use it for free if you do not go outside the MSN ?

    Looking at what has been happening recently - lobbying budget cuts for DOJ, copying that web traval agency, and now this - you can see that billg has an agenda, and with his wallet buldging out of his pants (he was nervous coz he thought someone would rob him for it) he could do anything he dreams.
  • > Ah, yes. MS taking credit for the internet.

    Al Gore will be upset.

    -joe-
  • The Interview seems pretty sterile, some have commented on bill's comments re: the downfall of microsoft, not sure if this has been mentioned, but i read one of his NY Times editorials over 2 years ago stating that fact, nothing new here, move along....
    As usual the /.'ers pick on minor sentence and flame away, seemingly oblivioius to the prostitution of linux. When Corel violated the GPL, people were tripping over themselves trying to explain that away, and how those of us in the industry should be understanding..heh, yeah....Now corel's president is brought up on charges in canada.

    Is it just me or is Robert Young just as repulsive as bill? The main difference is ryoung is sluttin' himself out in an industry that bill was instrumental in building...

    Slime is a flameproof substance
  • linux zealot? i just installed linux for the first time 2 days ago.
  • also, i must mention...
    my brother reinstalled windows at the same time as I installed redhat, and he had crashed 3 times , having to turn his comp. off and on, before I had even rebooted to see what it was like in linux.
    My sound worked instantly. He had to screw with IRQs. My network card worked instantly. He had to configure it and reboot 3 times. etc. etc.
    I am very impressed with linux/gnome on my first few days! so die.
  • Outside of the computer press(this includes computer sections of mainstream press), MS exerts almost zero influence. [...] He feels Murdoch works to pollute and shape the minds of his readers.

    On the day Windows 95 was launched, MS payed News International (owned by one Rupert Murdoch, and my current employer) to sponsor The Times, one of the UK's most respected papers, for a day -- basically the paper was free for that one day. Coincidentally, The Times chose to run a hefty pullout section that day about Windows 95, in which it claimed Bill Gates was globally accepted as being the most brilliant programmer of his generation. Still think MS doesn't have influence over the mainstream press? This one incident appalled and disgusted me, but it did make me realise just how much money talks... Oh, and by the way, I won't deny that Murdoch shapes and pollutes the minds of his readers. He blatantly does, but then again, the sort of people that read The Sun don't have much of a mind to start with :-)

  • I'm kinda curious--when was the last time a major media outlet criticized(or at least reported negatively) about a parent company? MSNBC has delivered significant praise to Linux, and I believe has at least truthfully reported on the DoJ lawsuit. I wonder how often this could be said about the media world.

    This is just my perception, but could be true. When MSNBC first came on air, they also seemed to be a mouthpeice for MS. Which is exactly what everyone expected. At an amazingly fast pace they seemed to have changed their policies, talking in the matter of days. So most likly they figured out that they could never been taken as a serious news source as long as they where influenced by ownership and advertisers. They seem to be following this new policy rather well, and I have alot of repect for them, and glad they realized they wouldn't last following the old model.
  • "... how can this be with your companies' track record of pressuring small, innovative companies to either not compete or be absorbed into M$? Your currently on trial just for the behavior of leveraging a near monopoly in one area, and the vast profits derived from that monopoly, to effectively squelch anyone who could conceviably challange that monopoly? So far the pattern has been M$ finds themselves behind in some area, such as Internetworking, which was barely mentioned in your book "The Road Ahead", and then scrambles to catch up and take over. Companies such as Netscape and AOL's Instant Messaging come to mind as OTHER people's innovations re-appropriated by leveraging your desktop monopoly, and creating the misleading impression amongst non-computer industry customers that there were somehow M$ creations. By the way, Bill - how come our accounts payable PC suddenly can't read email due to a registry error? Do you think the time and costs spent by customers cleaning up M$ 'bit rot' unfairly contributes to the profits of your company, especially considering that your products are 'closed-proprietary' making them even more difficult to troubleshoot and repair?"

    I could go on and on ....
    Chuck
  • Wow. So now Windows can come in multiple colors too! Blueberry, Cherry, Orange, Grape...
  • Hasn't anyone ever been looking upon what Microsoft has been doing ever since it started as a company?

    Juln hit it on the dot: they don't create new and wonderful things! They steal ideas!

    As Juln said, DOS was bought for a steal. It was never created by Microsoft.

    The interent? Back four years ago, Microsoft NEVER REGUARDED the internet as a growing innovation! In fact, they were focusing on the technology of CD-ROM drives! It wasn't until three years ago that they reguarded the internet as a valuable commodity in the growing computer world! What did they do then? They put out a browser and drilled it into their operating system so that everyone in the world who used Windows used the Windows browser (doesn't sound like innovation to me...rather, shrewd business practices)!

    Even Windows itself was just a program stolen from Apple (which in fact, stole it from Xerox, but that's beside the point)! The point is, Microsoft doesn't create, it seeks, finds, and conquers.

    Oh, and one other thing...

    "What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas and we're not at all involved in how they choose to use it."

    That'll go right next to my "640K of memory aught to be enough for everybody." quote!

  • It's phonetics. Slur a well known Redmond company's name and you get....
    Micro$lop!!!
    Descriptive IMHO, as well...
    And I thought all you 37337 /. h4X0r dudes had a penchant for transliteration and wordplay...
    Read ESR's definition on hackers, it's lurking somewhere at Tuxedo [tuxedo.org]
  • I was there and still have the Altair - it was an aweful machine, and MITS had lots of problems keeping up with demand. Two things: 4K BASIC for the altair cost $150! That's almost 4 cents a byte! No wonder all us hardware hackers just pirated copies so we could play 'startrek'. Also, when MITS was tanking, Pertec bought them out under the mistaken impression that they were also buying the MITS Basic software - wrongo! It's been a career of backstab, slash & burn ever since.
    Boy, it must be nice to have lawers and bankers in the immediate family - you could screw up anybody you want. Both MITS and pertec made the mistake of trusting the boy genie-ass enfant-terrible.

    Chuck
  • >Honestly, I think that's how they keep the >company together. "Where do you want to go >today...because we're going to be the one's to >take you there; we're not letting you out." Can't agree with this more. In my opinion, M$ shares somewhat the same point of view like that only left so-called communism government in the eastern Asian -- they believe that their belief is the people's belief, and hell, they are gonna take all people toward their utopia no matter what costs!
  • First off, your generalizing. I don't believe many people actually and TRULY hate.. to the point where they'd track him down and destroy his existance.

    Now, I am not envious of him. Concerning *general* business, I am quite happy that the computer industry has blossomed. However, I think that Microsoft has been especially cruel.

    It's a fairly well known fact that ms paid off editors, columnist, and users to write starbright columns and letters during the OS/2 - Windows wars. Infact, I have read some columns (deep in the back of computerworld and pc-week) that hint extremly strongly at this. Some people have even publically regretted this.

    Secondly, his company is trying to do everything!! They want to write ALL software.. if they could. Actually, they want to write all the software that makes the most money. And they've done a damn good job. They'll leave the scraps on the floor.. literally.

    As from an open source position... well, he don't have no source. MS s/w is generally bad (exception being Office). MS intentionally tries to subvert every standards process.. (recent PATENTING of the W3C CSS is an example. This was an open committee.) and 2/3 of every standard they produce is hodge-podge. (Samba, Direct3D.. exception is dhcp).

    Ohh yeah..
    "Remember his work with the Altair? Man! that's more grassroots than LINUX every was!" I doubt the Altair had over 10,000 users at any one time. No, my friend, linux is bigger than all of us! l8r

  • Okay. So you don't have to like his business practices, or the products he releases. But he's still a philanthropist. I seriously get pissed off when people feel the need to make fun of someone who tries to help people -- by making fun of the fact that he IS trying to help people.

    Please don't get me wrong. I don't like MS. I don't like Windows. I don't like Office. I don't like a 400 (default install) meg OS that could be compressed into a very secure, *very* stable 100 meg OS if it were open source. But I like the fact that the man behind it is giving away a portion of his income to those less fortunate.

    You may speak that this is a guise, something to dress up a monster. But at least he's helping people. When was the last time you wrote a check for charity, and not because you were asked, but just because you did it to truly help?

    And it was founded in 1994, before even Win95 came out. Win 3.1 wasn't that great of a product, neither was DOS, but they were easy to use. Back then MS didn't have a stranglehold in applications or operating systems (I think back then WordPerfect had like, what, a 75% share of all word processing applications? I could be wrong though, but I remember old IBM XT's in my high school computer lab running some very old version of Word Perfect on Dos 3.x)

    I'll paraphrase the only other thing Gates said that I liked, and fully agreed with: At least we don't have someone like Rupert Murdoch selling us an operating system. *Shudder*
  • I use the little "mother earth" planet or whatever it is called. It's so much less annoying than the original paperclip. Its only available on Office 2000 though, not any of the earlier tries. I particularly like how it blows volcanoes when it REALLY wants my attention.
  • Microsoft was probably (im not 100% sure) the first software company. Up to then, commercial software had only (?) been produced by hardware companies, as a component of their hardware.
    Commercial software for microcomputers (again not 100% sure). Before the Apple II, microsoft already made commercial software for microcomputers. I would not be surprised if they were one of the first.
    Microsoft had the vision not to sell DOS to IBM, but to license it, specifically reserving the right to license it to other harware vendors as well. This allowed them to fully profit from the IBM clone.
    DOS being readily available for IBM clones built by anyone, certainly played a part in the popularity of the PC. Again, not the technical merits of DOS, but the way it was marketed was responible for this.
    So, although microsoft is not known for cutting edge technological innovation, they sure have shaped/pioneered the business of marketing software. Although most slashdot readers will liken this sort of innovation to the novel design of the guillotine.

    -----
  • okay , you irritated me enough that I have one more response...

    I dont think IE5 OR netscape is the best browser around. I prefer Opera, thanks very much, and am fooling nobody by holding this belief, myself included.
  • ..especially since subtlety rarely even registers as a blip on my mental radar unless I'm talking to someone in person (or even on the phone), since I usually rely on my empathic nature to communicate with others effectively. ;)

  • This won't get read, but anyway -
    remember last year when Microsoft came out with its light-based mouse? Anyone notice its just because Sun's patent on it expired shortly before...
  • It was not one of Paxman's probing inquisitions. I think the comment about Paxman not having the technical background to probe beyond the initial question is right. For example, there was a question about people having to upgrade when Microsoft release a new version, Gates responded by saying that Microsoft have to make the new version much better so that people choose to upgrade, users can carry on using the old version if they want to. Paxman did not raise the issue of compatibility that forces everyone in a group that exchanges documents to upgrade when one does. This may have been Paxman's lack of background information, or it may have been considered too difficult for the audience, but is was a missed opportunity to probe in a place where users are affected.

    The other problem, of course, is that, unlike a politician, Gates does not need to convince the public to vote for him. The kind of searching interview Paxman inflicts on politicians would not really make any difference to anything. Making Gates uncomfortable for a few minutes would not magically break up Microsoft or force them to publish their internal APIs or file formats, or give people some other products they could buy instead.

    On the whole, I think the interview was a waste of time.
  • There is no need to call names or degrade someone for there opinion. While I admit that I do not know a lot about Linux, nor do I know a lot about different OS. As I did mentioned in my last message, I only speak for the average person on this planet. I think that is about 5 point something billion people who would prefer MS. How arrogant of you to claim that you and any one who uses Linux is smarter than a piece of brocolli. More power to you. What little experience I have with linux has been nothing but frustration. For example, we had to use a software at school which for some reason runs on these Linux platform. To get into it, I have to login with my user name, then run some sort of script someone else wrote just so that the windows can be shown correctly. you either run this script or write your own. How many people besides the one in here knows how to write script? Gee, probably you and everyone who actually understand what KDE/Gnome means. Maybe your 16 year old sister were ble to use KDE so easily, because she had all of her script written for her along with all the command line driven interface. When she actually go to college and she had to log into the Linux system, will she find KDE as easily accessible or will she even find KDE at all. I certainly didn't. I know, I think she will she something like, Linux> and then she will go home and ask you what happened to KDE. I don't know what kind of Linux every one is using but the one i need to use at school only has a Linux prompt. Hmmm, maybe there are too many differenct kinds of linux around. Now I understand why linux is a little confusing and is not the choice of 5 point something billion people. Last word: Please stop flaming Windows and Bill Gates. Windows is a great thing even with flaws. Bill Gates can be blame as not being original, but hey he has billions of dollars and he doesn't kill or harm anyone, he just does business. I think they will be a great philanthropist one of these days. They already pledged 1 billion to education. JohnG, maybe ur sister will benefit from it. Maybe people should Leave Gates and Windows alone. I am sick of people crying about how he is unfair and about windoze. I WANT THANK PARITY FOR HIS COMMENT, VERY COOL COMPARISON. I AGREE!
  • I just have one question. You keep talking about a script to start X-11. Have you EVER used Windows before 95? Windows 3.1 (and Windows95 actually) required you to type 'win' from a DOS prompt to start windows. Did you write the 'win' script? what is the difference between typing 'win' and typeing 'startx' ? I don't understand your point.
    Besides if it is such a big deal to you just tell Linux to boot directly into X-windows botta bing botta bang problem solved (actually the new OpenLinux distro does the automatically)
    As far as leaving Bill Gates' worthless arse alone, I'll leave him alone when he leaves me alone, so far because of him and his monopolistic business practices I as a Linux or my neighbor as a Macintosh user, don't have all the same liberties that Windows users do. If Bill "SCUM" Gates actually gave a DAMN about the computing world then he would at least pretend to support cross-platform solutions (no, Win95 and WinNT don't count as cross-platform)

  • Juln writes:
    Lets see... he bought DOS from someone else, had the
    personal computer market handed to him on a platter through his mother
    sitting on a bank board with the then-chairman of IBM, and has since
    then been one of the biggest thieves of intellectual property in the
    industry.


    Well, Gates didn't lie: these moves *did* revolutionise the industry...

  • Gates claims that his business is "not like owning a newspaper". He adds: "Someone who owns a newspaper can pick up the phone to the editor and say 'run headlines I like'.

    OK, and what is MSNBC again? I'm not saying he manipulates headlines, but to claim it's not like a newspaper... is like claiming Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly.

  • I submitted this to Slashdot as a story, but it was rejected, but it is quite relevant to this story:

    The Ayn Rand Institute [aynrand.org] is a firm believer that the excercise of anti-trust law in the DoJ trial against Microsoft is immoral, and that "Bill Gates, no less than the poorest citizen, has the rights to his property and his pursuit of happiness."

    Economist Richard Salsman (whom, I assume, represents the Institute), will be explaining the Institute's position with regard to Microsoft in a talk entitled "The Lynching of Microsoft" at Carnegie Mellon University (in Pittsburgh, PA) on October 21st at 8:00 PM in Wean Hall 7500.

  • This reads like a MS press release. I know Paxman is usually a fairly hard-hitting, real question-asking reporter, not some panty-waist wimp. Why is it that there is no useful information in the article?
    The article makes it sound almost scripted.
  • > He acknowledges that someone may be working on
    > the type of ground-breaking innovation he came
    > up with in the 1970s to revolutionise the
    > industry.

    Ground-breaking innovation? Isn't this the guy who *bought* the initial version of Disk Operating System from some guy in Seattle, fancied it up, and sold it to IBM for their PC?

    Maybe "innovation" in business practices (ahem) but certainly not in computer technology!
  • by Juln (41313) on Friday October 15, 1999 @04:22AM (#1612043) Homepage Journal
    He acknowledges that someone may be working opn the type of ground-breaking innovation he came up with in the late 70's to revolutionize the industry

    Does anyone know what that was? I dont seem to recall anything of the sort happening. Lets see... he bought DOS from someone else, had the personal computer market handed to him on a platter through his mother sitting on a bank board with the then-chairman of IBM, and has since then been one of the biggest thieves of intellectual property in the industry.

    "The thing we're involved with has democratised communications and anyone can publish on the internet."

    Ah, yes. MS taking credit for the internet.

    Operating the computer by speaking to it is also likely in the near future, and the computer will answer back. "One of the things you will be able to select is the personality," Gates tells his interviewer

    I would love to see them try this, but would hate to try to use it! Anyone else seen the chillingly horrible talking parrot for outlook? And you thought the winking paper clip was abominable.

    Just had to respond to some of that.

  • Are they going to give credit to those who asked the questions? I only have 12 channels, and I don't think that I get BBC, is there a way to get a transcript?


    My favorite part:

    Internet Links
    Microsoft

    The BBC is not responsible for
    the content of external internet
    sites.


    I wouldn't want to be responsible for that either. :-)


    Steven Rostedt
  • He acknowledges that someone may be working on the type of ground-breaking innovation he came up with in the 1970s to revolutionise the industry.

    WHAT IS IT? I've been asking this for years, and I keep hearing about his wonderful innovations, and have yet to hear ONE!!!!!

  • Actually, Microsoft Basic was developed on a University computer (a PDP-10 I believe..) where it was strictly forbidden to be doing programming for commercial use. By Gates and Allen, long before DOS.

    And Apple Computer was initially funded by blueboxing. Steve and Steve basically stole from the phone company (selling long distance services they had stolen to students, etc.) to fund the early development of Apple Computer.

    So Gates and Allen stole CPU time to develop Microsoft Basic. Jobs and Wozniack stole from the phone company to raise the money to develop the Apple computer.

    People steal company time all over the planet to develop Linux. Lots and lots of company time. And company bandwidth.

    We're all a bunch of dirty thieves, I guess.
  • On the day Windows 95 was launched, MS payed News International (owned by one Rupert Murdoch, and my current employer) to sponsor The Times, one of the UK's most respected papers, for a day -- basically the paper was free for that one day. Coincidentally, The Times chose to run a hefty pullout section that day about Windows 95, in which it claimed Bill Gates was globally accepted as being the most brilliant programmer of his generation.

    All the more reason for Gates to know that Murdoch is willing to sell opinions for dollars :-)

    OK, I'll grant that Gates uses a bit of perception-shaping around himself, but c'mon, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates can't come within ten feet of eachother, lest their mutual Reality Distortion Fields shred the molecular framework of the universe. ;-)

    In all honesty though, almost all of Microsoft's PR is directed at the Computer world...you never really know what Murdoch is trying to get you to believe, or who has paid for what opinion.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    http://www.doxpara.com
  • "Mr. Gates, there is a widespread perception among users that your company knowingly releases buggy software, followed by not only service packs, but 'upgrades' that have been labelled primarily as bug-fix collections by some -- but they keep using it, partly due to its sheer ubiquity. Do you have pride in your products? If so, then how can your company do this?"
  • by Effugas (2378) on Friday October 15, 1999 @07:48AM (#1612064) Homepage
    The most interesting thing I remember about MS's corporate culture is how, even when a member of the press got a manager to go "off the record", "in the clear", etc., they still spouted the company line.

    Even when the statements were profoundly ludicrous, they'd still believe whatever came from up top, because to work for the company is to subscribe to an entire worldview.

    (Sidenote: It's different in the Valley, where you can jump from between a hundred major tech jobs. Up there, it's MS or Bust. That has an isolationist effect, and (among other things) is one of the reasons why MS's turnover rate isn't ridiculously high. SAP also chooses to run a major development house in the middle of Bumfuck Germany for this same psychoisolationist effect.)

    Where was I...ah yes. Microsoft employee's slavish devotion to the company line--remember when Ballmer slammed MS stock as overrated? Recall how all the stockholders were furious? Ballmer had to do what he did--he had to inform the flock that it was OK and acceptable not to have infinite faith in the value of their stock; that diversifying one's portfolio was an acceptable maneuver. That way, instead of all the MS employees being wiped out if/when there's a crash, at least some will have heeded the New Allowable Thought and gotten some financial advice.

    If you think about it, I mean really, you know that's why he said what he did.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    http://www.doxpara.com
  • by TurkishGeek (61318) on Friday October 15, 1999 @07:51AM (#1612066)
    He did not need to revolutionize the industry, since he created it. Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote the BASIC for MITS Altair, the first popular home computer that was sold as a kit. And this was done without an actual working example of the Altair-they have done the implementation on a 8008 simulator they have written on a mainframe machine.

    I am not particularly a fan of Microsoft software, but let's give credit where it's due. Altair BASIC was the first piece of software that allowed computer hobbyists write programs easily, using a high level language. I don't think anyone on Slashdot will be stupid enough to claim that writing a BASIC interpreter using a primitive assembly language WITHOUT using a real example of the target processor or a native host system is an easy thing to do. After BASIC, business just took off.

    Microsoft is behind most popular BASIC implementations of the era. The fact that Kemenyi and Kurtz(creators of BASIC) were not pleased with MS BASIC is irrelevant IMHO, there was very little standardization at that time. And frankly, they did not bother to leave their ivory tower and write a BASIC implementation that run on popular computers at a reasonable price, so I don't think they have a right to complain. Only after watching thousands of people get rich had they the courage to go out and start a company around BASIC, and it was way too late then.

    I am as fervent a Linux enthusiast as most people around here, but I really believe the MS and Gates-bashing here is excessive. He may be a marketing and management guy now; but he has impressive accomplishments nevertheless, and deserves to be named among the geniuses in this industry; for starting the personal computer software business, and vision.

    If you have a chance to read this post before it is moderated down to -7, I would really like to see a discussion on this.
  • by dattaway (3088) on Friday October 15, 1999 @04:24AM (#1612069) Homepage Journal
    He adds: "Someone who owns a newspaper can pick up the phone to the editor and say 'run headlines I like'.

    He owns the newspapers and buys editorials if he buys full page ads.

    He owns grass roots campains and "independent" funded studies if he pays for them.

    What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas and we're not at all involved in how they choose to use it.

    And define the lock-in protocol of the word processors that are loosely defined and full of undocumented features? No, his company would NEVER go that low, would it?
  • My understanding has always been that Gates' first and foremost innovation was that he was the first, or perhaps one of the first, to charge for software. Before Gates, the idea of free software wasn't all that extraordinary.
  • Bill is afraid at this moment......

    ... yeah, maybe that his company might only grow at a rate of 35% a year, as oposed to 48%.
  • by Zigg (64962) on Friday October 15, 1999 @04:31AM (#1612077)

    What bothered me most about outtakes from that interview appearing in the article was the following quote from Mr. Gates:

    "What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas and we're not at all involved in how they choose to use it.

    "The thing we're involved with has democratised communications and anyone can publish on the internet. You don't have to own a TV channel or a newspaper."

    This is bunk. Any software, and especially Microsoft's, has a keen influence on "how" it is used. I would go so far to say that even posts on /. carry a certain weight from the /. software, though not as much baggage as something like Word. The capabilities and the automation of software influence greatly what you can say just as the language you write in. The earlier comment about MHz vs. Mhz is a small example; I would submit that Word's set of templates, rules about documents, and "autocorrection" lends its influence to the output greatly.

    I am at least glad to hear he said "The thing we're involved with has democratised..." instead of "We have democratised...". Although the Internet probably would have had a slightly different face without the influence of Microsoft and Internet Explorer, it would certainly still be democratized! I hate to sound crochety, but I feel it was much better before Windows had TCP/IP capability :-)

  • by Effugas (2378) on Friday October 15, 1999 @04:32AM (#1612078) Homepage
    Gates claims that his business is "not like owning a newspaper".

    He adds: "Someone who owns a newspaper can pick up the phone to the editor and say 'run headlines I like'.

    "What we do is create tools like a word processor that lets people express their ideas and we're not at all involved in how they choose to use it.


    He's right, to some degree.

    Outside of the computer press(this includes computer sections of mainstream press), MS exerts almost zero influence.

    With the exception of a few rather ridiculous and amateurish attempts at influencing public opinion through falsified Letters To The Editor(as well as the recent exposing of a sponsored advertisement so a good number of economists could publically agree with Microsoft's position in court), MS doesn't haven't nearly the kind of overarching mindshare gravitational suction that seems to permeate most other extremely large corporations.

    It's a dichotomy worth studying--outside of self-defense or self-aggrandization within the rather limited context of computer technologies, Microsoft(unlike Sun, apparently) is actually surprisingly freedom minded. They do bundle MP3 encoding and decoding code, they're slapping Priceline down where they belong, and in general seem to have a general slant towards getting as much functionality as possible to the user.

    That they use totalitarian and underhanded tactics in their quest to spread computating freedom is...interesting. They want people to be free, but damnit, they're going to be the one's to do it, whatever the cost.

    Honestly, I think that's how they keep the company together. "Where do you want to go today...because we're going to be the one's to take you there; we're not letting you out." The coders take pride in the freedom, the suits take pride in the fact that they're preventing the Evil Outsiders from perverting the mission.

    In that context, Gates' comments make perfect sense. He feels Murdoch works to pollute and shape the minds of his readers. Should the Murdoch's of the world release the software, he thinks, he'll use it to shape people's minds.

    I'm kinda curious--when was the last time a major media outlet criticized(or at least reported negatively) about a parent company? MSNBC has delivered significant praise to Linux, and I believe has at least truthfully reported on the DoJ lawsuit. I wonder how often this could be said about the media world.

    There's an interesting psychology at Microsoft; it deserves further research.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
    http://www.doxpara.com

  • I shudder to think what BG means about "picking a personality" -- images of Bob's obnoxious rat come to mind (y'all remember MS Bob, don't ya?). Or maybe the silly MS Office paperclip...

    Sorry, but there's more to personality than just the interface. The OS itself has a personality. MS Windows is like an overeducated pseudo-intellectual. It's arrogant -- it's absolutely sure that it knows better than I do what I want to do. It's obscure and secretive -- master of the BS -- often, it takes me forever to find the option or information I want, because it's hidden behind thick curtains of false user-friendliness. It's often clueless -- "No drivers are required or have been loaded for this device. To update the driver files for this device, click Update Driver" -- "Please insert the floppy disk labeled 'Windows NT Workstation CD-ROM' into drive F: and then click OK.' -- etc. And it's not trustworthy -- there's no knowing when it'll let you down.

    Linux, on the other hand, is like an extremely intelligent friend, although he has difficulty tolerating incompetence. It accomodates itself to my wishes -- instead of telling me what I want to do, it provides nearly innumerable ways to do it, and lets me pick one -- and if there isn't a way to do it, I can often figure out a way to do it. It's open and honest -- instead of hiding its complexity, it flaunts it, and lets me dig, poke, and prod as deep as I want to (or as deep as I can handle). It doesn't tolerate incompetence very well, though -- it demands that I take responsibility for the twiddling and poking that I do. And it's reliable -- I can count on it to do what it promises.

    It doesn't matter whether the computer talks through voice or text, the personality comes from inside. I'd much rather have a computer that is honest, open, and challenges me to do better than one that is secretive, arrogant, and untrustworthy.

  • Sigh. The moderators this week must have unplugged their brains before logging in this morning. MS charity practices (education, specifically) have been exposed as an attempt to push people towards MS solutions and away from competing products. Case in point - the MIT "grant" that bill gates gave to let them setup a new building. The catch (and maybe you read about this?) was that all the stations had to run NT.

    So don't go pouting about how I'm beating up on "poor mr. gates and his save-the-children charity" - because he ain't poor and he ain't out saving children.

    --

  • ...the type of ground-breaking innovation he came up...

    Well, somehow I feel as though benefitting from, buying, and/or stealing the work of others and passing it off as your own (specifically, an idea, product, service that you originally came up with ) is hardly all that innovative, even if the medium was relatively new at the time. I'm sure that has gone on for quite some time, even before well-documented history first began.

    The point being made wasn't that these things didn't revolutionize the industry. The point being made was that nothing Bill Gates did was particularly innovative, unless, of course, you think being an asshole is a "brave, new concept".

  • I would have said:

    Bill lives on the bleeding edge of self-gratification fantasy.

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    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Here's a quote from Bill Gates that was run through Babelfish [altavista.com] many times. The Madonna article [slashdot.org] has inspired me.

    "What we I give is created tools like to word processor that lets people express their ideas and we' king not at all involved in how they choose to use it."


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    stack. the off .sig this pop I as Watch

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