Bill Gates, I think somewhere in his brain he wants to be altruistic for some philosophical reason, but his charity really just pumps M$ products and tries to make teachers be paid by performance.
I'm sorry, but using M$ as a shortening for Microsoft, you have just discounted any quality opinion about Bill Gates, his charity or Microsoft.
It's not just the use of M$ that irks me, it is also those who shorten company names to their stock symbols. Using GOOG does not make it easier to get your point across when discussing Google. AAPL only shortens your sentence by one letter. Unless you're discussing the companies as investment entities, then there is no reason to use their stock symbol as the reference.