The other day I read this newsweek article on the web which was an interview with Bill Gates on the release of Vista and about Apple’s ads. Really, I couldn’t stomach the entire thing.
This morning, I came across this article which points out some of the ways that Bill Gates seemed to have been crazy or angry, spouts effluence filled responses, and seems to be past some breaking point where it comes to Apple.
I have decided to post my translation of what was really being asked, and what Bill Gates was saying. Note, this is being printed without permission of anyone, and it is a parody of what each person was saying. This brings it under first amendment protections for a parody.
The original article can be found here .
Bill Gates on Vista and Apple’s ‘Lying’ Ads
Bill Gates explains why you should buy his new operating system, what he’s doing next and why John Hodgman bugs him.
By Steven Levy
Feb. 1, 2007 – On the morning of the launch of the Vista operating system earlier this week, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates talked with NEWSWEEK’s Steven Levy about the new version of Windows—and the one after that. He also shared his views on those Apple television commercials in which the Mac is represented by a hip guy and the PC by, well, a dweeb. Excerpts:
NEWSWEEK: If one of our readers confronted you in a CompUSA and said, “Bill, why upgrade to Vista?” what would be your elevator pitch?
Translation: If you had only something like a minute to convince someone to by Vista, what would your sales pitch be?
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?”
Not much. Really, I would have to show them the cool Aero interface, then show them Sherlock, err… I mean the new windows search. Then I would show them how to enable parental lockout, which means their children will still do anything they want, just the parents won’t be able to do things, then crap like video editing the DVD pictures. The really high-end stuff, you wouldn’t be able to do on anything less than a $5,000 box.
Vista has been a very long time in coming, and parts of it were jettisoned along the way. Do you feel satisfied at the outcome now that it’s finally shipped?
When Vista was first announced, it included a good deal of really cutting-edge technology, now it is but a poor shell of that design? How much does that keep you up at night?
Well, we released Windows XP about five years ago. During that time, we’ve had, I think, three releases of Media Center, four releases of [Windows Media], Tablet releases, Windows XP SP2, which was really a very major release. So in no sense has Windows been standing still. Actually, if you look at Windows strength versus Linux, or versus anything, it’s done very well, because we have this big ecosystem. Next time around we’re going to have a lot more agility. A lot of what we put into this version was layering work that will let us take the upper parts of the system, like the browser, and let us do more regular releases. So there [will be further releases] at least every couple of years, and in some parts maybe even yearly. And we learned a lot during the Vista [process]. People can see how we’ve mixed together our Office talent and Windows talent to get the best of both worlds, and how we’re going to do things going forward.
Well, instead of directly answering your question, I will talk about all of the updates the rest of the windows teams have made to their stuff. However, none of this keeps me up at night, being that my pillow is stuffed with $100,000 Gold Certificates. Have I mentioned that with a republican in office, I have been able to completely ignore the restrictions placed on Microsoft after the anti-trust trial, like integrating office and windows talent, so big fuck you to OpenOffice.org.
You also talk about improved security in Vista.
You didn’t mention Vista security just then, but since I am just another Microsoft marketing shill, I will ask you a softball question about security? Also, you can call me Jeff Gannon.
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.
Well, even though researchers have found Vista vulnerabilities even before the software was officially released, we have fixed this with our automatic updates, which is hard as hell to turn off. Apple hasn’t implemented these automatic updates, even though we mostly use it to force unneeded crap on users, that might break their system. Somehow, this is supposed to be better than Apple.
Are you bugged by the Apple commercial where John Hodgman is the PC, and he has to undergo surgery to get Vista?
How does it feel to know that most people think your shit is worthless, but they have to have it for some application for work?
I’ve never seen it. I don’t think the over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are.
I am going to lie my ass off to avoid the question. Also, I hope that people believe those commercials are making fun of them, and not the machines.
How about the implication that you need surgery to upgrade?
How do you feel about Vista being such a fucking resource hog that most machines will be crippled by it?
Well, certainly we’ve done a better job letting you upgrade on the hardware than our competitors have done. 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.
Since we don’t control the PC hardware, yet, you can upgrade anything you want on it. Even though it will break your license key, trigger Windows Genuine Advantage and require you to purchase a new license from us, at least we let you do that. Anyways, my big selling point is Aero and video editing, so you are going to either buy new machine or a huge upgrade so you can use all of those cool features.
Does the entire tenor of that campaign bother you, that Mac is the cool guy and PC—
But really, how much does that campaign just bug the shit out of you?
That’s for my customers to decide.
Hey, asswipe, how much am I worth? Ask me if I fucking care again and you will find yourself covering the Vista launch in Baghdad!
In many of the Vista reviews, even the positive ones, people note that some Vista features are already in the Mac operating system.
Non-Apple people have noticed a striking similarity between the new items in Vista and what has been in OS X for a while, how do you feel about being caught red-handed, again?
You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts. If you just want to say, “Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along,” that’s fine. If you’re interested, [Vista development chief] Jim Allchin will be glad to educate you feature by feature what the truth is. 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. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise. Let’s be realistic, who came up with [the] file, edit, view, help [menu bar]? Do you want to go back to the original Mac and think about where those interface concepts came from?
We will show you in the codebase how, this time, we really, totally, DID NOT STEAL APPLE CODE. Also, let me jump into some rant about the month of Apple bugs some guys are doing about OS X. Even though that was some time after the latest OS X was released, and they had time to prepare the bugs for it. While I am at it, who do you think put the menu drop-down in the application window, rather than a always present menu bar across the top of the screen? We did! We decided that you should have to hunt and search to find the menu bar, that can even be turned off in Windows, while Apple requires it be at the top of the screen and always present.
Is this Vista launch the last hurrah of the big operating system?
Is this miserable failure of broken promises and stolen visual design the last heart-breaker for consumers, or are you going to find some other way to fuck us again?
Well, people have said that at every major Windows release. Java was going to eliminate Windows programming, or thin clients were going to eliminate people buying PCs. Operating systems keep getting better and richer, and they allow developers then to take advantage of that. We’re doing more innovation now at the operating-system level than we’ve ever done. As we sit down and think, what are the things we’re going to do in the next release, there’s no shortage of radical things that will be happening in the operating system.
What is my net worth? I will not let that drop in any way. Don’t worry, there are more ways that we can disappoint and harass customers.
You mentioned that Microsoft can now be more agile in updating. Are you thinking of rolling upgrades as opposed to big major releases?
You made some reference to old dot-com bullshit of being an agile business, do you think you will come out with updates as they are needed, or wait until some bullshit upgrade to strap together with it, as with WGA?
No, you’ll have big releases. When you go in and enable a new kind of application, you want to get your partners behind it, you want to get them building the hardware that’s related to that. It really simplifies things for people to think, OK, here’s what I got in Windows Vista, here’s what I’m going to get in this next major release. The more avid users download the upgrades in between, but of XP users how many downloaded a browser that was more advanced than the one they had? Maybe you and the people you know all did, but most people don’t.
No, because people have an unwillingness to break their system, we have to include that bullshit with security upgrades just to get them downloaded. Anyways, how many people really installed Firefox?
How many actually do?
Huh? Oh, yeah, that thing I am not allowed to directly ask you about. So, how many people told you to fuck off in favor of Firefox?
I would say it’s less than 30 percent. We’ve had this incredible desktop search [available for download] that won every review, and I’ll bet that less than 10 percent of Windows users went and got that. Now with Windows Vista, you get something better. For most users, it’s the first time they’ve seen it at all.
Nearly a third! But those bitches will find out how bad life can be when we don’t have to worry about those anti-trust requirements. Since we’ve had republicans in power, they have let me do whatever the fuck I want. If you even visit the firefox site, new trojans, backdoors, and keyloggers will be automatically installed by IE! Let’s see how you like that shit!
So you feel in 2010-2011 Microsoft will be back with the next big one?
So, you believe that Microsoft will be back fucking over consumers and the tech companies again around 2010?
Absolutely. We’ll tell you how Vista just wasn’t good enough, and we’ll know why, too. We need to wait and hear what consumers have to tell us. We don’t know that, otherwise, of course, we would have done it this time.
You’re leaving your full time role at Microsoft in July 2008. What involvement are you going to have in the next operating system?
So, how much of the next pillaging cycle will be your direction and control?
First of all, there’s tons of people who help make those decisions, so I wouldn’t overstate my role in the past. But I’ll have full involvement, the [same] involvement I’ve ever had in the key decisions for those products.
I will be in front leading the marauders!
So can you give us an indication of what the next Windows will be like?
Let me put on by GANNON cap and ask you a soft-ball question.
Well, it will be more user-centric.
SNORE… What? Did you ask a question? Umm, here is some marketing bullshit.
What does that mean?
Even I can’t buy that bullshit. Please, something I can print with a straight face!
That means that right now when you move from one PC to another, you’ve got to install apps on each one, do upgrades on each one. Moving information between them is very painful. We can use Live Services [a way to connect to Microsoft via the Internet] to know what you’re interested in. So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else’s PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favorites and those things. So that’s kind of the user-centric thing that Live Services can enable. [Also,] in Vista things got a lot better with [digital] ink and speech but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet. Students won’t need textbooks, they can just use these tablet devices. Parallel computing is pretty important for the next release. We’ll make it so that a lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system. So we’ve got a pretty good outline.
We want to make it easier for phishers to steal your identity, so you can buy more security products. Then we will make sure that the only products that work with the next OS is ours!
With Xbox and Zune, Microsoft has adopted an end-to-end approach, where you write the software, design the hardware and run the services. Will Microsoft now change its mobile-phone strategy and adopt an end-to-end approach, the way Apple has with the iPhone?
You have found new ways to piss away immense amounts of money in so many markets, do you plan to repeat that in the mobile phone market?
No, I don’t think so. People like different styling, media storage, capability [in phones]. The benefit we get from having lots of great hardware partners is pretty phenomenal. And our software can run on any one of those things.
No. See, we don’t want to make the hardware and have someone else bring in all of the monthly service fees. And since it is mobile phones, we would have to get FCC approval to control the entire mobile phone spectrum. We will have to wait until we have a republican controlled congress along with the whitehouse again to get that kind of control.