Leadership

Video: Five things we have learned from Bill Gates

Bill Gates was a pioneer in spreading computer technology across the planet, and his retirement as a full-time Microsoft employee marked the end of an era. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT executives discusses the top five lessons we've learned from the career of the world's most famous IT professional.

Whether or not you're a fan of Bill Gates, it's impossible to deny the role he has played in spreading computer technology across the planet during the past three decades. His retirement as a full-time Microsoft employee in June 2008 marked the end of an era -- and it's one worth looking back on. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT executives discusses five of the most important lessons we've learned from the meteoric and often turbulent career of the world's most famous IT professional.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can go to the video player page for this episode and click "Full Transcipt," or you can read my original article that this episode was based on: Five things we have learned from Bill Gates.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

65 comments
ivanpopov2005
ivanpopov2005

need i remind us of "the full windows bible", using the word "icons" in an absolutely inappropriate way, and trying to sell english software versions in non-english speaking communities? at the same time, in most european countries, selling a vacuum cleaner without a translated instructions manual is illegal?!

megoli
megoli

Bill Gates (probably originally Geotz) was a crook: he stole everything that made MicroSoft good and any thing that was created that may have been tagged "original" by even his most ardent fans was a total failure. The biggest tragedy is that he was let off the hook by George W. If justice was served he would have been forced to make Windows open source and we the consumers would have saved billions of dollars and millions of headaches. Do I have to say Vi(BEEP)sta?

pfbenapfl
pfbenapfl

Gates's gigantic rip-off of Apple (remember look and feel?) gave him the idea that he had given everybody else permission to treat him unethically as well. So he defended himself and his company by throwing ethics out entirely. Now of course, he's buying his way back into heaven with his foundation. Or so he thinks.

trevorm
trevorm

Good video but for me as a user I cannot overstate how pissed of I get at Bill not spending some of his billions to actually produce reliable software. He is not alone amongst ssoftware vendors pushing immature product and the day that the same standard is enforced on software developers as other industries the better - though this will be difficult when the OS we use is flawed with the division of "who is at fault" making the assigning of blame difficult.

flhtc
flhtc

A lifetime of "POSITIVE ENDEAVOURS" can never make up for a business that was build on deception and unethical practices. I'm sure the only reason for the positive actions is to go out looking like the "good guy." Face it, it's easy to give money when you have that much. Heck, it's probably saving him more by giving it away then paying taxes on it. Vision... He may have said "Computing will spread everywhere." But he also said "The computer will never need more than 640K of RAM". You hit some, you miss more. People remember what they want, moreover what they're told. He wasn't as much of a visionary as he was a shyster of a businessman. Basing business success solely based on making money says a lot about the originators of the opinion. MS could have been 2 - 3 times more lucrative and still remained the De facto standard with less deception and more ethics. It's just a real shame.

dbecker
dbecker

It is profitable to ignore your conscience and ethics. The Medina police officer won the "officer of the year award". He stopped Bill Gates for speeding. His career ended.

jck
jck

#5) Guys who look like geeks are not necessarily really geeks: Just because Bill Gates has a long, drawn-out, cracking-like-a-geek voice and wears glasses...does not make him a geek. It is well known that he was not one of the major contributors to the technical side of programming the first OS Microsoft did for the Altair, or any of the other products they've produced. Paul Allen was more of the geek. Gates was the business head with enough tech knowledge to spin himself as a geek. 4) Bigger isn't always better: Microsoft software on its primary releases has always been one thing; junk. Examples? Windows 95: Microsoft knew it was going to be so buggy that they practically doubled the number of telephone helpdesk people to aid users. Windows Vista: An operating system Microsoft reportedly spent 5 years making, yet on its release it was so poorly planned and designed against the current technologies that Microsoft had to lower the hardware requirements for it in order to convince people to use it and companies to agree to deploy it on their PCs that would not be otherwise "Vista Compatible". 3) The acceptable way to get ahead now in business...is to crush the competition: Microsoft has been notorious for forcing companies with competing technologies to sell out to them, or shut their doors through supply chain/financial attrition. Microsoft is an example of the "Goliath" in the business community who figures out the easiest, legal way to do something...despite how underhanded or devious it is. I am just waiting for the "David" to show up with the sling and stone. 2) Good marketing is now equated to dumbing down your product: Use to be, good marketing was a catchy jingle and a cute girl or flashy product promotion. Now, good marketing I guess is making your product so hands-off that even a NASA chimpanzee could use it. 1) People will hold you on high just because you are the best...at taking advantage of everything you can, that is: Bill Gates took advantage of everything, and basically took the easy way out. Q: Did he have to get financing through a bank for MS to start up? A: No, he went to his wealthy attorney father and borrowed the money. Q: Did Bill Gates negotiate in earnest with IBM? A: No, he took advantage of things and screwed them over. Q: Has Bill Gates made product quality a primary consideration in product release? A: No. In fact, look at recent events in the past few years: -XBox 360 red ring of death -XBox 360 discs getting scratched and they knew it would happen -The recent IE vulnerability that has been there for weeks and was common knowledge that they did not make a priority fix -The revelation from inside Microsoft that they'd lowered the requirements for Vista falsely to allow more OEM computer makers to have "Vista Compatible" PCs. None of these things show Microsoft as being a company concerned with providing the consumer a quality product, quality service, or value for their dollar. I think this shows one thing: by virtue of the direction he gave MS, this shows that Gates is not a geek at all. He's a tech fanboy at most, and one who was willing to do anything...including ruin other peoples' lives...to control and dominate every facet of his business niche. And, nothing he has done was concerned with delivering a top quality product to his consumers...but instead, he gives them just enough to keep the masses sufficiently happy and hooked/dependent enough to come back in 3 to 5 years and get more. Sure, he's made a lot of money. You get to see that. It's who he ruined and put out that you don't see. Bill Gates is indeed a wealthy man...but his tactics make him and MS the Wal-Mart of the tech industry: willing to do anything to control all facets of their business channel no matter what. I hope Gates has a conscience, and it nags him til his last breath.

stu.field
stu.field

Here's my opinion; if you can't innovate, assimulate. buy out or crush anyone else with a better product. Oh wait maybe that's how we got our economy here in 2008

LarryD4
LarryD4

Bill Gates has taught me that "The Geeks Win". I think he's most like Booger Presley. :) But to be honest I can't credit Bill Gates with keeping me employeed. Granted he created an entire PC market but honestly, if it wasn't him and Microsoft, it would have been Mac and Steve Jobs, or IBM and OS/2, or even PC/GEOS, later known as GeoWorks. All I'm saying is he was their he was smart and he made some good choices. But it could have been anyone, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Dilberter
Dilberter

One Lawyer and Bill Gates outfoxed IBM and a 1,000 lawyers! As Napoleon said "One Man is Everything".

eggmanbubbagee
eggmanbubbagee

Yes, Apple, Netscape, Linux, Google were watched closely but for quite a while enemy number one to MS was somebody else. Remember who? Seems hard to believe now but of course AOL was king of online for a number of years. But the landscape shifted and Google ended up doing what MS feared AOL might do. Did MS see Google coming? Did they ever try to buy them? Anybody know?

geeck
geeck

What about when Jobs sez "our software is better" and Bill sez "IT DOSEN'T MATTER!" in the movie. To me this sums up how microsoft has operated from the start... btw I'm not a Apple supporter either. Microsoft operated and still operates in a vitual monopoly. The Anti-Trust trials were nothing but a sham. Bill gave the government the keys to everybody's data... Come on guys you didn't actually think all those security flaws were not by design! And for Bill's cooperation with Uncle Sugar he was granted ridicules U.S. patents on software and operated WITHOUT REGARDS for any real Anti-Trust consequences. Then we finally started realizing BILL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND! It wasn't until the tech community got savy enough to challenge Bill's code did this fraud get called out.

koby@disklace.com
koby@disklace.com

Maybe those 5 things we have learned from Bill Gates, but defenetly not those who made his success. If you where there, you probably remember that IBM was in court accused for "Antitrust", and they were not in a position to takeover Microsoft. They were not even able to put clauses it the contract with Microsoft to have exclusivity over the products they made for IBM. So the major thing to learn from Bill Gates, is to read the market, the needs dare and the possibilities, and only then the other 5 items, which are important but not suffecient. This is very unique, and can not be taught. Either you have the vision, or you don't.

tahir_siddiqui
tahir_siddiqui

Great Effort!! But, one more thing we must have learnt from Bill Gates career is that "Every thing has an END". His career has ended. And since he was quite successful in his career, NOW he is really enjoying his life (in the current world) because of the "POSITIVE ENDEAVOURS" he did in the last three decades for the globe. Similary, our life is going to end too. We must also utilize our lives in doing "POSITIVE ENDEAVOURS" for ourselves as well as for the globe, so that we could also end up getting a "MARVELLOUS LIFE (in the COMING WORLD)", once this one would be ended. This is a common principle, now got to find out the ONLY and ACCURATE guide leading to this achievement. Cheers, Tahir

dave
dave

I mostly agree with Jason. Bill Gates had the vision and the business acumen to take advantage of the largest opportunity ever. Borrowing DOS and emulating Amiga was ethically questionable, yet brilliant. But I believe it was the decision to license out the operating system that opened the largest doors known to man. That one decision was the tipping point that spawned an empire.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

The Boys in the Back Room made it possible for Bill's cakewalk.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

Talk about arrogance -- you sound like the Quebec language police. There, it is illegal to sell just about anything without translating the document too. Know what happens? Companies decide whether there is a big enough target market to make it worthwhile -- and if not -- to hell with you -- they just won't sell there at all. In my personal opinion, I believe it is more important to have a product EARLY in whatever language it becomes available in FIRST rather than either getting the product AFTER the rest of the world has it -- or not at all. Unless of course, you don't CARE whether the rest of the world gets things before you and beats you to the market...

rbosgood
rbosgood

There are a few things I do not get here. 1. Why is Bill Gates solely responsible for everything that happens at Microsoft, there are 89,809 employees in 105 countries. I am fairly sure he does not check in with them all each day, I am positive that some major decisions happen without his input. Why do you not say his 2nd or 3rd in line is a crook.. why just Gates. 2. Microsoft OS's have had to be compatible with everything under the sun. Whenever you plug in your new latest gizmo you get upset if windows does not immediately recognize it and load the appropriate drivers. No one seems to mind that MAC's are not compatible with many times more hardware, and Linux is very much hit and miss on drivers for new products. Yet you expect and demand that Microsoft work flawlessly on every new thing out there. here is a list of names... who do they represent Maurice R. Greenberg = Charles O. Holliday Jr. = Alan Mulally = Douglas M. Steenland = John T. Chambers = recognize all of them? any of them??? All of them are heads of their company's, all of them have made good and bad decisions. here is the list again Maurice R. Greenberg = AIG Charles O. Holliday Jr. = Dupont Alan Mulally = Ford Douglas M. Steenland = Northwest Airlines John T. Chambers = CISCO you recognize Bill gates because of the press he gets. Don't be led like sheep, think for yourselves. Microsoft is a huge company, Bill Gates does not do everything, he is not the evil dark lord of the software underworld. I am not a MS fanboy, or an apple fanboy or any other kind. All have their own story's, any world leading company got there by overwhelming their competition, DuPont, Chrysler, Boeing.. all had competitors that did not survive. Why should MS be any different.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

"ignore your conscience and ethics" I assume you go to fantasy book club every sunday? You're assuming people have ethics and conscience, it's enough evidence to substantiate this asessment. Either way, your questionable interpretation of events is suspect, almost to the degree of 'sky is falling' scenario. Please go back to watching x-files reruns and leave the adults to talk.

jck
jck

I never heard about that. That sounds about right. Do something to someone with enough money and influence, you lose your right to a happy life.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

That make you look like an ass. I realize you like to side with the underdog, but the people he 'put out of business' put themselves out of business. People like you are really annoying. Please, go on to tell us about microsoft's team of specially trained ninjas and the gatesignal that george bush uses every time he can't find his car keys.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

You're an idiot. The difference is, my opinion is based on reproducable evidence. The economy is where it is due to the concept of trickle down economics introduced during the reagan administration to relieve the 70s malaise, and the snowballing deregulation that continued until its peak in the clinton administration. The only reason bush didn't deregulate more is because there wasn't a whole lot left to deregulate. So, before you open your mouth, think about what you say, use the youtube 'read it to me' feature if you have to.

kjshark
kjshark

Bill came up with very little of his own. Everyone who partnered with him was cleaned out and Bill walked away with everything.

george-barna
george-barna

"But it could have been anyone, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time." Except it wasn't anyone, it was Bill Gates. It takes talent to position yourself. Just like chess. The "check-mate" is not one move, just the last one, the result of several moves beforehand.

warhippy1
warhippy1

And the code was named advapi32.dll, and it was good code, and when Bill had finished writing it, he decided, "why only have two back doors, one to my deserving company and the other to the NSA, as a bribe to the government for operating above the law. I'll write another quick one in, and leave the recipient open, in case somebody else puts the squeeze on my poor company".

eggmanbubbagee
eggmanbubbagee

"Come on guys you didn't actually think all those security flaws were not by design!" No, I don't. Here is where I ask for evidence and you send me to one of those web pages that flashes on and off and has an American eagle at the top, right? or maybe over to Prision Planet where I can also learn the twoof that Bush blew up the WTC and that the Va. Tech massacre was a black op to scare us into more gun control? MS made the OS and the browser easy to use as a marketing decision - they underestimated the power of dedicated criminals to ruin everything - now that they have wised up we still see it is impossible to build a bulletproof OS and their efforts to tighten up (UAC) are severely criticized for . . wait for it . . making the system less friendly. Linux and MAC would also be targeted and compromised if anybody cared to do it.

warhippy1
warhippy1

And here is a couple more things Bill taught us. 1) You can successfully market an unfinished version of an OS and let the paying public beta test it after the purchase. Just offer them an hour of free tech support in case they have a small problem. Put the $75 per 1/4 hour after that 1st hour in small print, of course. 2) Convince the public that an OS on your hard drive is WAY better than that old hat way of burning the OS on a chip, where you can't change it after it's burnt. I guess that makes Bill the pioneer of the Antivirus and Malware industries too, which would not be necessary if you couldn't change the OS. Gee, what a guy that Bill is!!

GiMMeABreak
GiMMeABreak

Borrowing DOS - nope, he bought it. Emulating Amiga - Bill Gates was invited to PARC along with the Steves from Apple, so I bet he had seen a windowing system before Amiga had one.

ben
ben

It takes more than one decision, it has been a pattern of seeing the oportunity where non one else is willing to look. Gates did not "steal the thunder" from IBM: the "real business" people at IBM wanted nothing to do with the PC. It was a closet project, developed by a couple guys who were being tolerated because of past contributions (IBM was smart about letting them do it anyway). Consistent Vision and Execution: investing its resources in markets yet to be and commiting to make it happen.

nick
nick

Hey, I work in IT and without MS DOS, Windows (all versions), Microsoft apps etcetera I have no idea how I would have made a living. He keeps me and many millions in a job. Having said that I love the way we are led to believe that he was the poor little kid made good. Not right. He dropped out of Harvard! Daddy was a Lawyer. This was no kid out of the back blocks. He was certainly unethical during his rise to mega riches. I am really glad to see that later in life he has realised that he cannot take the money with him. I am not sure about how he spends it mind you.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

You obviously know about theft and living off other people's hard work.

verd
verd

Bill Gates is the role we all need as Capitalists verses the new wave of liberal socialist who think Bill Gates and Microsoft are some sort of evil in the world and our country because and ONLY because they are successful in making money in the way Americans have always enjoyed. Now we are being told that if your successful that you have to share the wealth with those people who think we all owe them something.....

warhippy1
warhippy1

Microsoft, under his leadership, is the only company in that list to UNDERWHELM it's competitors and make it to the top. You show me a business that can make a consistently flawed product outsell a competitor's decently designed product, and you'll be naming a business that employs underhanded and downright dirty business tactics to achieve it's goal. Some companies still conduct business the old school way, they make it to the top by better products or ideas. Those types of companies have been Bill's targets. Don't even play that broken excuse that Bill isn't aware of EVERY underhanded screw job that Microsoft has been caught in. He'd be a pretty bad boss if he wasn't paying attention to what his company was doing. An example of the lengths Bill will go to in order to be the Top Dog is included in every Windows product from Windows 98 SE forward. Windows will not work if this .DLL is not found. It's filename is advapi32.dll and it's found in the System32 folder. The scandal erupted onto the computer world in 2000. it was brushed under the rug so quickly that you may not be able to find any info on it today. If you don't know the history of this file then you have no idea of the depth Bill Gates has traveled to further his company.

jck
jck

Are you my old college CS professor or something? lol :^0

jck
jck

Aren't we just a bitter fan of Bill? Please point out how/where I'm wrong? Microsoft was known to buy out suppliers in the past to force their competition/technology holders to either sell-out or go bankrupt. Microsoft has been known quite often to tie up things in court to keep someone from producing a product so that they lost their financial viability. Microsoft has been well known to flood the US Patent Office with floods of obtuse patent and trademark submissions, which in turn costs the taxpayers more to deal with and slows down the process for legitimate inventors trying to get their ideas fairly certified. It is their abuse of their power and Bill Gates'/Steve Ballmer's willingness to act as the IT Tyrants of the businessworld that steams me. If they were *any* kind of "geek", they'd have more interest in the love of technology than monopolization and control of it. Plus, go read anything about the origins of Microsoft. Paul Allen went to work for HP, not Gates. He and 2 of the others involved in the start of it all were big technical gurus of MS' programming, not Bill. Bill ended up being far better at being a sly fox business type than a coder/programmer. Anyways, Microsoft doesn't have ninjas that I know of. Are you on the inside or something?

warhippy1
warhippy1

The poster above you made perfect sense and gave real life situations that all of us adults can remember happening, whereas I've only seen you ridiculing people, name calling, and to be honest, I haven't seen you add anything else to the discussion. Maybe you don't have anything to add, I'm sorry, maybe you should have paid attention more in computer class, instead of being the class clown, but you can squeek yer Bozo nose til it falls off and that won't help you look any more knowledgeable. Besides, aren't your buddies calling you to log back into WoW?

warhippy1
warhippy1

You might not want to make that bet. Commodore marketed the Amiga OS in 1985. It was the world's first truly functional multitasking, windowed OS. Bill's first clumsy mimic was Windows 3.1 and I don't remember what year it was released, but I believe it was between 1990 and 1992. As for multitasking, I think Windows 98 could be trusted with two windows open at the same time, without locking up the system. 3.1 had trouble dealing with one window open.

warhippy1
warhippy1

Yeah, let's have a new role model, teach our children to lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top. We need one like that. The last one I can recall was Tricky Dick Nixon. If you can't see Microsoft as the log-jam in the flood gates of the computer revolution, I don't think you need to worry about sharing your wealth. Americans have always been at the top of the food chain because of their thinking processes, not because they were slick thieves

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Outside of the shallow minority, success is not the issue. It's having to re-fix things that shouldn't have broken over and over in the first place. I'd happily applaud the billions of dollars MS generates if they could improve there product quality a little and put some effort beyond marketing lip service into user security and safety.

Bamaro
Bamaro

They owe their living to IBM, Xerox, Lotus, Wordperfect Corp, Netscape etc.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Yes I know but then again the Shrinks have always been over paid and in over supply. Billy Boy just made them harder to get into see with the throngs of IT Professionals standing in line waiting treatment. :^0 Col

elkos.informatika
elkos.informatika

Hi, I do belive that was a great promoter of IT .Since I worked on CP/M, Btos - Ctos systems , the first afordable comps were IBM clones with DOS.And yes we used pirated software to learn how to program these days. I still program in Code Gear / Inprise / Delphi / Borland programs.And I stil love Quattro Pro, and the WordPerfect is still the best for my suits.But if there were no MS there will be some others.MS with his bugs and no bugs ( so many hours of first Windows bugs ) was a reason for IT to survive.

rbosgood
rbosgood

Sorry my friend, I have probably been around this business as long as you have, I appreciate that you did your time in Vietnam, I missed that joy by 1 number in the draft. You and I have seen many company's come and go in IT, as some one mentioned AOL was top of the heap until Google came along. IBM was the top dog in PC's for a few years, until HP and Gateway got in the game.You will recall also maybe 10 more manufactures that tried and failed due to someone besting them (Tandy, Commodore..etch.)Every company that goes up takes someone else down on the way. Most companies get large by buying out others or just outselling them. Microsoft is the main company I hear being bashed so harshly. I know you are not a MS fan, but I don't know what camp you are in for OS. If it is in the apple camp, may I mention Pystar, the company they are trying to destroy because it can run OSX. Now Linux is a different case. They have no central company and they tend to only appeal to hard core geeks (I have Unbuntu on my VM). I guess it just seems irrational to be so angry about a company that succeeded. If you don't like them don't buy their products, there are alternatives for almost all MS products. Someday MS will fall and be replaced by whatever it is that does it better. I will look back on them with nostalgia, but I will be thoroughly embracing the newer better OS when it gets here. Relax, life is way to short to spend it being angry at things we cant control.

warhippy1
warhippy1

I just got a visual of a gaggle of geeks, decked out in lavish Ninja outfits, and since they call themselves "white hats", they each have a white, ten gallon hat balanced on the tip of their pointy heads, and a pocket protector full of pens and throwing stars in the front pocket. Thanks, Bill Gates seems less evil and more comical to me now, cuz he was leading his gaggle of geeks in my visual.

jck
jck

I thought I made points. He is probably one of those "techevangelists" somewhere in TX who thinks MS can do no wrong, since they make development tools that even leptons like he can understand. :^0

warhippy1
warhippy1

Are you referring to the machines that drove automatic lathes and milling machines? I learned to operate and later to make the tapes for them. The tape was installed on a spool and stayed in the machine. You pushed the start button and the tape ran to the end, telling the machine the speed, X and Y and Z co-ordinates, and you could adjust all that from the switches on the front panel. The Commodore Amiga came with a full color GUI named "Workbench" and a CLI and you could work with both at the same time because it was a true multitasking environment. It was burnt onto a chip that was soldered to the mainboard. You could plug in a CD ROM player into a port on the left side, and they eventually marketed a hard drive that plugged into the same port. Is there something I'm missing concerning what makes a REAL computer versus an unreal computer?

GiMMeABreak
GiMMeABreak

I thought we were talking of real computers. I started on DEC PDP-11s where you had to load in a tape loader with switches on the front panel. Although there must have been some routines in ROM to read the switches. This would be analogous to the BIOS in modern PCs.

warhippy1
warhippy1

All of Commodores and all of Ataris were burnt onto a ROM chip and soldered to the mainboard. Everyone that owned the same model computer also had the same OS. They beta tested their OS's with strict guidelines because once they were burnt and soldered to the mainboard and the computers were sold, any major flaw discovered couldn't be fixed with a patch. Replacing the mainboard that had the flawed OS with a new mainboard with a revised OS was the only course of action. The upside of that being, if the manufacturer can't change his/her own OS, what hope would a virus terrorist have of commandeering the computer when it refused to change regardless of the code he injected. He'd just have to go away mad and eventually commit suicide because he phailed at affecting someone else's life in a bad way. People argue that NOBODY can make the perfect OS and thats why Bill Gates put his in a hard drive. I got news for ya people, Bill Gates has never made the perfect OS, to the contrary, he has given the term, "suckin a*s piece of sh*t" almost limitless new boundaries, with every new version of his severely retarded idea of what an Operating System should be. Then, he places his OS on a hard drive. He did something perfect. That's perfect placing of an OS, ensuring that his company, or the National Security Agency, or any dimwitted hacker with a fourth grade education can access it, change it, and cause that blue screen that Bill also invented. I applaud you too Bill, for working your magic in such a way, that the same public that you screwed with every ounce of your strength, now applauds your natural ability to screw them and look like you're doing something to further the computer age.

GiMMeABreak
GiMMeABreak

I said he had seen a windowing O/S before Amiga's was released. Windows 1.0 was released November 1985. From wikipedia - The history of Windows dates back to September 1981, when the project named "Interface Manager" was started. It was first presented to the public in 10 November 1983, renamed to "Microsoft Windows";

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"The Geeks back then lived to Tinker with things to make then work better" Now.. what is that noble title.. starts with an H.. hm.. (hehe.. couldn't resist. Cheers also for the history reminder.)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Windows was a copy of the Apple product which was inspired by Xerox who decided to pull out of PC's as there was no future in them. The Management at Xerox also thought it was a bad idea to place a [b]Mouse[/b] on everyone's Desk,Bench, Table or whatever but maybe if they thought to rename it things may have been different. But no matter what Both Gates & Jobs where shown what Xerox had achieved and they both set about coping it to the best of their ability. MS also had the Apple Product to work with as well and if they had of been left to their own devices I'm fairly sure that Apple would have won that battle and M$ would have died the natural Death that they deserved. However things where not left to themselves IBM stepped up and made M$ what it is today. Without IBM M$ didn't stand a chance as they didn't make anything that worked quite right even back then. They couldn't Market if their Lives depended on it and they where considered the Also Ran's. However when IBM came in they put the full weight of their Marketing Department behind their Product that had a M$ OS and Software on it and made a market that just didn't exist previously. It was IBM who made it acceptable for Business to actually look at PC's and it was IBM who sold Business on the advantages of PC's so that they could be just like the Big Boys who had been using Main Frames that where unattainable by the majority of Business previously. When Business Started Adopting PC's the Mas Market started to embrace them as they used them at work and saw some advantages to having one. Then all of the companies who had been started by College Drop Outs so that they could play with Computers jumped on the Band Wagon and released their own products. Hence the different places that supply the Games there where literally thousands of them where Near Enough Was Good Enough. Great for a Niche Market full of Idealists who lived to play with things but not acceptable for the Mass Market where people bought things and just expected them to work when you switched them on. The Geeks back then lived to Tinker with things to make then work better and instead of improving the Products it was easier to turn the general Community into Geeks so that is how it happened. :D Col

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Apple's GUI OS being what MS duplicated to make it's own product.

warhippy1
warhippy1

it makes an ass out of you. I was in Vietnam fighting for your future right to be a nitwit, which I see you molded right into. Us old farts also remember when you could trust a product to work like it was designed, and you could also trust the manufacturer to replace it if it didn't. If you don't remember Nixon then I would have to assume that when I first started writing software for my first computer, you were running around telling yer Mom that you made a poopy

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

Then you're too old to an objective opinion. If mccain can lose an election because he's 'old and out of touch,' I can make the same assumption about your retired ass. I'm not certain what the difference is between microsoft being slick thieves, and the talentless open source thieves. One group at least goes to the trouble of stealing things, rather than demanding they be given to them for free. That's the problem with this generation, they won't work for anything.

jck
jck

i've actually found grocery/department stores that are good, treat their employees right, and have just as good (if not better prices) than Wal-Mart. I can see how someone in rural America would only be able to go to a Wal-Mart if they'd run all the other business out. But anyone who lives in an urban area with choice that goes there just to do "one-stop shopping" should a) check their prices, and b) check their practices. I wonder just how many immigrant graduates MS has brought in now under the H-1B program to work because they work cheaper than US college grads. I say we send Ballmer and the rest of MS packing to Mumbai. See how they like Indian plumbing and traffic jams caused by 1 cow.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Sadly, most companies that would like to get away from promoting the MS business strategy through war-chest contributions are already locked into the technology. I'm open to the idea of MS and similar predatory companies changing cultures and strategies but the existing crop of profit generator engines don't seem to be doing that yet. Maybe one day we'll see a market where shady businesses get kicked in the wallet again.

jck
jck

I have no problem when a guy like Sam Walton or Lee Iacocca makes billions, because they do it by fostering partnerships and looking to build a stronger business through building a stronger community (both business and personal). But, MS (as well as most other companies in the past 20 years) have adopted the "by any means necessary" way of capitalism. Used to be if you were a shady dealer, it got around and no one would do business with you. Now, people just see it as "how the world is". Sad. That's why I avoid Wal-Mart and Sam's if I can to get things. I do as little as I can to support their way of business.

Computer_User_1024
Computer_User_1024

Wasn't DOS just a revamped version of good old CPM? I remember playing with that operating system years ago...

GiMMeABreak
GiMMeABreak

Nope, he purchased it. Initially licensed it for $15000 and then later purchased it outright for an additional $50000. $65000 was a lot of money in the late 1970s

Scatcatpdx
Scatcatpdx

They may invented it but it was Microsoft that was able to bring it to market.

scooper
scooper

Gary Kidal wrote DR-Dos which worked without 15 revisions. Windows was a result of Gary's GEM Desktop. Gates was/is a slick marketer.

onthego
onthego

Wasn't that where the underpinnings of PC-DOS came from?

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