Often called - the richest man alive
But the biggest loser in my books. A person of his stature, "vision", wealth and power sure doesn't seem to change our digital lives (for the better) by much. Remember the years when hotmail was an independent company that was the premier address in the email world? Yea, until Microsoft bought it up so he could give you a paltry 2MB storage for the longest time and is so vulnerable to spam, i could swear it feels like owning a public toilet that everyone just shits into
You see, great companies like Sony change lives. Their power of imagination and drive to be better takes them from strength to strength. Remember the Walkman. The product that single-handedly introduced the world to portable music. Showed the world the meaning of selfish audio, the type that you play and listen to all by yourself anytime, anywhere in a very afforable and dependable manner. Remember Apple and the GUI (graphical user interface) and the popularity of the mouse. Although they didn't invent it, they might as well considered did because they made it so popular. Remember Sony Trinitron televisions and compact discs.
With Bill Gates' money, the overall monstrosity of Microsoft brand (probably named after what Mrs Gates calls him) the impact of their products on our lives remains little. Anyone could have made WordPerfect better if they had the money that comes with market dominance/monopoly. The Mac OS can do whatever the Windows PC can do, and more. Enterprise level, you have the Linux and Unix backbones that can run albeit needs more tweaking. But at the enterprise level, reliability is the key issue, and if Microsoft's reputation is anything to go by, their products are anything but reliable. But they can leverage their desktop monopoly and wrestle their way into corporate executions. Their products are flawed and their strategies are riding on their success on the Windows front
That power enables them to be agressive and using the advantage to the fullest. Of course you can argue, thats what businesses are like, but businesses answer consumer needs and wants. Microsoft has been with Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, ME, ME second edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP and now coming to Longhorn. One thing they couldn't do right, is to stabilize an operating system but continually overwhelming it. Thus opening more cans of worms when they integrate more functionalities into the core. Look at how vulnerable Internet Explorer is to security problems
Lets look at the Window Mobile now. The fact that Apple Newton was there first and Palm hit it off, Microsoft came in and saw the opportunity for a scaled down Windows. Ok, that seemed like a brilliant idea. Shrink a rather overweight, unreliable, power consuming, dead ugly interface, memory gobbling and not-so-secure operating system for the mobile. Brilliant isn't it? Constant complaints have been heard about various PDA/Smartphones having the same sudden illnesses of the brother Windows. The HP iPAQ 6365 hangs on a regular basis, the o2 XDA II mini deleting all saved information when the battery is removed (making life difficult for people with two SIM cards, those who travel) and the overall hunger for resources in a Windows Mobile device is just astonishing. Its been years now, since the first PocketPC was introduced, why aren't all these things sorted out, Mr Biggest Company In The World? I ask you this
And with all the resources and ability to buy anything or anyone they want, they could come out with something to call their own. But no, they had to build the Xbox. A game console that is based on a PC setup. The intestines and heart reads like a PC. It has an Nvidia graphics card, a hard disk, a Pentium equivalent processor and a motherboard. The size is also obviously nearing PC proportions. Remember when the world was taken by storm by the Nintendo Gameboy? Or the original Nintendo game console that changed the way kids are being brought up today? Of course you do. These devices made marbles and kites obsolete. They brought new meaning to childhood. What has Microsoft brought to the party? More of the same, only slightly better at certain aspects
So we have the Tablet PC. A mind boggling piece of contraption that will make every man's secret fantasy of becoming a secretary come true. Hold it in your hand and you have a Windows operating system (AGAIN!) but with optimization for touchscreen. You can hold these tablet things in your hand and bring them around to work. Yea sure, it's a great idea. But isn't it just a big PDA or a laptop with a touchscreen? Whats the big freaking deal? Plus, they are not so light. More or less hovering around the weight of 1.5kg. Try holding that thing for an hour and tell me you love your boss for getting you one. I can imagine people in the medical industry, hospitals, secretaries and logistics using one
But if these devices, just like all gadgets, evolve into smaller forms and take on a more portable effect, wouldn't they in a few years naturally evolve into something the size of a Windows Mobile gadget of today? What's the logic there? Not convinced? Well, there's nothing much that the TabletPC can do, that the Windows Mobile device can't these days. So do i see a point of having a bigger screen for the general consumer? No, unless you want to watch movies with it and have the novelty of writing on the touchscreen.
But let me tell you, as a veteran Palm user, the handwriting recognition can not beat the seasoned QWERTY keyboard trained fingers in terms of speed. And especially with the margin of error with handwriting recognition, the chance of spelling errors is high. Its a waste of time, if you're not seriously in the specific corporate niche. Plus, do you really want to write anything long on that tabletPC? Come on, that's so very 90's snailmail pen-pal thing. Very high school exam feel. Very New Kids On The Block, you know? Passe
Thank god for broadband internet, if not, i would be spending all my days online downloading patches every other week for my Windows. There's nothing admirable about Microsoft. Heck they can't think outside the box and deliver something as extraordinary as say, Google, eBay and Amazon.com can. They are playing catch-up to Google in the search engine field. They are not able to lead the consumers into new horizon, instead waiting for someone to start a trend and jump on the bandwagon. Yet unsurprisingly, come out the victor because of their sheer strength in influence, money and layman naivity in absorbing every single fart that has a Microsoft logo on it. Wake up people
Bill Gates is said to be the man of vision. The success story of our generation. The richest man alive. But the way he wins over consumers by indulging in debatable ethics is appaling. Look at the Netscape vs IE war. Look at how we were unable to uninstall IE from the Windows software without compromising on the stability and functionality of the operating system. If you tried to uninstall IE from a Windows 98 machine, it would tell you that some things may not work properly. Look at how they bought over the head of the Symbian alliance, that makes the software for the new generation Nokia and Symbian Smartphones so popular, over to the Microsoft camp. While at Microsoft, Juha Christensen brought to market the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, and Smartphone, in addition to Mobile Information Server and Server ActiveSync. He's also the founder of Symbian and wrote the company's overall strategy, vision and operational platform. He's now with Macromedia though, since quitting Microsoft last year.
Want to hear more from Bill Gates, read this interview published on CNETasia.com
CNET: Lots of people want Microsoft to do something on the antivirus front, and you guys have said you are going to do that. At the same time, the role of securing Windows as a platform is not something Microsoft wants to tackle on its own. The Symantecs of the world want partners, but that seems like a really tough relationship to balance as you enter those markets
Gates: I don't think so. The history of Windows is that we do something in the platform and then there are some things missing that sell in high volume as add-ons. If a broad set of people want the thing, then in some future version (we add it). We're very clear; we show people, we tell them and then we build it in the system
Security is a very broad topic. There are so many different pieces of security, which creates immense opportunity for people like Symantec--if they keep innovating. There will be some things that they do that will move into the platform. We're very open with those guys. We talk to them every day, massively....We will get the benefit of the platform getting better and those partners continuing to add value
KennyT: Ok, so they purposefully made Windows flawed so Symantec can create more job opportunities, get something for people who have nothing better to do to sit on their asses and trace viruses/compile them, make Microsoft developers develop add ons and critical patches for Windows and sell "improved" versions to the public in the name of safety and corporate responsibility to their consumers. What a NOBLE CAUSE! I kid you not that this is those words were unadultered text from CNET
Click this link to read the interview:
Want to punch Bill Gates? Come here:
Want to slap a pie on his face?To download a screensave to do just that, come here:
If you want to read more about Microsoft misconducts and additional reading:
And yes, the picture is my very own original masterpiece