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Rory Cellan-Jones

Bill Gates - You Asked The Questions

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 6 Jan 08, 19:09 GMT

I've just emerged from the Microsoft machine, shaken but unscathed. I've interviewed Bill Gates three or four times over a 12 year period, and each time I come out impressed by the sheer professionalism of the Microsoft PR operation but wondering whether we've been successfully spun.

This time we tried a new tactic - getting BBC viewers, listeners and readers to ask the questions. We had thousands, covering every aspect of Bill Gates and Microsoft - past, present and future. Over two hundred were seeking jobs, one gentleman was proposing himself as the next CEO of Microsoft, and another wondered whether the secrets of Windows software had been recovered from a crashed UFO.

We did not ask that one, but managed to get through around fifteen questions during our allotted fifteen minutes. As ever, Mr Gates appeared very well briefed. Yes, Vista was a success, despite the frustrations expressed by Barry from London. Sure, he understood the anger felt by people like Daniel from Aberdeen about the reliability of the Xbox 360, but it was being sorted. Yes, Microsoft had missed some trends - the importance of search - and perhaps over-estimated others -the tablet computer, for instance. And no, Mr McInerney from Southampton, there isn't a single Mac to be found in the Gates household.

Throughout the interview the Microsoft chairman reached over to a handily placed table covered in mobile phones, all of them running Windows Mobile. Surely, I chipped in, this was one area where the likes of Google (with its new Android operating system) and Nokia, would prevent Microsoft from dominating? Windows is on 20 million phones, Google is on zero, though Nokia is pretty big, was the response. (I had arrived in the Microsoft tent bearing a blackberry, a Nokia phone and an iPhone, not quite realising how provocative that might be.)

The formal part of the interview over - and timed to the exact second by the Microsoft PR people - we went to have a look at Microsoft's surface computer. Bill Gates demonstrated it for me, afterwards admitting that this was just his second rehearsal of the demo he'll perform in his keynote tonight. And finally he stuck his neck out, predicting that this kind of computer will be in tens of millions of homes within a few years. Such predictions have sometimes gone awry - remember the wristwatch computer?

But Bill Gates, who is stepping aside from his day-to-day role at Microsoft to concentrate on his charity later this year, was in a relaxed mood. Whatever you think of the man or of Microsoft, he has undoubtedly been the leading figure in the world's most important industry over the last two decades.

Have a look at the interview, which will appear in various forms on this site and on television in the next 24 hours. And let us know what you think of the answers - and the questions.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 08:37 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Paul L Oakes Jr. wrote:

The world is moving at a faster pace than the poor can keep up with and my idea to even the playing field is to make a working man's money available to him on a daily bases. If microsoft had a bank(MCS BANK) and that bank had a payroll system that as soon as a person finished working a shift not only would his money be deposited into his acct. but all of his deductions would be taken out and sent to its various destinations including taxes. Not only would the individual benefit but also the gov. and MCS Bank. Of course there could be a minimal fee of say 1% for the convenience and a maximum # of withdrawals without penalty. What an idea, I have more.

  • 2.
  • At 10:12 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Stuart Bell wrote:

Of course there isn't a single Mac in the Gates household! Ever since Microsoft had the embarrassment of it being discovered that the company's 1999 Annual Report had been produced on a Mac Mr Gates and Microsoft will have made sure that there could be no further similar disclosures. And wouldn't it be depressing for Mr Gates to be reminded every day of the success of the latest version of Mac OS (Leopard) in comparison with Vista, which is pre-loaded on millions of computers, only for purchasers immediately to 'down-grade' to Windows XP?

Stuart Bell.

  • 3.
  • At 10:17 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

How about giving older versions of Microsoft software away free! It might discourage piracy of the latest Microsoft software? There's a lot of people who like using office, but are to poor to purchase the latest releases.

  • 4.
  • At 10:30 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Scott wrote:

Well Paul L Oakes Jr. your suggestion would worry the pants off me! But, it is widely known that banks want to get rid of cash - it is very expensive to print, move around and store! So, what you are suggesting will probably become reality in the near future. Plans are already in motion. Unfortunately I am certain that the "poor man in the street" will CONTINUE to be the biggest looser!

  • 5.
  • At 11:02 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • rahul wrote:

why did microsoft pick hd dvd over blue ray if microsoft promotes inovative technology but hd dvd isnt as advanced as blue ray.

  • 6.
  • At 11:41 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • john Campbell wrote:

Microsoft's technology might have originated with a crashed UFO; it certainly didn't come from a functioning one.

  • 7.
  • At 11:42 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Mooney wrote:

20 million phones operating on Windows - they've got some catching up to do - 15 million were running linux 2 years ago.

Wonder if they'll employ their usual business tactics to take over that market as well?

Any fines will just come out of the profits with plenty left over - just think about Stac Electronics, Netscape, RealPlayer, etc.

I don't think many of your correspondents will be too enamoured of the idea of the MCS Bank - especially considering the latest update to Office 2003 won't let you work on documents made on earlier versions. "I'm sorry, you can't buy food for your kids today, your account was prepared using an earlier version of MCS Banking".

  • 8.
  • At 11:47 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • John Richard Jones wrote:

Reworded from George Formby's "When I'm Cleaning Windows"

Now I go fixing Windows
To earn an honest bob
For a computer whiz kid
It's an interestin' job

Now it's a job that just suits me
A Windows fixer you would be
If you saw what’s on this PC
When I’m fixing Windows

Windows XP, Vista too
You’ll have seen them nothing new
You'd be surprised what PCs do
When I’m fixing Windows

In my profession I'll work hard
But I'll never stop
To stop domination by Gates
Who tries to stay on top

The user dating on the Net
Looking for it you can bet
I'd rather have that than a pet
When I’m fixing Windows

The web designer has a thought
A new domain he has just bought
Sticks his USB in the port
When I’m fixing Windows

I know a fella, such a fool
He wastes his time, that's his rule
While he’s about he looks so cool
When I’m fixing Windows

In my profession I'll work hard
But I'll never stop
To stop domination by Gates
Who tries to stay on top

DVDs lyin’ side by side
Sexy ladies I have spied
I've often seen what goes inside
When I’m fixing Windows

------ banjo ------

A famous screensaver’s been seen
It looks a flapper on the screen
It's more like flashing but it’s clean
When I’m fixing Windows

It pulls the clothes off down behind
Then pulls off her... never mind
It’s amazing what clutter I find
When I’m fixing Windows

In my profession I'll work hard
But I'll never stop
To stop domination by Gates
Who tries to stay on top

An old maid’s profile goes online
She's so fed up, but that is fine
She's happy once she has seen mine
When I’m fixing Windows

When I’m fixing Windows

  • 9.
  • At 11:51 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • JohnJ wrote:

Why not automate everything?!
I find it sad that we are trying to become more and more remote from manually doing anything. Fine to generate more leisure time, as long as this is used to effect, and not just for enhancing a 'couch potato' prefernce, but is that really going to happen? I doubt it!

  • 10.
  • At 11:51 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • raj wrote:

microsoft as a company seems to be losing direction.In one sense it's sad Bill Gates left the helm when the company was/is struggling/facing competion. In other sense hopefully there will be a new breed of leadership with fresh perspectives. Microsoft has a strong presence in the emerging markets, hopefully they capitalize on their popularity there.

  • 11.
  • At 11:54 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Mooney wrote:

The Microsoft Bank?

Ignoring the facts that most of the world doesn't have access to computers and earn less than a dollar a day I'm sure everybody else would welcome such an idea - especially as the latest update to Office 2003 stops you from working on documents written on previous versions.

"I'm sorry you can't buy food to feed your kids today; your account was opened on an earlier version of Microsoft banking".

All on a pretty blue screen no doubt.

Besides that, think of all those folk that make a living out of buying and selling currencies - you'll be taking the crusts out of their mouths.

As a UK computer science student we receive nearly all of Microsoft's software (all except Office...) for free, and a similar scheme would not be too difficult for poorer countries, or less privileged computer owners.

Microsoft are currently in their weakest ever position in the computing industry, with Apple riding high with Leopard and iPods (nb. who has a Zune) and Google dominating search.

The next few years will be very interesting in terms of how Microsoft will adapt to chase more innovative and often better Open source products - all without Bill Gates leading them.

  • 13.
  • At 12:33 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Kerton wrote:

Rahul above seems to be misinformed and uses "advanced" instead of "larger", as Blu-Ray only with the latest software updates, has only just been able to match the compression and interactivity achieved on HD-DVD.

I would've liked to know if, with more time on his hands, Bill would be getting involved with more philanthropic efforts in computing.

  • 14.
  • At 01:48 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

I am a pensioner and I use a PC and the internet every day and thankfully do not have to use Microsoft or Apple products. I use Open Source (as in really free) software and it matches and in many cases surpasses Mr Gates disastrous offerings. Why anyone would pay good money for the likes of the dreadful 'Vista' I cannot imagine.

@ Stuart Bell

Not true, alot of MS employees have apple macs, one of the most known Larry Hyrb (AKA Majornelson) uses macs more than using Windows based PC's.

  • 16.
  • At 03:57 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Lars Petersen wrote:

Mr. Bill Gates is not an honourable businessman. He is a poker player. He has always been a poker player. He was a poker player at high school and at college. And he always conducted his business a game of poker. He is a poker player disguised as a businessman. He is not an honourable poker player either. An Honourable poker player does not disguise him selves. He is caught in his own disguise. He cannot escape the role he has created for him selves.

  • 17.
  • At 04:24 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • quang hanh wrote:

there seems like an unofficial stars-war within the elite of topbitches of the industry with Bill always in the center.

i just see him as a frequent money giver, to africa (one bill. coupla years b4) for example, getting no doubt from his own accnt forming no doubt from what critically in hot debate like this one in here. maybe that makes him shine at the center.

in this world of trading world you can do anything as long as it's legal and in the moral one what matters is the last destination of the proces of purchasing the money, right? He uses most of it to give back to the poor, Robin's way, so what wrong with his being the center, folks?

and some of you feel redhot because others like him couldn't be in his shoes, I mean in the world of deadly competition. You are free to use the same method of his, right?

me here, a dirt poor of the poorest, have used his W. OS for free (it was right there with the seconhanded p.c I bought five years ago) and after online for a while I got many updated download for free too from the W. Help page for maintenant to the dear old ME version I had then. What do u think of that?

I'm impressed with even the way he dressed to get in front of the camera the day he released that Zune thing and feel no embarrassed saying here that I love the fellow, billionaire or not. This era of communicating via the net should give him the greatest medal for just that.

better better yourself than feeling worse to be worse by some nice one who is better than you.

  • 18.
  • At 04:32 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • KBaus wrote:

One has to realise that Windows run on thousands of different types of computers not like Leopard on 10 or so Apple models. Naturally there will be more drivers problems. Overall is a good OS. However Linux is something to watch - it runs on all types as well.
I do believe that BG should split MS Office and MS OS (Windows) into two independent entities. It would help everybody. Being part of the same company there are more unofficial communications what hampers tracking of all the changes incorporated in so sophisticated pieces of software. Splitting into two independent entities would demand producing accurate specs for each other and this would help everybody. The EU forced MS to remove the IE from the OS and bingo! IE7 is the most compliant to the standard - still not 100% but making many developers happier.

  • 19.
  • At 04:46 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ken wrote:

"People thought we were late with the [web] browser"?

That's rich considering they haven't produced one yet, not counting that miserable pos Internet Exploder, the one where they stole the original code and still couldn't get it right. Reminds me of PDT Bach: "His plagiarism was limited only by his faulty technique."

Ask somebody who builds web sites what they think of Internet Exploder and you will be amazed how much Anglo-Saxon will fit in one sentence.

  • 20.
  • At 05:13 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Hmm - there may be a large number of surface computers in our homes in the next 5 years, but I'm interested in what's going to be in the other halve's homes - the people in the developing world who cannot afford expensive new gadgets like surface computers, xbox 360s or iphones.

Is Mr Gates getting more involved in helping the developing world with initiatives like the $100 pc, ubuntu linux, or some type of cheap mobile network with web access?

  • 21.
  • At 05:28 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • E M wrote:

Re: Tony Barry's ignorance is showing! :-)

Yes, and thousands of those 'apps' are junk, full of adware, etc. And hardware? Gimme a break. Full of problems, incompatibilities, etc. A headache from top to bottom. As for Gate's 'philanthropy', you need to research a little more. Try:www.latimes.com/gates and start with the "Dark cloud" and "Money clashes" articles to open your eyes (and hopefully, your mind).

Been windoze free for years, using linux and lovin' it! :-)

  • 22.
  • At 06:03 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Hmm - there may be a large number of surface computers in our homes in the next 5 years, but I'm interested in what's going to be in the other halve's homes - the people in the developing world who cannot afford expensive new gadgets like surface computers, xbox 360s or iphones.

Is Mr Gates getting more involved in helping the developing world with initiatives like the $100 pc, ubuntu linux, or some type of cheap mobile network with web access?

  • 23.
  • At 06:04 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Steve P wrote:

For all the condemnation of Microsoft and Bill Gates individually, the populace always condems people at the top, without BG and Microsoft the IT world and home computers would still be in the dark ages. I am not saying MS is perfect, what is, but if MS had not been around the advances we have had in recent years would never have happenned.

For the vast majority of the 25 years I worked in the IT industry I paralleled the various releases of MS software from Dos 2.0, through Window 1,2 and 3 and up to Windows XP Pro. Listening to Mr Gates assure users that his broken products (Vista, Xbox 360) "will be fixed" reminds me again that Microsoft insists on beta-testing products as "finished" on the consumer rather than getting it right first time. No wonder, no one with any experience will touch Vista until a the first service pack arrives. I still smart at the memory of paying good money for Dos 5.0 then having pay to have the fixes because the releasese never worked. Goodbye Bill, let's hope the person who replaces you has a little more integrity and honesty when it comes to product releases. I think the final irony is that MS has become the bloated behemoth that Gates used to deride. It does not innovate but watches others then uses its dominance to steal ideas and crush the competition.

  • 25.
  • At 06:09 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • stefan wrote:

Vista, I'd agree, is a disaster. So I'm sticking with XP, which thanks to the service packs is now at a stage where it's fairly stable and reliable.

I'm also using Linux (Ubuntu) and am impressed. It's reaching a point where it is a viable alternative for most PC users, and I reckon I'll be going 100% Linux in a couple of years from now.

I don't get the fuss about Mac -- for me it's like windows, but dumbed down. And anyone who thinks Mac is a more 'moral' choice than Microsoft is kidding themselves.

  • 26.
  • At 06:35 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jay wrote:

Did I hear that quote correctly? "We have to obsolete our own products?"

Quickly though, before my point, let me say.

I primarily develop for and admin Windows Servers, so I'm definitely not a member of the Linsux crowd I fundamentally dispute the concept behind Open Source. Sorry, but I like being paid for the code that I write. A few whacky Scandinavians having a "theory" about intellectual property and the egalitarianism of others, does not a good idea make.

Regardless though, that forced obsolescence is the kind of thing that makes it incredibly difficult to defend Windows. I mean come on Bill help me out here....sheesh...

  • 27.
  • At 07:26 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Walter van der Cruijsen wrote:

I'm a bit surprised and slightly irritated that Bill Gates is addressed as an IT guru. Bill Gates is not a visionary man when it comes to technology. He is a businessman and his main motivation is profit, not creating advanced technology.
Yes, I am happy to give Gates credit for expanding his vast empire, making personal computing more affordable. But at the same time, we have seen a surge in malware, dodgy hardware (unlike what some posters state here, windows does not run on all machines), and now there is a situation where software developers are forced out of business when they don't stick the Windows / MS label on it.
To those who say Mac OS X is a dumped down version of Windows, know your history before you make such statements. For many years Apple customers are highly satisfied because they get what they are promised. Unlike Windows users.
My main question to gates would have been: why do you release and sell for profit software packages that are unfinished, have serious security risks and force people to buy new hardware, else the 'upgrade' won't work? Funny that people would not accept this when they buy a car or TV set, but accept this when they buy MS products.

  • 28.
  • At 07:34 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Avinash wrote:

Jay,
You of course like getting paid for your code and sitting on top of it but us consumers prefer that the code is open for as many people to review it as possible. And that it's preferably free. So your "whacky Sacandinavians" actually are closer to the pulse of the consumer.If you think they are whacky then the consumer will have the last laugh by pirating the likes of your exorbitantly expensive and insecure software so that in the end you will lose anyway and the consumer will win.

Don't think that I am only for free and open source software. The proprietary model has its place in many situations. But let's not dismiss free and open source software because it's a defining concept and it's not disappearing. A few corporations won't be deciding forever what the giant mass of consumer wants.

  • 29.
  • At 07:38 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ian Davidson wrote:

Bill Gates' prediction about the wristwatch computer *did* come true! Check out the Zypad running, guess what, Windows CE !

http://www.zypad.com/

  • 30.
  • At 07:51 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Brian Harrison wrote:

There are many Microsoft employees and everyday citizens who buy the new Intel Macs to run Windows XP & Vista on. Why not? They can have the best of both worlds (Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard + MS's XP or Windows) running extremely smoothly on excellent hardware. Pretty smart if you ask me! Whoever said OS X is a dumbed down version of Windows is frankly misinformed! Apple's offering does not need any virus protection whatsoever, which is a HUGE timesaver as you don't have to wait for your computer to pass the inspection everytime you start your workday. It's also the only platform that can run multiple operating systems, as mentioned above and it's easy to learn and use for every skill level of computer user from complete novice to the smartest developers. And Apple is the only computer company that has brilliant retail chain that really let people have a hands on experience before and after they buy Apple products. The tide is turning fast and it's not a bad time for Bill Gates to apply his vision elsewhere. Alas, living in Redmond, Washington's backyard, I can attest from first hand experience that the rivalry is actually quite friendly between the two companies and that is a distinct benefit for the consumer.

  • 31.
  • At 07:54 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jasper Singh wrote:

Microsoft's early start is why we are now using Windows instead of some other operating system. But we have a choice and we should break the dangerous stranglehold that the Microsoft organisation has over us. All you have to do is go to an Apple store and purchase a Mac.

Vista is a shameless COPY of the Mac OS. Problem is most computers are not designed to run Vista leaving us, the consumers to struggle for another five years with crashing computers and frustration.

Bill Gates has been trying to be a visionary for as long as I can remember but in reality he is just a good businessman borrowing the vision of others when it suits him and bashing his competitors around the head when it doesn't.

  • 32.
  • At 07:56 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

- I do agree, without microsofts extensive development work who knows where computers would be.
- What I disagree with is the pretense that Bill wants to make life easier for us, then all but forces us to pay to perpetually "beta test" his half-engineered operating systems, then refuses to make new software releases reverse compatible. This is not easy and convenient for the millions of office 2003 users who have to switch to office 2007. This is just one example of his strongarm methods ensuring we all have to continually upgrade our hardware and re-purchase and re-learn our software every five years. If this isnt a monopoly I dont know what is.
Sure we have options, but microsofts wider compatability perpetually guarantees them to have the lions share of the profits. I just dont see it as a move forward when the newest operating sytem requires at least twice the computer hardware expense, has numerous unresolved glitches and is dog slower than the one it replaces. We are being forced to spend more money to get less useability--

  • 33.
  • At 07:59 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • George Williams wrote:

I agree about the MAC. A glorified chat box! The PC was much better until the arrival of Vista, which for someone like me who is and works in Computer games, keeps me up at night!

It is like a car without any wheels. Great to look at but can't do anything with it until the wheels have been put on! Give us service pack 1!

  • 34.
  • At 08:23 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chris Watts wrote:

Being a regular Microsoft Windows user for 14 years now, it has been made well aware that this is crunch time for Microsoft. I do feel that the main problem is their in-ablility to handle market pressure from rival companies. Take the Xbox 360 for example, their lack of advertisment compared to the Wii has knocked them down a peg or two even with a year or so longer in the market. With Windows Vista (the worst OS to come out of that company. Period), as soon as Mac had become the behemoth that it has, due to both the iPod and Leopard, it has faultered on the commercial path, turning the once one-horse race into a two/three horse race.

I feel that, in part, change in politics at the top has to do with it (as it does for any company, take Dell as an example).

I do like the way in which BG tries to make a large approach to virtual navigation etc within 5 years. But could he have made a predicition in 2003 (at a peak of XP) that he would have bought out a hugely flawed OS, pants MP3 Player, A non-profiting (at its current state) games console, and the huge competition that has come about?

With speech recognition being such a dated technology, I wonder how Microsoft improve it... so it actually works.

It has always been a great idea, but with people having such different speaking habits, accents, it seems like quite a daunting task.

  • 36.
  • At 08:26 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ferhat Savcı wrote:

Like Jay, I also like being paid for the code that I write. The difference is I no longer develop Windows apps. I earn a few factors more than when I did.

I was invited by MS (all expenses paid) to the MSDevCon in Boston in 2006 (along with a hundred or so successful IT businesses from the UK and Europe - who were *not* using MS technologies). We were never part of the conference: we were there to be "wined and dined" by the MS. Steve Ballmer in his own words, "recognized us for our success and wanted our business". None of the contacts I've met there have switched over to MS technologies to the date, MS is simply not as profitable as Open Source.

  • 37.
  • At 08:28 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • carol wrote:

I donot get people who miss understand games of competition,mr. gates was strategig enough to win hearts of millions.
Those who fill the world is a game of sleeping and provide free useless things gates will always have u in check. Lets compete will the guy please!

  • 38.
  • At 08:33 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Pete Worrall wrote:

During my last 25 years using and writing about new technologies, I
have gathered my own strange,small personal techno toolkit (for the record - this includes a very old touchscreen pda) Whilst I may have to upgrade some of this kit, most of it will keep me happy for the next 10 years.

Much of Bill Gates new year rhetoric is directed towards the power users in industry and those wealthy enough to continually upgrade.

My new year wish is that there should be more emphasis placed on the different ways in which different technologies, such as 'natural / intuitive interfaces' can potentially assist different users, eg. people who are physically disadvantaged in some way.

Finally on a general 2008 'Lifestyle' note, it is also worth considering the balance that we (as users) should try to achieve between using technologies and appreciating first hand sensory experiences.

  • 39.
  • At 08:34 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Windows is behind in devices. It's amazing how many run Linux, but of course most people will be completely unaware of this. For example TomTom is just TomTom, and all those new web cameras and network storage things are just boxes. Even in this new multi-touch interface, there's a big Linux one installed in a museum somewhere.

Jay, if Linux does not "a good idea make" then why has it succeeded in spite of the efforts of large companies to stop it? Surely if it's not a good idea it will be well dead by now.

To the suggestion about giving Windows away for free to the poor. They're severely reducing it and working hard to compete with the likes of One Laptop per Child. At the moment I think Windows is too resource hungry to enter those markets well. It's also very complex and not easy to understand or maintain for new users or administrators.

It's in Microsoft's interest to get Windows as widespread as possible, even if that means giving it away free. People become hooked on that which they're comfortable with, tied to the investment they've made in learning the system, and the network effect that ties other people in takes over. I'd personally consider giving it away for free as immoral. Others would call it business sense.

Another post here complains that too many people are too poor to buy Office so should be allowed to use old versions for free. Why not have them use Open Office? It actually seems more compatible with old MS formats than current Office is. It's not in Microsoft's interest though. They need people moving onto the latest new format along with their network effect to keep the competition at bay.

And then there's the question of philanthropy raised by Quang Hanh. Is it all OK? Can the rich man pass through the eye of the needle or whatever it is if the money is given away at the end? I think that the emphasis would be on the word "given" there. It must be given without attachment to reward.

A lot of the money may be given purely for good and that's a great thing. There were accusations though that some of the money has gone to places where perhaps the government were considering standardising on Linux or using it in their schools.

In this case the donation of Windows equipment to replace that Linux equipment, or the offer of a Windows license that's too good to refuse but has clauses effectively prohibiting Linux, even these things which would be perfectly above board are not charity. There are accusations out there of things less morally above board.

These kinds of donations come with strong attachment to the reward in terms of future sales for Microsoft. It is my hope that in future having left Microsoft Bill Gates loses that attachment. Then his charity could really do good.

  • 40.
  • At 08:41 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Craig M wrote:

What's the big deal? Whether you use your fingers to type in information with or your nose at the end of the day Windows is only a piece of software, it take rubbish in, does something with it and gives rubbish out, there's nothing 'magical' about any software product on the market (least of all Windows) no matter how much those who sell them (Bill Gates) would like us to believe. People who get 'turned on' by this stuff really do need to get out more.

  • 41.
  • At 08:46 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Shirley Tipper wrote:

Instead of toadying up to Gates, as usual, why don't the BBC ask him:

1. When is MS going to admit VISTA is rubbish and withdraw the os?

2. Why is MS pushing for its Office OpenXML to be an ISO standard when there is one already?

3. Why is MS pushing Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, which will restrict the user's freedom to load software of choice?

4. Why is MS doing all it can to attack the Open Source movement?

What a shame... he didn't answer my questions... or to put it another way, the BBC didn't ask them.

As the BBC is supposed to be impartial, can I assume that the heads of other technology companies will be getting an equal amount of airtime to Microsoft? I'm sure we'd all like to know how IBM, Google, Apple, Mozilla, the OpenOffice organisation, and many others, see the future. I'm fed up with seeing Microsoft positioned as the one-and-only great innovator.

  • 43.
  • At 08:56 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Darran wrote:

Interesting to see Bill talk about touch. Next week we'll likely see Apple take another huge step ahead with a multi-touch tablet or notepad.
What Microsoft still havent been able to master in multiple versions, Apple did in one - on the iphone. In comparion Windows mobile and tabletpc both suck.

I use Windows all the time and there is a Windows-way of doing things which just doesnt work well on consumer devices. I think Apple will move to fill this hole.

I owe my career to Microsoft and that for that... Many thanks Bill!

  • 44.
  • At 09:20 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chas wrote:

Gates suggests we get rid of the keyboard and use touch sensitive pads. That is not much use to a blind user. Until speech can control the computer properly they will still need the keyboard.

There are such programmes used by blind and those without arms or hands, but they are limited. Perhaps MS could use its resources to improve this aspect of computer control for the benefit of many.

  • 45.
  • At 09:25 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Bola wrote:

I think it's a great idea for Bill to want to concentrate on charity, with such huge career and life success i think it's good way to give back to the world.

A question though that has never left my mind, is why do we have to pay that ridiculously much for Windows applications and tools, when most of it's profit will go for charity anyway?

The best charity is for Bill to devote a reasonable percentage of his own profit to reducing the price of software.

My guess is that this will reduce software costs almost by 50%!

Then we know you are a real giver!

The price for Windows are hard on an average user/ proffessional.

Thanks BBC ( and Bill if you would consider my suggestion).

  • 46.
  • At 09:35 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Malcolm Powell wrote:

I've thought for a long time that the BBC was a very Microsoft centric organisation and the iPlayer fiasco (MS only and DRM infested) rather proved it. So I'm not surprised that no particularly hard questions were asked in this interview and that little if any criticism of Microsoft is present in the follow-up article.

  • 47.
  • At 09:40 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Donley wrote:

Microsoft's time is up. They are being eroded from both the inside and outside.

I had been beta-testing Vista since 2002, when it was known as Longhorn. Longhorn had some good ideas, like a database filesystem and scheduled indexing, but over the years, all the good things were removed, and Vista was released in a worse state than the OS it was supposed to replace.

In interview like this, Microsoft will never say Vista is a flop, but instead will deflect the question by saying Vienna will be released soon, (2009).

However, unofficially Vista has been scrapped. If you have Business Premium edition of Ultimate edition, call Microsoft tech support with any problem, and they will offer you a CD-Key so you can install a legal version of XP instead.

Windows users believe the next version of Windows will fix all the problems they have faced with the current release, only to be disappointed time and again.


  • 48.
  • At 09:48 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Nash wrote:

I enjoyed the interview on TV and the online article -- the description of the interview conditions imposed by Microsoft was interesting as an example of BBC jourrnalistic principles in collision with US corporate PR. You did not mention whether the public's e-mail questions were submitted in advance, but with 15 minutes available it makes little difference.
BBC technology coverage (including World Service and Focus magazine) is second to none. Items on futuristic claims by the industry (in a few years your fridge will reload itself etc.)tend to be a bit thin for boomers like me, who have seen the computerised house come and go several times. On the prophecy side I prefer programmes that cover the actual cutting edge of engineering and invention in any field, e.g. robot surgery, memory technologies, new materials, wireless protocols etc.

  • 49.
  • At 10:13 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

I'm an IT Technician in this very fast moving world and to be honest, most of you are going well over the top. To be honest, Microsoft have done what no-one else is done. If Vista is so rubbish, why do people still purchase it? We all have a choice. Regardless of bad reviews, people still like windows. It's hard to swallow the fact Microsoft may never disappear or lose it's reign with the most popular OS. The biggest plus is that it works with most hardware. Why hasn't linux or Mac OS X taken off? Because it doesn't have adaptibility like Windows.

To be honest, Vista isn't as bad as people make it out to be. I honestly was in the "I hate the latest Windows brigade" until I started using it. I worked on it to test it and deploy it in on a huge school site. With it's little niggles, it's far better than XP could of ever been. XP was terrible on initial release compared with Vista's initial release. I've never been able to make Vista crash, it doesn't hang like XP and it has reliability all over it rather than XP trying to make speed more of an importance.

I think Bill Gates' has realised how important the portability functionality is now with mobile devices becoming more part of our lives. Windows Mobile "could" of had the same "snazzy" interface the iPhone has. PDAs have been around for a long time, and as far as I'm concerned, the iPhone is a glorified PDA. That's all it is. If Microsoft had put the time in "developing" an interface rather than purely making a hard looking portable O/S, Apple wouldn't of had a hope in hell releasing anything like the iTouch or iPhone. Anyone trying to deny that "touch" based devices shouldnt or wont replace the keyboard/mouse from Bill Gates' visions, stop being so delousional and think again.

  • 50.
  • At 10:17 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Steve Price wrote:

So Vista has sold 100 million licenses. But how many of those were actually chosen by the purchasers? It's virtually impossible to buy a computer that doesn't have Vista installed. Given a choice between XP and Vista I suggest that most PC-literates would choose XP. I'm going to start looking at Linux.

  • 51.
  • At 10:28 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Brian wrote:

Actually, the smart answer would have been:

"Yes we have a Mac. We keep it in the corner and laugh at it."

;)

  • 52.
  • At 10:37 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Derek wrote:

I choose to go with the flow, Microsoft are going to be here for a very long time, and I embrace Microsoft technology. I am a programmer using their technology daily.

Despite some issues with software, and costs of their products ( i.e. Office2007 ).. Microsoft are steadily, securely taking the personal computer to the next level and ensuring that as we users get more advanced the computer performs as a tool for the enduser.

Thanks right folks, computer are tools, and in the not too distant future they will be trying to prempt your needs and have the job done before you ask... etc.

I like Microsoft.

  • 53.
  • At 10:39 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • andy wrote:

Let's get one thing straight here, an Apple OS only has to run on 5 or 6 different types of hardware which Apple itself controls. So writing stable software is a far easier job than MS have when writing Software for so many potential configurations. It really bugs me when the Mac lovers slag off MS when Apple are far worse. Everything inside a Mac is the same as in a PC yet it costs 3 times as much. Check out how much Mac RAM costs and how much PC RAM costs as just one example. Mac's even run Intel CPU's now. As for LINUX and open source, it has a place but it will never be mainstream. If you compare Microsoft's enterprise products with open source, Microsoft's stuff will beet it hands down in terms of functionaility and ease of use. Look at MS Exchange 2007 versus an open source mail system, it is by far the best mail system on the planet. There should be no security concerns if the product is implemented properly by people who know what they are doing. It is very easy to try and shoot down MS because they are the most visible, but lets be fair. On the whole MS do a good job and their products are usually excellent.

  • 54.
  • At 10:41 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • ngenda george wrote:

tell me something about the fifth generation or the human computer when will it heat the market and from where will it come from, is it from japan or america or europe?

  • 55.
  • At 10:44 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • David wrote:

People who criticise Microsoft and recommend the use of open source software are forgetting one thing: were it not for Microsoft, things we now take for granted like the internet, the ubiquity of computers and indeed the ability of open-source users to get online, learn about computing and write their Windows alternatives wouldn't have been possible...

  • 56.
  • At 10:47 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew Marshall wrote:

It seems to be incredibly fashionable these days to knock Gates and Microsoft. Anyone without knowledge of Microsoft's success reading these posts might think that MS Operating Systems were in the minority - but it seems that just as with religion it is the minority who are the most vocal.

I can't help but feel that there is a cultural element in the UK that resents success at any level. Somehow its better to come second. Well, I say do not criticize Gates and Microsoft for being successful. Rather criticize their competition for being incompetent.

Andrew

  • 57.
  • At 10:55 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Craig M wrote:

Where's all the energy going to come from to power Bill's vision?

  • 58.
  • At 10:58 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Simon Williams wrote:

It doesn't actually need BG to answer Shirley Tipper's questions. I reckon they go:

1. When is MS going to admit VISTA is rubbish and withdraw the os?

Never, though it might bring forward its successor, if sales don't pick up.

2. Why is MS pushing for its Office OpenXML to be an ISO standard when there is one already?

Because it's in its commercial interest to 'own' the standard.

3. Why is MS pushing Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, which will restrict the user's freedom to load software of choice?

Because it's in its commercial interest to control usage of its software.

4. Why is MS doing all it can to attack the Open Source movement?

Because it's a business competitor.

MS has got where it is by being a hard-nosed business, one of the main reasons it's disliked in some quarters, I'd suggest.

I'm struggling to live with Vista 64 which has noticeably slowed down my work PC, even though its now running a substantially faster, dual-core, 64-bit processor, where before XP Pro ran on a single-core 32-bit one.

  • 59.
  • At 10:59 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

Bill Gates talks about how the Microsoft is evolving to take on newer challenges. I want to know when Microsoft is thinking about pulling the plug on the 32 bit system, and making the operating system for 64 bit system only, as currently two bit systems running the operating systems (32 + 64 bit)

Surely this will confuse the users as currently most consumers will only use 32 bit systems because it is widely available. Surely now is the time to switch to the 64 bit system as they are currenly making there servers for 64 bit systems?

  • 60.
  • At 11:07 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave Buckmaster wrote:

Ah Yes, Vista! Without reading minds too much, MS showed it's true colors in designing an operating system for themselves instead of the consumer & that's really sad considering MS makes some excellent products! Would suggest MS should not forget who made them wealthy!

  • 61.
  • At 11:10 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Zzarchov wrote:

Avinash, the simple fact is when no one is paid for writing software, no one WILL write software. Most people who write code for products such as linux have other jobs writing software (where they got training) or are going through school to write software (for a living). I have no doubt free software will take over, and so will end the innovation boom we have experienced as people switch to other trades to keep eating. Who will program for free instead of being a plumber for a good fee?

  • 62.
  • At 11:11 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • jennyD wrote:

Oh dear what an admission. No Macs! No wonder the Microsoft usability and reliability still lags about five years behind Apple.

The future in my home belongs almost exclusively to Linux and OsX and not Vista.

But even I will admit that I keep a single windows machine in my home just to keep an eye on the dark side you understand ;-)

  • 63.
  • At 11:12 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Will Hill wrote:

It is quite amazing how Bill Gates is depicted as the great visionary of IT. He was quite handy at coding and had a quick brain. Most of all, he had a near photographic memory which he warned one of his friends about once. That helped when he was invited to have a look at the development of the original Mac OS. If Mac OS X is a dumbed down version of Windows, how come they copied Mac OS Classic at first to be able to make Windows? If Mac OS X is a dumbed down version of anything, it would be UNIX, but since it has become a certified UNIX OS, I doubt very much it is so dumbed down as some Windows fanboys would like to believe.
Back to Gates; yes, he preferred playing poker to coding and it was only thanks to his old mate Paul Allen that Microsoft came to be. Billy Boy would rather stay at the poker table.
The same Allen was the innovator and he left Microsoft rather early. I'd say that since he left, it hasn't been much innovation coming out from Redmond. There's no doubt that they have and have had many clever folks working for them, but I think that their efforts and talent have been mismanaged. Perhaps much because Gates had to be idolised as the Great Software Magician which he most likely is not. He is a shrewd and smart businessman who had a talent for coding, but that's it.
Why BBC would waste time interviewing him and him alone, about the future of IT, is hard to understand.
If he had been part of a more extended article in which several other main figures in the field had been interviewed, it might have been worth reading.

  • 64.
  • At 11:16 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Rod wrote:

Brian wrote:
Actually, the smart answer would have been: "Yes we have a Mac. We keep it in the corner and laugh at it."

I doubt that Bill has a lot to laugh about. The iPhone seems to be quite well recieved and is selling well. Vista on the other hand...

  • 65.
  • At 11:17 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • dan wrote:

yeah... er stfu.. everyone.. whats the point in arguing about whats better.. just look after your self, use whatever you like and dont needlessly argue. no one will change their mind they all have thier own beliefs.. a christian would not renounce god just cause you have. a man would not support a different football team just cause you do.. get real shut up go home...

you wont listen to this.. this is pointless.. but i never bother haveing a go at anyone over the internet (probably cause its futile) but one time aint gonna change anything.

cya dont cry now xxxx

  • 66.
  • At 11:20 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Steve Farr wrote:

I only ask one thing of Bill before he retires.

Please, please, oh please...

GET RID OF "BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH"

...Thanks.

  • 67.
  • At 11:23 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Will Hill wrote:

@Brian: I worked for a newspaper once which ran only on Macs (still do) but for some reason they put a Windows PC in the archives. It sat there for a couple of days and obviously it didn't work. Then came a couple of blokes looking much like Hodgman's "I'm a PC"-guy, took off their grey jackets and scratched their heads a while before they decided to take it with them. It never returned. No one laughed;)
Next time you see a Mac in the corner, why not try it out instead of just looking at it, laughing:)

  • 68.
  • At 11:25 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Kai Ng wrote:

Mr Gates' ill-thought comments about looking to replace the keyboard is seriously flawed.

In recent times only the mouse has come into mass use. The ball mouse was invented by a guy who happened to be working for Xerox after previously helped build the perpendicular wheel mouse at university. Currently, the touch pad alternative, which is less user-efficient, is only popular because it can be conveniently integrated into the laptop product.

The (typewriter) keyboard will never ever be replaced because basically it is more robust, cheaper and more easily servicable than any rouch screen system can ever be.

However if somebody invents a really great device that everybody will use you can be sure that it wont come from Microsoft! History will confirm that Microsoft has never needed to invent anything significant to stay successful.

  • 69.
  • At 11:28 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • steve Coventry wrote:

As a Mac user I think Bill Gates is being treated a little hard, Yes Vista seems to be in a bit of a mess and maybe should not have been released until service pack one was ready but after such a long delay they had to kick it out the door. Windows will always be full of problems due to its use on millions of combinations of PC's, this problem will continue as more and more companies get into the computer parts industry. If Apple were to release OS 10.5 for use on any PC they would have an even bigger headache than Microsoft. As for copy the mac OS, everyone copies of each other no one company has the monopoly on good ideas although Microsoft do seem to be in a slump these last few years, I think there is to much power given to the money men in Microsoft that's why they've lost there way a bit. I use a mac because as the OS and Hardware are all from the same company I found less problems with compatibility of hardware / software, and find it easier to use, because as Apple have only about 4% of computer users they have to try harder to keep there customers happy, just look at there latest OS only available as one version 32 & 64 bit both in one OS and all the bells and whistles for just £85. Microsoft Vista full addition is how much ? And Microsoft make more money in 1 month than Apple do in a year, again the money men have to much control put the power back in the hands of the programers and maybe Microsoft can bounce back. Bill Gates leaving the computer industry will be a sad day as for all the + & -'s you may think he has had some good ideas and just look at the joke that's replacing him as head of MS.

  • 70.
  • At 11:33 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Nik Bell wrote:

Microsoft is single-handedly responsible for holding back the world of software and computers...e.g.all the computer virus problems are basically a result of bad MS software.
If not for MS we would already have touch/speech interfaces and lots of other goodies.
MS, a dreadful monopoly that should be broken up.

  • 71.
  • At 11:34 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy Groark wrote:

Microsoft may be running as market leader and abusing the power, but as the consumers it's our choice to change that. Let's not attack the man for his entrepreneurialism. Copying the competition and even crushing it is for the competition commission to regulate.

Basically, if you don't like it. Don't buy it. I'm an iMac owner and hold to the claims that 'it just works'. I can honestly say I've not regretting paying the extra, even if it is over-priced. It's like the difference between buying a reliably engineered german car and a korean-built copy.

Lastly, I wanna say that despite my choice I still see the benefits of windows (XP) since it is compatible with custom made pc's rather than the very specific products that come from apple. Also, it works with more software due to its position as market standard. Macs are meant to be 'fun' right? But there's so few games available compared to that on windows. Im considering running XP on the iMac for this reason.

  • 72.
  • At 11:34 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Robin Kelly wrote:

The one feature of Vista that has persuaded me to use it - on an old TC1100 tablet PC - is the vastly improved pen & ink interface; but I very much doubt that Microsoft could care less what domestic/SOHO users think about Vista. The big money is in government and blue chip contracts, and that's why Windows is so inflexibly focussed on layers of user restriction. You may know better that Windows' security is no better or worse than any other OS, but when it comes to persuading big procurers to part with other people's money, these features are easy for accountants to grasp. Don't talk to the about 'open access' and 'thinking different'.

  • 73.
  • At 11:36 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Suraj Pandey wrote:

Instead of looking back, it would be better if Microsoft looks what might be the turning point in future for other companies to emerge.

The followings are highly probable:

1) Automated Cars, GPS, car accessories.
2) High Definition Gadgets. (HDTV etc)
3) Hard-disk less laptops (mem-sticks)
4) Keyboard on the touch enabled monitor of laptops.
5) Virtual Reality stuffs. (Games, simulations)

etc.

  • 74.
  • At 11:37 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

With all the inovative technologies that are emerging increasingly relying on stable, high bandwidth and unrestricted broadband connections how can we possibly continue to advance technology at the rate that it has been groing over the past 2 decades?I dont think we can. In my opinion i believe the people that have the power to improve the technology this time around are not the developers but the ISPs, this is on a global scale but is rather depressing if you live in the UK and are subjected to abismal speeds that BT offer. We cannot expect things to be accessible to all anymore, only those with the best internet connections (anyone who has tried to use youtube on a BT broadband line at between 5pm and 2am will tell you that).

  • 75.
  • At 11:43 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Alice wrote:

What is the deal with Vista? Everyone I have asked that has to deal with computer problems everyday say it's useless and has many glitches yet anyone that tries to sell it to me has said there is nothing wrong at all. When trying a friend's laptop it lost wireless connection and still said there was no wireless connection available when standing next to the hub. after 5 mins of trying to re-connect it decided to say the the laptop was not wireless enabled and didn't have the necessary drivers! It took a considereble length of time to turn it off and on again!!!
I have just purchased a brand new laptop and it WILLNOT have Vista on it!

Zzarchov:

That's a straw man argument if ever I saw one. Just because the software is free doesn't mean people don't get paid to write it. In fact my day job consists almost entirely of writing FLOSS software. It's a fallacy of epic proportions to say that only non-free software can innovate. Look at Firefox as a prime example, a program Microsoft ignored for years as irrelevant and are now rushing to duplicate Firefox features in their own IE.

  • 77.
  • At 11:57 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Quentin wrote:

I hear the DOS/Windows PC people, who for years cried loudly that "Mac's are no good" (inserting no valid reason which is something like "Car Manufacturer A is a better than car manufacturer B") purchase operating systems which to this Mac person of the last 21 years ("They'll never last - you'll see!) look somewhat like a Mac.

Now, rather than admit Mac's might have actually been more "stable" they are flocking to Linux - many flavours of which look like a homage to the Mac OS as well.

Nothing new under the Sun it appears - but that's another Operating System...

Just use the correct computer for the job YOU wish to do.

@45 - "why do we have to pay that ridiculously much for Windows applications" - if you're asking why Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office is expensive, it's because Microsoft need revenue from those products to prop up their other business units that are making a loss... XBox, Zune... and I'm not sure whether Microsoft Exchange is in the black yet. Remember this next time you pay Microsoft money for a Windows or Office upgrade or license renewal.

Shirley Tipper wrote "Instead of toadying up to Gates, as usual" - couldn't agree more, well said Shirley.

  • 79.
  • At 12:03 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Oh, moan moan moan.... it's like sitting in a doctor's surgery. If half the energy spent whinging went on something more productive what a fantastic world we'd live in.
Ah well. In the meantime I have Vista on three pc's and I'm very happy with them thank you. :-)

  • 80.
  • At 12:06 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jay wrote:

Consumers do not have a choice either they have to choose Mac or pc with Microsoft windows pre-installed whether pc for homes or offices. In the market economy we need to have a real competition so that new idea, better product and better price come in to the market. Therefore we urgently need the European Commission to interfere with computer industry in order to bring down the high barrier put up by Apple Mac and
Microsoft, this is to allow Linux and other softwares to compete with them
fairly and squarely.

We should also thank to the organisation such as Zonelabs, Firefox, Ad-aware, AVG, Avast, Komodo and numerous others for giving some of their products for free. They make the internet safer to surf.

While Apple Mac and Microsoft concern in making more money.

  • 81.
  • At 12:06 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Sam wrote:

Well i manage a large educational network with over a thousand users. I have servers running server 2003, server 2000, XP (to host SQL) as well as a proxy/mail server running red hat linux 7.5 with squirrel mail, squid proxy and turtle firewall. Most of our user stations are XP Pro and we have a few G5 macs aswell.

At home i run XP Pro on my main Pc and i run open suse 10.2 and vista ultimate on dual boot on my laptop.

So i know a bit about the differences. My opinion of macs is that they are designed for people with little or no knowledge of computers despite being written on unix.

In terms of reliability they are nothing compared to windows based pcs. Despite popular belief macs go wrong all the time almost indescriminatley especially when joined to active directory.

Linux is great but for your average user it is overly complicated and most of all doesn't conform to a standard which is a symptom of the fact linux is open source.

So realistically until a proprietry version of linux of widely distributed it will never be of any realistic use for the masses and it will always reside in server land.

So in summery windows is bang on. Easy enough for your average user yet powerful enough for a advanced user who wants to do development work. Also thanks to its proprietry nature it works with most software and all hardware manufacters centre there drivers for it.

As for Vista, vista is very good. I fail to see why users slate it so much. It hasn't caused me any problems whatsoever and the only reason i haven't rolled it out over my network is the need to upgrade hardware on user stations to support it as well as possible short term software incompatibilites.

Its easy to slag off microsoft but the fact is they do make the best software available at this present time and i don't see it changing anytime soon.

  • 82.
  • At 12:08 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Roger Holloway wrote:

Sorry, I am yet another Mac user. I say that because, although I have to use PCs occasionally I don't like them!

I was brought up on PCDos and have tried Vista. But give me Mac OsX any time. It isn't just the operating system - the hardware is so much better designed and user friendly. Bill Gates probably thanks his lucky stars that there isn't a version of MacOSX LEGALLY available for the cheap and cheerful computers that run his OS! How many people buy a Mac and ONLY use Vista on it?? I would genuinely like to know!

Ultimately, someone will come up with an open source OS that will be good enough to kick them both into touch!

Roger

  • 83.
  • At 12:11 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Lawton wrote:

So where on your website is it exactly, this interview ?

  • 84.
  • At 12:12 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

To those that say Vista is not selling well, can I remind them that Vista currently (December 2007 statistics) has 10.48% of the OS market share attained over the last 13 months - this is more than the 7.3% for all Apple OSes (OSX, v9 and down) on all Apple hardware (Mactel, iMacs, Macbooks etc), and the 0.63% for Linux.

With SP1 on the horizon (probably within the next month or so), the uptake of Vista will accelerate.

Dress it up anyway you like, Vista is not the failure that the fanboys would like to have you believe.

So Mr Starling, sorry, Mr Gates, still gets his PC ideas from Star Trek... the desktop console is just so very Next Generation, and old hat. (You did all now that the crashed UFO reference was from Star Trek Voyager, I assume?)

The original tablet PC was lovely, until it's screen kept losing contact with the rest of itself. PC developers should concentrate on that sort of touch technology. I'd buy it, for one.

  • 86.
  • At 12:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • vinayesh wrote:

Frankly speaking ,I dont know of any company that likes making money but is shy to extend its position in the market.In that sense MSoft is on par with any company when it comes to ideology. Only a small sub-set of the population are programmers but almost anybody uses a computer and Microsoft products have appeal among novices. As you can guess I have always enjoyed MS products and I wouldnt give a second look to any LINUX OS if I wasnt a programmer. All you open source guys need to get a job or stop whining. The world is not just about software. But recently MS seems to be falling into the trapping ala a big budget Hollywood production.'Too much gloss and less Substance' aka Vista. In this increasingly egoistical world humility should be the way forward for MS.
p.s. Sorry if the above comments are too general. Im not much of a current affairs guy. But I do get bored at office.

  • 87.
  • At 12:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • TV wrote:

BILL GATES Z THE BOMB LETS BE REALISTIC AND NOT FIGHT AIMLESS BATTLES ,LETS FOCUS ON THE OS n TRY TO IMPROVE IT NOT JUST CHAT BASELESS CHATS!!!!!!!!

  • 88.
  • At 12:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ian Billing wrote:

As a Mac user, I feel greatly indebted to Bill Gates and to Microsoft. Imagine a scenario in which Apple licenced out their OS (rather than IBM taking the lead on this, leading to the ultimate rise of Microsoft) and ruled the computer world...without this competition I do not believe that the Mac OS would have developed to be the finely-tuned product that it is today. We may well still be stuck with the ancient (but ahead-of-its-time) MultiFinder of OS6 had not the advent of Windows pushed Apple in the direction of its current superbly-implemented graphical interface. Without competition, the consumer faces no alternative and the manufacturers have little incentive to actively develop their products. So, thanks Bill...you have provided the spurs to push Apple to its current peak!

  • 89.
  • At 12:36 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • AlanJC wrote:

What's this? Windows vs Mac? Quelle surprise!

I have been using Vista since the Alpha versions, and think it's truely great, provided people are willing to change the way in which they work to cater to it, and don't go around disabling all of the security that they think inhibits their use.

My main two systems are a PC running Vista, and a Mac runing Leopard. I also have another PC running XP Media Center, and a Mac iBook also running Leopard.

Why can't people simply accept there is no single greatest thing, nothing is absolutely better than everything else, and the reason that so many choices exist is because there's always something that suits your, or your neighbors needs better than something else.

I have been using Windows since version 2, Mac since System 7, Linux since Suse 5 (and since used countless more variants), but I stick with Windows & Mac since they suit my needs best, and I am in a position where I can run multiple systems.

I realise most people have a single PC, with a handful having a laptop as well, but I don't understand the fear of upgrading to Vista, or switching to Mac.

Most people seem to forget the corporate world took a couple of years to adopt XP, and prior to that, to adopt 2000.

Nothing is new here, other than the voice of the internet being given to more and more people year on year who are ignorant of the facts, and like to make noise about things they know nothing about.

  • 90.
  • At 12:41 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dorcas Munday MBE wrote:

I wish I'd have known this was going to happen.
I am physically disabled, I use a computer with Windows XP home with Service pack 2. I tap the keys on my keyboard with a plastic stick held in my mouth. I use Sticky-Keys for accessibility, but find the cursor moments very limited. I have an old mouse that is touch sensitive to my plastic stick this is wonderful as I can move my cursor much better and quicker than by the number pad and accessible options which is given by the number pad. Now we come to the big big problem the mouse pad company went broke in 1999 and I cannot get a replacement for a personal computer. Only Panasonic do the same sort of pad on the Panasonic Tough Book, they will not say where they get the component from. I have spent 100's of hours looking on the web and asking people to make one, they cannot find out. I understand that technology must move forward, and there are touch components about, but they work by Heat mine works by Pressure so it is Pressure Sensitive, not heat sensitive. I would very much like someone with some know how to help me and many others who because of having a disability may not be able to use the most up to date computer equipment. To have someone who would be willing to help in this matter would be wonderful. It cost such lot to get equipment, only to find when you get it it does not fullfill the need. Mainly because sellers have not come across the problem and think it will work! The New Touch ipod only half works with me! People who are disabled are real, and would like to be able to get items enabilling them, not to make life more difficult. Is anyone willing to help out in the world wide web?
Please think about it as communication is so much needed if you are disabled.
Thanking you
Dorcas Munday MBE

  • 91.
  • At 12:46 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Watson wrote:

It is amazing how sucessful the Microsoft spin has been. I've grown up through the desktop computer revolution, and have still to see Microsoft innovate anything. All the "great ideas" Microsoft have "innovated" have always been done somewhere else first, yet credit is never given. To see the man that has got every major prediction wrong being treated as a guru is nothing short of amazing.There aren't many people who can teach Blair and Brown about spin, but Gates is one of them.

  • 92.
  • At 12:56 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Steve Gregory wrote:

Speech interfaces will never take off.
I remember shopping in a supermarket where the checkout embarrassingly announced the name of each item scanned. In a bus station a year later, I was startled by a greeting, "Hi, I'm a talking coca cola vending machine!".
Both of these were in the USA in the early 1980s. Luckily, 25 years later, the world has not been taken over by talking machines and people talking to machines!

  • 93.
  • At 12:56 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • IPM wrote:

If you hadn't gathered Microsoft, the majority of users havn't got bags of spare cash to spend on new equipment and especially on an over priced version of your latest effort, Vista.
Do your market research properly and you will see this.
Our wage rises dont even match inflation and havn't done for many years now. So how can you justify a £150 price hike if you buy your copy of Vista in the UK as oppossed to the USA.(that was the last cost survey done to my knowledge)

Stack it high sell it cheap, and you might find you actually win the OS race as your direct enemy is free and doesn't need a mega powerfull PC to run on. And in my opinion the 'penguin' is showing far more promise these days than even you expected.

As for the Microsoft PR machine, its obviously not that good at putting the spin out these days, as this is the worst selling version of Windows ever, and I think that says it all really doesn't it.
Showing openly you are greedy at heart also does nothing for your PR Microsoft, cmon get it together guys!!
Not everyone is as rich as your are, you've lost the plot.

I am sorry, but the video that I just saw on the BBC site was simply an advert for Microsoft.


You should be ashamed.

  • 95.
  • At 12:58 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt Thrasher wrote:

What's his favourite deodorant?

  • 96.
  • At 12:58 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

Why do Mac users go on-and-on about Macs are better, it does my head in! I dont think anyone listens anymore!!

I'm a Mac and have no viruses, it's cos, the programmers can't be asked to spend their time trying to infect 5 Macs. LOL, secondly they would have to fork out and buy a Mac! lol

I'm not a MS fan boy it either! If MS was so bad, no one will be using it, but 90% of people are, you're probably using a MS OS right now, and Firefox reading this!

It's like a car, if you release a bad car, no-1 will buy that car, the fact ppl are still buying MS products means they are doing something right.

And for high end banks/companies etc, for servers that really matters they use Unix, no MS stuff, so people do have a choice, and know what is best.

  • 97.
  • At 01:01 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • John F. wrote:

I'm a long-time Mac devotee who has also spent years using Windows machines. I know both well, enough that I tend to be the default go-to person on how to get either working in office environments.

On that basis, a few things:

1) I don't detest Gates, I respect him. Especially given his charity work and also given the class he displayed during a shared interview with Steve Jobs last year. I don't know that he's a visionary, but there's no question he's smart and, I believe, honest.

2) Vista and XP before it have problems, no question. But they also have their merits. Microsoft has tried, even if they haven't always succeeded, to innovate. And millions of people like using their systems, so it can't be all bad.

3) I've followed both GUIs closely from the start. I was using a Mac at home and PC at school when Apple's Lisa came out... followed by the first Mac... and, while it may always be a point of contention, hands down it's clear and easy to demonstrate that Apple has lead the way in this field.

4) That's not to say that Window's is merely a copycat product. Just that Apple consistently creates and implements new ideas that Microsoft then adapts and, because of their broader base, makes standard. I am constantly astounded, when talking with PC-centric IT, how little they know of what Macs have been capable of some time, yet how willing they are to criticize it (note the "sit it in the corner and laugh at it" comment).

5) I'm also amazed at how many Mac critics mistake ease-of-use for for "dumbing down." Just because you can install software on a Mac in three steps ( (1) insert CD (2) click install (3) enjoy ), where it might take 3 pages to install the same on a PC, does NOT mean the more complicated process is indication of a better/more sophisticated system. If anything, ease of use is the goal of every software and hardware developer no matter what the platform. And on that front, again, Apple has taken the lead. There is little if anything a PC can do that a Mac cannot.

6) Both machines do crash. Apple's crashed much less frequently, though as the OS gets more complicated and more software is released, the crashes have increased somewhat. Meanwhile, I understand that Microsoft machines are crashing less than they once did. There is a code convergence coming. And already, it's clear, a convergence in hardware. That said, I'd trust the stability of an Apple-driven server any day over one running Vista or XP.

7) There is a great deal more software for Windows, naturally. But there is a great deal of good software or duplicate software for Mac. So that's as much of a non-issue as well, except maybe for gamers, though Macs are pretty solid these days in that area too. And the graphics support in Apple hardware and in the OS is extremely sophisticated.

8) Last... sigh... I'm tired of the Mac-PC bickering. I used to be one of the reactionaries myself. But the fact is, regardless of platform, computing has moved forward at an astounding pace. (Remember Pong?)

The ONE thing that I thought was funny about the Gates interview was simply his statement here...

GATES: "I'll be brave, in five years we'll have many tens of million of people sitting browsing their photos, browsing their music, organising their lives using this type of touch interface."

And this is the thing. If anything, a five year prediction about 10 million users of using "this type of touch interface" should feel conservative to the point of being silly. (By "type" one wonders if he meant table-shaped, size, or simply touch-screen GUIs.)

Just six years ago, would it have been brave to imagine people listening to music files on hard drives they carry in their pockets? Maybe. And braver still to imagine those same devices showing photos, playing videos, and using touch screens. Not to mention connecting wirelessly to the Internet (the iPod touch) or making phone calls (the iPhone).

Yet, over 100 million iPods have now been sold. And about 10 million iPhones so far. Compared to only 1 million Zunes.

One might say -- at the risk of being contentious -- that if Apple were to come out with this "type of touch interface" (which they have, but on a smaller scale in the iPod Touch and iPhone), that five year prediction of users would be surpassed within the first year.

Again, I'm not saying this to question Microsoft's value or the quality of Windows or other Microsoft products or the integrity or smarts of Mr. Gates.

I'm just pointing out that this five-year forecast about something so basic is emblematic of what does seem to be one of the weaknesses at Microsoft. They tread forward cautiously. Maybe by necessity (their size) or maybe because it's just the culture at Redwood.

One who loves the company might want to pound out lists of their innovations, and surely they have some.

But one simply cannot ignore the facts. When awards and kudos for innovation get handed out by the experts, Apple has received the lion's share. And when new "wow factor" products come out, there too Apple is indisputably in the lead. As for upgrades to existing products, there's no question that Microsoft has a bigger challenge trying to satisfy the many different kinds of hardware that use their products.

Still, the Zune remains relatively unchanged and unimpressive, especially in comparison to Apple's six generations of new iPods since Oct. 2001. Likewise, granting some leeway on all the extra challenges with XP and Vista, Apple is five or six full versions ahead on release of their OS X system too. Not without hurdles. But both companies have been quick about releasing fixes and upgrades. So any of those points are moot.

What's the real prediction, five years out?

Apple has many patents tucked away. Touch screen laptops, etc. are among them. And there's a MacWorld in a week from now. So we'll see. And a few years later, maybe s similar announcement from Redwood too (sorry, just couldn't resist that jab).

Regardless, sincere praise and thanks to Gates for his contributions. And best wishes for his charity, a noble and inspiring move.

  • 98.
  • At 01:31 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

Until recently, I was keeping an open mind about whether my business would stick with MS software or move over to an open source model. One look at Office 2007 helped make up my mind. The last few versions of Office have actually been pretty good, but MS have gone and blown it all with Office 2007, which is a total disaster.

It just goes to show that they are far more interested in maximising their revenue streams through frequent releases of new versions than making life easy for their customers.

If they forget about looking after the customer, they'll lose more people than just me to the Linux world.

  • 99.
  • At 01:32 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Watson wrote:

David wrote : "People who criticise Microsoft..... take things for granted the internet....."
What have Microsoft got to do with the internet? Microsoft contributed *nothing* to internet development, except removing security features in their products. Yes, we have a lot to thank them for!

  • 100.
  • At 01:37 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Kate Juggins wrote:

My husband has had an Xbox since its launch - yes I was one of those stupid people queuing outside a shop at the early hours to fulfil my husbands Christmas dreams. He's never off it (I'm what is called an Xbox Widow). He loves Xbox Live, competing with his friends and other people from all over the world. It suffered in the past the odd glitch, lasting no more than a minute or so, but over Christmas a 32 year old child was crushed! :-) The air was blue, and as a doting wife tried to resolve the problem. Before it was made apparent that the issue was with MS - I thought it was the Modem, so rushed myself to the nearest store and parted with £120 for a replacement Modem/router, to then hurry home a set it up - for it to obviously not work. My husband curled up in a quivering ball. I tried to console him, tried to explain that he could still play, but just not with his friends - for him to spout abuse and repeat in a trance 'It's not the same!, It's not the same!'. He finally logged on at the weekend - Thank GOD! Some people had no problems, some people had a few problems, some people could not log on at all - he was one of them, and I'm the one that suffered. MS may have got them in their thousands to turn the other cheek with the offer of a free download - but what are they offering to the thousands of wives who truly suffered! :-)

  • 101.
  • At 01:39 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Watson wrote:

and wrote : "Let's get one thing straight...."
Yes, lets. The vast majority of servers run Apache, which Open Source.

  • 102.
  • At 01:42 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • polmak wrote:

Ahhh Linux the "other choice" for home users, yeah right....

I am pretty sure my Dad or Nephew, mates or neighbors are confident enough to compile code or run ./config bsh scripts, chase down or resolve dependencies every time the load a driver or piece of software. Likewise if they ever have to load a driver outside of OSX trusted database.

There is on reason Windows runs on 90% of home PC's, it works...

With multimedia, Web, applications, games, good luck getting ALL of these to work or run in Linux/OSX

  • 103.
  • At 01:46 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Sam wrote:

Paul L Oakes Jr. wrote: "The world is moving at a faster pace than the poor can keep up with".

The poor will be even poorer if they pay 1% to Microsoft for the ability to spend their money quicker.

  • 104.
  • At 01:49 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew C wrote:

Comment 97 by Dan F is great. Well written and bang on the money.
I really find it ludicrous that the news headlines today are dominated by Bill Gates "hailing the age of digital senses" when Apple have already delivered it for millions of users in the shape of the iPhone and the iPod Touch.
I completely understand Gates' importance to worlds of business, technology and charity, but to treat him as a technology visionary and to report his so-called 'predections'in such a reverential way is to fundamentally misunderstand what is actually going on in high-tech today.
While Microsoft talks very generic ideas and shows off concepts that no one would actually wants, Apple is busy delivering. The iPhone and iPod Touch are already shippping. Watch news from MacWorld next week for more 'touch' and 'sense' controlled computers that you can - and actually want to - buy...

  • 105.
  • At 02:09 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Aled wrote:

Just downgraded my new laptop from Vista home preium to XP professional.

It was a nightmare as XP drivers for the latest hardware are becoming increasingly hard to come by (I wonder why) and I had to create a new bootable cd with the latest Hard Disk drivers incorporated. The software is available out there to do this (e.g. nlite) and the effort (several attempts over 2 days) was well worth it, my new laptop is now an improvement over my old laptop and runs much faster than Vista.

Vista was an absolute nightmare and would not allow me to play media files and manage the directory structure on my own computer, it is an operating system designed for complete imbeciles.

  • 106.
  • At 02:19 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Fraser wrote:

Just a couple of points. Most people use a PC because that what the IT purchasing stooge bought for them. I used to do a lot of business in the US and believe it or not the two corporations i saw the most Macs on desktops were in the offices of NASA (this was a few years ago) and Microsoft!
I use both OS (Windows and Mac) for my job and they both have their benefits. As for Mr Gates not bothering with competitors products at home, maybe he should start. If he thinks everything is lovely in his Microsoft bubble maybe an Iphone or blackberry about the house would help.

  • 107.
  • At 02:19 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy Taylor wrote:

To use a Mac OS you need to buy an expensive Mac, so they win win there. To use a Microsoft OS you can choose from any number of cheap to high end PC's. I think you will find that it works much better on an expensive PC with expensive components inside than it does on your £299 laptop from Staples!
Why oh why do we critisise all the time. Every time I look at comments on BBC or any other website, they are hugely negative. We seem to deteste success and huge companies doing well. When most of us have done nothing of any great importance at all.
Every now and then we all make mistakes. Every now and then Bill Gates makes mistakes and every now and then Microsoft makes mistakes. But nobody has really given them any competition up until recently and that can only be a healthy thing to the future of softweare and computers as they will work harder to please you all, but they'll obviously never please everybody. Stick to your favoured system and keep your short sighted comments to yourself.

  • 108.
  • At 02:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Yawn....What's all the Hubbub about Bub? Everytime the Beeb interviews BG the quiche eating, anti MS crowd, get on their high horses and tell us how bad MS are in comparison to Apple and Open Source.....Fine..but really, Who cares????..people who want Macs can go out and pay over the odds for them. Others who want open source can get that too.

I use MS everyday at work and have a notepad running Vista at home and don't have a problem with either. I don't give the Mac & Linux a thought simply because I am quite happy using a system that provides me with what I need....It works for me and millions of others like me. If competing formats overtake MS, then I will use them but somehow I think it unlikely that this will occur in the next 10 or 20 years.

  • 109.
  • At 02:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy Wright wrote:

The challenge that Microsoft has is to regain industry thought leadership and to restructure their revenue model to adapt to the new on-line service model. Today Microsoft seem behind in all the major areas of real innovation - however, in their support, they are just about keeping up and often gaining market share in developing markets - due to their size and wealth. However given that Microsoft invest the most money in IT research it is a real problem that they often need to buy companies to get into new areas.
It will be interesting to see where Microsoft are in 7 years, particularly if the Open-Source people can improve their deliverables, which, imho, are not quite good enough yet.

  • 110.
  • At 02:26 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Geekerman wrote:

Microsoft's fundamental problem is that it has, for all intent and purposes, a monopoly - on operating systems, and to a certain extent, on office productivity suites. Neither monopoly is a natural one, any more than a single motor vehicle manufacturer ought to have a patent-protected monopoly on supplying automatic transmissions. And very large monopolies (or duopolies, or even oligopolies) typically do not innovate, because they wind up as complacent collectors of a sort of use tax, rather than income-earners of an authentic, market-determined price for their goods or services.

I noticed that Bill Gates's "computer of the future" emphasized touch, but not speech, the later being a more regular, natural form of human interaction. In fact, touch screens are old hat and Bill Gates must know this.

In the very near future, two-way verbal interactions with our home pcs will replace the keyboard and the mouse for a startling number of now-mechancally repetitive tasks.


Other predictions (1) The Microsoft monopoly will be broken, and there will be a flood of innovation as this irritating, monstrous, intrusive corporate presence goes the way of, Rockefeller's Standard Oil, and America's AT&T, into the oblivion of all the other American corporate monopolies. (2)Software - especially operating system software - will either simplify drastically, or will be replaced by highly innovative, modifiable "firmware" burned the circuitry into even more complex devices. Using a personal computer will become only slightly more complicated than using a large home stereo system. Microsoft has a stake in the opposite direction: its vested interest is in making computing at work or at home more and more complexified - and therefore, more and more tedious and time-consuming. The computer, large or small, has yet to come up with its authentic, simplifying genius on the scale of the great engineering and scientific geniuses like Watt or Newton - but it will in the next few decades.

  • 111.
  • At 02:28 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mohammad Razavi wrote:

Hi Mr.Gates
would you please tell me which importent things in your life made you to becoming Bill Gates?

your sincerely

  • 112.
  • At 02:41 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Paul McConnell wrote:

Do a search on this page for DRM, only one mention apart from mine. This is what Vista is basically full of to treat the consumer as a potential thief. Any wonder most people are rejecting it!

  • 113.
  • At 02:46 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Phil Draycott wrote:

Ubuntu Linux has everything you need and works with a lot of hardware.
I don't know why Microsoft should dominate the market. I wonder if people are afraid of trying new things. Even Internet Explorer has always been inferior to Opera or Firefox (only recently using tabbed browsing when others doing it forever, for example!).

I wonder if the next Windows op sys will have multiple desktops, ooh a new idea!

  • 114.
  • At 02:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Phil Draycott wrote:

Why do people talk about Linux with such disregard? It is far superior to Windows.
It is also free, as in beer!

  • 115.
  • At 02:59 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • UM wrote:

The more I work with computers the more I hate MS and Apple. Apple is not any better than MS, the only difference is that Apple has more of a fanatical following.

I don't particularly have a problem with the closed-source business model, it's their code and they can market it as they wish. However, I have a problem with the monopolies they create and the technologies they try to push. There are far too many computing platforms with different coding syntax making life difficult for an average software developer. I guess that's why IT people get paid well..

Back to the Mr Gates answer about open-source software. He used words like, professional commercial software, free software, etc. So according to Mr Gates, all Linux programmers are amateurs, and all open-source software is free? First of all, Linux community is a community of professionals. Google (not open but free software) has the largest and brightest developer teams in the world. They are hardly amateurs, are they?

Second of all, open-source is not necessarily free software. The open-source software business model is usually developed around the services industry, where the programmer provides a company with services rather than a closed box. One of the arguments, MS supporters have is that in some cases those services can be more expensive than the closed box MS sells. It's a valid argument against open-source code, but not always true.

I hope one day there is a unified computing platform that makes life easier for all of us. Unfortunately, I can't see it happening in the near future.

  • 116.
  • At 03:01 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Giles Jones wrote:

Maybe if Bill did own a Mac he would realise why Mac owners love them so much. You can't claim to know what is good without trying various alternatives. If I worked for a technology company I would spend time using all the competitors products to understand them.

Having used Vista for 30 minutes I knew full well that I would never choose to run it ever. It's the most confusing, annoying and slow OS Microsoft have ever produced. Windows 2000 will always be the best version of Windows. Fast, stable and a simple to use interface.

Over the Christmas holiday I had to explain to my Father why his USB ADSL modem is no use anymore and explain to his partner why her games no longer work. All thanks to Vista.

Old games not working is fair enough, it is old (2003) but the ADSL modem is from 2005 and there are millions of these supplied by BT to their broadband customers.

Microsoft made all this hardware incompatible by making drastic changes to the kernel and driver model. Such drastic changes aren't needed if you get the design correct in the first place.

  • 117.
  • At 03:28 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Penguin wrote:

Bill Gates makes headlines because he is honest. Despite his company's monopoly efforts, he himself makes the headlines with his charisma and honesty. Like a first year engineering student knowing he has a good idea, but doesn't know if his team is up to it. With Apple you are forced to move into the Apple world. Buy and IPhone and you are tied to one phone company, only Itunes, only something apple or you risk loosing 300 euros in functionality as your phone may become void. These examples go on and on for the new generation Apple "World" products. As for Linux, it is free. Let's face it folks, somethings in life are better when they are free. While there maybe problems in terms of my grandparents using Linux, I am making the transition. Maybe difficult, but it is definetly worth not having a leash that ties me to the "MAC world", it is also why Microsoft still leads.

  • 118.
  • At 03:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Sundeep wrote:

Are we heading to a world totally computerised?? am not against informatics gadgets.. but how many of us still do mental calculation??
lol i bet that some once getting a calculation to do they just grab a calculator somewhere or just if they are logged in windows, they just do start->run>calc to do the calculation...

  • 119.
  • At 03:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Scott wrote:

I read a couple of people saying that Vista is a complete disaster. I would have to disagree with this statement, I have had a new laptop running Vista for the last two weeks-I haven't had any problems with it whatsoever.

  • 120.
  • At 03:31 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Sundeep wrote:

Xp is still running to be the best... vista is cool, much to cool for some pc out there...

  • 121.
  • At 03:35 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Kerton wrote:

Whilst Vista is in desperate need of several service pack fixes (constant crashes in sleep mode, IE7 to name but a couple) to suggest that its the worst iteration of Windows ever, is to convieniently forget Windows ME, presumably named because it was chronically fatigued.

I am a Linux, Mac and Windows user. Linux for my Eee PC, Mac for my multimedia needs, and Windows for my day to day work, web and gaming needs. Each of them have their pluses and negatives. Apple, who are just as "evil empire" as Microsoft have been able to perfect form with products such as the iPod and iPhone doing things simply and easily, but they don't innovate on function, there were touch screen phones and MP3 players before Apple hit the market, its just Apple know what usability is.

Where Microsoft, and other companies could improve, is offering free software to education, instead of charging through the nose to train the business users of the future.

Most people commenting here about linux don't seem to know the simplest thing about it: "until they make a proprietary version of [linux]"; this whole point of linux is that it's released under the GPL and so can't be made proprietary. I can only assume that you mean a commercial distribution of linux - there are quite a few out there most notably Red Hat, Linspire and Novell. People who think that you still have to compile software on linux don't know what they're talking about as almost all distributions (perhaps with the exception of Gentoo and a few Gentoo varients) compilation is rarely ever needed (I only compile applications occasionally to do things that "average" computer users would not dream of) and dependency resolution is a thing of the past - I don't think I've had a dependency issue in a few years now.The major reason why linux appears to be hard to run is that most hardware is not designed to be run under linux, it's designed to be run on Windows and the Microsoft monopoly plans to keep it that way but now with developers willing to freely (as-in both beer and freedom) developing substitute drivers this situation is quickly changing.Microsoft is now attempting to maintain its strangle hold on the whole of the computer literate world by pushing a fake standard; it's aparent from Microsoft Internet Explorer that Microsoft is incapable at keeping to standards and with each new release the "standards" that they employ have been further warped and misused. It's easy to imagine Microsoft passing the OOXML standard and with each MSOffice release making it harder and harder for competitors to write compatible applications. There is already one standard for documents, the ODF and there are already plugins for MSOffice to handle these formats of file. As I see it Microsoft can't stick to their own standards so they're really worried about being able to stick to someone else's standards.Finally, for those who say that buying a Mac is expensive - so what? What you get with Macs is quality hardware that the software is tailored to. You get what you pay for.

  • 123.
  • At 03:50 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • David wrote:

I don't think Bill Gates is a blind or as bubble wrapped as some of you think. I think he's very aware of what is going on and the problems and competition his company faces.

"Life is not fair - get used to it!" - Bill Gates

  • 124.
  • At 04:09 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

It is obvious that some of the comments on this forum are posted out of ignorance. I remember when Bill Gates was the original nerd and when he had to load data into a computer by flicking 8 switches for a character then changing whether they were off or on for the next character. Bill Gates and his mates were doing this long before anyone else. He had a small company called Microsoft and in those days you could choose whether you wanted MS-DOS or CPM as an operating system.

Bill Gates worked up from the beginning and his products proved popular with the public. I do not begrudge Bill Gates one cent of the money he has made because he has worked up from the bottom rather than inherited it. Of course he is a business man now but he was the original computer nerd.

  • 125.
  • At 04:18 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • garry wrote:

Not surprised the UFO crashed if it was running windows

  • 126.
  • At 04:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Joela wrote:

Mr. Gates Or Microsoft - Always an interesting talk.

Inconsequential/Insignificant things/personalities don’t attract this type of passion. It's only things/persons above that could be criticized this way and not the other way round.

I hope we are learning from the 'successes/failures' of those 'ahead' in the industry.

Microsoft & Mr. Gates will continue ('cos they aren't sleeping - they are more hungry than we know) to roll out events/things to be talked about ANYWAY.

I am a retired senior citizen and am in computer field since 1978.
A couple of years back I bought a new Computer from Dell with Windows Xp. Recently I bought Windows Vista premium. After installing I lost my sound system completely, Audio, Video or any other sounds disappeared
finally with the help of Dell I was able to delete Vista. Now I am on
Windows XP.

I am stuck with the program and the dealer declined to take it back.

What am I to do with this program?

As far as windows is concerned, it works fine, provided there is no additional software added after installation and no user touches it.

If the windows computer is touched by human hand, virus or windows update, then it can sometimes go wrong.

Cue computer support. As a technician in a windows dominated world, windows presents opportunities as well as problems.

Long live windows!

  • 129.
  • At 04:53 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Brian wrote:

It was funny that Lord Bill Gates did not mention open source,
I had Vista and removed and put Ubuntu Gusty 7.10 and Windows XP Professional , so far Ubuntu has ran brilliantly I just keep the XP for some software that still requires Microsoft, but I am working towards emulators that will allow me to run Ubuntu on the my system.
What Bill does not realize is that people cannot go out a pay a few hundred pounds for a OS or another few hundred pounds for Office Applications , and more money just to have the right system for Vista that is madness,
Now with Ubuntu you get all that the support is great, it is free , you call Microsoft you need your credit card ,
Simply put Microsoft is behind the times sure they have some great ideas but the more Open Source becomes more prevalent in society the better it would be for all of us ,
I do see Microsoft loosing more their massive monopoly in the future .

Thank God

I have "known" Bill since the DOS 3.0 and everything after. To me he is a great man. Where would we be without him !!

  • 131.
  • At 05:27 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Just to clarify a few misconceptions that people seem to have about Vista:

- To the person who tried Vista for 30-minutes and came to the conclusion that it is slow - you have demonstrated a complete lack of understanding about how Vista works. When Vista first runs, and for the first couple of hours, Vista generates an index of the indexed locations that form part of Windows Search. Once the index has been created, it does not need to be made again hence the initial slow-down experienced will no longer be present. It will periodically update the index as new files are added, however this will take no more than a couple of seconds. If you don't want Windows Search or the initial slow down, turn the indexing service off.

- Someone noted the constant crashing in sleep-mode. The Vista sleep mode works well for the vast majority of Vista installations - the problem is most likely to be down to graphics driver issues and if you are experiencing crashes you are advised to go to the manufacturers website and download the latest Vista driver. This is not an issue with Vista.

- The person that is having problems with a USB modem and blaming MS and Vista - no the problem is once again a driver issue and is the fault of the modem manufacturer, not MS. The Longhorn/Vista dev cycle has been so protracted and the APIs have been available for quite some time, therefore manufacturers have had plenty of time to develop Vista-capable drivers for their hardware and peripherals.

As is often the case, people are ignorant of the reality of what causes the issues they experience and hence blame MS and Vista for what is in fact the laziness of 3rd party manufacturers or an ignorance of how something really works.

  • 132.
  • At 05:47 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Vlad wrote:

It should be said at once - I am Linux user and I do like this OS as its more suitable for me. ...More suitable and there is nothing more to add.

But what should be sound in favour of BG. He makes his work and business. And he is a great businessman at all. Plus everyone can put oneself on his place and figure out how would he/she play on IT market? Are we all an angels?

So instead of having been involved at pointless "religious" clashes, we have to consume ours lovely OS ourselves and have a joy with it.

As for BBC interview. Unfortunately, it reminds me interview with General Secretary of Communist party being conducted soviet time journalist. Too sweet and "diabetes" risky. To my mind just such kind of "interview" used to spark surge of reasonless
collisions between OS's fans as well as encourage to think someone that he is Guru and prophet of IT future.

  • 133.
  • At 05:53 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Geekerman wrote:

I noticed that Bill Gates's "computer of the future" emphasized touch, but not speech, the later being a more regular, natural, immediately effective form of human interaction. In fact, touch screens are old hat and Bill Gates must know this. In the very near future, two-way verbal interactions with our home pcs will replace the keyboard and the mouse for a startling number of now-mechancally repetitive tasks.

Microsoft's fundamental problem is that it is, for all intents and purposes, a monopoly - in relation to operating systems, and to a certain extent, to office productivity suites. These are the two "legs" it stands upon, and that is not enough support for a global corporation of its size. Monopolies, by their very nature, eliminate choices and stifle the kind of innovation Bill Gates purports to find such in such exciting prospect for the future of computing.

Google is similarly "challenged" - but its situation is even worse than Microsoft's - it is a media company that collects advertising revenue. It stands upon one support.

Neither Microsoft's nor Google's monopolies should be accepted as so-called "natural monopolies," any more than a single motor vehicle parts manufacturer ought to have a patent-protected monopoly on supplying automatic transmissions or on the manufacture of other car and truck parts.

Also, very large and therefore powerful monopolies (or duopolies, and even oligopolies of five or fewer global firms ) typically do not innovate much, if at all (the great car manufacturers and oil companies aren't known for true novelty in their own fields, for example) , because they wind up as complacent collectors of a sort of "use tax," rather than income-earners of an authentic, market-determined price for their goods or services. Also, an inert corporate bureaucracy typically arises in such firms with a philosophy of "if it works, don't fix it" (that is to say, "never innovate on the fundamentals").

Moreover, technological innovations which appear to come from monopolistic enterprises usually come from disciplines, or from other enterprises or institutions, external to them. This unsurprising and uninspiring video performance by Bill Gates only underscores those points.

Other predictions (1) Microsoft's monopoly will be broken, and, as a direct outcome, there will be a flood of innovation as this extortionate, outsized, intrusive corporate presence goes the way of Rockefeller's 19th century Standard Oil, and the 20th century American telecoms giant AT&T, into the boneyard of oblivion inhabited by other American corporate monopolies. (2 ) Software - especially operating system software - will either simplify drastically, or will be replaced by easily modifiable "firmware" burned into the circuitry into even more complex devices.

Using a personal computer will become, within less than a generation, only slightly more complicated than using a large home stereo system. Microsoft has a stake in the opposite direction: Its vested interest is in making computing at work or at home more and more complexified - and therefore, more and more tedious and time-consuming. That is because it must continue to try make the unwilling consumers of its main products more and more dependent upon those products- and upon Microsoft. Increasing consumer dependency is, in a closed market, the monopolist's main gambit for survival. And so it follows that the only "way forward" for Microsoft is definitely not the simplification of computing tasks, at home or at work. The computer as we've known it, large or small, has yet to come up with a single, authentic, simplifying genius on the scale of the great engineering and scientific geniuses like Edison or Newton - but it very likely will come up with several in the next few decades. And such innovators have never come from corporate monopolies.

  • 134.
  • At 06:04 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • James wrote:

"So according to Mr Gates, all Linux programmers are amateurs, and all open-source software is free? First of all, Linux community is a community of professionals. Google (not open but free software) has the largest and brightest developer teams in the world. They are hardly amateurs, are they?"

Free for a user, but not for an advertiser. You think the "largest and brightest developer teams in the world" work for free?

  • 135.
  • At 06:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • A. Smollett wrote:

As a gamer, I can't say I've had a lot of luck with the 360. I'm on the 4th one MS has sent and it just broke the other night.

As for PC's, I run XP not because I don't want to run Linux, but because most games just won't run without MS Windows of some sort. True, there are some "port" programs out there, but after using several to run my apps I've found that until game/software developers start making the leap into Linux, running Linux (at least for the big time gamers) is more trouble than its worth. Until there is a fool proof method for getting those codes to run in Linux (and its easy enough for a mass audience to use), I'm forced in some way to use Windows and dual boot the Linux.

  • 136.
  • At 06:39 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Geekerman wrote:

I noticed that Bill Gates's "computer of the future" emphasized touch, but not speech, the later being a more regular, natural, immediately effective form of human interaction. In fact, touch screens are old hat and Bill Gates must know this. In the very near future, two-way verbal interactions with our home pcs will replace the keyboard and the mouse for a startling number of now-mechancally repetitive tasks.

Microsoft's fundamental problem is that it is, for all intents and purposes, a monopoly - in relation to operating systems, and to a certain extent, to office productivity suites. These are the two "legs" it stands upon, and that is not enough support for a global corporation of its size. Monopolies, by their very nature, eliminate choices and stifle the kind of innovation Bill Gates purports to find such in such exciting prospect for the future of computing.

Google is similarly "challenged" - but its situation is even worse than Microsoft's - it is a media company that collects advertising revenue. It stands upon one support.

Neither Microsoft's nor Google's monopolies should be accepted as so-called "natural monopolies," any more than a single motor vehicle parts manufacturer ought to have a patent-protected monopoly on supplying automatic transmissions or on the manufacture of other car and truck parts.

Also, very large and therefore powerful monopolies (or duopolies, and even oligopolies of five or fewer global firms ) typically do not innovate much, if at all (the great car manufacturers and oil companies aren't known for true novelty in their own fields, for example) , because they wind up as complacent collectors of a sort of "use tax," rather than income-earners of an authentic, market-determined price for their goods or services. Also, an inert corporate bureaucracy typically arises in such firms with a philosophy of "if it works, don't fix it" (that is to say, "never innovate on the fundamentals").

Moreover, technological innovations which appear to come from monopolistic enterprises usually come from disciplines, or from other enterprises or institutions, external to them. This unsurprising and uninspiring video performance by Bill Gates only underscores those points.

Other predictions (1) Microsoft's monopoly will be broken, and, as a direct outcome, there will be a flood of innovation as this extortionate, outsized, intrusive corporate presence goes the way of Rockefeller's 19th century Standard Oil, and the 20th century American telecoms giant AT&T, into the boneyard of oblivion inhabited by other American corporate monopolies. (2 ) Software - especially operating system software - will either simplify drastically, or will be replaced by easily modifiable "firmware" burned into the circuitry into even more complex devices.

Using a personal computer will become, within less than a generation, only slightly more complicated than using a large home stereo system. Microsoft has a stake in the opposite direction: Its vested interest is in making computing at work or at home more and more complexified - and therefore, more and more tedious and time-consuming. That is because it must continue to try make the unwilling consumers of its main products more and more dependent upon those products- and upon Microsoft. Increasing consumer dependency is, in a closed market, the monopolist's main gambit for survival. And so it follows that the only "way forward" for Microsoft is definitely not the simplification of computing tasks, at home or at work. The computer as we've known it, large or small, has yet to come up with a single, authentic, simplifying genius on the scale of the great engineering and scientific geniuses like Edison or Newton - but it very likely will come up with several in the next few decades. And such innovators have never come from corporate monopolies.

  • 137.
  • At 06:58 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Philip wrote:

In 1984, Sun Microsystems coined the tag line 'The Network is the Computer'. In 1995, Microsoft released their latest and greatest *without* a web browser. Who would you trust to 'envision the future' - Sun or Microsoft?

A friend, business associate and life long Microsoft fan grudgingly bought a 4 year old Apple from eBay to test web sites - his response: 'I can't believe Vista is a poor rip off of a four year old technology'. He had already wiped Vista and re-installed XP (and banned Vista in the company) some weeks previously. Who would you trust to 'envision the future' - Apple or Microsoft?

Virtualization has been on all 'proper' OS's for nearly a decade - what is the current state of Microsoft's virtualization products?

Why to people believe Bill Gates has any 'vision'? Despite protests to the contrary, Microsoft has produced no innovative *products* for nearly two decades. Innovative (illegal and immoral) marketing and business practices, yes, but products? Take a good look at everything Microsoft produces and you will find it has either been ripped from another company or bought in because they were late to market.

We (the IT industry) are *at least* five years behind where we should be simply because of Microsoft's focus on greed and locking in their customers, rather than the technology and open standards (W3C, ODF, SPF - the list is endless).

Microsoft may have had a positive impact in the early days of the PC, but for too long they have imposed an unacceptably large levy on all businesses (for example, a website costs an extra 30%, just to work around the bugs and flaws in Internet Explorer). The pay lip service to interoperability - the one thing that would allow real competition and a huge reduction in cost - only playing 'fair' if they are forced to by the courts.

I could go on... and on...

  • 138.
  • At 07:02 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Daniel Masterson wrote:

Can Bill point to any innovative products that MS has brought to market in the last five years? When demonstrating Surface, the apparent technology of the future, he pointed to an Apple product as an example of a commercially available, multi-touch device. Innovative input devices Bill? Nintendo. Anything from MS Bill? Apparently not. I can't think of a single product from the last 5 years. Anyone else?

  • 139.
  • At 07:24 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Rick McDaniel wrote:

Mr. Gates has already attempted to take control of our lives, with his software, which presumes we are too stupid to decide for ourselves, how things should work, and what workflow is best for us.

Now he would presume that he has sufficient control over the world, to force us to accept his controlling every aspect of our lives, including driving a car (I shudder at the thought of relying on MS software to operate a motor vehicle), and the use of every device in the home and office.

I am here to say....NO to Mr. Gates. If I must reject all digital devices, to divorce myself from his "Big Brother" control, then I will do just that.

I prefer to be in control of my own life.

  • 140.
  • At 07:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark Teak wrote:

I think it's a disgrace the way microsoft makes absurd comments and "predictions" of how computers will evolve. Billy says "10 million" of us will sit down infront of this wonder box that has a touch interface and all that. Iv'e got news for you, I won't, and i'm pretty sure that any one else who earns a 5 figure sum every year won't either, they will probably still be on a laptop or a desk top. 20-30 years in the future, maybe, but not 5 years. I can see there being touch screen monitors but not all the fantastic things he is talking about. It's almost as if Mr Gates has been watching to many Sci-Fi Films.

P.S. I agree that microsoft should poen up it's unsupported software such as Windows 95 and Office 97. This would not only allow poorer people to use diecent software on older hardware, but also keep that older hardware out of the land fill.

  • 141.
  • At 07:50 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark Teak wrote:

I think it's a disgrace the way microsoft makes absurd comments and "predictions" of how computers will evolve. Billy says "10 million" of us will sit down infront of this wonder box that has a touch interface and all that. Iv'e got news for you, I won't, and i'm pretty sure that any one else who earns a 5 figure sum every year won't either, they will probably still be on a laptop or a desk top. 20-30 years in the future, maybe, but not 5 years. I can see there being touch screen monitors but not all the fantastic things he is talking about. It's almost as if Mr Gates has been watching to many Sci-Fi Films.

P.S. I agree that microsoft should poen up it's unsupported software such as Windows 95 and Office 97. This would not only allow poorer people to use diecent software on older hardware, but also keep that older hardware out of the land fill.

  • 142.
  • At 07:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • TeetotalMichael wrote:

OK, a lot of people on here seem to like to slag off Microsoft, but I bet any amount of money that nearly everyone who posts on here is sat in front of a 'real' PC, running some version of Windows NT (2000, XP, Vista to unfamiliar users) and Internet Explorer 7, if you bother to install the FREE Windows Updates, which, for those who have never noticed, fix all the small bugs that are bound to exist within ANY new software. OK, yes, the software can be pricey, but it does the job well.

What bugs me the most is how for some reason, regardless of what the story, everyone seems to jump on Microsoft's back at the first chance.

If Microsoft was that bad, or hated that much, it wouldn't dominate the market. The reason Macs don't dominate is because they are expensive, too slow (As they use older chips and things than PC's) and very few programs work on them.

I have been using the final releases of both Vista and Office 2007 since October 2006, and I have never yet had a single problem, every piece of software I own works on it, and the only virus that I have had, is one that I unintentionally installed myself.

I don't ever intend to buy a Mac, nor move to open source software. I am a Microsoft fan, and intend to use their software until I either die, or create my own (which, btw, I would do using Microsoft Visual Studio software!)

A word to all Mac users out there:
Take a walk on the wild side and buy a 'real' PC and stop playing with expensive toy ones.

(Just to get rid of the posts which are bound to point out the fact the MS have copied things from Mac OS, who cares, since when have things not being copied and re-used. If nothing was copied/adapted, there could be no standards as nothing would be the same, and I bet there are features of Mac OS which have been plajorised from the Windows OS's at some stage, people seem to forget that!)

  • 143.
  • At 07:59 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Craig Hunter wrote:

Said Nik Bell (Comment 70):

"Microsoft is single-handedly responsible for holding back the world of software and computers...e.g.all the computer virus problems are basically a result of bad MS software.
If not for MS we would already have touch/speech interfaces and lots of other goodies.
MS, a dreadful monopoly that should be broken up."

For people who say that Microsoft are responsible for allowing viruses into our networks and to infect our OS... ummm, isn't that fault of the people who write the viruses?

The only reason viruses are so prevalent on Windows is because there's more people using it (in it's various incarnations) than OSX or Linux or any other OSes, Open Source or not. If you're writing malicious code to infect other people's machines, you're doing it to infact the largest number possible. Why waste your time writing for 10 million Leopard users when you can write for 100 million apparent Vista users?

Why don't we all waste our time flaming the virus writers instead of the innovative companies who create thousands of jobs, provide affordable computing to the world and absolutely try their best to make a usable and efficient OS for the people who have a choice to buy it or not. Computer snobs? Get over yourselves.

  • 144.
  • At 08:10 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • JohnnyTucson wrote:

inovative technology Zune !!!!! Ha Ha Ha get a grip Bill and talk to Steve J

  • 145.
  • At 08:14 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Kevin wrote:

You gotta love the fanboys, be they Windows/PC or Apple/OSX fanboys. Maybe Microsoft did try to copy the original Mac gui way back when, but then the Mac Gui was just a copy of a much earlier one from Xerox way back in the early 70s.

I agree with the poster on the iPhone, I had the chance to buy one and passed it up, why?, well after playing with it for an hour or so I wasn't actually that impressed. It's an Ipod, with some PDA bits and a not very impressive phone tacked on. Web browsing when you are away from a wifi hotspot is incredibly slow, almost unusable as it isn't 3G (why on earth not Apple). It doesn't even support FLV video playback which most major video sites are using these days. The 2MP camera is pretty poor (Both Nokia and Samsung's camera phones give much better definition photographs, even their 2MP models). The touch screen interface is excellent though. It doesn't accept any kind of plug in cards (microSD etc.) so you're stuck with the built in hard disc and of course it's locked to the one carrier in the US and the UK. Personally you'd be better off with an Ipod and one of the new generation Sony Ericsson, Samsung or Nokia phones.

It's also true that Leopard is excellent, but again it's only stable because it only runs on Apple hardware. Windows has to run on a myriad of different processors, graphics cards, motherboards etc. etc. all from 100s of manufacturers. It's obvious on some systems Windows will be less reliable. Leopard is also more secure, well yes, but security flaws ARE starting to appear and have already been reported on many technology websites. This is probably because as it becomes more popular it makes a more attractive target for the hackers, virus writers and script kiddies out there. If Leopard needs no anti virus software why can you buy anti virus software for it?.

As for one posters claim that the internet as we know wouldn't exist if it weren't for Microsoft, that's not true either. The web was already starting to become increasingly popular even before Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon with Internet Explorer (remember the original Mozilla and Netscape Navigator?). We have no way of knowing whether it would have been as popular, or whether it would have been a much richer experience with or without Microsoft but they certainly didn't invent and certainly aren't responsible for it's huge rise in popularity.

  • 146.
  • At 08:16 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Kif wrote:

114. At 02:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008, Phil Draycott wrote:
Why do people talk about Linux with such disregard? It is far superior to Windows.
It is also free, as in beer!


Free beer??? at last :) something worth reading all this useless bickering for!

horses for courses, as a consumer i will use what is convenient and what i am comfortable with (and can afford)

this is why i believe MS has the market share it has, as most pc's come bundled with MS OS, personaly i have no preference in who supplys what i am using as long as i am happy with it and it takes care of what i need it too,

  • 147.
  • At 08:37 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • IT Professional wrote:

Been in the IT industry since Microsoft came into existance and have supported and used every version of MS software and every MS OS since DOS Version 2. Also used Unix (Most flavours including Linux), mid (IBM AIX, Tandem, Dec, Stratos, HP and mainframe, IBM NAS Cray.

It's horses for courses. I have more PCs than Mr. Gates here and used the applicable OS and the applicable software for the applicable job. Posting here from Slackware Unix and Mozilla's new offering Seamonkey as a browser.

I also have, and use, a well maintained and up-to-date XP with the usual plethora of MS based software which works well as I require to exchange information in documents with other people who do not have the luxury, or knowledge to use anything else either by choice or by lack of such choice. As soon as Vista provides a better environment I will switch.

Linux has a steeper learning curve, but no steeper than an initiate to Windows operating systems and once climbed is easier to maintain on a day to day basis in my experience.

Personally I would like to thank Mr. Gates for keeping me in gainful employment for nearly thirty years supporting his offerings. Read into that what you will.

  • 148.
  • At 08:47 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mehdi wrote:

I have been developing commercial e-commerce applications using MS technologies for years. In the last 3 years I had two serious attempts to use open source as an alternative, attempted by its free licence sing. However in both occasions and after spending almost 12 months, I ended up to the conclusion that re-engineering my previous application using open source were not commercially viable in my case. After paying MS software licenses the amount of development time I saved was far more than the amount I could gain using so called free software! Not to mention that I hit the dead-end to find a solutions to my development issues, using open source documentation and forum. AT the end of the date every case is unique, you cannot claim the one technology is better than the other. There are unlimited factors involved to come to that conclusion.

  • 149.
  • At 09:21 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jacko wrote:

It's amazing how people are dismissing the Apple Mac, probably without ever using one, certainly one that runs OS X! I work in IT support so use Windows every day and it does a job, but I got fed up to the back teeth with the problems, the re-installs and spyware/virus protection.

So I bought a Mac and I've not looked back since. It's not dumbed down, that's obviously just what people who haven't used it think. Go to an Apple store and actually try one out, with an open mind and you'll be amazed.

As for Microsoft what can I say that hasn't been said, it really dropped a ball with Vista and it is a dog. It's very pretty, but too many problems hold it back.

A world without Microsoft? Who knows how much more advanced we'd be without Bills vision. One can only hope Balmer goes with him, as he is one crazy cat and not in a good way!

Without Microsoft we wouldn't have Windows, we would have had much better things instead. I blame IBM for a lack of vision.

  • 150.
  • At 09:39 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Amateur Film Maker wrote:

Horses for courses indeed. I use a Mac 98% of the time, but built a PC for gaming purposes, naturally. By having a control over hardware and many other aspects of the OS, Macs do tend to be more stable on the whole.

That stability is crucial when I'm editing media where rendering and encoding need to be seamless, and I'm only on a leisurely 1.8ghz G4 here!

Final Cut, Aperture and other Mac apps blow any Microsoft, or 3rd party attempts out of the water. In my opinion, having such pro apps requires an employed base of programmers and I can't see a group of open-source lads coming up with anything better (prove me wrong!)

The sheer number of features that Mac provides in the box (xgrid is my favourite trick at the moment) leads me to believe it is the most advanced OS. Plus the GUI doesn't look like a fisher-price toy.

  • 151.
  • At 09:48 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • donley wrote:

This is to Craig Hunter....

Clearly you have no experience of Linux or the Unix security model. If you did, you would not believe that rubbish you were spouting about Windows having more malware because it has more users.

Windows is a swiss cheese, there is that many things opened and enabled by default an unprotected machine on the internet will get owned in around 4 minutes. Service Pack 2 will get owned in 17 minutes.

Linux's security model however has been proven again and again to be a brick wall against intrusions, and no matter how many users it has, it will still be rock solid.

Check secunia.com and have a look at the vunerabilities. Linux errors usually amount to memory loss and wasted cpu cycles.... Windows errors are almost always alloying people to remotely take over the machine.

Also, over 90% of the internet servers run some type of Unix, whether it is Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris... How many millions of servers are there on the net ?

Using your example, all these millions of webservers should not be able to run, as they will be bogged down by the amount of malware on them.


Now, to the guy up there ^^^^ who said Microsoft is responsible for the internet.... WHAT?????

Microsoft was late to the party, and they only started backing the internet after they realised that proprietary networks were failing. Windows 95 came with an icon on the desktop for the user to sign up to Microsoft Networks. It failed in 1995 with a lack of users.

Also, someone asked why people disregard Linux as rubbish, even though it is an amazing system... I can explain this one.

Windows fanbois are viewed by their friends and colleagues as "computer gurus", however, when they try Linux, and realise they cannot do anything. they feel dumb. Linux might have a different way of doing things than they are used to, but instead of learning how to do things, they are scared their friends will see them as dim, so they say Linux is crap.


Linux does not suffer from dependency problems any more, and there is no need to compile anything. There is around 28000 packages in the Ubuntu repository along, and all this software can be installed FOR FREE with a single click of the APPLY button. Way easier than Windows

  • 152.
  • At 09:59 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • donley wrote:

This is to Craig Hunter....

Clearly you have no experience of Linux or the Unix security model. If you did, you would not believe that rubbish you were spouting about Windows having more malware because it has more users.

Windows is a swiss cheese, there is that many things opened and enabled by default an unprotected machine on the internet will get owned in around 4 minutes. Service Pack 2 will get owned in 17 minutes.

Linux's security model however has been proven again and again to be a brick wall against intrusions, and no matter how many users it has, it will still be rock solid.

Check secunia.com and have a look at the vunerabilities. Linux errors usually amount to memory loss and wasted cpu cycles.... Windows errors are almost always alloying people to remotely take over the machine.

Also, over 90% of the internet servers run some type of Unix, whether it is Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris... How many millions of servers are there on the net ?

Using your example, all these millions of webservers should not be able to run, as they will be bogged down by the amount of malware on them.


Now, to the guy up there ^^^^ who said Microsoft is responsible for the internet.... WHAT?????

Microsoft was late to the party, and they only started backing the internet after they realised that proprietary networks were failing. Windows 95 came with an icon on the desktop for the user to sign up to Microsoft Networks. It failed in 1995 with a lack of users.

Also, someone asked why people disregard Linux as rubbish, even though it is an amazing system... I can explain this one.

Windows fanbois are viewed by their friends and colleagues as "computer gurus", however, when they try Linux, and realise they cannot do anything. they feel dumb. Linux might have a different way of doing things than they are used to, but instead of learning how to do things, they are scared their friends will see them as dim, so they say Linux is crap.


Linux does not suffer from dependency problems any more, and there is no need to compile anything. There is around 28000 packages in the Ubuntu repository along, and all this software can be installed FOR FREE with a single click of the APPLY button. Way easier than Windows

  • 153.
  • At 10:00 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • DDD wrote:

I can't believe that BBC's reporters are so stubborn.

Is there anyone in BBC who is an open source person?

The multitouch has been around for ages!
Everything that Microsoft is inventing has been invented thousands of times.

But the most important thing for the reporters is to say that it was Bill Gates' idea in the first place!


How stupid!

  • 154.
  • At 10:00 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Drea wrote:

@ Dorcas Munday MBE

Have you tried a Wacom tablet? It's pressure sensitive and would replace the stick with a pen. I just got mine and love it - thought it might work for you too! www.wacom.com

@polmak

I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my computer by putting in the CD, answering easy questions, and waiting 20 minutes for it to finish. My grandmother could have done that easily.

To all: use what you want, pay what you want. I'll be over here with the website design business with the $450/year overhead.

Who is this Bill guy. I though he was killed in Kill Bill 2. No worries...Linus and RMS are doing that atm...just a matter of time.
And you Bill Broadcasting Corps, I am not paying TV license anymore. Get it off Bill

  • 156.
  • At 10:50 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • IT Professional wrote:

What always astonishes me is the lack of understanding of people about all things related to IT.

What people are doing is sitting in front of an amount of hardware driven by software that enables them to perform certain functions including, but not limited, to an erroneously named "internet".

That people are sided towards a particular flavour of the ability to do this highlights that they are not in a position to comment on the relative strengths and limitations of that ability.

Your ability to comment does not justify your suitability to make informed judgment.

Hey ho..

  • 157.
  • At 10:57 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jacko wrote:

It's amazing how people are dismissing the Apple Mac, probably without ever using one, certainly one that runs OS X! I work in IT support so use Windows every day and it does a job, but I got fed up to the back teeth with the problems, the re-installs and spyware/virus protection.

So I bought a Mac and I've not looked back since. It's not dumbed down, that's obviously just what people who haven't used it think. Go to an Apple store and actually try one out, with an open mind and you'll be amazed.

As for Microsoft what can I say that hasn't been said, it really dropped a ball with Vista and it is a dog. It's very pretty, but too many problems hold it back.

A world without Microsoft? Who knows how much more advanced we'd be without Bills vision. One can only hope Balmer goes with him, as he is one crazy cat and not in a good way!

Without Microsoft we wouldn't have Windows, we would have had much better things instead. I blame IBM for a lack of vision.

Darren,

MS is at the bleeding edge of the technology and innovation. If not, then what do you call Vista, a couple of years delay, over budget, power and resource hungry....and it's windows xp with bouncing icons.

Jay,
Fed up of BBC with its impartiality. Off to the sunny Bay with some Scandinavians wankies.You keep your precious codes somewhere safe...try Arch Linux, or Fedora, or mighty Gentoo.Microshoft products are not recommended at all.

Louis Berk
Denial aint just a river in Egypt.


  • 159.
  • At 11:13 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • IT Professional wrote:

What always astonishes me is the lack of understanding of people about all things related to IT.

What people are doing is sitting in front of an amount of hardware driven by software that enables them to perform certain functions including, but not limited, to an erroneously named "internet".

That people are sided towards a particular flavour of the ability to do this highlights that they are not in a position to comment on the relative strengths and limitations of that ability.

Your ability to comment does not justify your suitability to make informed judgment.

Hey ho..

  • 160.
  • At 11:14 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jacko wrote:

TeetotalMichael;

Firstly, I am sat here in fron of my very small, very quiet, very quick and very stable Apple Mac Mini. No, it wasn't very expensive, but it wasn't cheap.

You are obviously not very well informed when it comes to mac hardware, it's as current as PC hardware since they moved to Intel chips some years ago. Indeed, you will find that Apple have a great relationship with Intel and will be getting more advanced chip sets before others soon.

OS X is different to Windows. I don't hate Windows, in fact I was really hoping Vista was going to be a great success, but when I tried it I didn't like it, apart from to look at.

It's like a pretty girl with no brain, you might have a great night, but once you wake up and try and talk to her, you realise she takes to long to respond, takes an age to get ready and when she is ready she doesn't actually do what you want.

Do me a favour, try OS X, take it for a spin down the Apple stores. Just do it with an open mind and you'll see what you are missing out on.

I only switched last May and I am in heaven compared to Windows.

I've now got a pretty girl with a brain!

  • 161.
  • At 11:16 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mehdi wrote:

I have been developing commercial e-commerce applications using MS technologies for years. In the last 3 years I had two serious attempts to use open source as an alternative, attempted by its free licence sing. However in both occasions and after spending almost 14 months, I ended up to the conclusion that re-engineering my previous application using open source were not commercially viable in my case. After paying MS software licenses the amount of development time I saved was far more than the amount I could gain using so called free software! Not to mention that I hit the dead-end to find a solution to my development issues, using open source documentation and forum. AT the end of the date every case is unique, you cannot claim the one technology is better than the other. There are many factors involved to come to that conclusion.

  • 162.
  • At 12:42 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

@ Brian Harrison

"[Mac's] also the only platform that can run multiple operating systems"

I'm afraid you are mistaken. The latest Intel based Macs are essentially the same as a desktop PC. I am running Simply MEPIS linux and Windows XP together.

Also, to suggest that Macs or indeed linux based systems are immune from attack is dangerous! There have been instances of viruses/malware written for both Mac OSX and linux. However, you are correct in that both systems are much more secure and resilient!

  • 163.
  • At 09:06 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • IPM wrote:

Bill Gates is an all American buisnessman entrepreneur. He is not some kind of god which some of you seem to think he is. If you want to blow your hard earned cash on some poker players bloatware thats full of DRM, go ahead. Your paying for your own demise if you use pirate software.
I dont condone the use of pirate software in any form, but you do need to be aware of the facts.

There are other options...and unless you have looked latey at some of the Linux distro's then I suggest you have no idea how easy they are to set up now. You dont have to have a MSC IT to work it out. And yes Gran can still use it once its set up....bit like Windows really....once its set up!! Ask gran to set up Outlook. You get my point?
Windows and Microsoft are definately not the only options these days....take a look. I rest my case.

  • 164.
  • At 09:51 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • donley wrote:

@ IPM


Thanks for making me laugh this morning, I will quote;

"
There are other options...and unless you have looked latey at some of the Linux distro's then I suggest you have no idea how easy they are to set up now. You dont have to have a MSC IT to work it out"

You are aware, of course that the MSC part means Microsoft Certified ?

Why would Microsoft certify anyone to install Linux, and if they did, would it work afterwards ?

That one made my day hehehe

I find it interesting that Mr Gates thinks that Google aren't on any phones. The way I see it they are on every phone that anyone does internet browsing on. I think that Microsoft are missing a trick here.

The first thing people try to do when on the mobile internet is search for a site. At the moment there aren't any really good mobile website search engines that direct you to mobile enabled sites. Standard sites fail to load in a reliable and organised manner for mobiles. Google have a potentially incredibly powerful tool here!

They could even end up with mobile advertising revenue through mobile web search etc. It's only a matter of time and I do believe that if Microsoft don't see this as competition then they should be worried. Wimax and mobile web are growing. The OS on the devices is becoming less important as more is being done online.

I await the day where all we need is a browser, basic pc and online apps to do every day tasks. This is already being done to some degree of success by google and similar companies.

I look forward to seeing what happens next!

  • 166.
  • At 10:14 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Ben Forster wrote:

Everybody seems to complain about Microsoft, and this bugs me.

Yes, they may seem to be the an overbearing company, which has taken over the computer industry over the last few years, but lets not forget that that without Microsoft and its work, much of the interoperability and compatibility available today, as well as much of the home computing revolution, would not have happened, so I personally, would rather thank Microsoft for their efforts, as when I think back to the dark ages of computing, back to the first computer I had without any form of GUI and where you had to make sure you were buying hardware for your specific model, it makes me feel glad that we have the modern system of working.

Also, for those who knock Vista, I had both XP and Vista soon after they came out and I have to say, Vista is probably more stable now, in its pre-service pack days, than XP ever was on my system, and it provides everything much easier than XP ever did.

  • 167.
  • At 10:19 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Cosmin wrote:

Do Macs look and run well? They sure do. But keep in mind the price. At Apple Store their wired mouse is $50. Wired keyboard $50. 20" LCD $599 (the cheapest, mind you). 2GB DDR2 667MHz: $500 (I've paid $80 for DDR2 800MHz two weeks ago).

Bottomline: until I finish the mortgage I will stay with the PC (Linux and Windows).

  • 168.
  • At 11:39 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Marginal Tone wrote:

Working in the I.T. industry has not made me a fan of Bill's products. I tire of having to service pack this, security patch that. Have you ever looked at the number of service packs, patches and security updates on an average Windows PC?

Go have a look. The day MS produce products that just work I may change my mind.

At home, I am a MAC owner and user. Yes they may be more expensive, but they just work. So far not a single problem encountered.


  • 169.
  • At 11:57 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Sam wrote:

Rob 122

"Most people commenting here about linux don't seem to know the simplest thing about it: "until they make a proprietary version of [linux]"; this whole point of linux is that it's released under the GPL and so can't be made proprietary. I can only assume that you mean a commercial distribution of linux - there are quite a few out there most notably Red Hat, Linspire and Novell."

The GPL is irrelevant and has been for some time now. If it was relevant then applications like cedega wouldn't exist would they. Cedega was written using the wine source code which has a GPL license. Yet cedega is a paid for (monthly rental) product.

As for red hat and Novell (which of course you actually mean SLED) they are not commercial products aimed at a general audience. They are out of the box systems sold to companies along with server infrastructure. The fundamental difference between them and GPL is they are supported. Hardly a commercial product.

As for my level of knowledge you are so quick to critisize, how many red hat web servers hosting ftp, local student websites and proxy, mail server and firewall have you set up? I'd be willing to bet the answer is zero.

  • 170.
  • At 12:23 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • IPM @ donely wrote:


Why would anyone quote what MSC means when it was used as an example to explain a point of conjecture relating to levels of inteligence?
Yes I think anyone that has even scratched the surface of computers know what MSC means.

No one was talking about if Microsoft would approve it or not, where did that gem come from?

Someone missed the simple point that was being made donely, and that IS funny....hahah.

All these posts from people that say "if it was not for Microsoft where would PC technology and software be today" what crap, lets be honest here there are lots and lots of innovative companies out there that would have taken the PC revolution onwards whether MS was there or not, the fact is that MS bought out a lot of the competition and then labelled it as its own.

I do like MS product and Vista needs an overhaul for sure but please people remember that there are other just as clever companies and visionaries out there that could just do as well.

Humbug

  • 172.
  • At 01:31 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Stephen Durrell wrote:

After a few years of being an IT Technician(from the age of 16) in a small, well established Market Research company, I have experienced many versions of Microsoft Operating Systems.From the 98 Panther Edition to Vista itself, and other operating Systems outside of microsoft(linux etc),and have been extremely impressed by the sheer improvements constantly being released.
although my preferences to which operating system may be biased as to which OS suits who, i came to the conclusion that windows XP pro is the best OS for an 'advanced' computer operator, however, new and old operating systems are more 'user friendly' than others. for example,operating systems such as Vista have programs and help tools to help the user do what they want to, but on others like XP, leave the user to do it themselves.
what would be ideal is an operating system which incorporates the new improvements from vista, but also incorporates the 'advanced' user control from the likes of XP.
Its good to hear that a new computer interface and OS will eventually be hitting the shelves, but wouldn't it be an idea to 'iron out' all of the problems in the existing OS's?
for example,compatability between Networking Vista computers to an XP Server.
keep up the good work Mr. Gates and I look forward to exploring the depths of the new OS's and interfaces to come!

  • 173.
  • At 01:31 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Xaos wrote:

Some people here have a terminology problem. You see invention is when somebody has an idea, takes some money and invents something new. Innovation on the other hand is about taking something already invented (it does not have to be though) and make a lot of money with it by making it useful for the users or by just selling it very good. At this MS are realy the best.
But when it comes to technology MS software is the worst there is. Somebody mentioned Excahnge but he probably has no clue how expensive this is. As it does not scale and is very heavy weight, the price for supporting a 60 MB (!) mailbox is extremly high in large organizations. I work in such and we struggle with our little mailboxes when Google gives me 5 GB (till now) for free and its UI is many many times more usefull then Outlook.
If you have realy decided to go to Vista I suggest that you read this first!

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

  • 174.
  • At 01:34 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Stephen Durrell wrote:

After a few years of being an IT Technician(from the age of 16) in a small, well established Market Research company, I have experienced many versions of Microsoft Operating Systems.From the 98 Panther Edition to Vista itself, and other operating Systems outside of microsoft(linux etc),and have been extremely impressed by the sheer improvements constantly being released.
although my preferences to which operating system may be biased as to which OS suits who, i came to the conclusion that windows XP pro is the best OS for an 'advanced' computer operator, however, new and old operating systems are more 'user friendly' than others. for example,operating systems such as Vista have programs and help tools to help the user do what they want to, but on others like XP, leave the user to do it themselves.
what would be ideal is an operating system which incorporates the new improvements from vista, but also incorporates the 'advanced' user control from the likes of XP.
Its good to hear that a new computer interface and OS will eventually be hitting the shelves, but wouldn't it be an idea to 'iron out' all of the problems in the existing OS's?
for example,compatability between Networking Vista computers to an XP Server.
keep up the good work Mr. Gates and I look forward to exploring the depths of the new OS's and interfaces to come!

  • 175.
  • At 01:47 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John Chappell wrote:

So where are the other articles referred to? I don't see a list of the questions asked and the answers given anywhere...

  • 176.
  • At 01:51 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John Chappell wrote:

So where are the other articles referred to? I don't see a list of the questions asked and the answers given anywhere...

  • 177.
  • At 01:53 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John S wrote:

I have used Microsoft software for the last 18 years and I've always looked forward to a new release of Windows. I'm sorry to say that Vista is a huge disappointment. A quick poll of the other IT guys in the office reveals that we are all of the same opinion. Vista offers the business user nothing new - the same can be said for Office 2007. I can't see Vista/Office 2007 being adopted by the business community. I'm disappointed because I think Microsoft have brought much to the industry but these releases simply aren't good enough. Functions in Vista have been moved for no apparent reason - a pointless (and irritating)makeover considering that the "new" interface is not that big a step up from XP.

I was also really disappointed with Office 2007. I pretty much know all there is to know about the previous version of Word and I forced myself to use Word 2007 for a month to see how it compared. I didn't find it a problem to use the new ribbon interface, but it certainly didn't help me to build documents more quickly - infact in some instances it was actually slower (e.g. creating tables).

Maybe the service packs will resolve some of these gripes, but if Microsoft would like some free advice I'd just say "don't release your software until it has been fully tested". We're happy to wait - honestly! Microsoft should be concerned when they start to lose the support of the long-term IT professionals. I even found myself looking at a MAC the other day. This would have been unheard of a few years ago. I'm certainly not a Microsoft-basher (I wouldn't have a career without them), but I think they've become complacent. I really hope they bounce back with future releases.

  • 178.
  • At 01:59 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Brendan MacLean wrote:

In terms of paving the way for personal and professional computing, MS have done a splendid job and Bill Gates' vision has changed the way we work and play, mostly for the better. Fair play to the man. Tablet PCs and this new 'table top' concept are great ideas and long may MS continue to innovate. But the reality is that MS has forgotten about quality control and it is something it really needs to address. New and exciting products are wonderful but if they don't work they are nothing more than expensive tat. These days people are getting savvy and I feel that ultimately MS will pay dearly if it continues to take its customer base for granted.

  • 179.
  • At 02:08 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Xaos wrote:

Some people here have a terminology problem. You see invention is when somebody has an idea, takes some money and invents something new. Innovation on the other hand is about taking something already invented (it does not have to be though) and make a lot of money with it by making it useful for the users or by just selling it very good. At this MS are realy the best.
But when it comes to technology MS software is the worst there is. Somebody mentioned Excahnge but he probably has no clue how expensive this is. As it does not scale and is very heavy weight, the price for supporting a 60 MB (!) mailbox is extremly high in large organizations. I work in such and we struggle with our little mailboxes when Google gives me 5 GB (till now) for free and its UI is many many times more usefull then Outlook.
If you have realy decided to go to Vista I suggest that you read this first!

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

  • 180.
  • At 02:20 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Brendan MacLean wrote:

Since when are macs more expensive than PCs? At retail, a low end PC is way cheaper than a mac sure, but in the commercial world I suspect the running costs of a PC far outweigh those of a mac. In the end you only get what you pay for.
I think the point is being missed though. If a PC suits you, use it and likewise any other OS. However MS itself does not generally produce software of a quality that one might expect of one of the biggest organisations in the world. There is no good reason for this (unless you count commercial pressure) and so it makes sense to encourage MS to produce something that is better than a previous similar product. I would bet that even MS would admit, albeit very quietly, that Vista really isn't up to much when compared to XP. I would suggest that the next OS release for MS should be something that is the best it can be and to hell with the deadlines. Get it right - is that really too much to ask?

  • 181.
  • At 02:23 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • graeme wrote:

ok lets look at how to update lots of OS on the PC. windows you need to run microsoft update and connect to the internet download a patch and get it t install itself restart the compauter and repeat the process until they aren't any more patches to install.

Saybonate/Gentoo Linux:
open up konsole type in
emegre --sync
layman -S
emerge
i.e. firefox

Now which is easier, escipply when your updating linux you can do other stuff. Just leave it there running. help is adviable though a IRC client which comes with it and gernral has nice and excellent actual people to talk to.

No exerpeince of updating Apple Mac's so im not going to comment.

  • 182.
  • At 02:37 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John Smith wrote:

Will MS incorporate a 'gaming boot mode' into its Window's Operating System to allow games to run more efficiently?

  • 183.
  • At 03:45 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Raj Singh wrote:

I have a suggestion. Microsoft should try to expand there markets once more. The Electric Car was a product destroyed by it's own creators the car manufacturers(and the oil companies). Microsoft, could create an automobile powered by a Windows OS, including additional tools like Satnav capabilities, etc. The world is far becomming envoirnmentally unfriendly so isn't it time someone did something about it? Already cars are becoming increasingly high-tech, its about time they evolved!

Incidentally, the technique of asking for readers questions is very old. It was pioneered by real technology blogs such as slashdot and copied (ten years later) by the BBC.

So, to sum up, we have a puff piece for the boss of an abusive technology marketing company using a borrowed technique to ask a few 'questions'.

Couple this with the 'flagship' technology program presented by Mr Kelly (his quote, perhaps it's supposed to be irony?): Previously, he studied computer science at Cambridge for three years, before realising that he had not understood any of it.
and we begin to see how far popular science and technology has fallen since Tomorrow's World and Patrick Moore.

Still, most of these people (men anyway) have REALLY SPIKY HAIR and nerdy looking glasses, so it's OK really.

  • 185.
  • At 04:43 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John S wrote:

I have used Microsoft software for the last 18 years and I've always looked forward to a new release of Windows. I'm sorry to say that Vista is a huge disappointment. A quick poll of the other IT guys in the office reveals that we are all of the same opinion. Vista offers the business user nothing new - the same can be said for Office 2007. I can't see Vista/Office 2007 being adopted by the business community. I'm disappointed because I think Microsoft have brought much to the industry but these releases simply aren't good enough. Functions in Vista have been moved for no apparent reason - a pointless (and irritating)makeover considering that the "new" interface is not that big a step up from XP.

I was also really disappointed with Office 2007. I pretty much know all there is to know about the previous version of Word and I forced myself to use Word 2007 for a month to see how it compared. I didn't find it a problem to use the new ribbon interface, but it certainly didn't help me to build documents more quickly - infact in some instances it was actually slower (e.g. creating custom tables).

Maybe the service packs will resolve some of these gripes, but if Microsoft would like some free advice I'd just say "don't release your software until it has been fully tested". We're happy to wait - honestly! Microsoft should be concerned when they start to lose the support of the long-term IT professionals. I even found myself looking at a MAC the other day. This would have been unheard of a few years ago. I'm certainly not a Microsoft-basher (I wouldn't have a career without them), but I think they've become complacent. I really hope they bounce back with future releases.

  • 186.
  • At 04:56 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • C Tilcock wrote:

Personally if MS and Mac came together as 1 with Unix under the united OS called Windux OS you would get the security of unix, the productivity of Mac and the sheer user friendliness of Windows .... i think the computer age would indeed receive the evolutionary jump that everyone keeps shouting is going to happen .... i would love to have a server that script kiddies wouldn't bother trying to sabotage and to browse the net for what i want to search for not what advertiser pays most for .... and to be able to use cutting edge software to make artwork that makes peoples breath gasp .... think about the beuty in an OS that was for all and not just for the highest payer.

  • 187.
  • At 05:08 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • ACotman wrote:

Windows Vista just doesn't hold a candle to Mac X Leopard. Leopard is years ahead of what microsoft is producing. I believe that microsoft's dominance will end because they won't innovate fast enough as computing becomes more ubiquitous in our world.

  • 188.
  • At 05:34 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Jacko wrote:

C Tilcock, it's quite funny how you put Windows as the user friendly one. You obviously haven't used Apples' OS X?

And if you really want an OS that is as secure as Unix, as productive as OS X and as user friendly as Windows, then I have your answer :

Get a Mac with OS X.

OS X is Unix based, so is very secure. (I'll leave out the technical specifics here.)

OS X is very productive, very stable and very quick.

OS X is far more user friendly than Windows will ever be.

  • 189.
  • At 06:01 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • GNU BOY wrote:

What is Microsoft's view about open -source? Microsoft Encarta is a knowledge database why not make in cross -platform working in linux, bsds ..knowldege should be given to everyone
it should not be limited to Windows users and develop an emulator for unix or os so that windows games can run there also...

  • 190.
  • At 08:28 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Jamie Bellal wrote:

Yes well, Windows Vista doesn't sell as much as Apple's Mac OSX and in my opinion I think I know why. The previous Windows Operating System, XP was a hit. I actually prefer XP over Vista as the performance is excellent and drivers are easily avaliable for add on hardware i.e. sound cards, graphic cards etc. Other manufactoring companies for such hardware are in the process of creating drivers for Vista. In a few months when all of the driver upgrading has finished and all 'cushty' I will buy Vista Home Premium as an upgrade.

{{{{Although XP can do many things, don't switch to Mac. Wait a few months and buy Windows Vista!}}}}

NB:The above bracketed is my opinion.

Jamie

  • 191.
  • At 10:38 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • overture wrote:

To the guy who said 'to those who say Macs don't have any viruses why can you get antivirus software for it?'

Mac Antivirus is there for one reason. To remove Windows viruses. Which wonnt damage the Mac in any way. It's just to stop the user spreading it by copying files and what have you to a Windows PC.

Also if OS X has no viruses due to so few people using it... Why did Mac OS 9 have viruses and OS X have none? Mac OS X is used by way more people that any other MAC OS yet there are no viruses for it. None, zero, zilch, nudda.

There was talk of a trojan but to get infected, you had to download a file from a porn website, then double click it to launch... oh then type in your administrator password. It's great using an operating system which is based on Unix.

Security by obscurity? Pull the other one.

  • 192.
  • At 10:46 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • overture wrote:

Oh and to the guy who said Macs use old hardware. I ordered a MacPro with a quad core 3.2Ghz x 2 processor (that's 8 cores) around an hour ago. I believe intel announced these yesterday?

  • 193.
  • At 10:50 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • IT Professional wrote:

There appears to be a fundamental mis-understanding here about Operating Systems and the ability to use them, being an HMA or GUI. All three OS under the bonnet are, in fact, very similar. The HMA, or GUI, here is being interpreted to be the OS and that is incorrect. In all Windowed GUI's it is the the GUI that is interface between the OS and the User and is not the OS itself.

MS has its new Vista interface, Apple have their interpretation of X as do the flavours of Linux. This has very little to do with the actual operating system.

Compare car interiors and you should get the idea, they all have a very similar types of engine to produce power, gears and transmission (manual or automatic is irrelevant) and generally four wheels and one to steer along with other very close components. There is very little difference between the GUIs of, say Redhat (over bloated and unwealdy) Windows XP (overblown and unwealdy) and Apple (you will do it our way if you like it or not!)

Which is better, in this comparison, a super-mini, a 4x4 or a very large military tank?

The OSs on the other hand have very differing qualities and downsides and the relative advantages or otherwise are what make the difference.

Horses for courses but please understand the difference between the ability to use a computer and the ability of the computer to allow an environment whereby you *can* use it.

  • 194.
  • At 11:16 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • James F wrote:

I'm an engineering student. I have a lot of technical reports to write, I have a lot of spreadsheets to knock out, and I have a lot of coding to do.

Most of the programming I do is for the sake of solving maths problems, not for the sake of writing software. From my point of view then, any OS that I can do some C coding on is fine. We use Unix a fair amount in the university, and I appreciate its use - free of course, and powerful in the hands of a coder.

On both my desktop and my laptop, I use XP. One runs home, the other runs professional.

I used Fedora linux (core 7) for a while on one of my computers, and the installation was easy enough (though I did manage to stuff it up, it was entirely my own fault). I did however find it to be somewhat unstable. Perhaps I was unlucky. Open Office didn't seem to be capable of doing the things I wanted of it - maybe I could have found a workaround, or tried different open source software, but I wanted to make a point that it seems that nobody's touched on yet.

As a student, I can get MS software very cheaply. It's there, it does what I want, it's stable (I have no idea how you all crash your Windows so much). If I want to solve a problem that Excel can't handle, I'll write the code myself.

I also had to use a mac for a couple of weeks exclusively at one point. It wasn't through my own choice, but I had work to do and had to approach it with an open mind. This was about three years ago now, and I'm sure that things have changed greatly in recent years. I found the OS very difficult and confusing to use - things were often counter-intuitive for me. The mouse that was used with it was really awful - the worst mouse I've ever used. It seemed to be 'funky' for the sake of being funky, making it totally impractical, and this leads me on to my main point.

Maybe, even at the humble age of 20, I am becoming an old man when it comes to computers. I don't want touch screens, and I certainly don't want voice activated anything. I like my mouse because I can move my pointer across a 22" screen with a 3" motion of my wrist. I don't have to move my entire arm across two foot of touch-screen in order to click on something.

I like my keyboard too - I can type on it much faster than I can feasibly speak, especially when it's considered that I tend to 'umm' and 'err' a lot when I'm talking. Again, maybe I'm unusual, and you all speak much more fluently than I do. However, I should add that I also have to use a lot of technical words, some long, but most just unusual, and specific to my area of expertise. They don't appear in dictionaries. Being able to type them is nice, not that I'm implying that touch screens will totally replace traditional input devices.

I also like the idea that there's a physical button there - something that I can reach out and depress, rather than a virtual button on a touch screen that my fingers are too large to accurately press.

In any case, I am rambling. To sum up, the idea that we should change or 'innovate' simply for the sake of doing it is, to me at least, quite a dangerous one, and one that maybe we should be more wary of these days.

  • 195.
  • At 11:19 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Alexander Mutasa wrote:

Do you intend to enter the global political or governance arena in the long-run Dr William Gates

  • 196.
  • At 02:28 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Ali wrote:

Quote: "I am pretty sure my Dad or Nephew, mates or neighbors are confident enough to compile code or run ./config bsh scripts, chase down or resolve dependencies every time the load a driver or piece of software. Likewise if they ever have to load a driver outside of OSX trusted database."

I love my XP machine, and I don't have a problem with MS. But installing windows on a bare machine is definitely NOT easier nor quicker than installing a popular Linux distro.

I have a challenge. Bring two people that have never used computers in their lives, that way the experiment is not biased against any OS. We give each of them a CD, one with Vista/XP and the other with a popular Linux distro (and "getting started" guides for both). I bet the Linux machine will be up and running in half the time it takes to get the windows machine running. This argument is valid for most of the PC configurations sold in the market today.

In any case, it always takes me a few days to get all the settings right to my own liking. We all need to find something extra to install, or add. With windows, we end up getting freeware infested with spyware and viruses, then we need to pay extra for the anti-virus, and spyware remover. In Linux, it takes a minute to understand the concept of repository and by using a GUI it takes no time to find a clean version of the program.

People assume Windows is easier to install because they are used to it, not because it's easier or quicker. Why do you think MS gives educational licenses for almost free? To keep the next generation tied to one product.

Besides, what the last time most of you actually installed Windows? The usability of an OS is not measured with the time it takes to install it.

  • 197.
  • At 02:43 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Manan wrote:

I would like to know do you have any kind of software or device that can
program just like human program the
computer do you have any device that
program computer and chips on its own
and have its own logic that is pr-
program.is it possible that we can
outsource the programming job to
computer device that can program
own it's own. Please send me more
topic on this matter.

  • 198.
  • At 03:13 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Chris Ryder wrote:

If Vista is such the huge success as is claimed by some here, then that certainly doesn't match with what I hear or has been my own experience of it!, the fact MS has to run out a service pack after the so called finished release of new product just to make there software submit to something like a working PC, this of course not withstanding the intial install headache and expense of lobbing away any 'non vista compliant' hardware that up until XP worked perfectly fine, suggests MS have got themselves a tailess donkey of a product!, but I guess it doesn't stop Bill and friends having a quiet chuckle at us gormos stupid enough to swallow the whole MS sales pitch about the 'wow' factor!, well for the record there was no bloody 'wow' factor in it for me!...

  • 199.
  • At 07:39 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Ynda wrote:

I'm not surprised that there are NOT anybody here going "Wow, Surface Computers! I must have one. It's really cool" - now if Apple produced a product - love it or hate it - people would talk about that new product - it would be important.

Here, Gates launches Surface, people look, turn away and bitch about Vista (hey, with good reason).

Surface is a non-event. It will not catch on: MS has royally screwed up again. Just looking at the ergonomics: looking down on a coffee table interface, is telling you something: it's going to work with geeks and not with real people.

  • 200.
  • At 06:16 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Windows VS Linux VS Mac VS whatever u want.

why is it always that everyone is blaming something? i mean i am reading through this column since yesterday at my work brakes and heck, the responces in here are massively sad. why on earth do you critise something u dont have a clue about? its not a general question, nor am i targeting specifically windows or osx or linux/unix or whatever. have the people here complain that Vista sucks. Do you have a valid reason behind this? half of the people here don't. Vista is a good OS and as some people reported here , better than XP was when it was first released or 2000. I have vista but i dont use it at the moment for the main reason that my pro audio tools don't work yet correctly. plus am customed to xp and mandriva. i use osx at studio recording sessions and i wouldn't recommend them for stability in no case. mac is essentially a unix host with blims and whistles. yeah looks ok, performs ok, but i would never ever spend that amount of money for a system , when i can build one with same specs and install whatever i want for the 1/3 of the price. and yes it will be stable and perform alot better since hey u customize as u wish and like.
dunno dudes, u all complain. i dont like apple for many reasons. be it the fact that their still bound to appletalk , be it their price, or eg. locked iphone to 1 network.... what is that about?
u all say apple is innovative and stuff, yeah i agree the releases something that resembles a phone with touchie surface and silverish finish... woow. amazed... dunno.... steve jobs dissapointed once again for not using whatever u have ommited to this ;p
anywho all complain also that ms is trying to control the market (monopoly) ... yeah. ok, i agree! why not? if i had a business and if u had a busines i bet u would be shooting anyone trying to stell your business. yes monopoly, not only a poker playes habbit, but most humans actually...

another point:
the world was accusing MS and Billy for monopoly blabla stuff, because they include windows media player with the release.???? say what come again? why is that monopoly? cause they included a very good (especially v11) media player with their OWN os? so why is that bad? cause others cant use any other? thats is soooo unfair! i almost never use wmp but still i like to have this included on the release. why not? its convinient and heck if competitors can make better well congrats, cause i already use the classic player and occasionally the nero or wmp.

what about IE7? yes MS was a bit toooo slow to update it, but why on earth strip it from windows? I dunno for some reason the amazing landscape of the game Jenga comes into mind. take a pile out and see what happesn. take the next and follow the hill...

does anyone get what i say? i dought it...


ok someone else mentioned that they will wait for the new version of windows and that it will rock. oook. yes it will... someone else that windows will die in 10 years and others will preveil.. wooow u must be nostradamus causin ;p
someone else pointed very interestingly something that Sun microsystems sought for back in the days.. the network is the computer. SO TRUE!!! period.
btw what happen to plan9? why did bell leave it be? well yeah ok we know but when is the next distributed os gonna be presented by these os giants is something u all should be asking!!! why isn't windows or mac considering this for a change?

after all if our network connections become more and more powerfull, why not implement a cheap screen with some standard or bogus i/o system (e.g. wireless transparect flurecent data glove/keyboard ;p ) . that way connect it to a network of superduper computer power and allow it to stream all cycles , so eventually no more need for pc/mac at home ?? ;p yeah i know i would be a hard core computer owner no matter what. ;p i still need my private data local and not stored in some NAS in mars or jupiter...

well to some this sounds sci-fi, to others not. i bet some of u know what i am on about, but heck i cant be bothered writting this all in better format since either way its not worth it. in other words u aint worth it :)

btw why argue and diss people about their choice? eg. ok i get it u all have superior systems than u neighbors dog with its dogy nano and iBrick, or from that old "twat" (can i say twat in bbc?) that still uses Vistalenium 2000 ;p
what the heck. for me xp sp2 works solid for what I BUILD IT FOR (audio/video editing & development), mandriva for DEVELOPMENT and playing which WHY i SET IT UP .
If i was to setup the system for use with games/audio/video/development/mail clients/ other misc useless soft and other crap, yes system would be unstable 99.999999999%, but since u duckheads out there compare mac to windows think about that when u build a system.
and yes windows compared to mac in my experience with Protools / Premiere /Final cut..... is much much more stable. period. that is though me.

long live the arguments u idiotas ;p
anywho i got bored at work and though to bubble a bit of words for u yall

  • 201.
  • At 11:38 AM on 10 Jan 2008,
  • Xaos wrote:

@200
We all understand why monopoly is good for MS. What you probably fail to understand is that monopoly is very bad for the cosumers - this means all of us. There is not a single case when monopolies were beneficial for the end users. There are a lot of examples for the oposite though. I tell you this from personal experience as someone that lived in a socialistic country - the world of government monopolies.

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