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I Actually Felt Bad for Bill Gates...No, Really

Time_logoOver the course of any given year I probably read 10-20 different articles about Bill Gates.  Most seem like a rehash of the same old thing and I walk away feeling like I didn't learn anything new.  This one in a recent issue of Time magazine seemed different.  Maybe it was this closing excerpt:

Gates is probably getting out of technology at the right time.  Funnily enough, it's not really a business for nerds anymore.  Gates was at the center of the personal computer revolution and the Internet revolution, but now the big innovations are about exactly the things he's bad at.  The iPod was an aesthetic revolution.  MySpace was a social revolution.  YouTube was an entertainment revolution.  This is not what Gates does.  Technology doesn't need him anymore.

Harsh, but hard to argue with, don't you think?  Nevertheless, it's great to see him investing his time, energy and wealth in such noble causes as health and education issues.  Plenty of millionaires and billionaires have come and gone before him, perfectly content to sit on their fortune, so I (truly) admire what BillG is doing on the philanthropy front.  (Read the full article to see why Gates doesn't like the use of "truly"...)

Comments

Morgan Ramsay
Technology doesn't need him anymore.
Gates is so wealthy he can buy a need for him in technology. ;p
MySpace was a social revolution. YouTube was an entertainment revolution.
MySpace and YouTube receive far too much credit for something they did not innovate. They only brought what was already on the table to a bigger table. They are not the instigators of any sort of revolution. All the world's a stage, and they're both merely players.
Joe Wikert

Hi Morgan. Good points. And although MySpace and YouTube might indeed be getting more credit than they deserve, there's no arguing that Microsoft remains a non-player in both sectors, which ultimately was the key point behind the article/excerpt.

Preston

Back about 10-12 years ago, when the internet boom was just starting, I remember reading an article about Bill Gates in Wired. According to the columnist, Bill Gates saw a potential for the Internet as a tool for delivering video and other media straight to our living rooms. The article indicated that Mr. Gates' vision for Microsoft would make it an entertainment company as much as a software company.

Keep in mind that this was back in the mid-90s, when broadband home penetration was barely (if at all) in the double digits and the more than half of HTML was still being hand coded. Now consider the Windows Media Center, which is essentially a gateway between the TV world and all the digital content available on the internet. Or consider the XBox 360, or more to the point, XBox Live. I think Microsoft is positioned better than some people give credit, and it's to Bill Gates' credit that he charted the course more than a decade ago.

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