Bill Gates rules out Microsoft CEO return; claims Microsoft didn’t shamelessly rip-off Apple

“Bill Gates today ruled out ever returning to the helm of Microsoft and dismissed harsh barbs by his former arch-rival Steve Jobs,” Tim Lester and Asher Moses report for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Gates said he had made the transition to work full-time at his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ‘and that will be what I do the rest of my life,'” Lester and Moses report. “Steve Ballmer, who has been Microsoft’s CEO since taking over from Gates in 2000, is widely considered to have missed the significance of what Jobs dubbed the ‘post-PC era’ and Microsoft is now an also-ran in smartphones, tablets and music players… [Gates] may be just as culpable as Ballmer for missing the new era in computing as he has been quoted questioning the viability of Apple devices like the iPod and iPad.”

Lester and Moses report, “‘Our work at Microsoft was super successful for all good reasons but Steve made huge contributions and he actually in his last few years was a lot kinder than that but over the years he did say some tough things,’ Gates said today.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Super successful for all good reasons?” Now, there’s a serious attempt, however poor it may be, at “reality distortion.”

Lester and Moses report, “Gates has previously said of Apple’s closed model: ‘The integrated approach works well when Steve is at the helm. But it doesn’t mean it will win many rounds in the future.’ Jobs said of Gates’s open model: ‘Of course his fragmented model worked, but it didn’t make really great products. It produced crappy products.’ But Jobs’s harshest barbs came during an interview with his biographer, Walter Isaacson. ‘Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology,’ Jobs told Isaacson. ‘He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas’ … ‘They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame,’ Jobs said in the biography, to which Gates replied ‘if he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gates knows there’s no bad contract giving Microsoft unfettered access to shamelessly rip off Apple’s iOS like Microsoft did with the Mac, so he’ll stay out. He ran away and hid and left a clueless salesbozo on the bridge to run the ship aground. Bill Gates always was a man of weak character; a common thief, forever lying to himself, proclaiming to all that he never stole a thing. That stairway you’re trying to build to heaven would end better, Bill, if you’d just come clean.


  1. Gates whistling up the wrong tree again, Jobs was the Piper:

    “And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
    Then the piper will lead us to reason.
    And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
    And the forests will echo with laughter. “

    1. Is that the lyrics from a Bay City Roller or a Bee Gees song? I know I recognize it from somewhere. I can’t remember, the 70’s are such a fog. Can’t seem to get the led out of my head these days.

  2. Gates is an opportunist, a liar, and a thief. His company produces crap based on stolen ideas, and has been convicted of illegal business practises.

    I wonder why anyone would quote Bill Gates today, never mind give credence to anything he says.

    Maybe, like the MDN take, interviewers are hoping for the day when Gates’ can no longer contain his conscience, and he comes clean.

  3. Microsoft copies poorly. One exception to that is their Windows stores. They look pretty nice, as they are a carbon copy of the Apple Store (without the lines at store opening time).

  4. Gates should be remembered as just as volatile and harsh as Jobs in dealing with staff, but without the vision or perfectionism. He really didn’t care what the product was like when it shipped, as long as it shipped.

    And yes, he was a slavish copier. For those thinking otherwise, recall him screaming at his Windows development team, “That’s not how the Mac does it!!”

  5. The funny thing is that Gates was long a champion of the tablet form factor, he just was incapable of actually making one that people would want.

    He was like a nutts and bolts guy, you come up with the idea and he could close the big deals to put it out there and shake down the competition like a street thug regardless of quality.

    Its a shame him and jobs didn’t just team up at apple years ago – the mac would have ruled 95% of the world years ago with Gates in there snuffing out all newcomers by any means necessary. They would have been a lethal combo together.

  6. “Microsoft is now an also-ran in smartphones, tablets and music players.”

    Microsoft was *always* an also-ran in smartphones and music players. As for tablets, they were highly unsuccessful prior to the iPad.

    Gates/Microsoft bought many of their major products and have consistently failed to properly rewrite and integrate them. For instance, why isn’t a table in Word or PowerPoint just an instance of Excel?

    Recent converts to the Mac users do not truly understand the depth of derision that long term Mac user have for Microsoft. Over the past three decades Microsoft has pulled about every dirty trick possible to harm Apple and disenfranchise Mac users who were forced to utilize MS Office and other “standards.” A number of cross-platform Microsoft products were simply eliminated in favor of PC-only versions – MS Project comes to mind. Others went through fits and starts, sometimes coming back to life after years of neglect – Outlook. The vast majority of Microsoft product suffered from obvious and (in my opinion) intentional cross-platform incompatibilities intended to irritate enterprise users and gradually push them to Windows PC solutions. Microsoft has always been about domination via extinguishing the competition through the most expedient means. Once Microsoft became large enough their two main strategies were embrace (“partner”) and extinguish and buy and dump. Microsoft was salivating at the thought of Apple going bankrupt in the late 1990s, and I believe that the only thing that kept Microsoft from helping Apple over the edge of the cliff was the fear of continued investigation for monopolistic abuse. Microsoft needed Apple as a figurehead for personal computer competition and could not afford to be seen wielding the executioner’s axe.

    Most Windows PC users and a number of Mac users who have joined the team in recent years do not have a clear understanding of the antipathy that Microsoft has generated in the old guard. The answer is simple – over two decades of IT persecution shapes a person’s attitude towards the bully in the negative.

    I cannot count the number of times that a PowerPoint presentation looked fine on my Mac, but showed up with big red X’s on the Windows PC in the briefing room. That was always the fault of the Mac, of course. The fact that it also happened from files generated on other Windows PC’s was ignored. The truth is that there are generally three to five ways to accomplish a task within a Microsoft program. Only one of those methods is generally reliable, especially in a cross-platform situation. Copy and past is generally provides the worst results from a number of standpoints. I and my Mac-using coworkers developed standard techniques to maximize success with Microsoft products in a cross platform environment. But you can only go so far when a product is intentionally crippled to make the Mac look bad.

    That, my friends, is why I will always despise Microsoft and avoid their products whenever possible.

    Microsoft – where mediocrity is more than good enough if you can kill competition that is better.

    1. Brother even the Windows version of powerpoint has issues and cannot always handle files created on Windows.

      I’d love to say they introduced specific issues into the mac version but really when you port over sh*t code the result will be just more sh*t.

      My solution has been to not use powerpoint and I have banned its use on any project I’m running. Its a coloring book for people who have too much free time and there are much more effective ways to communicate imho.

      I’m personally glad that tables in Word are not an embedded table from Excel (although you can embed an excel table if you want)… Excel tables while powerful are resource hogs the moment you sort anything. I’ve gotten many single sheet Excel workbooks that were 60+ megabytes just because the creator of the doc made a table and sorted it.

    2. Impressively written sir.

      I agree completely – my experiences and sentiments, having used Macs since 1984 and having owned nothing but Mac machines since 1987 (hence my nom de plume), are essentially identical.

      The rare occasions I am forced to use a windows machine leave me with an aching brain.

    3. Well said! I always had issues doing Evals on my Mac IIsi and having the font convert over to jibberish on the Windows PC side. Also using word. After reversing the process I figured out what font would work and not to use any special formatting.

      Word 5.1a and what ever Office product that was a part of, was, IMHO, was the best Word (Office) product. After that M$ got very nasty! and things became ugly for the Mac users.

  7. P.S. Gates was and is just a fortunate opportunist. I am glad that he is pursuing philanthropy, but I suspect that a good bit of his charity will be wasted because a technological hammer sees everything as a coding nail.

    Case in point – funding the conversion of third world economies to U.S. methods of agriculture is not sustainable (it is not necessarily sustainable for us even given our resources). Once the funding stops, so will the tractors and the fertilizer. After the crash, those people will be worse off than before.

  8. Where is the version of Microsoft? Give us that and we’ll see. Then again. The site from the Macintosh creators are detailed, accurate timeline and direct from the engineers with explanation on how they develop every detail of the Mac.

  9. Judge Jackson during the U.S vs Microsoft Lawsuit:

    “Microsoft executives had “proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading, evasive, and transparently false. … Microsoft is a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that lesser entities must respect.”

  10. Please, everyone needs to refrain from mentioning anything that suggest removing Ballmer from power. Do not give anyone those ideas. Instead encourage everyone to support keeping Monkeyboy err Ballmer in power. Forever!

    1. I want Balmer to be ensconced forever at Microsoft. Balmer is the only captain who know the in-and-out of Microsoft who is talented to guide the Microsoft Titanic into the ocean depths.

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