Bill Gates not amused when asked about Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ ads

Apple Store“At last week’s Corbis Creativity 2.0 panel in Manhattan, Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield sat down for a private one-on-one with… Bill Gates. The two discussed the likely impact of IPTV on advertising and the distribution of TV content by the major networks’ local affiliate stations. Garfield also asked Mr. Gates about the Apple ads, in which actor John Hodgman plays a character modeled on Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates was not amused,” reports.

Two exchanges are particularly interesting:

Garfield: This is based on pretty much zero data, but it doesn’t seem to me that either Vista’s or Zune’s campaign has so far generated a whole lot of buzz. Are they generating any business?

Gates: Vista’s doing extremely well. Zune has gained a great No. 2 position as a product that’s completely new for us. Vista’s the most-used piece of software there is in the world, and so it has this incredible impact as people talk about how it simplifies things that they’ve done. We’ve seen a much stronger reception in terms of people upgrading the software, buying new PCs than we expected there. I think a lot of that had to do with how much we worked with users in advance and understood exactly what they were interested in.

MacDailyNews Take: Vegas. Darkened hotel penthouse. No nail clippers…

MacDailyNews Note: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is most-certainly not “the most-used piece of software there is in the world.” According to Net Applications’ Market Share, Microsoft’s Windows Vista had 0.93% share (or just a bit more than double Linux’s 0.42%) in February 2007.

Some would have you believe that popularity and market share mean their OS and hardware are the best in the world. By that logic…

1. Budweiser makes the world’s best beer.
2. Ford makes the world’s best car.
3. Dominos makes the world’s best pizza.
4. McDonalds makes the world’s best hamburger.
5. Microsoft makes the world’s best operating system.

– SteveJack, excerpted from “By its very nature Wintel cannot be the best” – MacDailyNews Opinion, September 18, 2002

MacDailyNews Take: There are very few exceptions to the point SteveJack made above: iPod, iTunes Store, and Coca-Cola are about the only ones that spring immediately to mind.

Garfield: I want to ask you one more thing: Those Mac ads — how do you feel about the John Hodgman character?

Gates: I can’t comment on someone else’s ad.

Garfield: OK … but he’s you.

Gates: Yeah, I’m not gonna comment on someone else’s ad.

Garfield: OK, well, Bill Gates, thank you so much for joining us.


Garfield: Can I just have a clean goodbye?


Garfield: OK, can you just say goodbye? Thank you or goodbye or something like that?

Gates: Goodbye.

You just have to listen to the audio (links included in the full article) here.

MacDailyNews Take: Jobs’ “Get a Mac” ads have certainly gotten to emperor Gates; he has no clothes and he knows it. Jobs should triple the campaign’s budget immediately!

FYI: This is why Gates no longer comments on Apple’s ads.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David N.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Gates dumps Microsoft stock – March 05, 2007
Why Apple’s smart ‘Get a Mac’ campaign drives Bill Gates crazy – March 04, 2007
Gates: ‘Windows Vista’s had incredible reception’ – February 21, 2007
Microsoft’s Gates tries FUD to keep people from switching to Apple’s secure Mac – February 12, 2007
Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty – February 06, 2007
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007
Bill Gates lists Microsoft ‘innovations’ that Apple has offered Mac users for years – January 30, 2007
Gates bristles over Vista, Mac OS X comparisons – January 29, 2007

BusinessWeek: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is ‘slow and dangerous’ – March 15, 2007
Analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is very good for Apple Mac – March 13, 2007
InfoWorld: 9,000 people switch to Apple Mac every day (plus testing ‘Embrace and Extinguish’) – February 28, 2007
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft’s Windows Vista in latest ‘Get a Mac’ ad (with video) – February 06, 2007
Digit: Don’t buy Vista; Microsoft may be driving millions to stick with XP or move to Apple Mac – February 05, 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
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
Mossberg: Microsoft’s Windows Vista offers lesser imitations of Apple’s Mac OS X features – January 18, 2007
InformationWeek Review: Apple’s Mac OS X shines in comparison with Microsoft’s Windows Vista – January 06, 2007
Apple Macs can run more software than Windows PCs – October 30, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 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
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006

Buh-bye: Senior Zune exec exits Microsoft – January 31, 2007
Last quarter: Microsoft lost $289 million on Zune, CE devices – January 26, 2007
RealMoney’s Comeau predicts: ‘Microsoft will kill the first Zune media player by midyear’ – December 16, 2006
Thurrott reviews Microsoft Zune: ‘a joke, a travesty, I can’t imagine what they were thinking’ – November 28, 2006
Ihnatko: Microsoft Zune experience about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face – November 24, 2006 It’s not looking good for Microsoft’s Zune; bad press may taint brand for years – November 24, 2006
Microsoft’s Zune selling like snotcakes – November 15, 2006


  1. haha, the link takes you to the article..
    which has a funny picture and a link to the iTunes Podcast!!!

    Why did Gates even do this interview?
    “Vista’s the most-used piece of software there is in the world”?? REALLY?? You are telling me that there are more Vista installs than XP installs?
    Gates = liar

  2. “Vista’s the most-used piece of software there is in the world”

    So what he is saying is that if sh*t is good for billions of flies it should be good for us too? I love that man, he is soooo funny.

    MW: issue like “God, this man has issues”.

  3. It makes me feel so sad, watching stuff like this. It’s like watching someone make fun of a person with a handicap. *sniff*

    For those of you who have nothing better to do (and there really may not be anything better to do), go find the CRYING sbemail about L’il Brudder at It’s too priceless. And if you don’t know Homestar and Strongbad, you don’t know the full potential of the internet.

  4. Ouch… i always thought Bill Gates had a preciseness to his interviews. He manipulates data and has a very dictative style in providing facts, carefully planning what he wishes people to believe (being the highly interviewed tech mogul he is).

    Despite what you think of him, he has normally been smart to never lean too far any direction. But to flat out say NOTHING, let alone slip out that Vista is the most used piece of software… I think he’s losing it… a steady decline from a once glorified media icon.

    Like I said, doesn’t matter what you think of him… he’s been depicted as a lot of things along the way (richest, smartest, inventor, etc). However, it’s clear he’s finally struggling when you peal away the layers. I love it.

  5. ‘Vista’s the most-used piece of software there is in the world, and so it has this incredible impact as people talk about how it simplifies things that they’ve done.’

    I believe the ‘incredible impact’ part. See, he is not such a liar, when taken out of context.

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