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More information from the web about Bill Gates

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Sources acknowledged: Various internet collections

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

Gates, Bill - born 1955

(William Henry Gates 3d) American business executive, b. Seattle, Wash. At the age of 19, Gates founded (1974) the Microsoft Corp., a computer software firm, with Paul Allen. They began by purchasing the rights to convert an existing software package. In 1980 they agreed to produce the operating system for the personal computer being developed by International Business Machines (IBM). That system, MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), and subsequent programs (including the Windows operating systems) made Microsoft the world’s largest producer of software for microcomputers. 1
In 1997 the U.S. Justice Dept. accused Microsoft of violating a 1995 antitrust agreement, because the Windows 95 operating system required consumers to load Microsoft’s Internet browser—thus giving Microsoft a monopolistic advantage over other browser manufacturers. In late 1999 the trial judge decided that Microsoft was a monopoly that had stifled competition, and the following June he ordered the breakup of Microsoft into two companies, a decision that Microsoft appealed. 2
Gates, who is chairman of Microsoft, is the wealthiest person in the world. He founded (1994) the William H. Gates Foundation (focusing on health issues in developing countries) and the Gates Learning Foundation (1997), renamed the Gates Library Foundation (providing education assistance). In 1999 he merged the foundations into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a philanthropy that was worth $21.8 billion after Gates’s donation of $5 billion in 1999 and again in 2000, making it the world’s wealthiest foundation. 3
Gates has written The Road Ahead (1995, with N. Myhrvold and P. Rinearson) and Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999).

The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier.
Bill Gates, Business @ The Speed of Thought

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Bill Gates, Business @ The Speed of Thought

Often you have to rely on intuition.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. (Bill Gates)

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.

640K ought to be enough for anybody.

I don't think there's anything unique about human intellience. All the neurons in the brain that make up perceptions and emotions operate in a binary fashion. (Bill Gates)

Perhaps the Most Truthful: on Microsoft marketing:
"There won't be anything we won't say to people to try and convince
them that our way is the way to go."

Not on his mind while developing Win9X..circa 1981...
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

On the solid code base of Win9X
"If you can't make it good, at least make it look good."

from "OS/2 Programmer's Guide" (forward by Bill Gates):
"I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system,
and possibly program, of all time. As the successor to DOS, which has
over 10,000,000 systems in use, it creates incredible opportunities for
everyone involved with PCs."

Bill Gates, Free Market and the LA Times
"There are people who don't like capitalism, and people who don't like
PCs. But there's no-one who likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft"

From the back of an old Digitalk Smalltalk/V PM manual, 1990:
"This is the right way to develop applications for OS/2 PM. OS/2 PM
is a tremendously rich environment, which makes it inherently complex.
Smalltalk/V PM removes that complexity and lets you concentrate on
writing great programs. Smalltalk/V PM is the kind of tool that will
make OS/2 the successor to MS/DOS".

from "OS/2 Notebook", Microsoft Press, (c) 1990--an excerpt from an
interview with Bill Gates and Jim Cannavino, p. 614:
Developer: Does the announcement [of the OS/2 joint development agreement
between IBM and Microsoft] mean that Microsoft is curtailing any plans
for future development of Windows?
Gates: Microsoft has not changed any of its plans for Windows. It is
obvious that we will not include things like threads and preemptive
multitasking in Windows. By the time we added that, you would have OS/2.

There's a reason they threw it away...
from "Programmers at Work" by Microsoft Press, interview with Bill
(found on comp.os.os2.advocacy),
Interviewer: Is studying computer science the best way to prepare to be
a programmer?

Gates: No, the best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study
great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the
garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of
their operating system.

Only the finest Microsoft marketing!
"If you don't know what you need Windows NT for, you don't need it."

On the Box of Windows 2.11 for 286
"New interface closely resembles Presentation Manager, preparing you for
the wonders of OS/2!"

On code stability, from Focus Magazine
Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft
hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone
calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to
be user mistakes.
I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes.
The reasons for updates are to present more new features.


From .. Why Bill Gates is Richer than you

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

"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:

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....


If you can't make it good, make it LOOK good. - Bill Gates

I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possible program, of all time. - Bill Gates, 1987
OS/2 is destined to be a very important piece of software. During the next 10 years, millions of programmers and users will utilize this system. - Bill Gates, 1988

There is virtually no application OS/2 cannot run. - Bill Gates, 1989

The goal for OS/2 is to be the universal operating system ... there is virtually no application in the world that OS/2 cannot support Most users of high-end applications ... want OS/2 - interview in "IBM Personal System Developer" (predecessor to "OS/2 Developer"), Winter 1990 issue.

"The Internet? We are not interested in it"
-- Bill Gates, 1993

"Sometimes we do get taken by surprise. For example, when the Internet came along, we had it as a fifth or sixth priority."
-- Bill Gates, Jul, 1998

"We had planned to integrate a Web browser with our operating system as far back as 1993"
Microsoft (27 Jul 1998, filing its first court responses to federal antitrust)

In response to Java: "Anybody who thinks a little 9,000-line program that's distributed free and can be cloned by anyone is going to affect anything we do at Microsoft has his head screwed on wrong."
-- Bill Gates

"Microsoft Products are Generally Bug Free"
-- Bill Gates

"There are people who don't like capitalism, and there are people who don't like PCs, but there's no one who likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft."
-- Bill Gates

"Like medieval peasants, computer manufacturers and millions of users are locked in a seemingly eternal lease with their evil landlord, who comes around every two years to collect billions of dollars of taxes in return for mediocre services"
-- Mark Harris, Electronics Times

"Microsoft does not innovate. It buys, imitates, or steals. It makes things difficult for software developers, and thus eventually for users."
-- Richard Brandshaft, San Jose Mercury-New

"There is a fantasy in Redmond that Microsoft products are innovative, but this is based entirely on a peculiar confusion of the words "innovative" and "successful." Microsoft products are successful -- they make a lot of money -- but that doesn't make them innovative, or even particularly good."
-- Robert X. Cringley

"A few weeks ago, a member of the audience at a [Bill] Gates speech in San Francisco asked simply this of the world's richest businessman: ''Can you make a list of things you won't be doing? ... I just want a little piece of something to pass on to my kids 20 years from now.''"
-- San Jose Mercury News, 26 Oct 97

"We have no intention of shipping another bloated OS and shoving it down the throats of our users."
-- Paul Maritz, Microsoft group vice president

"Microsoft has gotten so big that it can put out a Preview that will install itself without checking first to see if it has expired. The message here is that Microsoft's time is worth more than yours.... no start-up company could get away with being that arrogant."
-- Jerry Pournelle, Byte Magazine

"Appeasement, said Winston Churchill, consists of being nice to a crocodile in the hope that he will eat you last. At the moment, the biggest crocodile in the world is Microsoft, and everybody is busy sucking up to it."
-- John Naughton, the London Observer

"Every time you turn on your new car, you're turning on 20 microprocessors. Every time you use an ATM, you're using a computer. Every time I use a settop box or game machine, I'm using a computer. The only computer you don't know how to work is your Microsoft computer, right?"
-- Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

"Microsoft's biggest and most dangerous contribution to the software industry may be the degree to which it has lowered user expectations."
-- Esther Schindler, OS/2 Magazine

"Microsoft - Which end of the stick do you want today?"
-- Unknown


Rule 1: Life is not fair...get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect
you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high
school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone, until you earn

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He
doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents
had a different word for burger flipping-they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about
your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are
now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and
listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain
forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the
closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life
has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll
give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't
bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and
very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. You have
to do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to
leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

GNU's views on Microsoft


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