BusinessWeek has published a “Newsmaker Q&A” with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. One of the questions touched on Apple’s iPhone:
BusinessWeek: Steve Jobs’s most recent performance was with the iPhone, a big rollout. Would you buy an iPhone at $499 or $599?
Gates: Well, of course, I’m the wrong person to ask. I like to dial numbers with one hand, and maybe I’m the only one.
BusinessWeek: I know you could afford the price, but do you think it’s a little steep?
Gates: Well, the marketplace will do a good job of judging that, and they can always change the price. The phone space is one where we have been focusing. It’s one of those places where we think software will be the critical element. That’s just more and more true… If there’s anything good about the iPhone, it’s software. How many companies in the world can do really great software? We do it with an incredible research group, the willingness to take on the toughest software problems, and just stick at them, and to have a variety of hardware partners, and the biggest application software base.
We’re unique in this world of software. Will Nokia step up to a world where software is super-important? It’s not clear. Will Sony? Well, they’re trying, but so far it’s been tough for them. And if you look at the whole traditional consumer-electronics set of companies, most of those are going to be more supplying components and hardware systems. The software industry, which we’re a major part of, is going to be driving the magic in those things.
So the key trend to look at is the importance of software, and then say who really has shown the ability to do strong software? In some ways, just we have. If you define it more broadly, yes, Apple has done a few things well.
Full Q&A, in which Gate’s also takes pains to highlight Mac market share (he’s scared, and rightfully so), here.
Bill Gates is delusional if he really believes that only Microsoft has shown the ability to do “strong software,” especially since Microsoft’s actual forte is producing software that’s infamous for weakness, not only in terms of security, but also in the areas of reliability, originality, elegance, and intuitiveness.
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007
TIME Magazine: Microsoft’s Windows Vista ‘an embarassment to the good name of American innovation’ – February 02, 2007
Microsoft’s Windows Vista: Five years for a chrome-plated turd – January 30, 2007
Those unfamiliar with Apple’s Mac OS X may be impressed with Windows Vista – January 29, 2007
Digit: ‘Microsoft’s Windows Vista may be the best reason yet to buy an Apple Mac’ – January 29, 2007
Pioneer Press: Windows Vista shows ‘Apple is an innovation engine; Microsoft, not so much’ – January 29, 2007
Windows Vista disappoints, so get a Mac – January 29, 2007
Microsoft emails reveal serious Mac OS X Tiger envy – January 26, 2007
Analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista could be an opportunity for Apple – January 26, 2007
CNET Reviews Windows Vista: Is that all? Clunky and not very intuitive vs. Mac OS X; warmed-over XP – January 24, 2007
Security firm: 38-percent of malware already Windows Vista-compatible – January 22, 2007
Mossberg: Microsoft’s Windows Vista offers lesser imitations of Apple’s Mac OS X features – January 18, 2007
Windows Vista disappointment drives longtime ‘Microsoft apologist’ to Apple’s Mac OS X – January 17, 2007
InformationWeek Review: Apple’s Mac OS X shines in comparison with Microsoft’s Windows Vista – January 06, 2007
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Microsoft’s Windows Vista: ‘Looks, Locks, Lacks’ – December 14, 2006
Forbes: Microsoft Windows Vista boss suffers from Mac envy – December 12, 2006
Windows chief Allchin 2004 email: I’d buy a Mac if I didn’t work for Microsoft – December 11, 2006
Unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista, Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard will create no new jobs – December 12, 2006
15-year Windows vet tries Apple Mac: ‘My God! This is amazing!’ – December 04, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista: obsolete on arrival? – December 04, 2006
InformationWeek: Now that Vista is the past, let’s look at the future: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard – December 02, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista and Office 2007 releases generate yawns – December 02, 2006
Dave Winer: ‘Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was – they are always playing catch-up’ – December 01, 2006
Harvard Medical School CIO picks Mac OS X over Linux and Windows – November 30, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista vulnerable to malware from 2004 – November 30, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista developers used Apple Macs for inspiration – November 27, 2006
Apple Macs can run more software than Windows PCs – October 30, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista is basically Microsoft’s version of Mac OS 9.3 – October 11, 2006
Top Windows developer dumps Microsoft’s ‘pile of crap’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 26, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 14, 2005