Bill Gates’ sarcasm regarding Apple iPod: ‘Oh, wow, I don’t think we can do that’

“‘I guess Steve’s kids just listen to Bach and Mozart,’ Businessweek quotes Microsoft’s Bill Gates when asked why his company is making handheld gadgets that play video as well as music, while Apple has so far spurned the idea to stick with its music iPods.

BusinessWeek reports, “‘We don’t think people have a burning desire to watch video on tiny little screens,’ Apple’s Steve Jobs, a longtime Gates nemesis, was quoted as saying earlier. Gates retorted that his kids ‘want to watch Finding Nemo,’ which of course was made by Jobs’ Pixar Animation Studios. ‘I don’t know who made that, but it’s a really neat movie,’ Gates was said to have quipped.

Gates also was quoted as saying, “There’s nothing that the iPod does that I say, ‘Oh, wow, I don’t think we can do that.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Oh, wow, I don’t think we can do that.” Bill Gates has billions upon billions upon billions of dollars at his disposal, but after over twenty years of trying, comparing Windows XP to Mac OS X today is like comparing Bea Arthur to Heidi Klum. Sorry, Bea. We loved you in Maude. So, now Bill’s going to just whip out a tightly integrated solution like Apple’s iPod/iTunes/iTunes Music Store? Good luck, Bill, you master of kludge. The first time Microsoft produces something that doesn’t suck will be when they start making vacuum cleaners.


  1. I wonder what percentage of iPod users are kids, anyway? Kids may use a vidPod, but adults use their iPods while they are doing other things: working out, riding a bike, running, cutting the grass, doing housework, commuting. None of those are places that a vidPod would work well. Kids have a lot of time on their hands. I bet they would rather watch Nemo on a big screen TV in the living room than on a 5 inch screen in their hand.

  2. Kids do use mobile devices with tiny little screens such as the Gameboy. But those are sub-$100 gaming devices. How many kids can convince their parents to buy a $500 portable video device?

    I don’t recall a big market for the portable DVD player market and they were in the same general price range, but had 5″ to 7″ screens, as I recall. Part of the problem is that anyone can listen to a favorite song over and over. But few adults care to watch the same video over and over.

    Back to the portable digital video device – the key issues are going to be the screen size, device size and weight, battery playing time and the method by which you transfer the movie into said device. Can you upload Finding Nemo from your DVD collection or does Bill expect you to buy it from M$ iVideo?

  3. PMC (the vidPod as you call it) has a similar market to that of the Gameboy. As kids get older and into the teens they’ll want an iPod. And they’ll keep buying iPod’s until they are deaf!

    I’m 18, I’m proof.

  4. Now, I don’t have an iPod (yet), but will say, from everything I’ve heard it works flawlessly with iTunes and the Mac. Yet, Gates can’t get anything to work in harmony on Windows. And he has the cajones to say iPod doesn’t do anything they can’t do. Bull crap.
    What a jokester.

  5. i still don’t see how you can watch video while jogging, walking down the street, working, reading, trying not to get mugged on a late night train. it’s a different experience. bill is such a dipstick if he thinks that it’s a horizontal choice between video and audio.

  6. VidPod – sorry, but watching TV is so out.
    And watching it on a postage stamp size screen is so stupid.
    Let�s see, it is so small to watch a movie you have to hold the thing in your hand for 2 hours.
    Who wants to hold that thing for 2 bleeping hours?
    Is it me or is vidPod going to ruin lots of people�s eyesight? Probably not since few will buy it.

    Microsoft – we only make money if we have the monopoly.

  7. Still it would be nice to be able to download say music videos or movie trailers from iTMS and play them on a viPod (video iPod). Just to show them to people who don’t have viPods. Of course by the time that technology is practical everyone will have iPods.

  8. By the way you can buy a Dick Tracy TV wristwatch for $200 at ThinkGeek.

    The screen is so tiny it’s a joke.

    What Gates is doing is locking the online video and music formats in his hard core DRM format.

    By the way Stevie found “Nemo” it was shoved way up Bill’s ass.

  9. Bill Gates can’t think of anything about the iPod that Microsoft couldn’t do?

    Then why didn’t they? And why are they so late to the party?

    The guy’s RDF makes Steve’s look pretty lame.

  10. Alright, let’s face reality. Jobs is wrong on this one. The ADDED option of a video iPod would sell like crazy. Screen size is not an issue. Turn the current IPod sideways and you have enough space for a 4.5″ screen. Put the controlls on the side or the back and you are in business. And file size is also not an issue. Use MPEG-4 and you can fit hours on a current model iPod. Then lastly the third party guys come in and bring us an iCam and we have an actually cheap video / still camera. Kids and adults alike will love it. “Yea, I interface this with iLife and I have it all!” Jobs seems to be using his Pixar head on this one not wanting kids to pirate “Finding Nemo”.

    In this case, yea, I still think Gates is a copy cat but if he motivates Steve to have to compte on the video end, maybe we can all get what we want.

    Oh, and yea, who said you couldn’t use your vidPod to just listent to music???

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