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Guest Ken_Salter

Bill Gates - The Greatest Evil Ever Spawned?

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He should just give every person in the world 3 or 4 (or 5,6, or 7 ;) ) million dollars, that way everyone is happy! ;)46,000,000,000 / 6,000,000,000 = 7.6 (rough estimates on population, its like 6.3 billion)(I wish!)Jason :-wave

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He is not an evil man, but I really do not like his business practices. They come down on the wrong side of shady in my opinion.

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You really caught me off guard...I saw the thread's title, then saw the author and thought "hmmmm, someone hijacked your account" :)I always have thought of people in the way they act in an environment outside of their usual haunts. It was in this context I had a chance to meet Bill Gates many years ago, before I had moved to IT and while I was working as a hotel manager in the Napa Valley. I worked in the hotel industry for years, and taught technology to the industry for an even longer stretch. I met all types of people in both roles...and you get pretty good at sizing people up fast.It came to my attention from one of my staff that Bill Gates was staying with us. It slipped through our normal "VIP Net" because the reservation came in at the last moment, and our res. mgr didn't know Bill Gates from Bill Smith. Anyway, I made myself available and tried to give Mr. Gates the attention I thought he deserved. But he wouldn't have any of it. He talked to me and my staff like we were equals. He came down to our lobby in jeans, drove an unremarkable car (I should say he was only worth a billion or so back then), and didn't seek or demand attention. But also quite unique--he didn't avoid my staff and probably spent a good hour bouncing from employee to employee, talking to anyone who showed an interest in what he did.I've dealt with many VIP's, none of them as wealthy as Bill Gates was even back then. Almost to a person, they all expected the "VIP" label. Almost to a person, they acted like the world owed them a living--and the more money they had, the more they acted that way. I can only think of a handful of people I've met who treated my staff with the respect Bill Gates did.Anyway, I've always been left with that impression of Bill Gates, and although (as already said) Microsoft's business practices don't always jive with my sense of fairness, Bill Gates did in that moment of history, and has proved a rarity among people I met before, and in the years that have followed. -John

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I'm not speaking about the man himself, but all higher decisions in that company are only made out of greed and selfishness. Again, there may be good people working there who cannot be blamed for the policies of the company itself, but just looking at things like this really makes you wonder to what level they go to dominate everything they can: http://deb.opera.com/howcome/2003/2/msn

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My point in posting that was to force some to think... When we demonize someone as some do to Bill Gates in these forums and elsewhere, we only deminish ourselves, individually and as a community. It was my hope that those who are quick to make Gates into the penultimate evil, would think twice now knowing how generous a person he is.

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With people as public as Bill Gates, I'm always wondering how much of this generosity is sincere. I remember reading that almost all public figures in the US have some kind of fund and usually donate money. It seems to be part of the deal, a way to influence your image. It's bad for your reputation and therefore bad for your company if you would not donate in some way. Therefore I wonder how much of this generosity is political and how much is sincere. In other words, how much would Mr Gates (or any public figure) donate, if the donation would have to remain completely anonymous?

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Strange is it that no matter what Bill Gates does he's branded as evil by some here?So now he's evil for donating several billion dollars to charity...Before you knew he did that he was evil for hoarding all that money...I've not met Bill Gates but I have nothing but respect for him.His company and him have been unduly villified and sought out for persecution out of greed and jealousy by others (not the least PR-savvy competitors).Any contribution to the positive are glossed over as being just "to look good"...When judge Jackson condemned Microsoft he did so out of spite for the company, not on legal grounds (which is clear, as the verdict was quickly overturned by a higher court).Another little published charity that Microsoft invests significant resources in are computer systems to catalogue and track down child porn rings and child abusers.A Microsoft employee in Canada was approached by a neighbour working for the RCMP who was literally sick having to watch childporn all day in attempts to find links between people.The Microsoft man took it to his bosses with the result that Microsoft decided to try and create software that could automate that task and donate it to police agencies.Microsoft never (AFAIK, I found the story on a news service relating to the RCMP using the software to break a child porn ring) tried to gain any press from this.I'm sure there's a lot more going on that you never hear from.Microsoft is also a driving force in many standards bodies, working together with others to define the protocols and standards that enable software to interact across platforms.Next time you complain about IE or Windows implementing features that aren't standard, think again. What you're seeing may well be at that moment under discussion for inclusion in those standards... Some things that appear as non-standard are also based on proposals that didn't make it and are kept (usually temporarilly) for backwards compatibility.

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Whichever way you feel about Bill Gates and /or Microsoft there is one question which begs an answer.Would we have all this now? - PC in almost every home,all the software that runs so well with Windows- a lot of it freeware and perhaps most important to us here - FS2004 which - whatever you may think , is a remarkable piece of software considering the relatively low cost to the user.I know some will say "yes we would have it all "- someone else would have done it if MS hadn't and whilst I don't doubt that this may be true - would it have happpened on this scale yet(I doubt it) and would it all be so cheap( I'm certain it wouldn't)?I think the bottom line is that ,it is because of Windows - it's popularity and simplicity of use that we now have the situation of very very widespread use of PCs on a truly worldwide basis. For instance I some how can't imagine PCs ever being so popular if we had to do everything using Linux or whatever- certainly the " average user" ( Where I live - mainly elderly people- many using PCs to keep in touch with family via Email) would find it hard to get to grips with it.Also - never forget, like any company, BG and MS are in business to make money for their investors- not just for the fun of it.Is this wrong - I doubt it. Should they buy up/try to put out of business their competitors?- I think that's what business is probably all about - getting the upper hand over the competition.Are their practices "unfair"- I don't know.Boeing did really much the same thing - slowly expanding and buying up /merging with the competition as did Hawker Siddely in the UK back in the 60s.Just my opinion.I think this one is going to run and run...............Dave

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I think this is an interesting discussion. I understand that many people find it easy to bash microsoft because everybody does it. I don't like joining the masses, so I'd like to provide some insights into the ideas behind the anti-microsoft movement. Microsoft's general strategies fall down into two categories: FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt) and EEE (embrace, extend and extinguish).FUD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fud) is used to discourage the use of lesser known competitive product. FUD is mostly used against unix competitors of microsoft.EEE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEE) is used to lock customers into proprietary standards that a company controls. This makes sure that competitors cannot offer competing products. EEE has been used in standards like HTML, javascript and Java.Like Jeroen already stated, Microsoft is a driving force in many standards bodies. Unfortunately, their EEE strategy usually transforms open standards into proprietary works (remember the cross platform nature of Java, and how Microsoft transformed into the closed C# environment)Now the question of course is, does this make Microsoft "evil"? Businesses are in business to make money, and before mentioned strategies are employed successfully, generating jobs and revenue and providing people with low cost software. I think this argument will never be settled. My problem with Microsoft is that "what is good for the company" is not always good for the customer and for technology. Would Microsoft have worked together with Sun and extending Java, we would have a much better platform to work with. This benefits everybody. I think everybody must decide for themselved if they find the mentioned strategies acceptible.

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I just thought id bring to attention this little tidbit of information. When Google (the search engine) refused to be bought up by Microsoft, Mircosoft decided to incorperate an interesting feature into the new Longhorn OS and the new IE's, they will not allow you to visit Googles page, instead it will redirect you to a Microsoft search engine, which is a direct copy of Google, just with a different name, and interface. On top of that, when Google announced that it was going to sue, Microsoft started working a loop-hole that would make what they did legal and leave Google with nothing to do about it! I'll try to find where I saw that, and then post it up here.

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".....decided to incorperate an interesting feature into the new Longhorn OS and the new IE's, they will not allow you to visit Googles page, instead it will redirect you to a Microsoft search engine, which is a direct copy of Google...."Since the new O/S isn't released, this is one of those bits which you'd have to call rumor and/or urban legend--I've heard it before. Then and now, I don't find it plausible that Microsoft would block a site from a commercial release--and Longhorn isn't in that state yet so any reports coming out of it are as valid as those breaking their NDA's. It is feasible during testing that access to a site could be disabled--that's one means of keeping people on a baseline vs. getting people testing on a whole bunch of tangents. But, this practice goes on even today in live products by many sites which have embedded code which "hijack" the search features of IE and/or homepages.... But they don't have deep pockets, so you don't hear the same volume of complaints or suggestions of conspiracy that mention of Microsoft seems to invoke. Microsoft has enough well documented business practices to discuss on existing O/S's and applications, and some very good posts are here in this thread. IMHO, anything brought out of a beta or alpha project isn't worth discussing and also makes the playing field rather unfair--and even Microsoft deserves a fair playing field when discussing its business model.

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If he gave every person 7.6 dollars, do you think that would make most happy or have any long range benefit? :-) :-)Kurt M

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I'll be sure to test this when I go to work in morning...I have both Longhorn Client Previews.

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ah, more Microsoft bashing from some know-it-all kiddo who gets all his "facts" from slashdot...

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Something else to consider:If Microsoft hadn't done it but someone else that company would now be having the same market position Microsoft enjoys with the same resulting envy, jealousy and petty hatred against them!Microsoft's business practices are no worse than those of any large corporation, in fact on many fronts they're better.It's only the massive customer base that makes a lot of people feel that Microsoft is worse (if 1% of customers complain and you have 100 customers you're the only one complaining, if 1% complain and you have 500 million customers there's 5 million people complaining).

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>Something else to consider:>If Microsoft hadn't done it but someone else that company>would now be having the same market position Microsoft enjoys>with the same resulting envy, jealousy and petty hatred>against them!Yes, probably true. There would be someone else doing the same thing. But that doesn't mean we should just let everybody do whatever they would like to do. Most MS criticism is not based on jealousy.>>Microsoft's business practices are no worse than those of any>large corporation, in fact on many fronts they're better.>It's only the massive customer base that makes a lot of people>feel that Microsoft is worse (if 1% of customers complain and>you have 100 customers you're the only one complaining, if 1%>complain and you have 500 million customers there's 5 million>people complaining).Most big company's have their secrets and unethical behaviours. It will always be that way. The big difference between the IT industry and other industries however is the products they sell: If you need a new car, you either buy it from one brand or the other. The same goes for washing machines, televisions, food and other stuff. In the IT business things are different; competing products must interconnect. Your mail reader must work with a mail server, your browser must understand the layout of all web pages. If anyone of these parties starts misbehaving, it pretty easy to force out any competition. That's what all the discussion is about. It's about giving everybody a fair change on the marketplace.

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and that's why there's open standards which everyone (including Microsoft) complies with.But let me ask you... If you decide on a new car, can you get competing products integrated as easily as software from competing manufacturers?Say I want a Ford Focus but I'd rather have a BMW engine and Volkswagen windows.That's the equivalent of getting a IBM PC with an Iiyyama screen and Microsoft Windows.

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>ah, more Microsoft bashing from some know-it-all kiddo who>gets all his "facts" from slashdot...Now, really, was your post necessary? I am intrigued by these pro microsoft comments; I am interested to hear why MS isn't so bad, but your just showing your ignorance by comments like that.

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Hey! I never said that story was true, I posted it here partially to find that out! Just because some one posts it here, doesn't automatically mean it true!:-mad

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Or that they belive its true either.

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"Hey! I never said that story was true, I posted it here partially to find that out! Just because some one posts it here, doesn't automatically mean it true!"Too late to backpedal now on this one... You didn't begin your story with "a popular rumor has it...." or "this bit of fiction...." And now by your own admission, you posted a story which you knew very well could be fiction. This is the type of junk about Microsoft that has been fodder for bashers for years. "Loose lips sink ships"...

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I have never met, and never likely to meet Bill Gates but I can believe John's description of him.However Micorsoft's business practices leave a lot to be desired IMHO and agree with Metamarty's post.I do wish Jeroen would take off those rose tinted glasses for a while and look at how MS got to be so big. Not by inovative software but by copying, buying out, or otherwise extinguishing the competition, the browser wars was a prime example.As for creating standards, the only standards MS are interested in are those which they themselves create for their own software that everyone else has to adhere to.As one example, when there was an alternative to IE for a browser it was well known that IE was the least compatible with the WW3 standards and yet those standards were thrashed out by the software houses who developed the software so you would think they would adhere to their own standards.The road to MS dominance is littered with dubious business practices and crushed competitors who could not stand up to MS because of there wealth.For a lot of people, at least this side of the Pond, the deal with the DoJ was so incerdible it was a farce.Micorsoft's attitude to Open Source and Linux over the last 3 - 4 years also makes humerous reading and the court cases against Lindows, Lin-, or whatever they have to call themselves these days, just beggars belief.BillyG may be a nice man, MS is not nice for inovative software and open standards.FS is my preferred civil flight sim but the competition is running on a shoestring so a comparison is meaningless. However given the money MS can throw at FS I would expect it not to have the 'bugs' and errors well documented on this site not would I expect the current version to break features which worked in the previous version(s).I'd better stop before my blood pressure takes hold :-)

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