Newsweek: Please Call Bill Gates’ bluff! - Macenstein

Newsweek: Please Call Bill Gates’ bluff!

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

“You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts.â€? – Bill Gates

To say the recent Newsweek interview with Microsoft founder Bill Gates has caused much controversy in the Mac community would be an understatement. In the interview, Bill talks a lot of smack about Apple and Steve Jobs, and gives his opinions on the Apple “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” ads he claims he has “never seen”. Bill claims these ads are full of lies (despite never having seen them), and portray Windows users as “dullards”. Hmmm.. on second thought, maybe Bill hasn’t seen them. It’s pretty obvious to most people that John Hodgman’s PC character represents a Microsoft PC, not a Windows user.

Bill comes off as unusually defensive in the article, making claims that Apple is not as innovative as the press would like to make you think, and that Apple has copied most of the innovative features in Windows Vista and put them in past versions of OS X (apparently through the use of some sort of time machine).

Gates claims such features as “Parental controls” are making their first appearance in ANY operating system with Windows Vista, despite Apple having them for over 2 years in OS X. Gates claims that every day people are finding exploits in OS X that allow a “total” takeover of the machine (perhaps referring to the “Month of Bugs” where many small bugs and a few major ones were uncovered in Apple’s OS. These were all “proof of concept” bugs, and none has been actually exploited in the wild). In the 5 year history of OS X there has never been 1 virus spread among Macs. What about Windows?

Gates then claims Apple did not invent the “File, Edit, View, Help” menu bar, or the original Mac interface. While there is some truth in that statement, the way Bill phrases it is misleading. The truth is Apple licensed some technology from Xerox back then in creating the first Apple OS, but the clear implication to someone reading the article (without a degree in computer history) is “Microsoft must have invented it”. (And for the record, the Mac DID have the first drop down “File, Edit, View, Help” menu, it was not a part of the Xerox “Smalltalk” OS in question).

There is no doubt in my mind that Bill Gates was intentionally misleading in his statements in the interview. He is apparently tired of defending the constant barrage of bad press Vista has received. Vista is being largely condemned as a Mac OS X rip-off, and as insecure as Microsoft’s past OS’s (there was a security hole discovered on Vista’s LAUNCH day. How’s that for secure?).

I would not expect the Newsweek reporter to necessarily know the history of computer operating systems, but I’ll bet you $50 Billion that Bill Gates DOES. These are the not the statements of an 18-year-old pimple faced CompUSA employee reciting something he read on a PC forum in order to sell a new HP desktop. Bill Gates was there from the beginning, saw all the other work the innovative companies like Apple and Xerox were doing, and knows the score.

Call Bill’s Bluff!

In the interview, Mr. Gates says these fateful words: “You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts.”

To that end, I am calling for Steven Levy of Newsweek, the author of the article, to PLEASE go over Bill Gates’ statements, and write the truth in a followup article. I’m sure Levy will find that Apple did indeed build off existing technology in some areas (and licensed it legally) but Microsoft is just flat-out stealing ideas, and relying on the public’s unfamiliarity with OS X to be able to claim innovation. Mr. Levy, PLEASE point out the inaccuracies of Gate’s comments in a follow up article, and make it a point to say that Gates is not clueless in these areas, he knows the truth, and is flat-out lying. I realize your article is on MS(Microsoft), but that is no reason to not be impartial. (Plus, Microsoft is getting out of its MSNBC stake this year, so don’t worry about your job security).

2 Responses to “Newsweek: Please Call Bill Gates’ bluff!”
  1. James says:

    LOL I’m amazed that this is only the first article I’ve seen trying to counter Bill and his Bull, and I was nearly sick during that interview. Did Bill not think those comments would return to bite him on the arse? Even most of the worlds Windows users will still admit to Apple being the innovative company and creating the basis or at least, the most effective methodology of controling said features. I suppose Bill only has one place to hide: Behind his money, and perhaps a (12) Month(s) of Bugs (Now Vista Compatible!).

    Any hackers interested?

  2. James says:

    I’d also like to quickly point your attention to in which simmilar thoughts are expressed (in a very non-biased fashion) about Bills recent Bull. Cheers!

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