I must be doing something right, I've gotten 2 consecutive negative feedback for this thread already!
Business is business. And we also need to understand that Microsoft pushed forward technologies into our lives that created new situations for which no legislation was clear enough. The Windows Media Player issue in Europe is a good example of this.
As long as he didn't break the law, you can't do much. Copying Mac OS X is hardly something you have to hate him for. Apple has "copied" enough themselves.
This whole "copying" thing is like saying that if Cancer was cured, only one guy were allowed to make the medicine (which is a different story altogether, but you get the analogy).
Yes, business is business, but that is not a reason nor a license to actively engage in illegal business practices or even unethical ones. The US DOJ, the EU and the South Korean government have determined that to some extent MS has done wrong, and in some cases is still
doing wrong. It has been proven that MS engaged in illegal activities and that Bill gates knew about them. I'm not claiming here that MS stole or copied anything from anybody. I'm arguing that the ruthlessly and illegally crushed competitors that stood in their way simply because they could. Bill deserves no respect from me for engaging in illegal business tactics.
While you didn't actually say it that is probably what you are implying and why you are posting on a Mac forum. You go on like Bill Gates is a bad man but there are loads of successful capatilists who have done all of the above and in some cases worse. You place all this on Bill Gates' shoulders like it is 100% his fault...I have no idea how much input Bill Gates has in the running of the business and when you see his shy reserved personality it is very hard to believe that Bill Gates wanted Microsoft to become like this or whether people like Steve Ballmer drove Microsoft to all of the above.
I compared Apple and Microsoft or Steve Jobs and Bill Gates merely because there has been a long rivalry there. You can call it smokes and mirrors but Steve Jobs has more than enough money, I read somewhere he is worth something like $5bn, giving away $2.5bn wouldn't harm him, but he doesn't because that is all part of the American capatilist system, the richer getting richer and the poorer getting poorer.
Bill founded and ran the daily operations of the company until just a few years ago. The US and EU trials revealed that he knew
nearly all of what was going on in the areas where the company was conducting illegal activity and continued to let it happen, in some cases personally authorizing it. Yes, there are other capitalist, but this thread is about Bill Gates, not them and bring Apple or Steve Jobs into it is merely an attempt to stray from the topic. Smoke and Mirrors. Bill is giving away money to try and improve his image, it appears to be fooling many here.
Another perspective here folks. I generally agree with baggss that Microsoft has repeatedly has engaged in (and still does) odious business practices.
Without making any moral judgements on this however, I would suggest that the world as a whole has benefited from it. Think back to the period when PCs were first introduced. Apple, Commodore, IBM, Microsoft, Radio Shack, EVERYBODY had a computer design. They were all different and they were all incompatible. Progress was VERY slow in software and hardware development because there was no clear "path to the money". If you were a company wanting to build products for this market, it was "place your bets" time. You had to guess where the largest segment of the market would lie, wherein of course would be your potential customers.
The Windows/Intel (Wintel) jaugernaut changed that. It established a clear front runner, for better or worse, and by less than ethical methods IMHO. Irrespective of that though, it established a clear winner, and a clear "path to the money" for vendors. Software and hardware exploded.
A stable platform to build for, and a huge and largely captive audience brought us HUGE advances in a dizzingly short period of time. Processors, memory, hard disk, graphics card, modems (yes, modems!), and so on all advanced at breakneck pace, because there was a willing market there to sell to, and money to be made. This is what is so great about free enterprise - if there is a buck to made, someone will find a way to make it.
Ditto for software. Office software, photo(shop) software, communications software, gaming software... all of it rode the bleeding edge of the hardware curve, bringing us more and more capability, and generally enriching our lives.
We sit here today on our Macs with kick a-s-s grapics cards and GBs of RAM, running mountains of programs on multiple GHz machines... and I honestly believe we have Bill Gates and Wintel to thank for it.
I don't LIKE them, I don't AGREE with how they accomplished these results, but I *do* believe that the stability they brought to the platform area has gotten us to where we are today.
Where do we go from here? As debated in another thread, the Web is being positioned as the next platform. Desktop computers will be interface devices that provide implementations of a common "virtual machine" such as Java or .Net/Mono... computer diversification can now occur with impunity - the web is becoming the next stable, and thus enabling, platform.
With that, I will take off my philosopher's robes and put away my crystal ball. I have just always felt the irony of intensely disliking Microsoft and Bill Gates and yet paradoxically, and simultaneously, feeling some degree of gratitude to them.
I don't disagree with any of that and MS and Windows clearly pushed the technology foreword, but the ends do not justify the means
. If the platform and the company were truly as good as many seem to think, they would not have needed to engage in the activities that continue to land them in hot water around the world, and they would not continue to engage in massive FUD campaigns.
The stability they brought was based on illegal, or at best unethical, business practices. The stability came at the cost of innovation. Imagine where the industry and technology might be now if MS and Bill Gates had decided to truly partner with companies and foster new technologies instead of crushing them and killing new technologies because of their paranoia. Imagine where the industry and technology would be today if people didn't actively expect their systems to be hacked, infected or crash on a regular basis.
That's a little harsh baggss. People are entitled to their opinion but I do think that statement was a little harsh.
Bill Gates is a very intelligent person with a keen sense of business. I think some of his tactics have been underhand but I also think that he's made some excellent business moves and I for one think he's quite a charitable person and is very deserving of my respect.
I also think that most other companies wouldn't think twice about stepping on some smaller companies if they were in a position to do so - this includes the companies that have had the strong-arm treatment from MS in the past.
Yes it was harsh, and yes we are all entitled to our opinions, including me. You don't have to like it. If you consider unethical, at best, business practices to be a "keen business sense, then you too are naive. You can admire Bill Gates all you want, but your simply fooling yourself into thinking that he is a great man. He is, and was, nothing more than a ruthless businessman who was willing to engage in questionable activity to corner a new market by whatever means necessary at the detriment to whoever happened to get in his way. If that equals greatness, then you are correct.
I agree, other companies would gladly engage in activities such as this, many do. In the end though, if it's widespread enough and obvious enough they all pay a price. All the smoke and mirrors in the world can't hide the truth.
baggss Rep page said:
Absolutely inappropriate tone & reasoning
I don't care if you like my tone or
reasoning. Both are perfectly acceptable regardless if you choose to agree or not.