Bill Gates lists Microsoft ‘innovations’ that Apple has offered Mac users for years

CNN’s Miles O’Brien interviewed Bill Gates about the debut of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows Vista, this morning.

One portion was especially interesting:

O’Brien: Frankly, a lot of what I see here, um, seems to mimic a little bit [Apple’s Mac] OS X. Were you going after a specific look there, the Mac look, or?

MacDailyNews Take: A little bit? Ya think?

Gates: No, no, no. Actually, uh, the, we’re ahead [slight pause] on a lot, uh, there’s whole areas where we’ve innovated like Media Center and tablet, uh, that, uh, no one else is doing and the parental control, that’s the first time that’s been done. Even in this photo area, you know, we’d love to have you compare how we’ve done, make it easy to make a DVD, edit high definition movies.

Snippet of Miles O’Brien’s CNN interview with Microsoft’s Bill Gates:

Full video interview here.

MacDailyNews Take: Note Gates’ uncomfortable squirming in his chair, frequent pauses, and “uhs.” Wow.

Gates’ body language reminds us of PC’s squirming here:

Mr. Gates, perhaps the reason that no one else is doing “innovations” like Media Center and tablet is because of your, uh, sales figures for those products?

As for the rest:
Parental Controls: Apple debuted Parental Controls in Mac OS X Tiger, released on April 29. 2005. That’s nearly two years ago. (Gates yesterday spoke with NBC’s Today Show host Meredith Vieira and tried out the same “parental controls” lie there, too, at 2:34 into the video here.)
Photos: Apple debuted iPhoto on January 7, 2002. That’s over five years ago.
DVD creation: Apple debuted iDVD on January 9, 2001. That’s over six years ago.
Movies: Apple debuted iMovie on October 5, 1999. That’s over seven years ago. Oh, HD? Okay, Apple debuted iMovie HD on January 11, 2005. That’s over two years ago.

So much for Microsoft’s “whole areas” of innovation.

Related articles:
Gates bristles over Vista, Mac OS X comparisons – January 29, 2007
Pioneer Press: Windows Vista shows ‘Apple is an innovation engine; Microsoft, not so much’ – January 29, 2007
Imitating Apple Computer is no match for innovation – January 17, 2006
Apple’s talent and innovation vs. Microsoft’s hype – October 25, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 14, 2005
Charles Arthur: Microsoft’s definition of ‘innovation’ different from everyone else’s – April 27, 2004


  1. The Windows Vista launch feels like a non-event. And it’s timed at the worst possible time of the year. At least MS will have some more time to release Vista SP1 before the back-to-school and holiday shopping.

    Apple needs to make a big splashy announcement about Leopard and show off all its features NOW, before the official release date. Since many Windows users get their new version of Windows when they upgrade their PCs, such an announcement will make them wait (if buying a new PC) and at least consider getting a Mac. Additionally, Apple can offer a free upgrade to Leopard program for new Macs purchased between now and Leopard’s release date, so that Mac sales are not adversely impacted by a Leopard “full preview” announcement.

  2. “If you go to

    they have a quick vote, (along right lower side)

    Will you be updating your software to Vista??

    after my vote the results were

    yes, right away 6%

    eventually, no rush 78%

    I don’t use windows 16%

    I am impressed with the “I don’t use windows” vote”

    Interesting. I went to look at this, but it now just offers “Will you rush out to buy Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system? Yes/No”. No I-don’t-use-Windows option. Still, 97% answer NO.

  3. Okay,

    NBC is owned by Microsoft, right? MSNBC, right? So they set up an interview with Lord Gates, but this is supposed to be journalism, right? A real journalist would do the research and ask some hard-hitting questions, yes?

    So what do they do but put him in front of Meredith Viera (a journalistic deity, not unlike Geraldo Rivera) who admittedly is “computer phobic”.

    “Oh, Lord Gates, you’ve invented parental controls? Oh thank you Lord Gates, thank you! Oh, Microsoft is on the cutting edge of innovation? Oh, thank you Lord Gates, thank you! (drool, slobber)…

    NBC execs breath a sigh of relief. Bullet dodged. Jobs saved. Pensions secured. Lord Gates comes off looking like the mastermind of a competent corporation.

    Ya gotta love it.

  4. In 1995, Apple sued Microsoft for $1B after the release of Windows 95 for copying the look and feel of the Mac OS. They settled out of court and Microsoft paid Apple 750 million dollars in cash plus a 5-year guarantee that Microsoft will release an update to the Mac version of MS Office, among other things. In turn, Apple agreed not to talk about the settlements.

    I can smell another lawsuit brewing. Apple is much stronger now so as not give in to a buy-out.

  5. It looks like Gates should stick to charity work. With Bozo Balmer in charge of the factory, there’s not much Bill can do but try desparately to clean up the crap and spray air freshener.

    MW: subject. What Gates would like to have changed when O’Brien asked him about the obvious Mac OS X rip off.

  6. Having seen several of Gate’s appearances in his whirlwind Vista rollout — including The Daily Show w/Jon Steward — I have to say I kinda like the guy more than I did before. Fatherhood and philanthropy seem to have mellowed him and brought out a more human dimension.

    All the TV appearances are no doubt his last hurrah before bowing-out of Microsoft business for full-time foundation work.

    Still, I’m not excited about Vista and agree with all of the above that it is 35 dog-years behind OS-X.

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