Why Bill Gates is Richer than You

part of the Career Guide for Engineers and Computer Scientists by Philip Greenspun

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

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

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

Bill Gates, Presidential Candidate

"I want to buy an old Cessna, paint it flashy colors, and call it Air Force 95."

Bill Gates, Innovator

If you like the ads where Microsoft claims to be "the inventor of windows", then you'll love this article Bill Gates wrote for the International Herald Tribune (Thursday January 5, 1995)

"You, Too, Can Start a Software Firm"
by Bill Gates

SEATTLE -- Back in 1975, when Paul Allen and I were college kids, the two of us in my dorm room cooked up the first software program for a microcomputer....

Bill Gates, Innovator

Take away their operating system monopoly and Microsoft is a bunch of clueless thugs without an original idea in their heads. The "real story" is how they do so little with so much and the relentlessly negative impact they've had on personal computing. While Bill-ionaire Gates was building a monument to his overblown ego, Jim Clark - for 10% of what Gates spent on his house! - turned the Internet into the hottest thing in computing. Gates and company slept through that one and the notion that they are particularly smart or plugged in is patently absurd.
Portion of a reader's review of The Microsoft Way at amazon.com, where folks who want the true story are buying Hard Drive (James Wallace and Jim Erickson; 1992).

TIME Magazine's Coolest Moment

In its Dec 27/Jan 3 issue, the New Yorker ran a long piece about autism called "An Anthropologist on Mars," and in the following issue the magazine ran a long piece called "E-Mail from Bill" about Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. In some ways, the articles were strangely and intriguingly similar.

AN ANTHROPOLOGIST ON MARS		   E-MAIL FROM BILL
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some autistics possess an "excellent	   A Microsoft executive is quoted:  "Bill
ability of logical abstract thinking."	   is just smarter than everyone else."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autistics suffer "impairment of social	   A former girlfriend is quoted:  "People
interaction with others."		   who know Bill know that you have to
					   bring him into a group... because he
					   doesn't have the social skills to do it
					   on his own."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many autistics show "repetitive or	   "While he is working, he rocks... His
auotomatic movements, such as spasms,	   upper body rocks down to an almost
tics. rocking."  Some autistic children	   45 degree angle, rocks back up, rocks
"rock back and forth"			   down again.  "They claim I started at
					   an extremely young age," said Gates.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autistic children sometimes suffer	   "If he strongly disagrees with what
"sudden panics or rages, and scream or	   you're saying, [Gates] is in the habit
hit out uncontrollably"			   of blurting out, 'That's the stupidest
					   f...ing thing I've ever heard!'  People
					   tell stories of Gates spraying saliva
					   into the face of some hapless employee."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autistics "do not make eye contact."	   "He did not look at me very often but
					   either looked down as he was talking
					   or lifted his eyes above my head to
					   look out the window."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The home of one autistic family had a	   "He has planned a full-size trampoline
"well-used trampoline, where the whole	   for a house he is building."
family, at times, likes to jump and
flap their arms."

Source: the front portion of a TIME Magazine whose date escapes me.

Microshaft

Three women were sitting around talking about their husbands'performance as a lover. The first woman says "My Husband works as a marriage counselor. He always buys me flowers and candy before we make love. I like that."

"The second woman says, "My husband is a motorcycle mechanic. He likes to play rough and slaps me around sometimes. I kinda like that."

"The third woman just shakes her head and says, "My husband works for Microsoft. He just sits on the edge of the bed and tells me how great it's going to be when I get it."

Source: The Net

Bill Gates, More than Human?

Warning! Bill Gates (president of Microsoft) may be the next Antichrist. Revelation 13:18 says, "Let anyone who has intelligence work out the number of the beast, for the number represents a man's name, and the numerical value of its letters is six hundred and sixty-six."

Bill Gates's full name is William Henry Gates III. Nowadays he is known as Bill Gates (III). By converting the letters of his current name to their ASCII values, you get the following:

  B I L L  G A T E S 3

  66 + 73 + 76 + 76 + 71 + 65 + 84 + 69 + 83 + 3 = 666

also...

  M    S     -    D    O    S     sp    6    .    2    1
  77 + 83 +  45 + 68 + 79 + 83 +  32 +  54 + 46 + 50 + 49 = 666

and almost...

  W    I    N    D    O    W    S    9    6
  87 + 73 + 78 + 68 + 79 + 87 + 83 + 57 + 54 = 666

Source: anonymous USENET post in the fall of 1994...

Am I bitter?

Some Microsoft employees have written to complain that I'm yet another academic comp. sci nerd bitter because Bill Gates got approximately 16.0e09 times richer than I did without ever having to learn any computer science.

As my students at MIT are fond of telling me... Duh.

Seriously, though, I do admire Bill Gates. The birth of Jennifer Katherine Gates on April 28, 1996 proved that America is still a country where anyone, regardless of race, creed, color, or software quality, can go from having a rich white Anglo-Saxon Protestant daddy to being a rich white Anglo-Saxon Protestant daddy.

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

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

What the Government Should Do About Microsoft

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

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

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

-- Mahatma Gandhi

Should the government sue Microsoft? Perhaps. But it is kind of stupid for the U.S. Government to be suing Microsoft and buying their products at the same time. There is no reason for the Federal Government to use any Microsoft product. Unix is a better operating system than Windows. IBM, Informix, Oracle, and Sybase make better database management software. Adobe Frame, WordPerfect, and Emacs are better for most text processing tasks than Microsoft Word. PhotoShop and LivePicture are better image editing tools than Microsoft PictureIt. AOLserver and Apache are better Web servers than IIS. Netscape Navigator is a better Web browser than Internet Explorer and Netscape has released its source code so that Navigator is infinitely more flexible.

Speaking of source code, much more interesting than the government switching brands of commercial software would be for them to follow the lead of some other large organizations and explicitly move toward free software. If packaged software like Windows 95 doesn't do what you need, you have to wait for Windows 98 and then pay $100/machine to upgrade. If Linux doesn't do what you need, you can hire a programmer to adapt it. The most popular Web server program is Apache, relied on by many of the richest and most commercially successful Web publishers. Their goals are changing too fast for them to rely on companies like Microsoft and Netscape so they insist on getting the source code and retaining the ability to adapt the server program to their evolving needs.

Many times over the last 20 years, commercial companies have paid programmers to improve free software and then given the improvement back to the community. Having Linux on hundreds of thousands of desktops throughout the Federal Government would tremendously stimulate the free software challenge to Microsoft.

Is free software a panacea in 1998? No. I love Emacs but I guess the average secretary would be happier with WordPerfect. I'd probably spec HP Unix servers for an air traffic control system rather than PCs running Linux. There aren't any free relational database management systems that are as good as the best commercial systems (and the best commercial systems are often not good enough to do what users need).

The bottom line: Microsoft produces second-rate products and uses its monopoly power to force them down users' throats; the U.S. Government is one of the few computing users large enough to break free. Americans will be grateful if the Justice Department can free them from Microsoft's grip, but first the government should free itself.

At this point, you might legitimately ask if I've personally broken free. The answer is "mostly yes, though without any conscious effort." I do all of my Web software development on Unix servers. This particular page is served from an HP Unix machine, which serves approximately one million hits/day and has never crashed (at present, it has been up and running for 87 straight days). My Web pages are developed in the GNU Emacs text editor (free, authored by Richard Stallman, the progenitor of the open-source movement) and served from AOLserver (free and open-source). The dynamic portions of my site depend on an Oracle 8 relational database management system. I do 99% of my image processing with ImageMagick (free) and 1% with Adobe PhotoShop. I wrote my latest book on building Web sites in straight HTML (the publisher converted it to a non-Microsoft desktop publishing system before printing the paper edition). The critical piece of Internet connectivity in my house is a Linux box serving as a router. I have a couple of Windows NT computers and these are occasionally used for desktop apps like PhotoShop but mostly they run an X Server and Netscape Navigator.

Will Society Free Itself?

In the absence of government intervention, is there any hope of society freeing itself from Microsoft bugs? Perhaps. Consider what Microsoft has delivered: the desktop computer system that costs $10,000 per year to administer and lets you work by yourself. What most users want, though, is a cheap simple device that lets them collaborate with others. Successful Collaboration with others typically requires that someone run a big reliable server. So the market for computing may in the end boil down to simple stuff to be used by consumers and reliable stuff to be operated by professional IT staff. There are no Microsoft-brand products that are either simple or reliable. How long can a company whose products don't meet any customer's needs survive? Forever in this case! Because they're an unregulated monopoly, Microsoft can use profits from raping users who suffer with their desktop systems to buy the companies that are actually building the future, e.g., WebTV and Hotmail. Bottom line: we'll be stuck with Bill Gates and Microsoft forever, but maybe we can move beyond Windows.

Notes: the Hotmail service runs on free open-source Unix servers running a free open-source Web server program; since purchasing the company in 1997, Microsoft has tried to make the service work under Windows NT and their bundled IIS Web server but without success. I wrote more about replacing desktop apps with collaborative Web-based apps in Chapters 1 and 17 of my third book.

Bill explains ...

If you've always wanted to understand why it is your fault when a Microsoft product crashes your computer, read this interview with Bill Gates.

Need more detail? Jack into this Internet/Web thing that Bill and Nicholas Negroponte co-invented and mailto:Billg@microsoft.com.

Other Internet Resources




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

Reader's Comments

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

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

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

-- Ed Cain, January 3, 1997
Get educated, work hard, get promoted, get control of your company's (MIS | IS | IT) department. Then make strategic business decisions NOT to use Microsoft's products ... including their operating systems. Senior level executives are making the decisions that keep this snake oil peddler in business!

-- Peter Goldenberg, January 7, 1997
He's just a guy. What makes the computer world inherently evil is that there's a lot of other guys out there that are really doing the damage.

$2500.00!! Is what a very large consulting firm located in Chicago is paid regularly to tell another large company to go get direct phone lines so their modems work.

If you ask me the public shoulda said no to technology a little longer. I work with computers : HEY! Just like you Philip! Guess that makes me an MIT Professor too.. Hey, maybe not. BUT! I guess what's obvious to me is that the immature computer market has drawn a picture of me (a dropout from a third rate university)as a "computer guy and obviously smarter than everyone else"... so I bill the big bucks.. I'm know a trade. I'm a tradesman. Then again my plumber makes like $250.00 an hour or something. I'm rambling and have no point but I really think there's something in the bigger picture that's wronger than the wrong Bill Gates is perpetuating. Work hard to control an MIS department?? Most MIS Department Heads I know lost touch with what they were supposed to do somewhere aroung their thrid promotion and have no concept of what Information Systems means.

-- Dave Willard, January 7, 1997

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

-- Steve Perkins, June 7, 1997
Mr. Gates seems to believe (as per his interview) that people only upgrade Microsoft products to get additional features instead of to fix problems. Does this mean that the problem of Word taking two minutes to start up on a Mac was not a bug that was fixed but rather the new version had a feature of being quick-start? Does this mean that Word not rendering superscripts properly was not a bug but the new version had a feature of handling superscript? Does this mean that if I get nervous when NT redraws (internally reboots?) my desktop for no known reason that I should get the next version because it has the feature of not doing this?

I feel that I am often forced to get the new version in an attempt to fix the problems I know about in the current one. No, I would never call Microsoft tech support and complain about a bug because I know it would never get answered.

-- Robert S. Silvers, July 24, 1997

I love this guy. The only thing that keeps me going is to think of him and how he is everything I ever wanted to be and I get the purest inspiration of all; the understanding that everything I had previously envied and admired lives within this one man, and he is beyond beautiful to me. He is everything I always wanted to be, and none of the things I am, and my envy dissapears and my salvation comes whenever I remember that this world is hell, and he owns 50some percent of it and is therefore the King.

-- but not quite, entirely unlike Bill. Almost, August 22, 1997
I respect the system that allowed Bill Gates to become as rich and powerful as he is. I respect those who are brilliant enough to change the world. However, I don't respect Bill Gates himself (drawing judgement not from personal experience but from reading/hearing about him from those who do have personal experience). One with such wealth and power should do more than manipulate electrons; I'd like to see him visit a few more homeless shelters or take up a cause (other than accumulating mind boggling wealth.) It's a shame when people who have so much give so little.

-- Frank M. Drew, Jr. --, September 23, 1997
A few months ago, it was announced that Brother Bill was going to donate several hundred million dollars to assorted charities. Not to be outdone, Ted Turner antes up one billion for similar causes. Get real! I challenge both of these men to tithe (give 10% of their income), like so many elderly and low-income folks do every Sunday morning. Surely they can spare a couple of billion that they could never hope to spend otherwise. Who is more charitable? A mega-billionaire who gives away a few hundred million or a homeless man who gives away his last dime?

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

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

-from the people column at the Miami Herald

-- Lord Windeshmere, October 18, 1997

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

-- PeeWee --, October 24, 1997

Visit my page at http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~brandons/wintel/ and let's kick some WINTEL ASS! Bill Gates is a pirate, he pirated the Mac, all Windows users are morons because of this! I hate them all and will flame them and spam their e-mail addresses and hack their web sites!

-- Brandon Smith, December 31, 1997
Bill Gates and Microsoft are a creation of the force of history, just pure luck He (and microsoft) didn't get where he is by any personal greatness or genius. They exisit because thats just the way things worked out, and , yes, what we have is a pile of shit, and yes, we know how to make the ***ideal*** system **now***, but thats hindsight isn't it. He's only been at the top for a small amount of time. Yes, he's clueless. Yes, he doesn't deserve to be the richest man in the world, but remember 99% of the world is stupid as fuck and doesn't know any better than not to stick their fingers in a wall socket let alone design a computer that works, and these are the people that Bill sells his warez to. Etc etc ah bollox

-- Chaz --, January 23, 1998
ask bill gates if he would like to help someone disabled who lives on ss dis and doesnt know where hell be tommorow id be will to pay back what i can if i can only keep this trailer and have some food and meds each without worrying if i can pay the elec bill i not asking for a handout just a hand po box 2197 bunnell fla 32110

-- mike ford, January 31, 1998
i just want to let everyone know that you will one day work for bill gates

-- MICHAEL STEPTHENSON, February 5, 1998
NICK TOMPSON IS RICHER THAN BILL GATES! $ 79,000,000,000

-- anonymous anonymous, February 5, 1998
After reading the part about the "anthropologist on Mars" and the comparison about Gates and autism. I am the mother of an autistic child and after seeing his interview on 20/20 I remarked to my husband that the lack of inflection (sp) in his voice and some of his mannerisms struck me as being autistic in nature. There are highly intelligent people out there functioning in everyday life who are also autistic. Just a comment.

-- anonymous anonymous, February 5, 1998
Q: how many microsoft tech-support guys are needed to change a light bulb? A: Dark is not a bug. Its a a new feature which is is similar to the lack of light.

Q: how many microsoft programmers are needed to change a light bulb? A: Just buy the update.

-- Anonimous --, February 10, 1998

I think I have find myself lost in this world of Bill Gates. Where I have come from there are lots coconut trees than computers and I just eat,swim,and excercise without bothering to keep in touch with the world. Bill Gates is the smartest person I would come to know, but I bet though I have no wealth I have acclaim a richer and happier life than him. I hope he can be kind enough to lend me some money so I can afford to buy me a computer. That way I will be updated to current news happening in this world.

Right Bill Gates?



-- Phil Choun, February 11, 1998

How many Bill Gates does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Just one. He simply holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.

-- Saverio Bono, February 23, 1998
The problem with Microsoft isn't Bill Gates. (Well, not directly, but his policies.) Microsoft now has enough capital to buy up any upstart company that looks as if it might just be able to compete. This is not a good thing. A couple other notes:

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

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

- James Schend Macintosh C Programmer

-- James Schend, March 12, 1998

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

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

-- M H Darr, April 16, 1998
The problem of Bill Gates power goes far beyong the software, with a click of his finger tips can make you spend 100 bugs in any update software and of course more than 100 bugs in hardware to run it. Once I make an experiment. I made a very sofisticated spreadsheet in excel 4.0 for macintosh and in Claris Resolve. Both spreadsheet did the same thing with the same formats. if you printed you can't say the difference. But in MS-Excel takes more than 10 minutes to calculate it, and uses 3.5 Mbytes of Hard Disk space. In Claris Resolve it takes less than a minute and has only 870 kbytes. So under the world of Microsoft, how pays for speed, hard disk space and memory ?. Obviously we, the same idiots how purchase all Microsoft upgrades or products. So : Q : What is the relation betwen MS and Hardware manufacturers? A: Both are traing to fuck you or they have secret alliances. Q: What are the alternatives ? A : Support a legal framework that ensure that any common use software makes the things well, minimizing resources to do the task it was made for. If this happens, probably Microsoft Office 95 will be fastest running in a 386 PC than it is in today's Pentium machine, and of course, using less than 20Mbytes of Hard Disk. In the other hand, there exist other alternatives, more simple and economic, Buy a Macintosh. The most imnovative coherent, easy of use and non Microsoft computer. Break the Chain!!!

-- Ricardo Lira, May 14, 1998
Did you know that Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller built their monopolies using the same technique? In the 1980s, Bill Gates got the computer manufacturers to pay him the price for Windows for each computer they manufacture, regardless of whose software is on it. In the 1870s, John D. Rockefeller got the railroads to pay him a rebate for every carload of oil they ship, regardless of whose oil it is. Same deal! How did they manage such deals? Mostly by bribing the officials of the other companies.
For more info about monopolies, and the international corporate oligarchy, see my web site, http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/8796.
Lust for power makes some people do spectacularly ruthless things!

-- Jeff Putman, May 20, 1998
Forget Macintosh, Microsoft, IBM, HP, and all the useless accessories that you people pay hundreds of dollars for. Computers and their components are of no importance, without people to run them. Live your lives and forget worrying about other people's wealth. If you want to break this cycle you all keep talking about; make money doing something that doesn't involve these stupid machines.

-- Jonathan Elliott, May 27, 1998
Just an observation. As a member of the USAF, a longtime user of Microsoft products, I've been informed to forget about Microsoft. Our base has just switched to Netscape and our systems organization ahd cancled the contracts for Windows 98. I don't know whats next on my desktop at work, but if it's a Mac PowerPC G3 I'd be much happier! I've never understood how an organization (USAF) that crams "Quality Management" down our throats everyday could continue investing so much time and money into Microsoft Windows, when the Mac has been there all along with a much more intuitve and stable system.

-- Peter Kennett, May 30, 1998
I find it funny that the US government is suing Microsoft. In my mind, the govt is mostly to blame. I remember making our first home "PC" decision. Dad worked for the government. They used IBM PCs (almost exclusively). Guess what we bought... The workplace drove the consumer demand. Not the other way around (sorry Mr. Jobs).

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

-- J.A. Obando, June 29, 1998
Money is the root of all evil? Or is it jealousy? Bill Gates has generated more wealth for the United States and perhaps the world than any other individual alive. He is responsible for billions of dollars being collected by the U.S. government by way of employee income taxes and consumer sales taxes through computer-related sales, services, products and employment opportunities. Obviously his youth wasn't spent joining a "gang", contributing to teen pregnancy, experimenting with drugs, or collecting his next entitlement check. Thank you, Bill Gates, for meeting the minimum requirement of manhood: TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF, SO THE REST OF US DON'T HAVE TO!!!

-- s. ljepava, July 1, 1998
Those who choose to contribute to Bill Gates wealth, do so voluntarily, just as those who choose to see the "Titanic", attend a "Bulls" game, or buy "Michael Jackson" records.

Money not spent on Bill Gates' products would not accrue to you, me, or anyone else. It would revert back to its original source - the consumer - to spend, invest, or save as they choose.

If Bill Gates' had not managed to extract billions of dollars through computer sales, the same billions would have been spent by consumers on something else: trips, jewellery, cars, boats, entertainment, investments, etc, etc, etc. - NOT AMASS IN A HUGE PILE SOMEWHERE FOR EVERYONE TO LINE UP WITH A PICK-UP TRUCK TO LOAD!!! - (which is actually what some people think!

The bottom line is: Bill Gates has created jobs. In this country, a job is the engine that powers our economy. (Before that, we were a society of farmers, hunters, and gatherers.) Whether a job comes from the sale of computers... or the sale of dog food... is irrelevant! The government is funded from THE WAGES OF PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS. It has no other source of income.

Bill Gates has directly or indirectly added 2 to 3 million jobs to the job market - a contribution which will likely remain unparalleled in our lifetime. Until others can match his accomplishments, I will basically remain unimpressed by their endless fixation on HIS wealth - which is money otherwise belonging to a vast number of consumers.

In the overall range of government beneficiaries and benefactors - at the one end being: those on welfare (some of whom are in my extended family - same parents, different outcomes), and at the other end being: those who generate billions of dollars in revenue to the government, (without which funds the government couldn't operate a lemonade stand let alone help the "homeless"), I whole-heartedly give my support and admiration to someone who's journey has taken him to the top of the mountain when he could just as easily remained content at the bottom. In my world, Bill Gates is a "solution" - not a "problem".

P.S. If I had a million dollar a year trust fund, my greatest accomplishment would be, "waking up before noon".

-- s. ljepava, July 2, 1998

Every time Bill Gates's net worth is mentioned, about half of people think it is just money.

Let's get this straight. Bill Gates does not have over $50G gathering dust in a vault somewhere. He owns a large part of Microsoft stock, which means he owns a share of the company's assets. These assets are being used every day to produce software for people to buy.

People need to get over the image of the rich man sitting in a room, counting gold and cackling with glee (the Scrooge myth). This has been used repeatedly to vilify the rich as "hoarders" of wealth, as a pretext to robbing them. It is childish nonsense that does not reflect reality.

"How do you entertain yourself with your money?" "Oh, I swallow quarters, burn dollar bills, that sort of thing." -- The Playboy interview with Bill Gates

See how silly it sounds?

-- anonymous anonymous, August 4, 1998

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

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

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

-- Allen --, August 10, 1998

Bill Gates is worth 59 Billion dollars. Sure he earned it, but what can he do with all that money? Sure, he could buy a few countries. But that would be greety. Why does he have to keep making more, and more, and more. He could help every person in need on Earth. But nooooo, he has keep it all to himself. That guy who owns Apple gave a billion dollars to charity. He only had two or three billion to start with. I mean, he did go bankrupt, but still, all that money helped a lot of people. Why can't Bill do that. If I had 59 Billion dollars, I give all of it away except for just enough to live the rest of my life in luxury. I guess he's just a selfish pig.

-- Michael Craig Pletcher, August 10, 1998
Re: Phil's suggestion that the US Gov't use Linux...

An alternative not-so-modestproposal, suggested in Comp.Risks after discussion of the Windows NT divide-by-zero that left the USS Yorktown dead in the water for two hours, is to ``[force] Microsoft to GPL the source code to Windows NT.''

-- Cris Pedregal Martin, August 12, 1998

IT ISN'T MONEY, IT'S STOCK!!!

(541 million shares)x($111.25/share)= $60.2 billion, but..

The stock is way overvalued. It's worth about $5.69 of company property. The difference between the two is due to Microsoft's ability to make a big profit. Do the math! and don't make me have to tell you again.

-- anonymous anonymous, August 18, 1998

Actually, if anyone should be upset about the growth and development of a graphical user interface (MAC OS, WIndows, etc.) it should be Xerox. While MS may have adopted (stolen?) the Windows concept from the Mac, Apple clearly appropriated it from Xerox PARC. And I am sure that there are precursors to PARC that I am not aware of.......

Really, this conversation is a little silly, computers, whether in the business, development, or entertainment arenas, are just tools. Some tools do there jobs better than others - A Yugo will get you to work, but Phil's favorite Acura NSX will certainly get you there as well, and a lot more stylishly I might add. Some tools are made for entirely different tasks - Can't haul the family in that NSX, a SUV or minivan generally works better.

So....pick the best tool that meets as many of the requirement criteria as possible and spend time getting some actual work done.

-- anonymous anonymous, August 21, 1998

"Gates and company slept through that one and the notion that they are particularly smart or plugged in is patently absurd. "

Sure is. So what? Let's move on with our lives. Why all the bellyaching? I dislike Microsoft, I think their products stink, and I do everything in my power as a lowly programmer to avoid having anything to do with them. For my part, that's enough.

I think people who whine have something more going on upstairs. They're jealous. They'd like to be in the same position. But they're not, and that frustrates them.

Microsoft has the power it does because people give it to them. One way of giving them power is purchasing their products or stock. Another way is to let yourself feel frustrated by them. Instead of putting your energies into making something better, instead you put your energies into complaining about something over which you have no control. It doesn't make sense. Dismantle this web site and move on with your lives, for crying out loud. Microsoft will go away some day, and your kids might see a day when they can use a good OS on their computers.

-- Anthony Bucci, October 7, 1998

Bill Gates is the reason that computers cost to much , B.G. is not richer than you or I of the mass population he is a main divider of the social class's , The haves and the have nots. Therefore B.G. is a ignorant anti social bigot, A Poor Slob!!!

-- Elwood L. Pero, October 9, 1998
First of all, anyone who says that Windows 95 changed Windows so much that it can't be compared to a Macintosh needs to take a closer look. Considering Microsoft hired a significant number of people who designed the Macintosh operating system as programmers on Windows 95, it comes as no surprise that the OS's are similar. Sure they have different graphical user interfaces, but looks really don't count. As far as the inner workings, the two OS's are very similar. This is especially evident in the way both OS's handle multitasking. (Although, the Macintosh OS (like NT) is full 32 bit whereas Windows 95 is 16 bit at the core with 32 bit extensions. This enables Windows 95 to run many 16 bit applications that NT can't.) Windows 95 even crashes with the frequency the older Mac OS's crashed. One nice thing about DOS (actually about the only nice thing about DOS) was that it was stable. Granted, if you wanted to really do anything you had to go through a lot of hand-waving, but inconvenience was compensated somewhat by the fact that the OS didn't crash every 10 to 20 times you'd use it. The original Windows (which was a shell for DOS, not an OS) was less stable, but when it crashed you could generally escape to DOS without having to reboot your whole system. I don't have a problem with Microsoft "stealing" the Mac programmers, however. Apple had done the same thing earlier to Xerox.

I think what ticks many people off about Microsoft is that there seems to be this prevalent image of Microsoft being the best Software company in the world. (Much of this is a result of the press which tends to be clueless about these matters. Basically anything that the press seems to like should be investigated thoroughly. These are the same people that were absolutely sure that the Macintosh was finished a few years back. They (inaccurately) reported that Apple was going under, no more companies were going to make software for the Macintosh, and everyone should switch to PC's before it's too late. As a result of this, Macintosh almost did go under. Convince a bank's customers that the bank is going to fail, and everyone withdraws their money. Now the bank has no capital or customers, and as a result, does indeed fail.) The only thing Microsoft truly does well is marketing. A diplomat can tell you to go to hell and make you glad you're on your way, the same way that good PR and marketing departments can get you to buy absolute crap without you knowing any differently. One of Microsoft's most common strategies is to be the first one to the market. While other companies are still developing software so that it has some semblance of stability, Microsoft announces their new wonderful line of products. Who cares that the product is less stable than the San Andreas fault and has more bugs than the Everglades? It's Microsoft and they can do no wrong. Don't be the last person on your block to buy their product or you will be seen as an outcast. They're not bugs their added features that will be refined in a later version of the product. Etc.

However, I can't fault Microsoft for this. If the consumer is stupid enough to buy into all this it's their problem. I just wish sometimes that those who should know better wouldn't buy into it. ("Good Times" virus anyone?)

My main complaint about Microsoft is that they use questionable business practices to accomplish their goals. If any company tries to compete, Microsoft will do anything it takes to prevent that company from having a fair chance. One of Microsoft's earlier mistakes was not realizing how important the internet was. Here was something that fully functioned on it's own with hardly any influence from MS. Practically every application for it was free. Netscape had replaced NCSA Mosaic as the graphical web browser of choice, and although most users had to pay for Netscape, it set the standard for what all browsers aspired to be. (Many companies were now developing more user-friendly and powerful internet applications. Although they generally cost money, they had many advantages over their freeware counterparts.) Microsoft realized it needed to start competing here as well. They created the "Microsoft Network," an online service that tried to compete with the big three, but to no avail. Microsoft didn't do anything innovative that set it apart from the rest, so no one really had any interest in changing. MS also created their freeware internet explorer, but it too sucked and no one used it. Because of the failure of MSN, Microsoft came to the conclusion that the only way to compete in the internet would be to actually create a browser that was worth using. They decided to actually invest money into the Internet Explorer project and managed to finally create a decent browser that could compete with Netscape. They then decided to keep it as freeware, because they were smart enough to know that Netscape was so entrenched in the Web Browsing community, that if they charged for IE, no one would use it. So even though they were going to get nothing immediately back from the investment they made, they at least would have a significant presence now. Not to mention the fact that the capital put into the IE project was basically chump change for the software giant. Suddenly Netscape encountered a problem. They weren't big enough to afford to give all their software away for free, but MS was cutting into their market. As a result, they used their head start to an advantage and began to expand in other directions. Also, many of the Netscape users adopted the attitude that was prevalent among Macintosh users for a while: "We have been using this product for a long time and like it. If it costs more so what? Microsoft can go screw itself for all we care." Another thing that helped Netscape was that members of educational institutions got free licenses for the software. (The poor college kids of today become the well endowed paying customers of tomorrow.) Microsoft was faced with competition that it couldn't bully. Most viable competition to MS would be either driven out of business or assimilated. However, neither Netscape nor Macintosh would give in. (On a side note, IBM (who lost the OS war before it even started in spite of making a better product because no one wrote any software for OS/2 Warp) had returned to concentrate on the area it excels in: networking. IBM knew they had the best tech support in the business and used that to their advantage.)

Microsoft seemed to still get the upper hand on Netscape, however, with the creation of Windows 98. If you owned a PC you would be using either 95, 98, or Linux. Even if you didn't want to use Windows, most computers came with it already installed. Microsoft integrated IE with Windows so that everyone with a PC would have it. Now instead of actually having to download and install IE, you would already have it conveniently built in to your OS. Microsoft is just waiting for Netscape to go under, that way they can start charging for their browser and no one can do anything about it. Fortunately the internet is large enough that Microsoft will never be able to monopolize it completely. Unlike the software industry, the internet is still very volatile.

To sum up, I don't like Microsoft not because of their success or they're second rate software, but because of their questionable business ethics. For an intersting (albeit dated) perspective on Microsoft from Humorist Douglas Adams, check out the following URL: http://www- personal.umd.umich.edu/~nhughes/dna/stories/adamso n95.html

-- anonymous anonymous, October 19, 1998

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Gary Voth, November 9, 1998

"We're glad that you have an alternative perspective to offer. That's the most exciting thing about Web publishing, automatically combining intelligent thoughts from many people.

Note that this is what precedes the comment entering section. I commend Gary Voth for presenting a well thought out argument with valid points. (Although I still believe that Microsoft is going beyond the idea of the "free market" and equal competition. They fear competition so much that they bully it out of the market, thereby making it difficult for non-Microsoft innovation to gang much of a foothold. But there is a lot of gray area to this.)

Remember, those who oppose Microsoft seem to outnumber those who favor them. NKSC95@aol.com does nothing to show why Microsoft is good, he just resorts to tossing out insults. If these are "intelligent" thoughts, I'd hate to see the stupid thoughts. This does absolutely nothing to convince me why I should not dislike Microsoft. In fact, it gives me more reason to dislike them if these are the kind of idiots that believe in Microsoft. (Not to mention more evidence of how AOL seems to be the ISP of choice for discriminating morons everywhere.) Next time stick to chat rooms and leave the intelligent arguments to those of us with at least half a brain.

-- anonymous anonymous, December 1, 1998

Did anyone ever noticed that bill's birthday is a binary code?10101010? Oct(10) 28 (2+8=10)19 1+9=10 55 5+5=10 altogether: 10101010= binary code.and the beast(The computer) shall have a wound and a great man shall fix it and all will bow down to him.Not me!And the 666 thing is scary too!

-- alexandra --, January 8, 1999
For some well thought out comments in support of the open source software development model, take a look at: http://www.shirky.com/opensource/

-- Andreas Yankopolus, January 10, 1999
um lets see, he is a rich kunt and goes for ice cream coupons. why not while he is at the ice cream bar kidnap him and then send it a fora ransom of 90 billion dollars so that hes only got 1 billion

hehehehe

-- bob gates, January 21, 1999

That stuff about why Bill Gates is autistic may seem funny to some with a crude sense of humour, but it isn't to me.

Heck, I might have a mild form of autism called Aspergia syndrome. People didn't bully me about having Aspergia, they just bullied me in general, but I went to a private school, paying about $10K Austalian a year, so that I wouldn't be bullied too much, and so that the teachers would realise that I'm a keen student and not a bad person even if I did respond to bullying.

-- Name withheld, January 24, 1999

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

-- Jack Cleaver, January 26, 1999
I don't hate Bill Gates. So he and Paul Allen got lucky; so what? To paraphrase The Eagles, GET OVER IT! FACT #1: Steve Jobs screwed his best friend (Woz) on their first real money derived mainly from Woz' genius. FACT #2: Steve Jobs did NOT invent the GUI; that high honor belongs to Xerox PARC. Jobs purloined it from them; Gates merely improved on the original concept, which we all have come to know as MS Windows. It is possible, right now, to operate a fairly sophisticated computer system without using any commercial software. You can get FREE servers, browsers, OS without ever paying Mister Bill a shiny dime. Let's face it, Microsoft products are not necessarily the best in their respective classes, but, hey, something has to be a standard. Just ponder for a second the monumental arrogance of the late Gary Kildall. IBM came to him, hat in hand, asking for an OS. He stiffed them, and they fell right into the laps of Gates and Allen. Bill and Paul actually referred IBM to Kildall, initially. A lot of the wannabes running Macs need to get their history straight. The computer industry was in motion. Somebody had to grab the ball and run with it. Did Bill and Paul ever visualize, in their wildest dreams, back in their New Mexico days, that they would be where they are, financially, today? No way. TO THE VICTOR BELONGS THE SPOILS. So, fire up that Mosaic browser and navigate the web, if that's your pleasure. Configure Linux to your heart's desire; become the master of your Apache server domain. Everybody's got choices.

-- DAN STOICHEFF, February 2, 1999
What I find Amusing About This Page ===================================

The one thing that constantly amuses me about the abuse that most people heap on Gates is that it is from the same source of criticism of themselves.

Let's forget about who raped whom, what was stolen from where and concentrate on how things happen.

Most idiots seem to want a set of rules embedded in stone (O Darius) to supply (with what they think) a secure foundation to work from.

Rules are simply that - intent or boundaries.

Weasel words that I see used within this forum will not, do not change the legal definition of Microsoft and how it got to be.

Microsoft has brought computing down to the lounge room - it has eliminated the arcane verbiage of "real programmer" language and offerred a level of expertise to the layman.

This in turn has increased the sale of computers, hardware and software. It has also brought more players into the market. This tends to bring the price down.

I have found that many of the worlds ideas, treasures and resources are now available to me and mine - things that were denied them a generation ago.

FURTHERMORE.......

THE ONE THING THAT CONSTANTLY PISSES ME OFF ABOUT YOU WHINERS ....

You continually moan about software bugs - have you had a look at the literacy level of the whining idiots who contribute to the mis-informed, ill-informed opinions of the unwashed masses.

-- Joseph Armstrong, February 3, 1999

When everyone realizes that we are all One, and that what we do to others we do to ourselves, then all the whining and persecution of Bill, among others, will stop. In the meantime, we all wish we had Bill's money, but how many of us DO something about reaching that goal?

-- Trayce Dragonfly, February 5, 1999
"Bill Gates, CEO of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation."

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

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

-- Jon Salsberg, February 6, 1999

Bill is one rich mother fucker. Why cant he just make a contest, where you should make some parody on windows or some other Bill-produckt. The winner could get 1000000$ That would be great. But cant microsoft hurry with windows2000/nt 5.o

-- Rune Edland, February 9, 1999
"You can have all you want in this world if you help enough others get what they want." (forgot who said that) Lo: Bill Gates has helped millions to get what we want: affordable, powerful, useable computers. Capitalism personified. I love it! Let Netscape/Sun/Oracle/AOL et al go build you anti-MS folks a usable OS (they've got billion$ too!). Then leave us alone and quit your whining.

-- John Hess, February 10, 1999
A brief observation:

In the recent discussion, I see two basic schools of thought. The first is that Microsoft should not be percieved as a problem because they fill a necessary gap in the PC market (note that this comment addresses OS issues, not anything else). The second is that the force consumers to use buggy products with their monopolistic tactics.

I would contend that both of these arguments are true. Yes, Microsoft did do an excellent job of filling an important software gap when it first came on the scene, and allowed users to have freedom of hardware choice when proprietary solutions did not. On the other hand, after securing this position, Microsoft used tactics that made it so that THEY were a proprietary solution that everyone else had to conform to. This was only possible because of the customer base that they generated with their early OSes, and because of the big money stick that they were able to wield after that.

My personal complaint about Microsoft is that the direction of their technology (ever since they secured a position for themselves) no longer seems to be to offer the customer the best possible product. Instead their technology is filled with loopholes that make it so that it is impossible to compete with them effectively. This is great for them as far as making money for concerned, but the consumer ends up with the short end of the stick because they are forced to adopt inferior technologies so that they are able to run desired applications. Several examples of this kind of practice have been detailed above, off the top of my head I would say that their proprietary implementations of HTML and Java (both of which were DESIGNED to be cross-platform, and are no longer that if you run Microsoft's versions of them) are two of the most blatant examples.

By using tactics like this, Microsoft becomes a de facto standard. The argument that you should just use Macintosh, Linux, or another OS (I am a personal fan of Solaris) if you do not like Microsoft is simply not compelling to most typical users. UNIX based systems are not for the "average home user" (at least not yet). Many people (such as myself) avoid Macintosh for the simple reason that there are not as many software vendors who offer titles for that platform. My home computer is used primarily for computer games, so I run Windows 95 on it. I strongly dislike Windows, but if I run it I get to play all the games I want to.

Yes, the dominance of Microsoft is a result of home users, corporations, and the government adopting their OS. It is important to see past this though, and realize that there are many users who do not feel that Microsoft has behaved in an ethical fashion when handling their responsibilities to the consumer. People should expect to get a quality product for their money, not a product filled with inconsistencies that have been placed there for the sole purpose of being incompatible with other products. How many of you would want to buy a car that would blow up unless you used Exxon gas in it? My analogy might sound ridiculous at first, but that is essentially what Microsoft is doing. These complaints from users are valid, and they are not made any less valid because the users are some of the people who helped get Microsoft where it is today by paying for their OS. The issue is not purely financial, it is ethical as well.

-- Mirth 23, February 12, 1999

I would convert to a Mac. in a heartbeat if I could purchase all the software I need as easily as I can aquire Windows software. This, I believe, points to the "Real Problem."

-- Jeffrey Doak, February 15, 1999
I agree with a previous assertion that most of the reason Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, and crew are where they are today is due to being in the right place at the right time. Several comments, including the one from the former MS engineer, have also indicated that they are mostly mediocre minds who just persist. This may be true, but I might remind several of the more intellectually oriented readers of a quote from Albert Einstein to the effect that persistence is more valuable of an attribute than intelligence...

If I added up all of the time I have wasted working around MS bugs in their products I could have easily taught all of my children how to play guitar much better. For that I really hate MS. On the other hand, this is not their sole domain. I have had the same problems with DEC, IBM, Sun, HP, U.S. Robotics (before they were 3Com) and countless other vendors.

In 1989 I wanted to buy a multitasking OS for home use. I was tired of DOS letting me only do one thing at a time but I didn't have much money. When I explored the options I decided that Unix was too costly, VMS required a VAX at home (also a slightly costly option (;-)), OS/2 sucked at supporting anything at all close to industry standard hardware, and the Mac folks told me to kiss off if I wanted to program anything for it (about $8000.00 for a developers license pack if I recall right). I looked at Windows 3.0, had problem after problem with it and eventually gave up and went back to DOS. All in all, I have a better product with Windows NT on all of my computers (10 or so) than I had 10 years ago with a mish-mash of various software (remember TSR's?) and the cost is minimal.

As for the present, however, I do believe that Microsoft has used VERY unfair business tactics and has acted in a very unethical way. Not to Netscape (all those poor millionaires, boo hoo, boo hoo), or Sun (hey how about some truly "open" Java buys?), or Oracle (who hold a massive monopoly on the workstation database market) but to all of the smaller companies who have been bullied or buried by them.

Just a few quick thoughts to add to the rambling that is already here...

-- Kevin Hughes, February 16, 1999

The mac vs pc debate on this page is rubbish. The only reason people would change to a Mac is OS related. The PC architecture is better suited to a technological platform. A PC's architecture is open, allowing anyone to build hardware for it. The Mac is a closed system. The PC encourages more innovation.

The limiting factor in the PC is the OS. Microsoft gained a monopoly a long time ago, and since they gained control they stopped making innovative products. How old is Windows95? Windows98 is just a polished version of win95, there is nothing new or improved about it, and there are bug fixes and a few additional features. Why do people upgrade the os? The only reason we upgrade is because we have no choice. Sure we could swap to linux, or any other OS. But at a huge cost (In terms of loss of software support etc.) Microsoft has so much control over the market that what ever they release will be adopted by the majority, and once a majority of people adopt it, software developers focus on the largest market, everyone who wants a good range of software must get windows.

Microsoft is the richest software company. But when was the last time they came up with some truly innovative software? I can't think of anything. They spend their resources on court cases and Spokes People continuously defending screw-ups. If the Mac had been more competitive and had more market share now, I'm sure we would have a much better version of Windows. The OS market has stagnated. There is no longer any reason for Mircrosft to optimize and improve their os to a significant extent because there is no competition. They only polish up the OS. There were rumors that Windows2000 would be based on the Win98 (Polished Win95) core... Intel released the 32bit processor a long time ago. Yet win98 still has a load of 16bit code?

I personally don't mind Windows NT. I ran WinNT Workstation 4 for a while. But the lack of support for games required me to have Win95 installed as well. This was on a P120 with 32mb of ram, 32mb wasn't enough for NT, so I used NT less and less, until I sold it.

I'd seriously like to know why it took 40minutes to install Windows98 on a Celeron400a, With a fast UDMA Hard drive, and CDROM. On my friends p166 it took 3 hours. To add to the insult I defragged my hard disk expecting at least a noticeable improvement with the "Win98 Defrag, makes your programs load faster.. blah blah.". It took 5 hours and I can't notice any difference. I'd also like to know why windows is so damn unstable. You would think that after 4+ years of development they could make it more stable. It is slightly more stable, but still unacceptably unstable.

I don't have anything against Bill Gates (Although at times when Windows is screwing up, I would sell my soul for a baseball bat, and five minutes with Bill Gates). He is not a genius. He isn't even very smart. Maybe a bit above average. He has been in the right places.



-- dd dd, February 22, 1999

OK people, first the myth that apple created the GUI. Guess again. It was Xerox. They just never did anything with it. Second, Microsoft isn't the evil that's ruining the computer industry. Face it, If MS didn't release Win95 The computer industry would be a lot smaller than it is now. Apple could of been the leader, but, they blew it. When companies asked IBM to clone the PC IBM struck a deal. Apple said no. Competition in the PC market cause prices to drop and drive new products. The result was that people opted for the less expensive PC. Since more were being sold more software was available. It was inevitable that the PC would eclipse the MAC. It's simple economics, has nothing to do with Microsoft. They just had the better selling OS. Have you actually seen how much the I-Mac cost? Not exactly a great deal.

If Microsoft has bullied manufacturers they should be called on it. That doen't effect the simple fact that they have the best/easiest/most widely available OS out there.

Linux. Give me a break. Linux is a great stable OS. It's definately not for the masses. Unlike Win95/98 it supports very little hardware and is a bear to get up and running. Give a user a copy of Windows and a copy of Linux to install. I'd bet money on them liking windows better. Even if Linux were easier, how many people would go to a system where they can't run the applications and games they already own? Hmmm. Maybe the stupid people. That's the reason OS/2 never flew. By the time they were compatable with windows 3.11 apps Win95 was out. If it wasn't such a big factor why would IBM and Apple even try to emulate Windows?

I don't respect Microsoft's business practices, but, I do respect thier products. Until there is a REAL alternative to MS products whining about Bill Gates isn't going to make a scrap of difference.

-- anon anon, February 26, 1999

I see no need for any extra "opinions" on the subject. I doubt that adding one would influence anyone's thoughts on the subject anyways. I've decided instead to post a question to the forum as I have noticed that many of the recent contributors were also Programmers. My question is very simple. I've been wanting to secure a position with Microsoft Corp for some time now as a vb programmer; however, before I get sunk into the normal "system" I was wondering if anyone could offer some insight into "what's the best way to go". Is it an "unspoken rule" to have to have an "in" with them: or will the normal send a resume and hope for an interview process be ok? I really don't have any interest in working for any other company.. it's not really about money to me; I just want to work for them. If their happens to be anyone else that has already gone through the process their and could lend some thoughts I would be greatly appreciative. Reguards; ~myserver

-- J Hudak, March 7, 1999
Microsoft keeps all it's employees hopped up on caffiene as much as possible. There are free coolers of Pepsi and Coca Cola products everywhere in most all buildings. Free, help yourself. Healthy programmers need craploads of sugar and caffiene coursing through their veins, ya know.

From the sounds of MOST Microsoft employees I've met and talked to, one might wonder if Bill is paying Pepsi, etc. to add some more chemicals to their brainwashing brews.

-- Mike C, March 9, 1999

So Bill is the big man on campus. Does it matter? Look to the future and ask yourself this: Who will be next after Bill and will I hate him or her as much and will I bash their product/s like I bash everything else I didn't invent or create? Stop crying and do something about your personal wealth or wellbeing. Take a look in the mirror and rate what you see.

-- Bryn Rector, March 9, 1999
Personally, the more money you have, the sweeter life is. Think about it... if you HAVE money, you tell everyone "Life Is Good!". If you DO NOT HAVE money, everyone thinks you're an asshole for the way you're acting. It's a simple law of psychology, really. Answer me one question... if you were as rich as Bill Gates, would you be an asshole?

-- Matt Coulter, March 11, 1999
I'd like to say a few things....

First and foremost, Microsoft is a good company. In fact, I think It's a great company, that has done great things to the U.S. economy. Windows is an easy to use operating system that you can use at work, home, or at school. For example, sometimes I type up reports on my home computer and print them out at school. Both computers use Windows, so I don't have to worry about mastering two operating systems. The number of jobs created resulting from Microsoft is more than 10,000 times greater than the number of jobs loss from the competition. Microsoft played a big role in the development of the first personal computer and the Apple Machintosh. Microsoft also made BASIC more useful and popular for computer companies.

Secondly, Microsoft is a harsh, brutal, cut-throat company that's trying to stay on top of a harsh, brutal, cut-troat industry. It's mean, but it's also capitalism. In the 80's, the U.S. Government spent millions and millions of tax payer's dollars trying to break up a mighty company called IBM. Eventually, IBM won the case.... where is IBM today? (no comment.)

Third, what is the point of this Web site? To make fun of Bill Gates and to prove that he is the devil? What has he done to you? Unless you lost your job because of his company, you have no right to continue this "quest" to destroy and expose the man. (The last sentence goes out to the "Bill Bashers" a.k.a. "Bitter losers who can't stop thing about how much money he has until he loses it.") The Government's economist in the anti-trust trial admitted in court that Microsoft does not hurt consumers in any way. (i.e. you and me.)

Fourth, so what if he is an asshole. That's none of your business. You don't live next to the man or work in the same building as him. Why should you care if he is an asshole?

-- Daniel Whang, March 16, 1999

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

-- Sean Lester, March 31, 1999
Lot of people in India do admire Bill Gates. Some of them think that he is the President of United States. Bill meets with President of India, and State Chief Ministers when he goes to India.

-- Ram Thinakar, April 9, 1999
TOO MANY PEOPLE SPEND THEIR TIME AND ENERGY ON OTHER PEOPLE. THEY ARE JUST BLOODY JEALOUS! SPEND THIS TIME ON YOURSELVES AND YOU'LL GET ALOT FURTHER. YEAH! (FROM ANITER)

-- PARMINDER DHADWAL, April 13, 1999
He earn all the money by selling rubbish software, full of bugs, so many people wasting a lot of time because of "Install,Install,Install again", so let us spend some time here instead of wasting more time there, close the windows, use "door", We must stop Mr.B taking aways the whole world of PC now, else will be too late, ..he is like Mr.H (Germeny) in Second World War, tried to own everything.

-- Robert Chua, April 21, 1999
Bill Gates is a genius! Simple as that! The guy really just does nothing and makes a couple of million doing it! Great! How do I get a job like that? Who gives a shit whether or not Windows is any good, I use it every day and I live with the crashes - it is still alot better than the Mac I once had, which I could get nothing for (except virii). I've seen children of 6 switching on PCs and navigating Windows to play their games, surf the net, whatever - how many 6 year olds could do that with Unix?

-- Darren Gallagher, April 23, 1999
+++++++++++++++++++++++THIS IS A SIMPLE MATTER++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If you have a problem with Mr. Gates, the day your kind will ever come to sit with a person of his class, enlighten him on your dis-approval. Otherwise ....

-- Ameen Oluajayi, April 28, 1999
I find it amusing how some readers of this page cannot appreciate it simply for the humor (isn't it listed under that subheading?). True, there are whiners out there who bash Microsoft because 1. Billg is richer than they will ever be and 2. they are engineers but are not not good enough to be hired by Microsoft. 3. they are not engineers and have no clue of what they're talking about. But "Why Bill Gates is Richer than You" is just one of Philip Greenspun's humorous observations about society. He has the same controversial yet funny views about other issues/organizations such as the MIT tuition, the Media Lab, and his own engineering degree. Anyone who has met/talked to Philip knows that he is not a "whiner" nor is he jealous of Bill Gates' wealth.

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

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

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

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

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

-- Aileen Tang, May 6, 1999

Many of you whiners are claiming that B.G. should spread his money around to all you starving cs majors (or charities, or whoever). In a sense, he does. I quit school and started an internet business using ONLY Microsoft products (.. okay ... maybe WinZip and PainShop Pro too...Navigator only to test compatability) and sold it about a year later for a several million bucks. So I just wanted to say thanks, Bill, without MSFT I'd be some depressed programmer or teacher complaining about your questionable business practices. But instead I'm a millionaire!

How many other millionaires has he made? And not just at MSFT!

-- Yay Hippies!, May 12, 1999

No one forced Bill Gates to become a college drop out. No one forced the firm in Seattle to sell its rudimentary operating systme to MSFT. No one forced Gary Kildall to send IBM packing when they flew (at Bill Gates' suggestion) to Pacific Grove to look into the Kildall operating system. No one forced IBM to go back to MSFT to again ask MSFT to develop an OS. No once forced IBM to REFUSE to buy the OS from MSFT, which is what MSFT wanted. No one forced IBM to liscense the OS. And no one forces consumers to buy anything from MSFT.

-- S. D. Halstead, May 27, 1999
Computer is a big toy Programming is a big game Game should had rule Rule must be fair Game should had more than one player If only one player, game over!

-- Robert Chua, May 29, 1999
Since I've been a mac user for over ten years, I've read and participated in many discussions over the relative merits of Macs vs. PCs. It does get tiring though, simply because different people value different things in their computers. I think it's pretty difficult to successfully argue that PCs are more elegant, intuitive and stable than Macs, but they are in the majority and that brings along its own benefits. Fortunately, the Mac has been able to rely on a fiercly loyal user community, and for that reason (and the pool of disdain for Microsoft and Gates) will not die out in the near future. I'm tired of arguing. The only thing that matters to me now is what happens with the DOJ's lawsuit. The dominance of Widows PCs is slightly annoying, but it doesn't particularly bother me, because I have other options. However, if Microsoft continually 'adapts' open-standard technologies like Java and HTML or continually produces their own replacements for standard technologies (such as MPEG3 or Quicktime) and subsequently uses their huge clout to make deals with other big companies to deliver content solely with their technologies, then gradually you will have fewer and fewer choices until suddenly you realise that one company literally controls everything. Admittedly, having one company controlling everything would make things easier (I'd never have to worry about compatibility again!), but there's no way I'd trust Microsoft to be that company - a company that has more resources and money than practically any other, but still can't manage to come out with a stable OS! Microsoft produces shoddy software, but they were in the right place at the right time, and their products have been good enough to get millions more people using computers every day, so I can't really dis them.

I guess what this boils down to is that the OS you use is up to you - but the internet should remain un-branded. That way we can all get along!

-- Elliot Long, May 29, 1999

Just adding a comment: OK, my browser (and I admitt complains about this: I use Explorer) crashes every day, Word never lets me process documents larger than 140 pages properly, Access oftenly answers "not enough memory" when opening a file, but I USE them, and YOU use them, and everyone uses them, because of one only reason: compatibility. So do not cry you all sissies if you haven't got the guts to cope with this: question is not complaining but acting. I can't use them, as I work preparing .doc documents, but there MUST be someone, I know, that can, and I know there are a lot of you, so stop being so vain and use Netscape, or even programs that are not free, but not Microchof ones. I really don't matter about a man controlling my life, but I do if he is so stupid as Gate's is. He seems to be some kind of undeveloped human being, surely he's got a couple of bugs in he doesn't care too much of.

-- Piccolo Boy, June 13, 1999
Bill Gates may be rich, but he has all the culture of trailer trash. He dresses like he shops at WalMart. If you are going to wear off-the-rack-clothes, at least buy Armani!

-- Rossz Vamos-Wentworth, June 18, 1999
Why are so many pissed off at him? I mean people keep saying he is selfish for not giving away his money. Everyone seems to think that he is some kind of stereotypical miser who sits in a vault lighting cigars with with burning 100$ bills. What people can't seem to understand is that he has $96 billion in assets and STOCKS. It's not like he has all that cash in a checking account. And he does give money away by the way. I've heard ridiculous stories stating he gives away all sorts of cola drinks at his plants and offices, in order to have all his programmers work better (high on the caffeine). He's not forcing anyone to drink it, he just gives his employees some refreshments, to be nice.

And to those of you who are worried that he has monopolized software and is too powerful. Don't worry so much. Nothing lasts forever, focus on some more important things. Things like YOUR ambitions, and who you are, or what your doing here. I have a quote for you(although you probably won't get it). It's a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley :

"I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert....Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my words, ye mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away."

-- John Mathias, June 20, 1999

You can't understand why people are so angry with Bill Gates? Does it really seem like jealousy to you? Or, is there perhaps a feeling of injustice that permeates when people hear the name Bill Gates? BILL GATES IS A THEIF!! He ripped off other people to get where he is today. It didn't have anything to do with being smart... He lied. He cheated. He stole. He strong-armed. He is the bully who tries to sell His protection. He is the mafioso of the Commercial Software world. People who are angry with him are angry BECAUSE of the injustice. I contribute to the Open Software world. Software should be free! I could sell what I do, but that would make me one of them! Exploitation of the masses... Do you really feel that you can live with this? Sure, Ozymandias' threat of being indestructible is two-fold. He thought he was omnipotent. But, viewing him in ruins while reading of his threats, is ironic. For he has already been brought down. This may be your way of saying all things come to an end, but is there any end in sight for Microsoft's tyranny? Use FreeBSD, use Netscape, build your computers on Unix operating systems, and shut out Microsoft's hold on the world. THAT is where your power lies!

-- Julia Martin, June 21, 1999
It all comes down to jealousy.Each and everyone of us strive to be wealthy and financially secure.Why criticize and degrade a man for building a multi billion dollar empire? If in fact he stole ideas and strategies to get him where he's at today,what comes around-goes around.Its all about the all mighty dollar and the one with the most toys in the end....WINS! The man had a dream to revolutionize the age of computers and he succeeded.Its a dog eat dog world and greed is a huge part of our society. Bill Gates is a genious!

-- Dave Striebel, June 22, 1999
You are wrong. And quite obviously NOT a genius, or even playing with a full deck. You can't even spell the word GENIUS correctly. The person who dies with the most toys is a dead person who can't take it with them. YOU may think greed rules the world. It obviously rules your world. Maybe you should step out of your '80's shell and think of someone other than yourself for a change. Try NOT being a pathetic, zit-picking, lonely loser and see how your life transforms.

-- John Phillips, June 23, 1999
Steve Jobs is a genius ; Bill Gates is not - both are richer than me. Macs are the fastest (www.byte.com), most customizable, easiest to use, and best looking computers on the market. If you don't see that, you are either blind or stupid.

-- Bill Gates, June 24, 1999
This crusade against Bill Gates reminds me of some of the mud we see slung about by the extremists (left or right wing) during election years. The "666" comparisons have all been made before, with targets like Ronald Wilson Reagan. Making fun of Gates and calling him autistic is just juvenile. It's all just very, very childish. In politics, as in computers (and most other subjects), the only truly intelligent input comes from the middle of the road. Bottom line- Unix is more stable, Mac OS is more intuitive, Win9x is compatible with more hardware. One can find good points to any OS. I was a huge Commodore 64 fan. It was one of the greatest gaming machines ever. It taught us two things-programming in BASIC and pirating software. The Amiga was great because of its tight OS. The old Atari computers were lots of fun, and one could use the console games in it. Okay, I guess I can't say much good about the TRS-80. That was just crap. No OS or computer has ever come close to being perfect. Maybe the thing to do is make something better. I'm not saying that as an insult. Really...make something better. Start improving upon the work of a previous generation. The stuff we're arguing about has been around in some form at least since the seventies. Stay up late working on the new OS. Be dirt poor for a while. Start a company with a few friends and sell the thing. The alternative? Get your CS or engineering degree from the Bozo Institute of Technology, get a programming (or better yet, consulting) job with ArrogantNerds Incorporated helping grandmothers track down lost kittens on the Internet, move to a few more companies, maybe start your own, and probably make a decent salary. The sad part is, nobody will remember you. The one small thing you contributed will be phased out in a service pack, and you will never be heard from again. I've worked my way through most of the Gates bashing on Phil's site, and all I can think is...what a waste of time and effort. Get out of Junior High mode and start thinking outside the box.

-- christian stock, June 28, 1999
I don't understand all the built up hostility over Bill Gates and Microsoft. There has always been and always be corporations that dominate the world... look at GM, GE, ATT, IBM, Std Oil, US Steel... I mean Microsoft is just the big whig now. Its not that they supply a premium product or anything, they just supply their product better. Its like in "Pirates of Silicon Valley" Steve Jobs gets all pissed off when he thinks Gates has stolen from him and says that what Apple has is better. Bill replies "You just don't get it Steve!" and points at his product already released. Apple may have been better but Microsoft beat them to the punch. Bill is not hording billions either. Like someone pointed out, his money is tied up in stocks. The 2 books he has written have all profits go toward non-profit organizations and charities. When Bill dies, 20% of his wealth is left to his children and the other 80% goes directly to various charities and institutions. Microsoft dis not steal its ideas from Apple... both derived their OS from Xerox... Don't rant and rave about a man that has amassed more wealth than several continents contain (fyi, GE is actually bigger in terms of total assets). If everyone switches to Linux then the monoplies just swing to that side... let it be.

-- Mike Brown, June 28, 1999
Some people who watched Pirates of Si Val are led to think that Steve Jobs and Wozniak did nothing but walked in to plunder PARC technology. That is very dramatic and appealing indeed. Many who write or believe such after watching that TV show were probably crying in diapers while my friends and I were hacking the Apple. The TVmovie really dispersed my earlier knowledge that the original PARC window was really cumbersome and not saleable. Perhaps that was why Xerox execs were not impressed. If the TVMovie is accurate I stand (or sit to type) to be corrected. Still, has anyone seen the ancient Apollo interface. (UNbelieveable: The other day I hoyed to my colleague, "You still use that Apollo fossil. Why don't you move to CDE?") That cumbersome interface, I believe, could still have been better than PARC's. Finally, Windows NT / 95 has the best look and feel.

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

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

-- Syloke Soong, July 2, 1999

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

-- Andrew Grumet, July 4, 1999
Its like in "Pirates of Silicon Valley"...Apple may have been better but Microsoft beat them to the punch.

The Mac (1/1984) was released nearly two years before Windows 1.0 (11/1985). Windows 1.0 was a joke -- a colossal failure that I've rarely met anyone who even claims to have used. Windows remained virtually unusable, and a nonentity commercially until version 3.0, released in May 1990, six years after the Mac. That Apple beat Microsoft to the GUI market by years is pretty obvious to anyone who actually used computers during the late 1980's, as opposed to someone whose source of information is TV movies.

Bill is not hording billions either.

At last report, he had a $5 billion+ personal portfolio, mostly in bonds, completely apart from his holdings in Microsoft. He is indeed hording billions.

-- Mark Ciccarello, July 8, 1999

After reading many people comments, opinions, arguments, essays, and ramblings over the past few years that I've payed attention, I've noticed one major thing in most of them. That thing is ignorance. Many of the people that write columns and things of the such don't know Bill Gates _personally_. They only know him through other ignorant people's opinions. In case people haven't found this out over the past few thousand years, ignorance spawns ingorance, and intollerance spawns intollerance.

Bill gates has worked for his fortune. He may not have to work any more, but that is due to something that everyone in the USA is capable of. That is residual income. This is when you invest enough time and/or money into something that it begins to make an income for you even when you don't work. In other words, you can sit back, and the money will keep rolling in. As he stands, Bill Gates can walk away completely from Microsoft, and it will still make him money.

Microsoft has gained its popularity over the years by creating an easier product, and putting it on the market before anyone else. This happened long before it was a software dynasty. People don't want to spend minutes doing common tasks, when they only _have_ to spend seconds. For what Microsoft's products are designed to do, they do it well. This is like the Mac versus PC arguement. Every situation is different, so every solution is different.

For all of you out there that are getting ready to flame me, I am not making this commentary from a biased view. I use Windows AND Linux. Each has lived up to my expectations of it for what I am using it for. I can complain about them both, or I can accept the fact that I personally can't change either one, simply because I don't have the skill to write or rewrite an operating system. As a programmer, I can customize them and write applications for them, but I can't write them.

By the way, for all those of you that have been wondering, I am a highschool graduate with no plans to go onto college. The sad thing is that our educational system breeds this kind of thinking into people that says, "You need a good education so you can grow up and get a good career, work you butt off for the rest of your life, roll over, and die." This is not true, however. The knowledge I have gained about computers and their applications in the world has been through personal experience and reading (the key to all knowledge).

Anyway...I'm going to stop before I get too off topic. Those are my two cents worth.

=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
Never stop chasing your dreams, because the moment
you do is the moment that your mind dies, and you
begin waiting for your body to catch up.

-Thomas Cameron
=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=



-- Thomas Cameron, July 9, 1999
Why can't people leave Bill alone?! It's not like he won the money off a lottery! The reason why he has so much money is that he has a good marketing plan!

-- Chi-wing Leung, July 9, 1999
It's my contention that the reason I don't like Bill Gates or Microsoft is because they produce second-rate products and sell them for exhorbinantly high amounts. If Windows were free, maybe they would have an excuse for turning out such filth. But when I upgraded to Windows 95 almost 4 years ago, I paid $90 of my hard earned money (I was 14 at the time). What did I get? An operating system that, while admittedly was easier, was also less stable. Windows has gotten worse with each successive release, yet people are still paying for it. Disgusting. Bill Gates has gotten rich because of the operating system monopoly. Instead of innovating, he has stolen the ideas of others. Instead of creating his own products, he just purchases smaller companies which he sees as a threat (example? Hotmail, WebTV). Gates is intelligent, yes. But he's a disgusting human being. If he's so ultra-competitive, why does Microsoft squash competition or buy it all up? The Microsoft way is overflowing with hypocrisy. Well, that, and half-assed products. So how can I call them hypocrites? Aren't I using Microsoft products? Nope, I've seen the lights. There are many of them. There's Linux. There's BeOS. For serving, there's FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD. There are better products out there than what Microsoft has created. You don't have to tolerate the Blue Screens of Death, the lockups and the crashes. Microsoft has forced complacency onto so many people. They think that a BSoD is normal; that operating systems crash occasionally and that's the way it is. Well, I've got news for the public at large - that's not the way it is. For those that are tired of being slaves to Microsoft's monopoly, I welcome email at dvdbn@yahoo.com - I've got a LOT of information about alternative operating systems and I'll probably be setting up a website in the near future as a sort of one-stop source for alternative OS information. There are better ways and Microsoft could be the best if only they wanted to be. For more information on this view or any alternative OS, please email me.

-David Ham
dvdbn@yahoo.com

-- David Ham, July 9, 1999

Well, I browsed through most of the comments, and frankly..I was bored and wondered why I was wasting precious moments of my life reading this garbage. So, I'm going outside to breathe real air, and do something constructive, instead of looking at this rubbish.

-- d c, July 9, 1999
Well I had just typed several hundred lines of my thoughts on this subject, and my Opera browser locked up. Fun, eh? Here's a "Readers Digest Condensed Version". Who's better? Mac or PC? It dosen't matter.. it's all marketing and licencing. BETA was a FAR better format than VHS, and how many of you rent BETA videos at your local video store?? But you'll find BETA format in most commercial TV stations. Techie types DO NOT make up the bulk of computer sales per year. It's "Joe Novice" the poor guy who just wants a box to hit the net and do work at home.. and when he shuffles into his local computer store what's he going to buy? #1 a $1200.00 iMac? This "graphics" system can't even run 2 .MOV files at once on screen.Internal expansion is limited, it has jack squat for pre-loaded software, and the mouse is a worse designed product than Windows 1.0! (but it LOOKS neat!) #2 a $699.00 Compaq? It's got all kinds of goodies, AND tons of bundled software, nice mouse and keyboard.. it also just so happens to be a "PC" like you use at work.. has Office97 like you use at work, and has a general "familuar" feel. (it's not as neat looking as the iMac, but the fact that it has TWICE the software support makes up for it) Now if you don't know squat about computers, which are YOU going to buy? THAT is why Bill Gates is more wealthy than most of us. Simply because he writes the main OS/Software for the most popular platform. Now let me say this.. I own BOTH PC and MAC.. and i'm a die-hard Mac fan.. AND EVEN I WOULDN"T BUY THE IMAC! Hardware speaking RISC systems are far superior to CISC systems..but again, that dosen't mean much to the guy who want's to run the same software as his pals, and co-workers, and they all run PC's. Mac's will never become as popular as PC's untill Apple can make a computer that MEETS or BEATS the PC's in the under $1K bracket. When they do that, sales and software support will follow. Finally, as much as I dislike Microsolth, you do have to give them a LITTLE credit.. they have to write an OS to work with a hodgepodge of diffrent hardware.. Apple has the benefit of building both the hardware AND the OS.. which explains the main reason it runs alot more stable than somthing like NT or 95. In conclusion, don't say somthing sucks out of spite or hatred. Don't say Microsoft sucks because you wish you had it's CEO's money.. and don't say somthing is better because it's somthing the "pied piper" led you to buy.. that is simply childish, and makes you sound like an idiot. Yes, MS software is second rate at best.. but if you want to promote another system, or OS, then mabie you ought to spend all your reserved energy on PROMOTING your system/OS of choice instead of bashing the other.

Thanks. P.S. I'm about as open minded as they come.. feel free to visit MY website at www.criscotwister.com .. email/flamage/comments always welcome! (by the way, I wrote my HTML in notepad.. the only Microsloth software I own stable enugh to use on a regular basis! well.. besides mabie Solitaire!)

-- frank anderson, July 10, 1999

Basically I think that everybody is jealous of Bill's money. So everyone can go to hell.

-- Kelly V., July 13, 1999
The comments on this page just go to prove that the more you know about computers the more you realize how evil Bill Gates is.

-- Malcolm Lawrence, July 14, 1999
He was spoonfed from day one and he uses people for his own gain. Anyone with the same resources can probably achieve the same. I have lost all respect for this bastard who pretends to be innocent, smart and hardworking as he is definitely not.

-- John Rogers, July 17, 1999
Miscrosoft tools have made simplier the use of micro computer for common issues. I think it is time to also focus on scientific and technical areas since most of actual results will be requested as basic tools in the next millenium's challenges.

-- Claude TADONKI, July 17, 1999
What A Bunch Of Crap, a Bunch of damn whiners who are pissed off that they don't have any money. you all make me sick.

-- Chris Wheeler, July 23, 1999
I don't understand why people are so obsessed with Bill Gates. He is doing the same thing thousands of other Corporate Executives in this country do. Microsoft makes a simple, easy to use product that works pretty well. They do a better job of marketing than any of the others.

All the criticism of Bill Gates, and none of Steve Jobs. And yet Jobs certainly did not come up with his on OS. He stole it from Xerox. OK, he purchased it much the same as we purchased Manhattan from the Indians.

-- John W, July 23, 1999

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

-- none --, July 23, 1999
I think that we should all worry about being ripped off in other areas of our lives besides this whole Bill Gates thing. What about reseting our own mindless minds. Bill is getting all this hype, and if he does take over the world, it will be more our fault then his. I mean look, he's got us rambling about him whether we hate him, love him, or don't care about him. If you don't want him to have all this "power" then don't be brainwashed to think he's God or the devil. He's just one man lucky enough to make his mark, whether it be good or bad. Don't get me wrong, I don't like getting ripped off, but I just can't see how what he's done by selling products can get so many people crazy. That's his power, not the money, but the attention that he gets from all of us. No one person has had an original idea since Newton so who are we to blame him for copying or stealing? Our government steals from us, our insurance man steals from us, the college you or your children attend steals from us. Lets face it, most of us have computers in our homes because we want it there, not because we need it there. I know that it's used by programmers and others who are in the IT industry, but how many of us all fit into this slot? Not many, not nearly as many as those who own one. So we buy because we are all mindless consumers. For now it is computers that is the hot trend, but sometime soon, it will change into something else that we will all fight about but nevertheless buy whether we want it or not to simply keep up with the Joneses. So why not just stop?

-- Lisa Herrmann, July 26, 1999
This web page is a nice perspective on human nature. Look at how many people "Hate" Bill Gates, though they have never met the man. They wern't there at the birth of his first child. They wern't present at his wedding. Yet they feel qualified to state that they hate him.

Is it how he makes his money? If I bought a power-of-sale house, put on a fresh coat of paint, then sold it for a lot more than I bought it for, would I be stealing? If I bought that same house, fixed it up and then rented it out and made lots of money from it, would I be wrong? Not bloody likely, yet it's wrong that Gates bought CP/M cheap, fixed it up a little, then turned around and made a fortune from it.

I'm not going to defend Bill Gates; considering the wealth he's accumulated, I'm sure he can fight his own battles. I'm also not going to defend Microsoft or Windows, since I've used other better OS's. However, I do have to say that it's easy to sit back and criticize someone you don't know when they're wealthy and you're not. But unless you know a person first hand, whether it be Bill Gates or someone else who's better off than you are, your hatred of such a person shows through as jealousy and greed.

It's ironic though that it's the people who sit back and cry and complain about why they hate certain people never are able to find sucess themselves; yet those who live their own life and don't complain about anyone but rather take action in their own lives are the truly sucessful ones. For that reason, I feel sorry for anyone who hates people who are more successful than they are.

-- PS QUIRK, July 28, 1999

Say what you will about Windows and all that; it may or may not be a crappy OS, depending on how uses it, and what for. But, as a business man Bill Gates is my hero! What's this crap about him stealing MS-DOS??? He bought it! It was a brillaint move! We're not talking about art here. It's irrelelvant whether or not it was originally his idea. The important thing was the Bill Gates saw opportunity, and the guy he bought it from obviously did not. Now, if we were talking about fine art, thing's would be different. Then it matters that the idea was your own. But not in business. To me he's the American Dream personified; he started from nothing in his appartment and got to where he's the richest man in the universe in some 20 years. Not bad. Not bad at all. You have to respect that! People in the world have the power to stop him by not buying from him if he was really all that bad, so he's obviously doing something right. Of course, Windows leaves a lot to wish for, but hey, what doesn't? I'm sure even Windows will improve over the years...

-- Bobby Sinclair, July 29, 1999
This is the decade of the "two Bills". They are very much alike. There is some evidence that they are friends. Both have achieved fame and fortune in similar ways. Simply stated, they were both very lucky. Both behaved outrageously in semi-obscurity. Both received the benefit of the doubt (Clinton by the press and Gates by the market) even when it was clear that they were misrepresenting themselves. Both have taken extraordinary lengths to rewrite their histories. Personally, I think that the climb of Gates was somewhat less distasteful than that of Clinton--largely because the damage was possibly less pervasive.

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

-- Ken Tingey, July 30, 1999
I want to see Bill get rich enough to buy the world, I think he could buy a few small country's now. Then I want him to tell you all to get off, which would be his legal right can't anyone see how wrong our Society is with its present capitalist system where money is god and all is O.K. if its within the law..



-- david scheer, August 2, 1999

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

-- Ray Dillinger, August 16, 1999
We need an operating system and application standard so that we can go anywhere in the world, turn on a computer, and have a familiar environment to work in. Unfortunately Microsoft provides that standard, but let's face it, if Apple or any other company were in Microsofts enviable position, it would unload all kinds of bug-filled crap on us too, just because it can.

Monopolies are an unavoidable side effect of the computer software industry as HUGE investments of time in learning an operating systems or programs functions and interface are wasted if we decide to switch to a competitors product. Therefore the cost of switching is astronomical. I would have to be paid a ton of money to switch to a Mac and give up my PC forever, I have too much time invested. Its not like trading in a Ford for a BMW, Ford doesnt own the interface to its cars forcing BMW to rearrange their steering wheel, gear shift, instruments, pedals and doors because Ford has exclusive ownership of the familiar interface. Until governments recognize this unique industry trait, and regulate it from a different perspective, Bills going to get richer.

Who cares how Microsoft got to that position, there have surely been shadier, more underhanded and unethical goings on in the business world, they just havent been as successful. Bill Gates is just a socially inept nerd who was born at the right time, to the right parents, and was smart enough to see how getting into a dominant position in the software industry is a hell of a lot more profitable than being top in any other industry.

What pisses me off is that billions of dollars have been spent on computer hardware this year and ten years from now it will all be in the trash. Sure billions more have been spent on software that has the same fate, but there are ways to get virtually any software you want for free. I sure as hell dont give Microsoft any money. Maybe Id hate Bill more if I did.

-- Steven Ferry, August 22, 1999

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

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

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

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

-- Jay Mason, September 7, 1999

I'm kinda tired listening to all this Anti-Bill Gates stuff. Yes, one may talk about all kinds of bugs and unfair economic power, but in my opinion this must be viewed under a more global point of view. Just an example: If Linux would have been before Win 3.x, and if Linux would have been easy to install, even for a non-PC technician such as MS-Dos and Win 3.x were, maybe everything would have been different.

(Hey! Wait! Who knows, if there wasn't Windows, maybe there wouldn't have been Linux...)

Maybe now, you would complain about Lars, inventor of Linux. I remember my first MS-Dos and Win days: it was hard, but then there was this graphic interface for PC, and things started to be more clear. The fact is: Due to windows, millions of people learned to use PC machines. No chance if there wasn't this Windows, affordable and quite clear to everyone. The growth in this sector became so fast and so uncontrolled that the nowadays situation is the result of it. You can't blame Microsoft for having bugs inside their software. When you blame them for the money they want for their software, remember what I told before. It's easy now for everyone to blame Bill Gates. But who, average man or woman could have distinguished a CPU from RAM years ago? One point: Yes, I am a Win 95 user. And yes, I'm changing to Linux. Just because I saw Win 98 running and I think Microsoft's role as big introductory wing has finished. Now it's time for some innovative ideas again, for small, capable software houses, who have the revolutionary idea. I honestly respect Microsoft and the work it did. Without them, we'd still be typing at a dark screen, in green chars.

Thanks Bill,

-- Pasqualino Imbemba, September 14, 1999

Hello all, my name is Mike and I work as a Computer Technician for a local community college. First off, I want to state that 1) Yes, I like Microsoft and their OS. And 2) I'm not envious, angry, or bitter about where Bill Gates is and how he got there. I have heard numerous complaints, gripes, and just plain old outrageous comments about Windows and frankly I'm getting sick of it. Unix, Linux, and Apple users are all jealous nerds that never bothered to think of the average user and what their needs might entail. Microsoft has the monumental task of supporting an OS that runs on millions of different computers. This alone will make ANY OS(Yes including the so-called iron-clad Unix)to crash. Virtually every error that I have seen involving a Windows OS resulted in a hardware error or third-party software package with buggy code. Mud-slinging abounds, as usual, and the Unix-Linux community are quick to howl and moan everytime something from Microsoft shows itself to be better, faster, and easier to use. Apple is no exception. A display ad for the G3 in Fry's Electronics in Wilsonville OR states: Apple G3 vs. PC compatiable computer, 6.4GB HDD = 18GB HDD on PC(Excuse me?) G3 400Mhz CPU = PIII 800Mhz(Intel has YET to even produce a 800 and I doubt the 400 is faster!) 64Mb 100Mhz RAM = 192MB on PC(??) Obviously Apple needs to hire a marketing rep with at least elementry math skills. Of course we all remember the infamous Apple G3 vs. Compaq computer demonstration. A G3 300Mhz was tested alongside a PII 400 and the G3 was supposedly proved to be the faster processor. Little did the people know that the programs used on the Mac were compiled and optimized for the G3 CPU and the apps used on the Compag were built with a 486 compiler! Interesting. Before anyone goes and sticks me for a Microsoft defender, I want to say that, no I'm not COMPLETELY satisfied with Microsoft products. But I'm not exactly fed up with them either. I look at it this way, if Apple or some other OS was at the top of the heap like Microsoft, the segment that is against that particular OS would be more vocal because it's user base would be greatly increased. What we are dealing with here is a battle ground between techs and software developers with the user getting caught in the middle. Microsoft is pictured as a bloated, stupid, mindless superpower that creates second-rate products while Apple and Unix are the users "Knight in shining armour" that will end their troubles and bring peace and compatibility to the country. But in actuality, does the average user know how to(or want to?) download a word processor that he or she thinks might be cool and then compile it to use on their Linux system? The typical user has no idea what a compiler is let alone how to use one. Speaking of compiling, a friend of mine that prefers to remain unknown recently recompiled Mac OS X to use on his Intel based PC. Guess what? It runs faster, and loads quicker then if he used it on a G3, how unsurprizing. All in all money seems to be a huge issue here. Bill Gates is not the only software magnate that exists in this world. I'm sure that Steve has more then enough cash to throw around. Apple and the OS they use is an insult to more advanced computer users. But perfect for the entry level user. It's a pretty display with out any functionality. Plain and simple. If that doesn't sink in, then just go back to trying to program your VCR without much success. Well...I've said my say, my American right to my opinion. Anyone can disagree and tell me I'm full of it if they so wish, if anyone has read this far. Thank you for all your time, and remember, no matter what OS you use, have fun!!!! :)

Mike

-- Michael Lawrence, September 14, 1999

Here's irony: I learned to use (and love) UNIX and Linux through a telnet window on MS Windows 3.11 . I've made the switch and have not spent a dime on Microsoft junk in almost 10 years.



-- Amy B., September 15, 1999

Recently,Bill an Melinda Gates made a donation of 1 billion dollars toward education minority students. I think this is one of the most best rewards an individual minority student can strive for. I can remember being in school having to take out all kind of loans and finally the federal government got their money. This is a great opportunity for a success story.

-- michael williams, September 17, 1999
I got information about freshly discovered security hole in WinNT 4.0 (C2 certified OS!).I have no idea whot to do with it so I've decided to put it here. I got this 3 days ago (I think, originally it was discovered in Sun) so may be its not a new one. Basically this hole means that any screensaver on presumably locked workstation (Ctrl+Alt+Del then Lock Workstation) is called in the security context of an original user. So that screensaver does have access to all resources of the particular workstation and corporate network, granted to the original user. To demonstrate an astonishing effect of this discovery one can:

1. Copy cmd.exe from \winnt\system32 folder to \winnt folder

2. Rename that copy (in \winnt) to cmd.scr

3. Go to screen properties (e.g. from Control Panel)

4. Set CMD as default screensaver,

5. Set Password Protection to ON (to be more secured :)

6. Set Wait time to 1 minute

7. Press OK button

8. Lock out the system (Ctrl+Alt+Del then Lock Workstation)

Now your system is secured. At least you think so.

Just wait a minute ;-)

After this time anybody can play with your LOCKED workstation.

-- Serge Nikulin, September 23, 1999

interesting page, almost completely filled with rants from people who don't really know what they are talking about. I CAN clear up a couple errors, though... 1. VHS vs. Beta: Someone said something about how you will see Beta format in commercial stations. true and false. The consumer version that died was actually BetaMAX. the commercial (broadcast) is BetaCAM. huge difference. In fact, BetaCAM is as incompatible with BetaMAX as it is with VHS. If you are going to talk about BetaCAM then you should be comparing it to MII, not VHS or BetaMAX. BetaCAM uses the same PHYSICAL format as BetaMAX did, but the method of recording the data is completely different. Similarly, MII uses the same PHYSICAL format as VHS, with a totally different recording method. By the way, MII is incompatible with VHS. BetaMAX died for a very simple reason. When the 2 formats (VHS & Beta) were created, Matsushita (VHS) allowed other companies to build compatible machines, while Sony (Beta) did not. Does that sound at all familiar? 2. Linux creator was Linus Torvalds. Well, he actually wrote the kernel. Not Lars. As in, Bill Gates, not Bob Gates. so, if we are going to discuss topics as if we know something about them, why don't we actually take the time to FIND OUT ABOUT THEM FIRST??? similarly, if you don't like Windows, don't use it. and shut up. Jim Haver <just my opinion, i could be wrong>

-- Jim Haver, September 24, 1999
There's nothing wrong with Bill Gates that a good stock market crash won't fix.

-- Pat Lander, September 28, 1999
Bill Gates is not that smart, only one in a million or so. That means there are about 300 people in the US that are just as smart or smarter.

Me, for instance. Granted, the quiz show featuring all those nerds on PBS made the contestants nervous, but I answered 3 questions faster/correct that many, including Bill, did not:

1. What is 11 multiplied by 11, assuming that the question and the answer are both in base 81? [No one got that right, however I did immediately.]

2. Who of the following wears an earring... [three nerd's names were presented]. I knew that the third name would be the correct one, eventhough I am not familiar with the community, I understand the context.

3. The term ATM...[blah blah blah] ...? A trick question. Some nerd blurted out the obvious try, when all should know that we'd enjoy seeing them fall.

Okay, so the only one that I really beat Bill on was number one...

Hey, it's a lot easier when you are sitting at home...yeah.

Anyone know of someone who scored the following or higher on the GRE?

Please let me know by emailing me at miniminiminime@yahoo.co.uk

Analytical 800 Quantitative 800 Verbal [90th %ile]

Time to spare: 30 minutes+ approx.

How independent are those subscores?

-- Doctor Evil Jr. IV, September 30, 1999

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

-- Jesse Demayo, October 7, 1999
As much as I hate to say it, I like Microsoft. Their OS works well, sort of, most of the time and I have not had too many problems running 95 or 98 on my own computer but work is another story. I suspect that a lot of Windows crashes do come from odd ball or specialized software. The main problem that I see with Windows and the Software industry in general is that they are really working with a very old basic system(DOS). They are also trying to make the OS do way too much. 50 million lines of code to make a machine run? Give me a break. Sell me a cheap Windows OS and then sell me the compatible add-ons that I want. I predict that within 5 years a new system will arise and make a clean break with the dos enviroment. It might cause some chaos for a while but in the long run the industry will gravitate towards it and we will have better machines. Then Microsoft will buy it and Gates will be even richer.

-- Warren R Weber, October 9, 1999
In 1991, I read an article from Harvard Business Review, by Shmuel Halevi and Andrew S. Rappaport called "The Computerless Computer Company" (this article was a McKinsey Award Winner).

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

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

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

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

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

-- ca m, October 16, 1999

Hey Bill, Congrats Pal,Keep up the good work. My annual salary is only $48,000.00 but it was only $26,000.00 before Windows 95 came into my house.

Bill Gates for PRESIDENT!!

Joe Dionne Jax, Fla

-- Joseph Dionne, October 17, 1999

In the early 1900's a man named Henry Ford built a machine with the intent of bringing it to the common man. His competitors hated him for it. They were involved in price fixing and other such nefarious deeds. Ford changed our world and provided mobility to the masses. He was loved for it, remembered for it, and credited with the invention by the misinformed. However the Oldsmobile preceeded the Ford invention by several years.

I have had four computers. The first was a little known machine called an Apple III that had the misfortune of being usurped by the early MAC fairly quickly. This rendered my unit to the status of boat anchor with little regard to the investment I had made at the time. Apple computer bailed on that product so fast that I was left with a very expensive electric typewriter. The command structure was so user unfriendly, that it took me (a simple layman) a month to learn the basics.

Perhaps Bill Gates is an asshole. He might even be a pirate. But he brought the computer into the home in a way that a simple minded fool like me could understand, and even learn. For me it's a wonderful hobby and an indispensible tool.

I also remember a time when a company called Nintendo just trashed a company called Atari by doing much the same thing that MS did to Apple.

The bottom line is that this country and this world are driven by the middle classes. We may not have large amounts of money individually, but we as a class possess immense wealth and power. That Microsoft managed to tap into that resource better than Apple is a testament to the management philosophies of their respective CEO's. Much the same as Henry Ford did almost a century ago. It took the automotive industry decades to see the wisdom in Ford's practices and emulate them. Eventually others surpassed him. I believe that the same is true of the computer industry. Time, is what it will take.

In regard to Windows as a bugridden O/S . . . Well take a Chevy, install a Toyota starter, a Chrysler transmission, a Ford differential, a Mazda carburetor and see how smoothly that goes. I have hardware installed on my computer that was manufactured by several different companies and software from even more. The simple fact that it even boots is still a source of constant amazement to me.

Windows (95 and now 98) has worked really well for me, as long as I maintain it, just like any other piece of equipment. Every now and again I do have to reinstall Windows, just to shake the dirt out. But I don't have to buy a new PC because of it, any more than I need a new car because it needs a brake job or an oil change. That's life, and it's true of most everything. MAC users . . . don't fool yourself . . . Apple will bail on you as soon as something better comes along. Microsoft will certainly bail on me. Be loyal to the things that matter, it's just a computer after all.

Give Bill Gates a break. He marked his place in history and didn't have to kill anyone to do it. If you don't like his product, then don't buy it.

-Time Rider



-- Time Rider, October 19, 1999
In 1992, my wife bought a computer with MS-DOS 5.0 and a GUI called Geoworks. I loved it 10x better than any BG Windows(R) product. When we bought a new computer 1995, we could never get Geoworks to work and were unable to find an upgrade. I wish that Geoworks was still around and that we could use it instead of the BS that BG puts out. As one of my coworkers always says, BG puts out an inferior product at a cut rate price so that everyone ingnores the competion and buys his crap. PATRICK.HARRIS@GSFC.NASA.GOV

-- Patrick Harris, October 27, 1999
Some of you would probably enjoy a small book on logical fallacies. There are many at your local library. Win every argument! Dismantle your opponent's position! Score higher on the SAT!

Isn't the internet great? I love it. Reading this is like watching the audience at a Jerry Springer taping. Except, nobody can succumb to a group psychological influence (the so-called "riot mentality") cause we're all at home, by ourselves.

Guess I'd better say something about Bill. Can he make a decent turkey sandwich? That's what I want to know. Who cares about that other stuff. I want a turkey sandwich! I'm out of mustard! Bill, help me!

Ooh, wait, Subway is still open. Bye bye!

-- Jason Edwards, October 29, 1999

Bill Gates is a good man i believe but then when you have read some of his books you find something that you would not expect. For example he buys dos from another company and also apparently highers there top tech to work on the project. He does like dealing with other companies also but he does not like doing it on terms other then his own.

That was his bad side and now to his good side(if it is much of one) Well you find that he only draws a salery of 175000 a year and sells at least 20 million if not 100 million in shares a year and donates to charity. Also even thought he may be the reichest guy in the world at the moment all that money is not real it is on paper. Just imagine the look on his brokers face if he said i want to sell all my stock and you get a 1 % commission. 100million dollars anyone wanna be his broker. But if he wnats something he has to sell shares since he only takes 175000 per year also he is not immune to tax he has to pay it like everyone else but not until he sells shars.

If you want to comment send email to cybergamer00@email.com but please dont flame me.

-- Joel Brown, November 10, 1999

After a few hours, I've read most of the comments here on this page.

Bill Gates is richer than me because he was in the right place at the right time with the right ideas, the drive to make it "work", and the ruthlessness of many typical CEOs.

Much of this page sounds like a debate over socialism vs. democracy (both political/economic systems have their pros and cons as well). "One world, one OS" is an easy way of standardizing the way we use computers and will make learning/using a computer easier (Apple's 1984 commercial also comes to mind). If it wasn't for the DOJ, MS would be much more aggressive I'm sure. We are somewhat forced to use MS products due to the saturation of the market and workplace. We can choose to use other products, OSes, etc. but most of the world now uses Windows 98 with IE4/5, so in order to compete for better jobs, beat the competition, etc. most of us choose to learn MS products. I myself find most OSes to be useful and while Microsoft's monopoly on the computer market is not good for competition, it does help to define a base platform.

And this sounds like written/spoken languages too. If everyone spoke the same language, there would be less confusion and more work could be done (have you ever had to learn a foreign language? What if you didn't have too?).

Despite what I have said here, I think that competition is good as it drives progress. Microsoft just tipped the scale and captured most of the board. One side effect of having this occur in a Democratic society is that people get rich over it (Billy Boy). What if a government produced an OS which it forced it's people to use? The only thing that would suffer would be progress since there would be no competition, but no one would get rich off of it.

Microsoft's software is buggy, and I could go on about it, but I'll spare you. :)

But, I love having choices. I use VPC and SoftWindows on the Mac and have a few MACINTOSH EMULATORS THAT RUN ON PCs. I have devoted the last 6 months working with the developers of three of the Macintosh emulators helping them beta test latest versions. Two have been retail products for over a year and one is GPL and able to run on Windows, BeOS, Amiga, and Unix/Linux. It is so cool being able to run the Mac OS on my PCs!

If you own a PC and want to run the Mac OS on it visit http://run.to/mes
Attachment: macintosh_emulation_links.htm

-- Mac EMU, November 26, 1999

i just have this to say, everybody in here dissing bill gates, ain't nothing but a playa hata a.k.a jealous, a.k.a no life. he has a life so why don't u y'all just get one of your own?

-- janet green, November 29, 1999
you are invited to play this monopoly game online. have fun.
http://www.ms-monopoly.com/

-- martin carmichael, December 1, 1999
After reading a good portion of the comments, here is what I think. 1. There are quite a few of you who spend too much of your waking life talking trash on Bill Gates. Even if he were the devil, the fact that you have wasted time to tell us that his name adds up to 666 doesn't change the fact that unleaded gas still costs a buck thirty per gallon. A peice of advice to anyone who regularly contributes to alt.destroy.microsoft: spend your time on more worthy pusuits, like masturbation.

2. Bill Gates is smart. He seems to follow the credo, "If someone already did it, why the hell should I waste my time doing it, too?" He let some poor shmuck at Harvart fix BASIC for him. Smart. He bought DOS. That was smart, too. MS developed software for Mac and probably used the Mac model to engineer Windows. If it works, don't fix it. They also made Windows cheaper to produce software for than Mac AND they made it backwards-compatible with MS-DOS. To me, the Microsoft engineers took a good idea and made it better. They probably did it while good ol Bill was jerking off in the shower. Hey, I'd draw a $175,000 salary to jerk off while other ppl did my work for me. I know that you would too.

3. Microsoft has done some horrible stuff. They have eliminated competition by making their product easier to get a hold of. As a certified lazy bastard, if I had a choice between a fully functional, second-rate yet free product, such as Internet Explorer and a perfect first-rate yet expensive product, such as this alleged "Netscape," I would choose Internet Explorer.

The truth is that Bill Gates probably can't code to save his life, but he is a great buisnessman. He is like the asshole on the freeway who darts across 5 lanes just to get a few cars ahead, doing this his entire trip and cutting off everyone from Los Angeles to 'Frisco in the process. You add up all the cars he's passed and he ends up way ahead of you. You gotta give the guy credit. Cutting off 6.2 Million people in one trip is a lot of work.

-- Jason Mueller, December 2, 1999

I am sorry that I do not share any religious convictions. I am neither pro- nor contra- Microsoft.

I use a wide variety of tools (including products from Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft, Sun, and GNU). I really appreciate Perl, TOAD, CodeWright and Partition Magic.

I choose the tools which help me work efficiently and enjoyably. I have a love/hate relationship to all of these tools because non of them are perfect (Oracle for example is wonderful (I am an Contract Developer specializing in Oracle), but Oracle 8 SQL is still not very close to the SQL-92 Standard and the PL-SQL continues to contain some very irritating bugs which aren't fixed in release after release).

It's NOT necessary to join either Microsoft-Fan-Club or the Microsoft-Haters. There's another way: think for yourself and continue to think for yourself, learn from your own experience about what is good and what is bad.

The world is not painted black and white.

Thinking allows us to learn about the grey areas. Thinking allows us to choose for ourselves.

If an article is 100% pro-Microsoft or 100% anti-Microsoft then it's NOT information, it's PROPAGANDA.

Choose Independence ... from both sides.



-- Neil Wheatley, December 4, 1999

I learnt with Apples. Then I started working and was forced to use Windows machines. Windows 3.1 was pretty aweful, then came 95 which was strangely reminiscent of my old Macintosh. MacOS is still much nicer than Windows. But here is my comment: windows crashes. Twice a day; four times a day; everyday. Usually it is Powerpoint or IE that crashes it. I hate windows. A friend of mine has bought a little palm top type thing that uses Windows CE. It crashes. Microsoft holds its current position because of happenstance. Without innovation, it has gained a dominant market position through a combination of luck, plagarism and guile. The rules it abused itself are the source of its own riches. But the world is changing fast. A proprietary OS would not be adopted as a standard today. Windows certainly could not survive on its own merits. Law suits pend, plagarisms past, pragmatic powerplays perceived as patent ploys, or pleaded under the Sherman Act. To make the greatest fortune ever amassed is not obviously virtuous. To lose the greatest fortune ever amassed whilst desparately trying to maintain it is unambiguously humiliating. But let's keep things in perspective: should it survive thirty years, Microsoft will have witnessed mankind's masses reak more havoc their own planet than all their preceding generations combined. At least, when the developing world has reached America's current level of energy consumption, we shall be able to open the windows to let some of the hot air out.

-- Andrew Fraser, December 9, 1999
About the comment above.

Something might be wrong with your computer. I know that Windows does crash once in a while. But I don't any one who says Windows crashes twice, three times, or four times a day! There is no way Microsoft can stay in business if Windows crashes THAT MUCH!

I suggest you try to find out what might be conflicting with Windows to make it crash that often.

-- D W, December 10, 1999

I think that everybody who criticizes Bill Gates is just jealous of his success and I think that they should start worrying about their own lives rather than somebody elses.
Attachment: BOOKMARK.HTM

-- Joe Johnson, December 13, 1999
"THE LAST WORD" my perception of Phillip's + Allen's ending. And when you think of computers as anything more than overgrown calculators... You end up with people not being able to appreciate the fact that you don't have to become a Microsoft Certified System Engineer to reap the benefits of a powerful personal computer. You just need to educate yourself about which Macintosh your going to buy. I was blessed and purchased the G3 two days before Allens post. So if you want to educate yourself about powerful computing read why 128 bit processing G4's rival those Wintel machines. And for those people uniformed Jobs was relentless and reached a settlement with Bill. Darrell Deschler

-- Darrell Deschler, December 23, 1999
All I want to say to Bill Gates is: MAC MY DAY :-[ With respect(yeah right)a "friend" from Greece

-- Stav ?, January 9, 2000
If only we all used Macintosh...people would stop fighting, world hunger would end...my favorite aspect of Mac OS is that it doesn't crash. I am a student emp0loyed as a computer tech at my university, which operates about 65% on NT Workstation and 35% on Mac. The NT machines go down on a daily basis while the Macs rarely--if ever--crash. And yet there are those that stubbornly cling to the assertion that Windows (a Mac rip-off) is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that Bill Gates invented the Internet. In fact, I was having a debate with a client just the other day who told me that Apple couldn't do anything right. I asked him to elaborate and he replied that Apple stole the windows idea from Windows! Ha!

-- Timothy Breihan, January 13, 2000
I like that I can visit photo.net and see my contribution to Bill Gate's wealth. What's my contribution to the US Justice Dept. case against Microsoft? Where's the form to ask for that money back on my taxes?

-- Phillip Harrington, January 18, 2000
This subject has by now been argued and beaten to death, but Ill still put in my two cents. I know what I like in an O/S system and for the most part I think that a Macintosh has MS beat. Do I use a Mac? No, I do not. I operate on Win 98. Why? Because when it came time to buy my own computer I looked at all of the pros and cons and what it boiled down to is which computer I could afford. I would love a Mac G4 Im able to work on one a good bit and it kills the Win system Im now running, but the equivalent to what I bought for under $1000 was around $1500 for a Mac. I still try to do all of my web graphics on my 5 year old Mac and they still look better than my 1 year old MS Win stuff. What about Linux I could run that with the same hardware. I tried it I bought the software and used it for about three weeks. It was a lot of fun I never really had a problem; But I could never find the software I needed and as some have pointed out it is not an O/S for the masses. Im no programmer and it is nice to be able to insert my Win 98 CD and in less than an hour have the thing installed. I had to work on the Linux system all day and though I enjoyed it most out there would not have. I would love to see Linux gain a hold in O/S but I dont see that happening until it is much more user friendly. One of you programmers out there needs to write an installation program for Linux with an ease of use to rival Windows. No, Bill Gates is not God and he is not invincible, even great companies fall. But lets beat him fair, show him that he is not a necessary person on whom the world of computers turns. Im 16 years old, who know what changes in computing I will see. I certainly dont. But I would like to see, out of the wake of Microsoft, a company rise to rival Bill Gates powerhouse.

One of the biggest things that bugs me is to listen to people talk about how the government should take Bills money and give it to the poor. That he is a menace to society and his company should be sacrificed to the public good. No one deserves that much money! they say. To those people I have only one thing to say, Who is John Galt?

Sincerely,
Geoffrey Cauble
geoff_415@yahoo.com

-- Geoff Cauble, January 29, 2000

Bill Gates was born on October 28. That's the 666th day of the year (666 - 365 = 301 = October 28)!!!

-- www www, February 10, 2000
The idea that "we" have contributed a "share" to Bill Gates' wealth is so stupid that it would be unworthy of comment if this page were not so popular. Microsoft did not get this money by taking existing wealth away from others. It created new products that consumers were willing to pay for, i.e., new wealth. Perhaps you think consumers are mistaken in paying as much as they do for these products, and perhaps you are right, but this doesn't change the basic truth of this matter.

-- Gene Callahan, February 25, 2000
I think that this page is wonderful. Everyone knows that Bill Gates is a menace to society. Everyone knows his products are junk. Everyone knows his motives are inhumane at best. Everyone knows he is just a money-hungry criminal who happened to stumble across the find of a lifetime and capitalized on it. But I dare to ask.... If some idiot was willing to sell you the Mona Lisa for $100 bucks wouldn't you take it???? Of course.

Believe me, I am not an advocate of Bill Gates for any reason. But I do not blame him for what he did. Granted, I think the guy is full of bull, he is an opportunist like the rest of the capiatlistic society we call America. But the fact of the matter is, Bill Gates and the powerhouse of Microsoft are unavoidable. Everywhere you go, you are inevitably going to be forced to be subjected to Bill and Microsoft. Whether it's work, TV, vacation, or jail, Microsoft affects you, so elimating Microsoft overnight is out of the question. So how do you bring down a legalized criminal mastermind who is backed by the majority of the free world?

Solution: You don't. History has proven time and time again that "absolute power corrupts absolutely". Bill is smart, and granted is a marketing masterind, but how many companies do you know "who you believe" to have great marketing schemes but still fail? Several you say. The reason is simple. No one buys their product. Without financial backing, any company is succeptable to failure, even Microsoft. If you know that Microsoft products aren't as good or reliable as Macintosh, or other competors, then don't buy them. You as a consumer have the right to buy as you wish. I have never seen anyone with a gun at there throat as they go to the purchase counter when they pick up a copy of Windows 95,98,2000,etc...... Now I am not saying that this will happen overnight, but everyone who bitches and complains on this website (including myself)could be contributing their energies toward developing ways to thwart the attempts of Microsoft to flood the market with its products. Bill Gates is rich because of us, yes us, not brilliance or ingenuity.

I am through bashing Bill Gates and Microsoft, but I would like to leave you with a simple, yet astoundingly effective, solution to the problem at hand that I saw on a bumper sticker on my way to work.

It read: "If the people lead, the leader will follow"

-- Michael Beatty, February 25, 2000

Phil,

You have made an excellent point that the government is hypocritical to sue Microsoft while helping to perpetuate its monopoly by using their products. I'll bet that at least half the paperwork for the case was done with MS Office.

I would apply the same argument to the ridiculous tobacco settlements in all of the states. The government perpetuated tobacco addiction by giving cigarettes to military personnel on active duty in their MREs, even after they _knew_ they were dangerous. (Vietnam in particular comes to mind--can't say I was there, though.) Many current cigarette addicts may very well have picked up the habit in the military. Who's to blame here?

As an aside, my new home state, Maryland, is perhaps the most ridiculous of all. When the dust cleared and we found out that Peter Angelos' contractual agreement to a 25% cut would give him a _billion_ dollars, the state tried to back out to avoid the embarrassment of a _lawyer_ making so much money off of the deal. After all, no matter how much we hate Big Tobacco, we hate Big Law even more.

Back on topic: As much as I hate their products, Microsoft did in fact earn their successful status fair-and-square, and I would hate to see the government forcibly break up the company or any of its products. In particular, the idea of the government dictating to a software company what they can and can't package as a "product" just plain scares me. I would, however, like to see a limited settlement that addresses the specific instances in which Microsoft _abused_ its monopoly power, such as the price discrimination tactics to force Gateway, Dell, etc. to pre-install it on 99% of the machines they ship.

-- Bill Schneider, March 6, 2000

I think the most relevent comment on this page was from the guy asking for a turkey sandwich. C'mon, people this is s'pose to be a humorous site. A little serios discussion is OK, but too many out there are going way over the top.

But if you want serious, here goes...PC vs. Mac: Who cares? Get what you need. Are you going to play games alot? Fine, get a PC. I cannot say I'm qualified to answer this. I've never used a Mac. Don't need to either. The PC gets the job done. Hell, I've got a pent350 and don't use half of what it can do. And I suspect the same of most consumers. Besides, PC vs Mac isn't really the primary subject of this page. It is aside material, important only for detailing who Gates has tried to stampede to death.

And of course Microsponge products are crappy. They aren't designed to be used by engineers and programmers. Most of it is designed to be used by the common man, the guy who's lucky if he can find his ass using both hands.

As for Gates himself...Let's face he's a geeky looking, bird necked thing. Is Gates a genius? Maybe, but not at computers. He's a buisnessman, a damn good one. The only problem is he doesn't want competition, he wants dominance. If Microsponge is allowed to dominate the computer industry will stagnate. I don't mean we won't get faster processors and better video interfaces, but rather that true innovation will become the kind of risk no one wants to take. Look at the auto industry, when was the last time they did something to radically shift the way we think of cars? They've reached the point where all they do is continuously refine what they already have (sounds like Windows). That's why you don't see much in the way of electric or alternate fuel cars. Too radical, too risky, nobody wants to buy them.

That is Microsponge's true power...The status quo. Right now they effectively control the standard, very few buy outside the standard. No one wants a system that doesn't have a large selection of software, is more expensive, and that has fewer qualified service techs.

It's up to all you engineers and programmers out there to put your heads together and really shake up the status quo. And you're not going to do that by sitting here and wasting your brain's processor time on Bill Gates of all people.

On the other hand, if you want a few cheap laughs at Gates's expense, look at the material posted up top and ignore everything everyone has had to say...Except the 666 people and the dude with the turkey sandwich.

Jeff D.

-- Jeff DeArruda, March 18, 2000

On 4 July, 2000, strange things happen:

--Every man, woman, and child in America gets a check in the mail for $366 from "anonymous"

--At 1800 PDT, every TV/radio station is forcibly pre-empted for 20 minutes. It is Bill Gates on a taped statement, apologizing for being the way he is. Concurrently, every existing E-mail account is sent an abstract of the statement, and every network printer spews out that abstract

--At 2359 PDT, another signal is sent over all waves and wires. Every scrap of code ever from Microsoft dissolves into random 1s and 0s...

Days of frenzied searching drag into weeks--but Bill is gone... By the end of the year, the US economy resembles Mexico's and Mexico's resembles India's.

(When teenagers know who John Galt is, there may be some hope left for this ball of mud. Thanks, kid...)



-- M Bison, April 9, 2000

Comment from a teenager...(as response to Bison) I have no idea who John Galt is and i don't really care that one person holds alot of the green papers. But i do love this "ball of mud". But not as much in the autumn as the rest of the year.

-- Token Tok, April 19, 2000
All right. I've read the entirety of this page of goofy drivel. I have a pretty unique perspective, so I figured I'd share some of my own drivel. See, my dad was one of the earlier programmers on Microsoft Word. He worked on MacWord principally and retired a millionaire about a year ago. So, since 1984 (hee hee), I've been living a block from the Microsoft campus. I used to sit around his office while my dad cussed at bugs because my mom, also a programmer, but for the Seattle School District (yuck, sucky job), was busy. I used to go down the hall and ask inane questions of his boss, Charles Simonyi, a really smart guy who worked for Xerox before he came to Microsoft. He's in charge of their intentional programming division now. My impressions of Microsoft: It is really an awful lot like MIT is reputed to be. Lots of very smart, dedicated people. Lots of nerdishness. Waterfights in the hallways, juvenile pranks, caffeine overdosage. Sure, they have soda pop coolers in the break rooms, a fact some morons have been abusing. Programmers drink loads of soda. I drank a lot when I was there, too. Stuff like that is what made it worthwhile for my dad when he was out on "Workaholic Wednesdays", when all the programmers would be there for a day and a night working, returning sometime Thursday morning to sleep a little before going back to work. That is, when he didn't just sleep on the floor in his office. The period before Word ships is always called the "Death March", and for a reason. You definitely have to work for your money there. So why would anyone do this kind of stuff, you ask? Because most of the programmers seemed to enjoy their work a lot. They have a real aristocracy of talent at Microsoft. For my dad, who went to the University of Nebraska and got in because he was good, it was like going to an Ivy League school that cared about its students. Compare this to IBM, which used to say "if you aren't a 'suit man', we don't want you." (actual quote). Sometimes you'd see guys in the Microsoft offices who weren't even wearing shirts (if it was hot out). One of the coolest things for me was the "Idle Loop" room, full of old video game machines that didn't run on quarters. Now there's a lot of jerks here complaining about how Microsoft "is only good 'cause they stole <so and so's> idea." Bull. They have the best programmers in the country, they treat them pretty nicely, and they give them responsibility. They don't have a supervisor or VP breathing down the employees necks. It was common to hear "find a way to solve it." around the offices, not "this is how to do it". There was usually one big chief for every ten or twenty Indians, meaning that my dad usually just went to talk to whoever's code was causing a problem, rather than going to his boss. There's a lot of cooperation and respect at Microsoft, at least in Applications. Back in the day, MacWord had something like six people working on it, including Charles. Microsoft goes for small numbers of really good programmers, rather than the "masses of asses" strategy used by companies like IBM and Digital. Having said that, I should probably mention that most of the guys in Apps didn't think much of the OS guys, so it might be true that they aren't as good. I doubt it, though. I wish I could remember the names... there's some articles that came out a year or two ago that talked about Microsoft's monopoly on the smart CS minds. You can really feel it around the Seattle area. I've talked to two or three guys who tried to start up companies but couldn't find any good programmers because anyone good got themselves hired by Microsoft. It seems to me that this is a bigger problem for the competition than any supposed unfair market advantage. Look at Apple, a company that fired the best minds it had back in the late eighties. Where did all those guys end up working, hmmmm? Microsoft. And to these goofs who keep acting like Apple is some hated enemy of Microsoft's just because of the OS aspect, you should know that Apple holds a big festival at the Redmond campus every year, kissing up to the Microsoft programmers. Apple needs Microsoft pretty badly. It's Mac users who are inimical to Windows. And don't get on my case. I'm writing this on a G4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

P.S. Who else thinks that "Anonymous Anonymous" is really Philip Greenspun in sheep's clothing?

-- Greg the Mighty, May 2, 2000

The ASCII character value for 3 is incorrect. ASCII character code 51 is equivalent to 3. I think that would bring the grand total to something like 714. What a loser. His name in ASCII doesn't even equal 666. It would be nice to believe he is the devil, though. Then I could work with his tool. Err, eh heh ...

-- Denny Shimkoski, June 16, 2000
Okay, I'll be honest with you. I use my computer for playing *games*. Other than that, it stands as a machine to support my simple hobby of writing old-style DOS games in C++. Addressing the first of the two, I'd like to point out that Windows hasn't been all that bad. With DOS, each and every program had to be ready to set up the sound card, video card, input device, and all else. With the coming of Direct X, games have become much easier to both develop and run. Furthermore, my problems with Direct X have been few and far between in my 4 years of wonderful Windows gaming. Let's face it: no one wants to make a game for any other platform. Sure, part of it is because most of the gaming audience uses Windows, but then it's just easier. Direct X development tools have been said to be some of the simpliest to use. Now, I bring the hammer to the nail and cannot drive it in, but only bend it down. The DOS mode while Windows 98 is running is just plain glitchy. Some advanced features... ::mumbles:: It worked fine under Windows 95. It's now slower, some programs don't have the frame-rate delay function they should, and sound can be a nightmare with many programs. In short, I bought a downgrade as far as this is concerned. Perhaps it's that they're so convinced that it's not bug-fixes that people buy there software for, and therefore feel free to introduce new nagging errors. I only got SE in hopes that this would be fixed, and alas... Well, there're both sides of each coin in my two cents.

-- William Wedin, June 17, 2000
all i am going to say is all the best and good luck wilf,

and i think the charity work you do is excellent but i still think they is room for inprovment e.g you could start up your charity

people just rember this microsoft can stop designing software at the drop of a hat and start making washing powder and they aint squat we could do about it.

so wilf take each day as it comes and who knows this time next year your could be a trillionaire



-- clive jones, June 17, 2000

It's just about time to create a "Why Larry Ellison is Richer [and More Evil] Than You" page.

-- John Driscoll, June 28, 2000
We write software programmes that are used in 44 countries. Our work would not be possible if not for Windows. Bill Gates and Microsoft have done what the disgrunted techies have been unable to do - establish common baseline and frame of reference in which we can cooperate through electronic communication.

It is unlikely that UNIX, AOLServer, Oracle and EMACS can ever do the samething. It seems that you are just pushing another collection of software which may or may not survive in the long term. Indeed, for any purpose, other that a web site, this collection of stuff is very limited. Your firm has succeeded because it was able to stitch these software packages together intelligently.

Windows has brought the Electronic Revolution to the world. Lotus Symphony attempted to do this but their software was crude, difficult to work with and static (as if to say to their customers, "what we give you now is good enough").

Finally, I think that the Bill Gates Personal Wealth Clock was a cheap shot as "his" money is derived from global sales and not earned exclusively from Americans.

arsdigita has 500,000 hits per day. How many does Microsoft.com have?

-- Bill Adair, July 3, 2000

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

-- Shaun Foley, July 11, 2000
Hey i think Bill has worked really hard to get real rich! I admire him and i reckon Windows and other microsoft products are good. So stop being jealous of him and get on with your lives..

But i think he should donate some money to needy people out there....

-- Steve Randell, July 11, 2000

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

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

-- Michael Jennings, July 30, 2000
I'd like to say that Bill Gates is not deserving of all this hatred. Neither is Microsoft. I mean, Microsoft products are the best out there, otherwise, how could they be so popular. So can you blame him for making and selling product? Then what do you blame him for? I think a lot of people just can't live with the idea that he's the richest man in the world and just _have_ to find a reason to detest him. Why can't you just forget jealousy? He worked for his money as hard as anybody else - your blood is not better than his. What did he ever do wrong?! What would you like him to do now? And furthermore, would you be able to do better than him? He never was charged with illegal practises was he? So then, what's he doing wrong? Get a life! Find something better to complain about! I can't believe people are so dumb! They can't ever do anything for themselves, but they are creative genii when it comes to assaulting those who have the least ammount of competence.

-- Christina Sterling, August 13, 2000
We as Americans like to root for the underdog. We don't watch Bullfighting, but when we have to, we root for the bull, not the guy with the sword.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



-- Colin Erven, August 15, 2000

By the way, do you know who should be REALLY mad at Bill Gates?

Al Gore.

After all, didn't Al Gore invent the Internet? If I invented the Internet and Bill Gates came along and tried to steal it will his IE, I'd be like "No Sir, No Internet for you!"

Al Gore is the REAL victim here. I think he should begin civil proceedings to recover at least a few $Billion Microsoft made off of the Internet that is rightfully his.

-- Colin Erven, August 15, 2000

Everyone claims that Bill stole Windows from Steve. steve stole the graphic interface from Xerox. Yes, Xerox is the creator of the windows, not Apple and not Microsoft. Give credit where it is due. It goes to the research team at Xerox who thought of having an interface based on icons and not letters and numbers. Xerox sold it to Steve Jobs, who in turn had it stolen by Bill Gates.

-- Scott hansen, September 9, 2000
I hope Microsoft offers all its employees free dental. All that free soda is gonna make for a lot of cavities...

-- A Concerned Dentist, September 19, 2000
Umm.. somehow I don't think that Bill Gates is personally responsible for the Window 9x crashes. Nor the floods or the earthquakes. He's just a man (rich as he might be) and he's not raping or pillaging or even shoplifting. He plays hardball and wants to win. The law gets fuzzy about this, since we're sorta making it up as we go along. Bill would not be so big of a target if he wasn't #1.

So in the immortal words of Colleen from "Survivor" "Take the money and.. learn to be nice or something."



-- Will Lau, September 24, 2000

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