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Bill Gates Founds New "Think Tank" Company 134

Homncruse sends in news of Bill Gates's new adventure, adding "I was working just one or two floors under this new office when it was all coming together. I even unknowingly shared an elevator with him at one time on his way up to the office." The article notes that the name "bgC3" derives from Bill Gates, catalyst, and the "third thing," neither Microsoft or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Just months after his Microsoft farewell, Bill Gates is quietly creating a new company — complete with high-tech office space, a cryptic name and even its own trademark. Public documents describe the new Gates entity — bgC3 LLC — as a 'think tank.' It's housed within a Kirkland office that the Microsoft co-founder established on his own after leaving his day-to-day executive role at the company this summer ... However, bgC3 will also oversee Gates' personal pursuit of breakthrough ideas in science and technology. [An] insider said the goal isn't necessarily to create new companies, although ideas could be passed along to Microsoft, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — or others — as it makes sense ..."
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Bill Gates Founds New "Think Tank" Company

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  • Borg Cubed? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mr_stinky_britches ( 926212 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:16PM (#25500937) Homepage Journal

    Did the name 'bgc3' make anyone else think "Borg Cubed"?

  • With frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?

    Ballmer: "Sea Bass"

  • Corbis? (Score:4, Informative)

    by isaac ( 2852 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:23PM (#25501019)

    Corbis is Bill Gates' second company, not the Foundation.


  • Rich PPL (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wiarumas ( 919682 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:28PM (#25501081)
    GAWD! First Google with jet fighters... now Bill Gates with think TANKS. What's next?
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:39PM (#25501257)
    Like his VP who left MicroSoft some years ago.
  • by joeflies ( 529536 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:41PM (#25501273)

    Costco sells offices now?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dreamchaser ( 49529 )

      "Costco sells offices now?"

      Only in bulk.

    • by keytoe ( 91531 )

      Costco sells offices now?

      Only if you buy them in cases of 6. It's hard to justify the upfront investment if there's a possibility you won't use them all before the expiration date.

  • Seems sensible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symes ( 835608 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:47PM (#25501359) Journal
    To be honest, it sounds like a nice retirement project... sit around, drink coffee, come up with a few whacky ideas, shoot the breeze with a few interesting people. If I had his money I'd probably do something similar. Except I'd have it located somewhere a little more interesting. Like Paris, Berlin, Singapore... or all three!
    • by guyminuslife ( 1349809 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:55PM (#25501455)

      An underground lair located in a volcano?

      I bet he could afford real sharks.

      • The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and

    • I head that Parlingapore's commutes are a bitch, though.
    • At the same time, it' s no ordinary office space. Visitors say it' s fully stocked with Microsoft technologies, including a Surface tabletop computer with a virtual guestbook application.

      and it's very high tech! For some reason, the fact that it's "stocked with Microsoft technologies" makes it sound like a very ordinary office.

    • Re:Seems sensible (Score:4, Informative)

      by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @04:30PM (#25502693)

      I bet it's on the "Kirkland Riviera," the part of downtown Kirkland that's right on the lake. There are even bikinis visible in the parks there during the three warm weeks of the year.

      I live nearby. I should polish up my resume. ;)

    • by Binder ( 2829 )

      Now he will finally have time to perfect Microsoft BoB and that damn paperclip.

      • by Narnie ( 1349029 )
        damn... you used my paperclip joke.
        Anyway, perhaps as a second project, Bill hopes to re-engineer Microsoft's current selection of chairs.
  • by rimcrazy ( 146022 ) on Friday October 24, 2008 @02:59PM (#25501505)

    They are going to make crappy commercials staring Bill with has-been comedians.

  • I hear Ballmer has already thrown in some chairs for his new office.
    • by omkhar ( 167195 )

      I hear Ballmer has already thrown in some chairs for his new office.

      that was his office warming present you insensitive clod!

  • At the same time, it's no ordinary office space. Visitors say it's fully stocked with Microsoft technologies, including a Surface tabletop computer with a virtual guestbook application.

    wow. fancy.

  • I have about a million items
    wrong with microsoft software products
    that could use some design review.

    Not sure why it didn't happen the
    first time, but maybe Bill has some
    time on his hands now.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by navyjeff ( 900138 )

      I have about a million items
      wrong with microsoft software products
      that could use some design review.

      Not sure why it didn't happen the
      first time, but maybe Bill has some
      time on his hands now.

      Burma Shave.

  • and the B&MGF just spends profits from MSFT and even has been said to require Microsoft-only software in computer donations. So no wonder Bill Gates is trying to get others to come up with an idea he can profit from. With Microsoft having been a one-trick pony for all these years, just maybe Bill can find someone else who can come up with a hit.

    Knowing the history of Microsoft and Windows, it was not really the product which made the business, it was the business behind the product and that faithful dea

    • Take a look at the most recent MSFT earnings report (which came out yesterday I believe). You can find it on www.microsoft.com the Investor Relations section. Basically, in terms of income (not revenue): Client (aka Windows) made $3.2 billion, Server and Tools made $1.1 billion, MSFT Business Division (I'm assuming this includes Office) made $3.3 billion, and Entertainment (includes Xbox360) made $178 million. Online Services lost $480 million.
      • by Locutus ( 9039 )

        $178 million when 10s of billions were put into it is not being profitable. Didn't they just write off $3 billion for Xbox overheating issues just 8 or so months ago? That's not profitable IMO.

        And the rest of it, that's all Windows based and except for Windows itself, leveraged the monopoly position of Windows. What I said was that they were not profitable outside of Windows.

        But I am surprised you didn't mention their mice and keyboards. That is the only thing outside of Windows where they have made profits

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      To be fair, it is most likely just the way any true computer nerd/geek will express themselves, when they can afford to do so. What better than their own private lab, to explore their own ideas, as well as investigate new ones. So a self indulgence, likely but, it is still far better than spending it of private jets and mega yachts or on other ostentatious extravagances.

      Who knows perhaps they might even explore new ideas in free open source software.

      • by Locutus ( 9039 )

        Gates is still trying to shake off what IBM and others have said regarding Microsoft not being a tech company. But, he is tied to Windows hook line and sinker. His Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, from what I've heard, prevents those accepting funding from using open source software. That is a diehard Windows advocate and Bill will not change that. IMO.

        I would rather he spent it on jets, yachts, etc and he stayed the heck away from tech. He's delayed tech and innovation way too much over the past 20 years

    • Microsoft has a slight case of the sniffles - its revenues and profits still rising. The one-trick-ponies are in the ICU with double pneumonia.

      "The test of time?"

      We are not so very far distant from the 30th year of MSDOS and Windows. Office 1 was released in 1990. The XBox in 2001.

      MSDOS and Windows began as a client OS.

      That Microsoft is strongly competitive in the server market leaves the geek with something more to explain.

  • Go on, mod me. I don't care.
    • by Whiteox ( 919863 )

      I'm impressed. Numerologically you user id adds up to 3.
      It must be frustrating for Bill personally. Imagine having billions of dollars at your disposal with every toy you want and realise that it's not enough, that you want to sit down with a clean sheet of paper on a new desk with a sharpened pencil and start thinking creatively.
      He's had a few years to do this and decided in the end that it's best to 'outsource' the creative aspect by forming a company and hiring creative people for his own personal thinkt

    • After all, who am I to disagree with a three-digit /. id?

      Take a look at the bottom on TFA, in "Related Articles" [kirklandviews.com]

  • Do they still call it a think tank if they steal all their ideas?
    I guess if they sit around and think up better ways to rip people off.
    Maybe it'll be like the foundation and he'll just be trying to buy back his twisted little soul with his stolen money.

  • I wonder if the employment contract BG signed with Microsoft had the usual clause of "everything you've previously thought of, are currently thinking of, or will think of belongs to us" ?

  • I used to be pretty good with a BFG3000.

    I wonder if Bill likes to frag.

  • 1. Start company
    2. Spend lots of money
    3. ???

    Though, seriously, I shouldn't criticize. We would all be better off if the third thing in Bill's next company weren't 'profit'.

    • This is Gates we're talking about, it should go

      1. Start a company
      3. Profit
      3. ...?
      4 Spend massive amounts of money.

  • He could follow Mark Shuttleworth's adventure in the Linux world.
    Maybe an MSbuntu?
  • I looked at the source code of his new webpage [bgc3.com] and he ISN'T using Frontpage.

  • Maybe he needs a better Vista from his new office.
  • Does anyone else think it's rather arrogant of Bill Gates to assume that he has been a catalyst twice?

    Once I'll give him. Microsoft actually made the PC something that most people could use (and afford). I don't think IBM was going to go there; in fact, they tried to stop it with the PS/2.

  • Didn't Paul Allen do the same thing? We used to laugh about the folks who worked at his start-ups, pulling down good money to sit around and look busy.

  • They all run Linux and Macs at BGC3.

    Bill sits down to his new Linux/KDE4 desktop PC and thinks.."Free at last, free at last....." ;')
  • what vision? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @06:26AM (#25508381) Homepage Journal

    Gates' personal pursuit of breakthrough ideas in science and technology.

    Good that he finally gets started on some. Seriously, the guy is great in stealing and rebranding other ideas as his own, but that's it. I've yet to hear of even one original idea by Bill Gates.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva