Bill Gates jokes about Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ and calls Apple ‘the super-small market share guy’

“The Microsoft chairman [Bill Gates] drew guffaws [at a meeting of business journalists on Monday] when he took a dig at Apple Computer Inc. in response to questions about the rave reviews the competitor’s newest operating system, Mac OS X ‘Tiger,’ received upon release last week,” Frank Bajak reports for The Associated Press

“The overwhelming consensus was that Tiger was far and away the best consumer operating system available now, with Microsoft not expected to match it in features in Windows until the end of 2006 at the earliest in its ‘Longhorn’ system,” Bajak reports. “Gates said he was pleased that the media were getting excited about computer operating systems. And then he took his jab at Apple, whose share of the consumer market is nearly 4 percent. ‘You can always tell if you’re working on a Mac or a PC. Just take your applications and stick them in there and see if they run,’ he said, moments after calling Apple ‘the super-small market share guy.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “You can always tell if you’re working on a Mac or a PC. Just take your applications and stick them in there and see if they run.” Gates is correct. If it crashes and blue-screens, it’s a Windows PC. If it runs and just works, it’s a Mac.

Market share, folks, that’s all they have. It’s all they’ve ever had over the Mac. By the way, there are 18,456 Macintosh-specific software items in Apple’s Macintosh Product Guide. What Gates neglects to mention, of course, is that Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger operating system, iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, iChat AV, Safari, GarageBand, and many other award-winning, best-in-class applications don’t run on Windows PCs. Perhaps Apple Mac users should decide not to stick Microsoft software in their Macs anymore? Hey, we’ve got an idea, why doesn’t Gates stick Longhorn in his PC and see if it runs? Oh yeah, that’s right, it doesn’t exist.

Gates has the odor of fear about him. It’s not about money, it’s about winning with Gates and Jobs. And it’s Jobs who’s destined to win, not Gates. History rewards the originals, the innovators, those who strive for excellence; not the fakes, the copiers, and those who roll up sales with mediocre products to a confused, technophobic public. People are waking up. Personal computing is emerging from infancy and the public is becoming more educated and discerning. Sometime in the not-so-distant future, the world will look back at the fact that Microsoft Windows once held 95% market share for computer operating systems and more than just mere guffaws will be heard.

Advertisement: Get your own thick, white tagless t-shirt stating, Bill Gates is stuck using a Dell running Windows XP and listening to Napster To Go on an iRiver. There is a God. In crisp black Myriad Pro text. Available in Small, Medium, Large, X-large, 2X, 3X, and 4X-large. Just $18.99. Thank you for supporting MacDailyNews.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software – May 16, 2003

BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system around’ – April 28, 2005
Associated Press: Mac OS X Tiger ‘provides another excellent incentive to switch from Windows’ – April 28, 2005
Mossberg: Apple’s Tiger ‘the best, most advanced personal computer operating system on the market’ – April 28, 2005
NY Times: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger is the most secure, stable and satisfying OS on earth – April 28, 2005
Bill Gates: Microsoft’s ‘responsible for the creation of the PC industry’ – February 18, 2005
Experts say Bill Gates’ doodles show he’s ‘stressed and tense, not a natural leader’ (with image) – January 31, 2005
Windows blue screen of death crashes Gates’ Keynote at CES – January 06, 2005
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Bill Gates’ sarcasm regarding Apple iPod: ‘Oh, wow, I don’t think we can do that’ – September 07, 2004
Bill Gates on Apple’s ‘Keynote’ app: ‘I doubt what they’ve done is as rich as PowerPoint’ – January 09, 2003


  1. Yup – bad form in any PR/media situation to react to questions about how a competitor is being perceived with anything other than with something about your own product. Just adds fuel to the fire of the competitor. In this case, it’s a good thing, because little Billy got caught with his guard down. This’ll come back to haunt him in about 18 months from now, assuming the timing doesn’t change… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smirk” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Um, is it just me that realizes that what gates said is actually more or less true? First of all, the majority of applications DON’T run on apples. The crucial ones usually run on both, but there are many that do not. The number of software titles that run on apple but not on PCs is much smaller (mainly first party apps). Second, apple IS the super small market share guy. I don’t see the second comment as particularly negative; it’s just the truth.

  3. “the super-small market share guy.”

    Is this Bill’s way of saying to Steve: “Come on Steve, lets have a real dog fight here. Your making great products that most people seem to ignore (iPod being the exception). You’re not agressive enough Steve. When I come out with Longhorn I won’t be fooling around. Most people don’t want to buy an Apple computer, they want to run Windows. You can’t hide from the numbers Steve. Is the iPod going to be the last great thing Apple does?”

  4. but he’s letting it show!

    Amazing times.

    And I guess he should be scared, if awareness of OS X has gotten so good that the issue came up at all!

    Not scared for 2005… but for 2010? Terrified.

  5. Yeah… I’m on a Mac and all my applications run….
    My friends on Windows are always returning software because it will not run on their systems…

  6. It’s really strange that he even commented on Apple. Also, bigger is not always better.

    FYI, there are a lot of crappy Windows based applications that don’t work very well on a Wintel box.

  7. Well, Steve has been talking smack for a while.. and Windows is open architecture.. so there’s your marketshare… I’m pretty sure, later on in the interview, Gates talked about all the money they’re making of Mac Office 2004

    I wonder what it feels like to be constantly fighting with your customers, developing new ways to get them to ‘upgrade’ to a 4 year old OS, as the vast vast majority of Windows users are still content to write essays and check email on WIn 98 or 2000.

    To see Mac users lining up all around the world, must be puzzling, after all.. Apple doesn’t even write software, do they? I thought they were the iPod Company… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. “Applications”? Hmm… I seem to remember those things. Weren’t they important back in the days before open standards, before everything ran everywhere?

    Okay… We’re not there yet. But that’s the way the tide is turning.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.