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back to article Gates threatens to buy millions and millions of servers for Microsoft

Say what you will about Bill Gates. The man is consistent. Gates' farewell speech at this week's TechEd conference closed out his full-time role at Microsoft with the usual thud. The man has a gift for stating the obvious and detailing what's to come when it's already here. This time around, Gates went after The Cloud. And how …

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Coat

Full of original ideas

No wait a sec. Not an original idea in sight.

What was MS' last original idea.

There, that should start a flame war.

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Gates Horns

Well that should be just about enough.....

.... to run Vista ultimate!

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Unhappy

It's the future

Way to go!

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Gates Horns

All your server...

... are belong to Micro$oft!

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Gates Horns

What Bill really said

blah, blah, blah, blah,

We have seen what other companies have come up with over the past couple of years and really like their ideas. So we are going to take those ideas and completely screw them up, Fuck up the implemtnation so badly that you'll think trained monkeys are working here (or maybe we should get trained monkeys working here to at least improve things). Charge you a fortune for it and step on the neck of any company who so much as whines about us stealing their ideas

Blah, blah, blah blah

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Anonymous Coward

re: Well that should be just about enough.....

Highly unlikely ... the servers won't boot after installation :)

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Boffin

Things is...

as much as we all love to hate Billyboy - it is pretty sad to see undeniably the most influential person in IT going...

Goggles to protect from the flaming I'll inevitably get

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because Sun Microsystems has made so much money doing this.

Sun Microsystems has failed to make the idea of software as a service deployed from a huge central server even though they've been trying to do this for years.

Let's see. One huge computer, a data-center-in-a-box so to speak. Hmmm. Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard have been offering computers with hundreds of processors and built in visualized environments for years. They haven't exactly taken over the data center market. Maybe there's a reason for that.

But Bill knows best. I'm sure that Microsoft will succeed where others have failed. No doubt about it.

@What was Microsoft's last original idea? Create an operating system for microcomputers. I have to give Bill credit for that one.

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Linux

I wish them all the best

I'm not sold on the whole "Cloud" thing. ISPs wont like it so they will do their best to either break it or co-opt it so that they are co-offering it with MS. At the moment ISP's in Australia love capped plans. It is hard to find a reasonable uncapped plan anywhere in the land, so why on earth would I want to spend pennies to use a craptastic online service when I can do it for free in openoffice? (I don't care much for the portability thing)

But that's not the worst of it. Do people (ie companies) really want all their documents sitting on a server at Google or MS? I know I wouldn't. Can't trust any of the bastards IMO

So, go for it Bill, spend the last of your billions on a massive infrastructure rollout that if even moderately successful will cause you to kill your OS+Office cash cow (monopoly) for ever.

If only Yahoo would reconsider their position.

Tux, because the only winner from this idea will be Linux

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MS's last original idea...

Probably MS Bob. And look how that worked out ;-)

Oh, unless we're counting bugs, in which case they've had quite a number of unique displays over the last few years.

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Welcome to the MSSR

Actually Microsoft has always just copied what everyone else is doing, sometimes 5 or even 10 years late. Or 20. They're the Soviets of the software industry, which is ironic considering all the "Linux is communism" rants.

It has worked out moderately well, too. Let Apple and Sun or whoever experiment and "design", then do what they did with the benefit of hindsight.

Java + Hindsight = C#

Boring thud? Very.

But absolutely nothing new and I wonder if maybe Google doesn't know what's coming. Microsoft has a history of taking industry leaders and fucking them to pieces.

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Ummm -- Yeah? It's still a mainframe...

Seriously: This is just a mainframe. The only difference is that Microsoft has at last discovered that the mainframe was a good idea. Something about having your data looked after by professionals and your computer maintained by people who do this for a living tends to improve reliability.

The only thing that's changed is that Microsoft has accepted that no industry veteran will ever permit them inside the glasshouse. So now they want to BE the glasshouse.

So: Who owns the data? How can I prove that you can't read it? How can you prove that you won't mine it, or sell it? And who pays if it's 'gone'?

No, thanks, Bill. The "cost efficiency" argument collapses like a house of cards once we work out that if you have to do all the same things we do to maintain our computers, and make a profit on top, you are going to charge us more than we would have to pay to do it ourselves.

Of course, this might be a good idea, if Microsoft software were multi-user, multi-re-entrant. But Microsoft doesn't make software like that...

Sorry: I don't want any...

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@Henry (Original Ideas)

"@What was Microsoft's last original idea? Create an operating system for microcomputers. I have to give Bill credit for that one."

Errr, No: CP/M was around well before Bill and co started writing operating systems... not that they actually ever wrote an operating system: They bought DOS from Tim Patterson for $50k and tweaked it to run on IBM's PCs.

Next suggestion?

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Anonymous Coward

"Create an OS for microcomputers"

Billco didn't create an OS for microcomputers. MS-DOS was created the same way as pretty much any other successful MS product thereafter - someone else did most of the work and MS did the final deals and the marketing, and collected the resulting money without passing it on to the people who did the work in the first place. The only kind of engineering that Gates has a clue about is financial 'engineering'; Vista is the best example yet that shows they still haven't a clue about software engineering.

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Happy

Re:because Sun Microsystems has made so much money doing this.

Oops. Bill didn't 'invent' MS-DOS; he bought it....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS

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Happy

Blue Moon

If this data centre has a glass roof, when the million or so Vista servers crash it should light up the sky quite nicely.

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One Big Data Centre

One Big Target

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Gates Horns

bill is technically irrelevant

To the commenter who talked about billg's influence, I'd say his influence on the IT world has long diminished. He's big in the non-IT world because of his immense wealth and charity work (look at Gordon Brown fawning over him when given the opportunity).

When was the last time Microsoft was a the forefront of something new in IT? I can't think of any at the moment. They follow the trend after it has been established by someone else. As has been stated, a large percentage of the products we think of as Microsoft's were originally written by others and then bought by Microsoft.

I will always remember billg for his terrible book, The Road Ahead, and his inability (at the time) to see the significance of the Internet.

The words Microsoft and innovation are an oxymoron. Mind you, I almost want to vomit when I hear anyone talking about innovation - usually pure bollocks

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Happy

Unfair!

@joe: "They're the Soviets of the software industry"

The soviets came up with the H-Bomb independently. Lead the world in metalurgy for years and produced some of the best military planes ever built. So its really unfair to compare them with Microsoft.

Microsoft is effectivly a single product company, and that product is "Word". They maintain their near monopoly in desktop operating systems because you need it to run the Office suite which you need to buy to get Word.

These days you need Word not because its particularly good as a word processor but because the people you do business with use Word and wont be able to reaad what you wrote unless its in a Word document.

Oops - did someone mention OpenOffice ?

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Security

While I would love to think that companies will not allow their documents to be stored on remote servers as they may be at risk, I have worked in so many places where users are blocked HTTP to certain sites, but allowed to FTP to anywhere on the planet, often sending database dumps of corp data on public FTP sites for pick-up, allowed to send financial info out through unsecured email. Sometimes I think we give too much credit to corps, they are often just as stupid as the average Joe Sixpack, at least JS has a an excuse, but highly paid corp security officers have no excuse but get away with murder, literally sometimes!

I love old Bill. I'm a penguin-lad but Bill is one of those unique people who I have grudging respect for, will always be there making the world a more interesting place, "renting ideas" and making pot of cash on them, stamping on the little guy if he dares to so much as express any wish to question old Bill!

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Anonymous Coward

"Create an OS for microcomputers"

MS used to work for Apple when they started creating the Mac only to rip off their ideas to create Windows 1.0

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Paris Hilton

Assumptions testing

All this 'software as service' malarky is predicated on the assumption that everyone, everywhere, has reliable, high speed, high volume Internet access.

Meanwhile, out in the real world...

Paris because I'm sure she'd have been able to work this one out as well.

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Coat

Re: Unfair!

Word? Nah. At least not with my customers (I have a small company providing an outsourced IT department to SMEs). Most of the users who make the decisions know about OpenOffice and even use it at home. And Word for the Mac, as part of the office:2008 suite, has only two really annoying bugs that I have found yet, so the lock-in doesn't happen there.

Outlook. That is the biggest reason any of my customers feel stuck with Windows. Outlook and Exchange. Sure some individual apps, such as particular CAD suites where the investment in migration to anything on another platform would be phenomenal, don't help, but the final decisions made by the suits always come with Outlook and Exchange in the justification. Occasionally even Access features, but not so often.

The marketing and sales directors think they needs Powerpoint (for people with no power and no point).

Oh, and then there is the PA to the MD, who couldn't bear to be without Publisher. But all of them agree: without Outlook, they would be lost.

The shame of the matter is, they are probably right. It ain't the best product out there, and I have very little love of Exchange, but the combination just nails the needs of many businesses in a way the competition have failed to achieve, or at least failed to communicate.

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Gates Horns

Are people honestly still on the SaaS trip?

Are people honestly still on the SaaS trip?

It's got so many holes in it, you could use it to strain your peas. First, data protection pretty much blocks its use for a myriad of companies, government departments etc. Then the problems of the actual connection - stability, speed, bandwidth, cost, etc. Then the problems of "all that traffic" at the ISP-side. Then the problems of *having to deploy bloody computers in order to use it*. Computers that, to be honest, have been far too high-powered for the basic-office software that SaaS promises to provide for years. And anything that even a thin-client and a bog-standard server can't do probably won't be available over SaaS for decades.

So let's use an entirely over-powered (even if you go tiny and embedded and cheap) computer that we have to set up and pay for, over an Internet connected line that we have to set up and pay for (maybe even pay extra to get reliability/speed etc.), to use an Office suite or database that we don't have to setup but do have to pay for, in order to work in the same way as we do now. Or we could just, I don't know, stick a one-off payment for a server into an IT consultant's hands and do it ourselves. Cheaper. With no recurring fees. With much more reliability. With no Data Protection Act problems. With no remote security problems. Using existing knowledge, hardware and infrastructure.

I know, why don't SaaS companies charge per CPU-cycle while they're at it? And we could go back to posting punchcards to them and then they return the answer in the next post.

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Anonymous Coward

Renting

If they want us to start renting their software then maybe we should start charging companies for allowing their software to run on our equipment.

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Microsoft are being hammered from all sides

Google search & advertising, GNU/Linux laptots, EU fines, ISO objections. Ballmer is a clown. The brain drain to Google is eroding their talent base. Even Yahoo won't take their money.

Microsoft does not believe in the cloud. They believe in decentralised PC-centric computing, so their cloud efforts will fail expensively. But they can't even get the desktop OS right, and this is supposedly their core competence.

Yet the Windows/Office taxes continue to roll in. For how long?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 0711

Ah, the old MS ripped Windows off Apple chestnut. I really can't believe people still persist in rolling this out.

MS Were the only serious software company to produce software for the original Mac. Without the backing of a major software company, the Mac would not have been taken seriously by anyone other than home users, who wouldn't have been able to afford it. It is therefore fairly argueable that because of MS the Mac exists.

Apple's inspiration for Mac OS came from Xerox's internal GUI/Business desktops, which were well established beforehand.

It's a bloody good job that Microsoft/IBM did make Windows/OS/2, without them you would have seen Apple stamping on every smaller company who tried to make a graphical desktop. Remember the Acorn Archimedies? RISC OS never released in America because Apple wouldn't stand for a superior OS produced by a smaller and therefore sueable company.

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@ John McGhie

Yes......

That briliant new innovative concept called the mainframe...

Bill will no doubt come round to thinking of that eventually.

But its an interesting speech anyway. Not because Mr Gates is an innovator, but because he isnt. What he is good at is spotting a useful concept and stealing it.

But I do love the idea of inventing the mainframe. Particularly if someone invents RACF to go with it (it being one of the world's two most successful and effective security products ever devised....)

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Gates Horns

No More Bill icon then??

With Billy G gone from the realms finally does that mean we need to replace his icon on here with the Balmer crazy dance image instead??

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Linux

I have been saying for years

That Billy is one of the few bosses around working on the industry that is trully an IT guy, he understands IT so well he managed to get it all for MS.

He's also been clever to try at something again and again until they get the product right, as opposed to the rest of the industry of IT-Iliterated CEO's who always throw away the towel at the first sign of a competitor competing. Most of the CEO's CIO's CTO's working on the industry know nothing about IT.

Also I think that those facts made the industry give the man a legend and attention he does not deserve, at the end of the day the guy is just a mediocre IT guy.

Tux, because OSS shows the truth, that MS is just commercially successful and technicaly very mediocre/incompetent.

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Bill Gates Quotes

Got some of these quotes by googling "Bill Gates Quotes"

640K ought to be enough for anybody.

No one will need filenames longer than 8.3

The internet is just a fad

The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC.

I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time.

There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.

About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

DOS is ugly and interferes with users' experience.

If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG.

If I'd had some set idea of a finish line, don't you think I would have crossed it years ago?

Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.

Life is not fair; get used to it.

Microsoft is not about greed. It's about innovation and fairness.

People everywhere love Windows.

Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.

The U.S. couldn't even get rid of Saddam Hussein. And we all know that the EU is just a passing fad. They'll be killing each other again in less than a year. I'm sick to death of all these fascist lawsuits.

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Anonymous Coward

What Bill Did

Bill got up on his little soap box and sent his open letter to the Computer Club saying that they were all freetard jerks and they were preventing him making oodles of cash. He commercialised IT, he did help make an industry. To all those that like getting paid for their effort, you have Bill to thank.

But then I imagine 99% of people believe Edison invented the light bulb. He didn't, but he did bring the light bulb (sparks out there, yes its a lamp) to the people.

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Gates Horns

Floppy drives

Will their 21st-century servers still need floppy drives to load the hardware drivers because their OS can't recognise USB or CD swaps during installation?

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@AC

""Ah, the old MS ripped Windows off Apple chestnut. I really can't believe people still persist in rolling this out."

Could be something to do with the judge in Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation finding that 180-ish of the 190-ish ways in which Apple claimed that Microsoft had violated their copyrights were only okay because of a licensing agreement between the companies that Apple hadn't realised the scope of?

The same proceedings also found against an attempt by Xerox to sue Apple due to the expiry of time limitations.

So, findings in summary:

- Microsoft gained the rights to most of their GUI through a contract with Apple, in which Apple seem not to have understood what they were giving away

- Xerox lost their rights by letting everyone act as if they didn't have any for too long

I think it's understandable that people conclude that Microsoft ripped off Apple but that Apple didn't rip off Xerox from that, even though you have to impute Microsoft's intention when licensing the limited functionality (no overlapping windows, etc, etc) of Windows 1.0 to later release a useful version 2.0 based on the same rights.

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Original Sin

?M$? DOS ??? - as I understood it, BillyBoy tweaked a small piece of code to enable IBM hardware to communicate effectively with the Kernel. It was all so very long ago and in a Galaxy far, far away so I really don't remember but might it have been the shortcut fix that used the date field as a flag or restricted it to 2 digits or some crap and thus began the "Y2K" debarkle in the first place?. I doubt BillyBoy remembers either but I'm sure someone will call me a retard and correct this statement before the end of the day. "Original" anything from Micro$haft would be a first. Mind you, "working out of the box" anything would also be a first.

However that is not the reason for typing...

This, as Douglas Adams might have penned it, is...

In the near future all M$ operating systems will access only M$ internet content, carefully re-written to exclude all references to operating systems that associate themselves with penguin icons and searchengines that begin with the letter "G". Of course this will require a lot of hard disks to backup the entire internet and more than a few rather powerful processors to run the "replace" function on it and without a shedload of servers hidden throughout the globe it would be impossible pull this little coupe off.

Every time I install windows I have to tolerate MSN news popping up before I can tell it to eff off, I use M$ search for "google" and then change my default page... this has to stop, and of course the logical way to stop it is to have "google" unavailable from a computer that runs a M$ OS.

Given the alternatives (ie actually doing something "original") it is probably cheaper for BillyBoy to completely replace the internet with M$ approved content. Then at least he can claim with all honesty that they have obtained a significant rise in the number of "Vista computers using M$'s search facilities", although by then I suspect we will be hearing in other news that the penguin has been installed on the other 99% of all home and office PC's.

Just a suggestion, BillyBoy, RETIRE - GIVE UP - World Domination is no longer an option.

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Ben
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Can we have a Ballmer icon

if only to represent incoherent, chair throwing rage?

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Pirate

@AC- Create an OS ...

"MS used to work for Apple when they started creating the Mac only to rip off their ideas to create Windows 1.0"

Hmm, do you mean in the same way that Steve Jobs ripped off the idea for a GUI from Xerox/Park Place's Smalltalk? Didn't you read the book/see the movie?

Oops, I see someone's already beaten me to it.

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Gates Horns

Ah, the old MS ripped Windows off Apple chestnut.

"Ah, the old MS ripped Windows off Apple chestnut. I really can't believe people still persist in rolling this out."

In exactly the same way they keep rolling out that "Normans invaded England in 1066" chestnut.

Most people tend to accept that 'chestnuts' of these types are what we quaintly called 'historical accuracy".

Xerox developed a graphic system. They allowed Apple to use system in exchange for stock. MS were using Apples to develop software for them.

Later MS introduced Windows, development team initially led by ex-Xerox Scott McGregor (and replaced by ex-Proctor & Gamble Steve Ballmer)

Notice use of word 'later'. When used in conjunction with 'developed' you tend not to add the word 'innovative'.

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Paris Hilton

Windows 7 loan edition

"Many millions? Holy hell.

Well, like, you'll need to create special servers to function on that scale, right? General purpose gear meant for the Fortune 10,000 abyss simply won't do. Any bright ideas on how to solve that one, Bill?"

Well, he was just computing based on max. number of concurrent users per Windows server and potential customers, I'm afraid. Thus, yes, millions would be a valid result :-) Remember, he's not really technical.

Of course, that won't happen, and I would expect anytime soon, the bright idea of having a "Windows 7 loan edition" at a bargain cost that gives Redmond the possibility to use your computer power to run *their* paying service on. Kinda like people are doing in some computationnal projects.

Paris, since only she could be screwed by this ...

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Anonymous Coward

Go OSS

Swapping out outdated energy-intensive hardware for modern sleak, less-planet-polluting stuff? Makes sense! Why not go the whole hog and replace that outdated energy-intensive software with modern open source, less-planet-polluting stuff? With all our so-called technology advancements will still consume more power each year. A measure of a great software organisation in the future will be how new releases use less and less resource. Why must Vista only run on something equivalent to what I run our entire corporate network off of?

About time all tech vendors started to push the green issue!!!

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dpg
Gates Horns

Re: Unfair!

I think what the previous poster meant was that Microsoft is to software what Lysenkoism was to science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism). I think you may find that more than fair...

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Gates Halo

All I can say is..

What a load of dicks you all are, if it weren't for microsoft none of you would be posting comments on this story infact we would all be probably worse off.

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Gates Horns

I couldn't take it any longer...

...I had to jump in on the slamming of Gates.

Another 'great' MS innovation parable...

Citrix figured out how to make Windows NT sort of truly multi-user. If only developers could have figured out that c:\temp\temp.dat was not unique in a multi-user environment. (I remember a MS sales flack telling me that WNT was serially multi-user ;-).

Then MS realized that Citrix was making money and was licensed for access to the source code for all future versions of WindowsNT. Doh!

The solution. Develop terminal services (an inferior product), charge everyone an arm and a leg for it and bypass that whole embasassing source code license booboo by rebranding as Windows 2000. No longer a future version of NT = no legal commitment = no problem.

Sheesh.

(Evil Billy -> Better the devil who doesn't know...)

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Gates Horns

The Apple never falls far from the tree.

I think that Bill owes his success to his dear ole dad being a scumbag lawyer. I would say that Bill, deep in his black heart, is more of a lawyer than an IT geek, contrary to external apperances.

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Happy

@SpitefulGOD

> "What a load of dicks you all are, if it weren't for microsoft none of you would be posting comments on this story infact we would all be probably worse off."

Well, all of us Linux users still would be posting comments, and as Apache running on Linux enjoys such a substantial proportion of the market for the world's Web servers, I can't quite see what Microsoft's essential input is to this.

And given the God-awful pile of crap that Windows (all versions thus far) is as far as security and technical excellence is concerned, I very much think that the majority of the world is much, much worse off as a consequence of Microsoft's efforts...

Maybe someone should write an SF story about just that "Microsoft never was" scenario...

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Boffin

RE: The Apple never falls far from the tree.

AFAIK he's a law school dropout, not engineering or science drop-out. So indeed law is probably what he's closest to being qualified at. Seems to have served him well enough though...

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SpitefulGOD

re "What a load of dicks you all are, if it weren't for microsoft none of you would be posting comments on this story infact we would all be probably worse off."

If it weren't for Microsoft then there wouldn't have been a story. I shall spend the remainder of the day contemplating how I would be worse off had I not been able to comment.

Suggestions welcome.

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Jobs Horns

@Henry: Bill's last original idea....

>build an o/s for microcomputers?

I seem to recall reading that MS DOS 1 (which came after CP/M as well as others) wasn't built but bought (for resale on to IBM) for $50,000 from a store in Seattle, and that its original name was QDOS (quick and dirty o/s).... the M/S genius has always been for wheeling and dealing rather than innovation...

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Gold badge

Ford wasn't the first car

and likewise, Windows wasn't the first OS.

Windows just made things easier and cheaper. It's the Ford Focus of the computer world. You won't get noticed for using it, you know what to expect.

Gates is like the Henry Ford of the computer world. Although Microsoft's production isn't anywhere as good as Ford's mass production ideas.

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Paris Hilton

@tim bates/MS Bob

Hey Tim,

MS Bob worked out really well OK? She got to marry Bill Gates! And I'm sure you heard the story about the house right? She asked to see the plans. And then started making modifications to the plans. Bill said - honey, it's already a $50mil house, do we really need to make any more changes? She said - bu..but..but I thought you wanted kids?

That's why they have a $100mil house.

Paris, because I want her in my house

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