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BillG still rules.
April 28, 2001 7:04 PM   Subscribe

BillG still rules. Forbes says Sunday Times erred, Gates is worth $59 billion, Walton - a paltry $17 billion
posted by owillis (17 comments total)

 
Oh. Gee, well I'm glad they got that straight.

How many zeroes is that, exactly?

Never mind. God bless 'em, but these are numbers that I physically cannot relate to.
posted by chicobangs at 10:27 PM on April 28, 2001


Go, Bill, go! Don't let a bunch of dime-store cowboys get the better of you!

And, no, I'm not being sarcastic. I've been rooting for Bill for a long time. It angers me that people are always trying to "bring him down a notch" or otherwise dent his armor.
posted by davidmsc at 11:56 PM on April 28, 2001


It's always heartwarming to see the slaves rooting for the Massah with the biggest plantation.
posted by Optamystic at 12:31 AM on April 29, 2001


Bill Gates = Massah? Please re-adjust your percepto-meter...
posted by owillis at 2:02 AM on April 29, 2001


Funny how some people see the world...
posted by jpoulos at 8:17 AM on April 29, 2001


owillis, the power Bill wields, the sheer volume of cash he's got, his penchant for using same to push the US Government around... For the purposes of this argument, why not 'Massah'?

Nothing against Mr. Gates as a person. From what I've read, he remembers when he wasn't a self-made tetrazillionaire, and he tries to keep it reasonably real in his genuinely outlandish personal situation.

But -- geezus. I think they made the word Billion up for him personally.

Well y'know, they might as well have.
posted by chicobangs at 8:33 AM on April 29, 2001


chicobangs, I can't relate to 57 billion either.

BUT, suppose he could sell his Microsoft stock without wrecking the world economy and stash the money in the bank at 3% where he wouldn't have to worry about it.

I figure his interest income would be like $195,000 an hour.

(57,000,000,000 x .03)/365/24=195,205
posted by steve_high at 8:38 AM on April 29, 2001


You know, I thought that number was low...

And still home in time for dinner, help his daughter with her homework, catch a bit of the Mariners game, maybe a snog with the wife and eight blissful hours of sleep.

I can understand the allure of such a lifestyle.
posted by chicobangs at 8:57 AM on April 29, 2001


I see the government pushing Bill Gates around a lot more than the other way...
posted by owillis at 10:10 AM on April 29, 2001


chicobangs: his penchant for using same to push the US Government around

Um...I think it's the other way around...you might recall that teenysy-weensy little governmental abuse called "lawsuit" against Microsoft...? The full weight of the US government slammed down against a legal company engaging in routine business practices; the US government telling consumers that IT knows best what software is "best" and which software society should use. Uh-uh. Consumers have always been free to use other operating systems, browsers, and software programs. While Microsoft's may not be the "best," technically or aesthetically, consumers have spoken with their wallets by consistently choosing to use MS products, primarily for the relative ease-of-use, interoperability with other programs, and consistency throughout. And for this, Gates is reviled as a demon? Truly tragic.
posted by davidmsc at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2001


Well, that's that, then. Guess all that discovery, testimony, lawyering, etc. was unnecessary. We should have just asked David! :)
posted by rodii at 11:57 AM on April 29, 2001


The full weight of the US government slammed down against a legal company engaging in routine business practices...

I don't know what planet you came from, David, but doing things like threatening computer manufacturers with loss of Windows 95 licenses if they installed their major competitor's browser is neither ‘legal’ nor ‘routine business practice’.

The US government was not “telling consumers that IT knows best what software is "best" and which software society should use.” Microsoft, on the other hand, was leveraging its power in the OS market to do just that.

I'm all for allowing people who have legitimately earned their wealth to enjoy it, but I cannot condone MS strongarming companies into using their software. That's like paying the Mafia for ‘protection’.
posted by Danelope at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2001


davidmsc is pretty quick to mention the lawsuit but doesn't make the simple connection that MS's business practices (making windows incompatible with DRDOS on purpose, threating OEMs for providing a copy of NS, and generally illegally roughing up any company smaller than his) makes him a very bad guy in most people's eyes. His isn't the epitome of the American success story as much as the leader in illegal bullying and competition squashing.
posted by skallas at 2:56 PM on April 29, 2001


Some people here seems to have a hard time telling power (as in force) and power (as in earned credibility, respect and influence) apart.
posted by frednorman at 3:26 PM on April 29, 2001


making windows incompatible with DRDOS on purpose

A beta of Windows 3.x was incompatible with DR-DOS. Not the shipping version. It's perfectly reasonable to want a more consistent platform for beta testing.

threating OEMs for providing a copy of NS

This has never been proven...

generally illegally roughing up any company smaller than his

... and this is utter BS.
posted by drothgery at 5:35 PM on April 29, 2001


My favorite quote about the wealth recalculation, from The Register:

... after a certain point of extravagance, does it really matter who's got more or less? Can a guy worth $50 billion eat tastier food, travel in greater luxury, achieve a firmer erection, buy more legislators, send his kids to better schools, than one worth $5 billion?
posted by darukaru at 5:47 PM on April 29, 2001


threating OEMs for providing a copy of NS

This has never been proven...


Compaq's released memos strongly suggest that this is true. MS did announce that windows 3.1 will not be compatible with DR-DOS and gave out beta versions of 3.1 for testing to many companies. More than a little underhanded. The final version ran DR DOS as you said, but killed any use it could have had in early 3.1 software development. Caldera did get a settlement for the DR DOS fiasco. A dated but decent site on this is here. An informative overview of what wrongs MS has done can also be found here.
posted by skallas at 6:07 PM on April 29, 2001


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