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Bill Gates Brags About Vista, Reacts to Apple's Latest Ads 891

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-bill dept.
fr8_liner writes "In an unusually candid interview with Newsweek Bill Gates lays it all on the line, bragging about the benefits of Vista, ragging on Apple for their 'I'm a Mac' ads, and claiming primacy in a number of features shared by Vista and OSX. Specifically, it is Mr. Gates' opinion that the Apple adverts are misleading if not untruthful. He makes the claim that 'security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.' The interview also touches on the future of Microsoft and Operating systems, and some of the company's plans for internet-based computing."
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Bill Gates Brags About Vista, Reacts to Apple's Latest Ads

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  • ring ring (Score:5, Funny)

    by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:16PM (#17864080) Homepage Journal
    > And then I might edit a high-definition movie

    Bill, is that the MPAA on the phone?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:17PM (#17864114)
    'I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.'

    oh don't worry Mr Gates, we will.
  • 4 TEH WIN! (Score:5, Funny)

    by operagost (62405) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:18PM (#17864124) Homepage Journal

    Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.
    Looks like he lost his temper (and his sense) again. His personality's a lot like Ballmer's, he just can't fling chairs as far.
    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:35PM (#17864466)

      Looks like he lost his temper (and his sense) again. His personality's a lot like Ballmer's, he just can't fling chairs as far.

      What many people do not realize is that Ballmer is actually a costume for Gates, who wears it when he feels he is exceptionally out of control. Any time you see the two of them together, Ballmer or Gates is actually a puppet designed by the Henson Co.

      Jim Henson actually was assassinated when he threatened to reveal these secrets. True story.

    • Re:4 TEH WIN! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bonch (38532) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:18PM (#17865192)
      Bill's claim about the File-Edit-View-Window-Help menu is even weirder. Bill Atkinson did that at Apple. What is Bill Gates smoking? Apple even invented the phrase "cut and paste." And before the "Apple stole from Xerox" comments start, they actually hired a bunch of the Xerox folks who then went to work on the Mac.

      I haven't seen Gates make comments like this in a long time. I'm glad the public finally gets to see what an asshole he is. Seriously, he's known for cussing and swearing in meetings, and he even once said he'd rather "piss on" OpenStep back in the 90s. In the early 90s, he told his wife he had more power than the President (she kicked him in the leg for it). A very arrogant guy.

      Jobs is arrogant and defensive too, but at least you can understand why given what happened between Apple and Microsoft in the 80s.
      • Re:4 TEH WIN! (Score:5, Informative)

        by gig (78408) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @11:27AM (#17873376)
        It was weird he went all Xerox PARC when the question with Vista is the skin. The Windows logo has been ensconced in glassy bubble that is such a Mac OS X wannabe that it's a self-parody ... the very Windows logo has been made to look Mac-like. The swoopy desktop pictures are too much just by themselves, although I heard them defend that by saying that they got all the desktop pictures from third-parties ... so it is not actually Microsoft that did the off ripping. And the "parental controls" feature he keeps saying is a first is in Tiger, released in 2005. It is really weird to hear him say they are first with these things when they are clearly not.

        Apple not only hired people from PARC and gave them a chance to make real products out of their ideas, Apple also paid Xerox with pre-IPO Apple stock. When Apple went public, Xerox made millions and millions and that was what Xerox wanted. The very reason they had the CEO of Apple and his computer design team touring around the Palo Alto Research Center was because they didn't know how to make any money from the stuff they had there. They were like a motorcycle company who came up with a cool concept car and didn't know what to do so they called the local car company CEO to come down and see if they couldn't get him to take the car project forward. He said, yeah, I like this, I'll hire the team and compensate you with stock and everybody was happy.

        When you read the list of GUI features that were developed AFTER that, solely by Apple, at Apple, and for Apple products, it is embarrassing to think about anyone trying to take Apple down a notch with the Xerox PARC story. Just in the 1980's Apple invented and shipped drag and drop, the clipboard cut/copy/paste, the double-click, the pull-down menu, overlapping windows, marquee selections (marching ants), the little box of painting tools like you see in Photoshop, files-and-folders, proportional fonts, WYSIWYG, the Trash, keyboard shortcuts for menus, File-Edit-View, a system menu full of shortcuts (Apple menu/Start menu), little hardware controls in the corner of the screen. The other day I saw a screenshot of System 6 and I was stunned at how much like Mac OS X it looked.

        The only stuff I know that Microsoft has contributed to GUI science is the little curly arrow they put on shortcuts, which is a classic innovation in that you see that on every system now ... the soft links or aliases or shortcuts have the little curly arrow. Also, using a modifier key plus Tab to cycle through running applications started on Windows and is everywhere else now. That's not much for 20 years of MS Windows.
  • WTF (Score:5, Funny)

    by n1hilist (997601) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:20PM (#17864172)
    "He makes the claim that 'security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.'"

    It's almost like virgins talking about sex, I'd question if he actually *uses* his own O/S.
  • Exploits on Vista? (Score:5, Informative)

    by soapbox (695743) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:20PM (#17864176)

    I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.'

    Yeah, there's one this month [eweek.com].

    also here. [indiatimes.com]

  • by honkycat (249849) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:23PM (#17864228) Homepage Journal
    [Bill] Gates [responded to] questions in an [unusually] candid [interview]. For [some reason] most [of] his [words] were [interjected] by the editor. This [seemed] somewhat [odd and] excessive [to me]. Did [anyone else] notice [this]? [I] mean, a[n occasional] edit for [clarity] is pretty [normal], but it [seemed] like [every other] word was [inserted later].
    • by Divebus (860563) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:49PM (#17864654)

      Steven Levy needed to fill in the dead spaces in Bill's output - like this:

      Yes, although security is a [The process could not access the file because it is being used by another process]. You're [Overflow at 0x0b26f033: WKSSVC.DLL has stopped responding.] the fact that there have been some security updates already for Windows Vista. This is exactly the way it should work. When somebody comes to us [A Runtime Error has occured. Would you like to debug? Line: 29 Error: Object Expected] we've got [The Program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down] before there is any exploit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neoform (551705)
      You did notice who published this interview right? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16934083/site/newsweek / [msn.com]

      Allow me to highlight the notable characters in the domain name: www.msnbc.msn.com
  • Gruber (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:23PM (#17864234)
    Great write up at Daring Fireball already: http://daringfireball.net/2007/02/lies_damned_lies _and_bill_gates [daringfireball.net]
  • Mac Exploits? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paulrothrock (685079) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:25PM (#17864292) Homepage Journal

    I'm the "computer guy" in my family and I've convinced everyone to buy a Mac. So I'm constantly looking around for possible exploits to warn my parents, my wife, and my mother-in-law about. I paid particular attention to the month of Apple bugs.

    So I'd know if people were finding "daily" security flaws with Macs. This isn't to say that there aren't any, but three hundred sixty five a year? That's not even happening in Windows. And most of the ones that I've heard about require physical access to the machine, or for the attacker to be on the network. And the very few that have been able to be remotely triggered have been fixed within the month through Apple's software update.

  • by Lazerf4rt (969888) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:27PM (#17864318)

    Check out this part of TFA:

    Yes, although security is a [complicated concept]. You're [referring to] the fact that there have been some security updates already for Windows Vista. This is exactly the way it should work. When somebody comes to us [after discovering a vulnerability] we've got [a fix] before there is any exploit. So it's totally according to plan, and that's why we have the whole Windows Update thing. We made it way harder for guys to do exploits. The number [of violations] will be way less because we've done some dramatic things [to improve security] in the code base. Apple hasn't done any of those things.

    Is this a joke? It sure [is weird] to read an [article that] has so [many freaking] edits. I wonder [if Bill] was swearing [like a] sailor throughout [the] whole interview, and they [had to] clean [up] his potty mouth?

    • Scared (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
      Heh, I was thinking the same thing. "What else could he have possibly said [here]?" (nothing else made any sense, other than swearing).

      I haven't seen Bill Gates this scared of Apple/Mac since the ramp up to Windows 3.x. Perhaps not coincidentally, I saw this [amazon.com] pointed out earlier today.

      I can't imagine with his wealth and the importance of what the Gates Foundation can be doing why he bothers to show up to work at Microsoft anymore. You'd think he'd have graduated from that position a while ago.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        I can't imagine with his wealth and the importance of what the Gates Foundation can be doing why he bothers to show up to work at Microsoft anymore. You'd think he'd have graduated from that position a while ago.

        This is because Gates wants power, plain and simple. He wants to be respected, and if that won't work, he'll settle for feared. His ubernerdish countenance and ostensibly tiny penis (If you saw him on video getting pied in the face, you know that he has no sense of humor) have left him with a comp

  • Not a fan of the ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by namityadav (989838) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:30PM (#17864384)
    I am not a big fan of the "I am a Mac" ads. Being a Linux user, I don't care that much about OS X or Windows based PCs. So perhaps my opinion is unbiased.

    I think that these ads might offend Windows users instead of getting them to switch to the cool side. These ads do not show the strength of Macs. These focus more on insulting Windows based PCs.

    Moreover, don't know why, but I've always felt that any company that really has superior products doesn't have to attack the competition this way. In fact, through these ads, Apple has lost a little respect in my eyes, if nothing else.

    ps. I know that writing something against Apple might not go very well with my Karma, though :-(
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:00PM (#17864852)

      I am not a big fan of the "I am a Mac" ads. Being a Linux user, I don't care that much about OS X or Windows based PCs. So perhaps my opinion is unbiased.

      I think the fact that you know what Slashdot is makes you the wrong viewer for those ads. I'm an OS X fan, and I use Linux and Windows every day. I probably have a better handle on each platform's strengths and weaknesses than most people. Those ads are targeting people who don't even know what an "OS" is. Try to put yourself in the mindset that you have never heard of Linux, and you don't know what an OS is. Now imagine, all the computers at the store(Walmart) run Windows. You don't even know where you'd get a computer that ran something else, except maybe if there was a Web site. Now imagine you've only ever run Windows, and you don't have any idea how you get viruses or worms or trojans. You've heard of Apple computer and know they sell Macintosh computers, but you don't know how you'd use one or where to get one or if they are better in any way. Now watch the ads again.

      From the perspective of a computer geek these ads are patronizing and imply some inaccurate things. They are not precise and the concepts they explain are way fuzzier than in the real world. For average people, however, the messages they convey are fairly truthful and simple enough for people to understand. "Getting a mac means negligible chance of malware" is a valuable message for the clueless and I wish more would listen to it.

      I think that these ads might offend Windows users instead of getting them to switch to the cool side. These ads do not show the strength of Macs. These focus more on insulting Windows based PCs.

      They focus on benefits of the mac the average person can understand. I dare you to drive to the middle nowhere in Iowa and try to explain to an average person the benefits of having a capable bash shell instead of the Windows command prompt or Cygwin, in 30 seconds or less. Or explain system services or not being part of a monoculture or default network services settings.

      Moreover, don't know why, but I've always felt that any company that really has superior products doesn't have to attack the competition this way.

      When you're dealing with a monopolized product often the only way to market a product is to compare it to something the user does know about. If people don't know why they should go out of their way to get a mac instead of just picking up a Windows box anywhere, they aren't going to do it.

      ps. I know that writing something against Apple might not go very well with my Karma, though :-(

      People often complain about an anti-windows or pro-linux or pro-mac bias on Slashdot. Most of those people are incorrect in my experience. I say good and bad things about the actions/functions/features/or image of all three regularly and I haven't noticed any one being modded more than the others. I made comments both in favor of and criticizing Linux development on the desktop yesterday and both were modded way up. So long as what you say has value, in general the masses overpower the occasional fanboy who thinks Linux or Windows or Mac is some sort of religious choice.

      • by tfreport (458641) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:47PM (#17865762)
        Exactly right. My parents are not the most savvy tech people - they call at least once a month to me at work with computer questions. The ads appeal to them, my dad has even started asking whether he should get a Mac. Why? Because he has the experience of the computer not "talking" with the new camera that he purchased or wanting to do a simple slide show of his recent trip to Hawaii. Those are things he knows others do on their computer and he cannot understand why he is not able to. It is to him that the Mac ads are so simple and so appealing.
    • They should make an "I'm Linux" commercial.

      They should cast John Roberts [maleesha.com], the guy in the enzyte commercials, for windows, and Ellen Feiss [youtube.com] for mac.

      As for who would play linux? I'm thinking a /. poll for that...

      New Poll: Who plays "Linux" in the commercial?

      - The Geico Lizard [usatoday.com]
      - Scarlett Johansson [imdb.com]
      - Jonny Lee Miller aka Zero Cool [imdb.com]
      - Carrie-Anne Moss [imdb.com]
      - CowboyNeal [cowboyneal.org]

  • by kindbud (90044) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:31PM (#17864404) Homepage

    NEWSWEEK: If one of our readers confronted you in a CompUSA and said, "Bill, why upgrade to Vista?" what would be your elevator pitch?

    Bill Gates:
    The most effective thing would be if I could sit down with them and just take them through the new look for a couple of minutes, show them the Sidebar...
    Sidebar, new Windows interface from Quarterdeck [findarticles.com]
    Newsbytes News Network, April 6, 1994

    Sidebar is delivered on a single floppy disk, takes up less than 1 megabyte (MB) of hard disk storage space, and less than 300 kilobytes (K) of random access memory (RAM). It also fits on the right edge of the computer's display to take up as little screen space as possible.

    Quarterdeck has exclusive license of Sidebar from Paper Software of Woodstock, New York. Paper Software originally distributed the product on a try-before-you-buy basis as shareware, then Quarterdeck licensed it, made significant changes, and is now shipping the product. The suggested list price is $59.95.
    Yeah, cool new idea there, Bill.
  • Condensed version... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Eric Damron (553630) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:33PM (#17864450)
    1. Vista is real kewl.
    2. I can't believe how apple is lying about being superior.
    3. In the future we'll lock in customers by offering our applications as services and by storing the user's data on our servers.
  • Very nice for Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:39PM (#17864518) Homepage
    Gates mentions Linux, without really any prompting from the interviewer, in his second answer. He doesn't really say anything, but just the fact that he mentions Linux without having to is going to make Linux seem more like a serious contender to many people.
  • by djh101010 (656795) * on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:44PM (#17864582) Homepage Journal
    OK couple things about his statements that jumped out at me from reading TFA: The number [of violations] will be way less because we've done some dramatic things [to improve security] in the code base. Apple hasn't done any of those things.

    Um, Bill, Apple hasn't had to fix DLL hell, and processes run by a user blowing away system things, because they didn't build those problems in in the first place. They didn't have to block open ports with vulnerable services listening on the by default, because they're not _open_ by default. And so on. Next?

    Question: How about the implication that you need surgery to upgrade? Well, certainly we've done a better job letting you upgrade on the hardware than our competitors have done.

    How so, Bill? What are the hardware requirements for your new OS? How many 5 year old boxes, or even 3 year old boxes, meet that?

    You can choose to buy a new machine, or you can choose to do an upgrade. And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it's superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it.

    So Bill is saying, that there's no truth to the statement that you need to make hardware changes if you want to upgrade to vista. NO truth to it.

    Tell that to my inlaws; they'll need a new box entirely.

    I mean, it's fascinating, maybe we shouldn't have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.

    OK Bill, show me the figures. Show me a total exploit on OSX. Now, show me 365 of them for each year it's been out. Back up your figures or be shown to be the liar you are.

    I just can't keep going through this, I think that one says it all about the guy's outright lies, and/or complete lack of clue. So, windows fanbois, is he lying, or is he clueless?
    • by Altus (1034) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:20PM (#17865208) Homepage

      on the upgrade bit.

      Doesn't XP and Vista make it more difficult for you to upgrade your computer by making you re-register the software just for changing some components. I mean the OS is what they have control of and they are actually using it to make it more difficult to upgrade the hardware. I can drop a new video card into my mac and I wont have to deal with any licensing crap at least.
  • by 8127972 (73495) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:44PM (#17864584)
    .... Given his reaction when questioned about the look of Vista by Miles O'Brien of CNN:

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/bill-gates/does-bill-ga tes-always-say-no-no-no-when-he-hears-os-x-232750. php [gizmodo.com]

    and his "performance" on The Daily Show:

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/the-daily-show/bill-gat es-tells-jon-stewart-why-he-should-buy-vista-yes-i t-was-as-boring-as-this-headline-232403.php [gizmodo.com]

    I'd say that Bill is a bit scared that Vista will flop, or worse, people will just buy a Mac.
    • by Dracos (107777) on Friday February 02, 2007 @06:07PM (#17866108)

      I'd say that Bill is a bit scared that Vista will flop, or worse, people will just buy a Mac.

      I'd go so far as to say that the only thing keeping Vista from being a flop is MS' strongarm agreements with the OEM's.

      If no one at MS can come up with a single compelling reason to get Vista other than irrelevant eye candy, then there must not be one. Nobody wants Vista, because there's no real value in it, and because MS can't tell anyone why they should want Vista.

      The next couple of years will be a huge opportunity for Apple and/or Lunix.

  • by psbrogna (611644) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:47PM (#17864624)
    "we've done some dramatic things [to improve security] in the code base."

    Last I checked, being dramatic in an interview (though I really felt like this was more of a press release) has absolutely no effect on code security. Your code base? As far as the Windows code base (past, present & I'll bet future), I have one comment: "All your bases belong to us".

  • Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:57PM (#17864784) Journal
    Let's get this straight. The fact that Macs can be hacked makes exploiting Windows okay?
  • by cgrayson (22160) * on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:58PM (#17864812) Homepage

    NEWSWEEK: If one of our readers confronted you in a CompUSA and said, "Bill, why upgrade to Vista?" what would be your elevator pitch?

    Bill Gates: The most effective thing would be if I could sit down with them and just take them through the new look for a couple of minutes, show them the Sidebar, show them the way the search lets you go through lots of things, including lots of photos. Set up a parental control. And then I might edit a high-definition movie and make a little DVD that's got photos. As I went through, they'd think, "Wow, is that something I could use, would that make a difference for me?"

    I'm a developer, but even I know the sales-jargon phrase elevator pitch [wikipedia.org]. I don't know many 30-second elevator rides that afford a chance to sit down with someone for a couple of minutes. They must have really nicely furnished, though slow, elevators in Redmond. (Wow, is that allegorical to Vista, or what? ;-)

    Anyway, there is no way on God's green earth that Bill Gates doesn't know what "elevator pitch" means. So the answer really is, no, there is not a quick and compelling explanation for why one should upgrade to Vista. Instead, there is a long, laborious demo that ends in a rhetorical question about whether there's anything useful.

    To which the answer is probably, "No."

  • by dontknowdidley (802457) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:10PM (#17865028)

    What's your elevator pitch?

    Elevator pitches are supposed to be short - you have less than a minute to make someone invest more time in understanding you product or proposal.

    Bill states that he needs minutes to sit us down and explain blah, blah, blah.

    For F**k's sake, at least throw out "We've learned to copy better," "We admit that XP will always be full of holes and changed everything to give ourselves a head start to the bad guys," "It's pretty." Anything other than giving us a pie chart where the light grey shows the amount of time of hanging out and the dark grey shows the amount of time "kickin' it."

    I'm not sure Bill would be a convincing sales guy at CompUSA.

  • I wonder if ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IchBinEinPenguin (589252) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:42PM (#17865672)
    Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally.

    They're feeding those exploits to Apple so that they can improve the Mac.
    That would be an example of "responsible disclosure", which Microsoft is so much in favour of.
    Wouldn't it be irresponsible not to do so?
  • by LKM (227954) on Friday February 02, 2007 @05:51PM (#17865840) Homepage

    Gates' claims are so absurd, they're not really worth refuting. So instead I'll go to bed and let Gruber do the job. [daringfireball.net]

    Good night.

  • by hobo sapiens (893427) <GINSBERG minus poet> on Friday February 02, 2007 @06:00PM (#17866000) Journal
    Anyone else thing Bill is starting to sound more and more like the Black Knight?

    BLACK KNIGHT: Come Here.
    ARTHUR: What are you going to do, bleed on me?
    BLACK KNIGHT: I'm invincible!
    ARTHUR: You're a looney.
    BLACK KNIGHT:The Black Knight always triumphs. Have at you!

    And so on...

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler

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