Why don't you just give Gates a blowjob on national TV, W?

My feelings on this are rather simple. Leave MS alone. It’s about technology, not a commodity. This isn’t a company that is preventing anyone from selling the same item, such as oil. Don’t like the fact that MS is huge? Go design a better system and start selling it. There is nothing that prevents anyone from doing the same thing that Gates did. Start with nothing, and build your way up and eventually become a billionaire. I always thought that is what America was all about. But I’m sure I’ll be corrected.

Well, let’s see… change it to the auto industry:

Doesn’t sound too plausible, does it? If we were still in the days when computers were a NEW industry, I could see this happening. How many people work on Linux systems? I’ve heard many people state that it is a superior system, but it’s not going to take over as the standard anytime soon, and probably never will. Why? Because most consumers are lemmings. Given the option to try something that is NEW versus the old reliable, they will go for old ‘reliable’ most of the time. Once again, look at the auto industry: GM should be rotting in a grave by now - they put out crap for years and years, but people kept buying their products out of blind brand loyalty.

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*Originally posted by lawoot *
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No, I guess it doesn’t. Saturn must have been a fluke.

That is my point entirely. MS is not forcing anyone to buy their products and they are not preventing anyone from buying something different or creating something different. If the bulk of the population wants to buy MS, for whatever reason they wish, why should MS not be allowed to make as much money as they can?

Not doubting, just curious, cite please?

Whatever the case, comparing philanthropy by percentage is like taxing by percentage. I give a far greater percentage of my income to charity than someone making $20,000 dollars a year because they are spending almost everthing they make on basic survival. This doesn’t make me less greedy.

I apologize for the hijack; certainly the issues here are monopoly and unfair business practices, not greed.

Uh, Turbo GM owns Saturn. You also have no idea the billions of dollars GM has sunk into Saturn to try and launch the company, only to then have its sales plummet a few years later when car buying tastes changed.

That’s like saying if you don’t like GM cars go out and design a better one. It takes a lot of money to design a car or an operating system. The days of someone tinking around in their garage and dreaming of becoming the next Henry Ford or Steve Jobs are over. Haven’t you ever heard of the processor contract MS made all the PC companies sign? It stated quite simply that MS didn’t care what operating system you sold with your PC (if any), but you had to pay MS a royalty for every PC you sold, regardless if Windows or DOS was on it or not.

RTF…

From the other Microsoft thread, in the Pit: “As for Gates himself, I fear their is no hope, the greed is set too deep.” And that’s just one example from one thread.

Perhaps, but the only evidence that’s ever offered up about this is that Microsoft is a big company. And most people, who are all-to-willing to Bash The Big Guy, play along, until it’s accepted as fact.

Doesn’t everybody?

Custard Dragon…

Well, just a quick Yahoo search revealed these sites…

http://www3.sympatico.ca/truegrowth/gates1.html

Whatever negative things you can say about the man, you must admit that he’s given a shitload towards charitable areas… even if the majority of it was to his own charity organization (of course, it then siphoned the money down to other sources, instead of having him donate the money directly).

NOTE: The B&M Gates foundation is just where the majority of his donations went… not all of it.

Oops, forgot to add this: I’m not saying that his philanthropy automatically makes him exempt from criticism of his company and/or business practices. I just think it’s ridiculous to assume he’s “greedy” because he has a lot of money. I call that assumption the “Scrooge Factor”.

SPOOFE, I might be wrong in this, but I think that Gates didn’t start donating money to charitable causes until people in the mainstream didn’t start to question how big MS had gotten and that perhaps there was something a little monopolistic about it.

And I’ll add that IMHO, Gates really isn’t donating all that much money relative to his actual wealth. Okay so he’s dropped a couple of billion (not all of the money in the B&M Foundation is his) on various efforts (the two most prominant ones being an AIDS vaccine and the Polio Vaccine), but the guy’s worth, what? Fifty billion on a bad day? He could donate forty nine billion to ONE cause (say AIDS or cancer), still have a billion left over, and probably rack up another fifty billion in the next ten years. (Not to mention, he’d get one HELL of a tax deduction for doing so!) I mean, if he gave up the vast majority of his fortune today, its not like his earning power has stopped and he’ll have to live off of crumbs for the rest of his life (“Oh, the shame of being only a billionare!” :rolleyes: ).

It is his money and he does have the right to do with it whatever he choses, I just think that people shouldn’t say he’s a great philanthropist because he decided to empty his change jar one day and help out a group of less fortunates.

For the record, were I Gates, I wouldn’t be spending my money in the manner in which he’s doing, but I would be spending it. All of it, just about. Why? Because what’s the good of having that much money if you can’t blow it? (And, no, I wouldn’t be spending on new cars, elaborate houses, etc. I’ve already posted what I’d do with it and you can go to this thread to find out if you’re interested.)

Thanks for the cite. It makes me feel better to know that all of that money is doing some good. One small nitpick: except for the last, none of these referred to the donations as a percentage of Gates fortune, and the last is merely pretty vague.

It is a hell of a lot of money, though.

GM owns Saturn? I didn’t know that and thus stand corrected.

I still don’t see the problem here. This is not a company that kicked in a door and cornered the market. Some kid tinkers around a bit one day, nobody is interested in his work, he forms his own company, 20 years later he rules the scene via good business moves and decisions, accomplishes the American dream and now people are pissed about it. You snooze, you lose. There was equal opportunity for anyone to have done the same and gotten in on the ground floor. He did it better, and is enjoying it. Companies that could have bought his work and chose not to, are now upset that he’s putting them out of business? Companies that could have competed 10 years ago but didn’t put the same amount of effort into it as MS did are upset now? Tough shit for them.

It takes money to start up any business, but I refuse to believe that it’s impossible to create a business from ground up, even today. If I design a new car, and it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not GM’s fault. If I come up with a new way to make great burgers and my business fails, it’s not McDonald’s fault. Linux came out of nowhere, and as was mentioned, most who use it report that it is much better. Why is it MS’s problem if the world doesn’t want to switch to it? MS is not stopping anyone from getting it.

MS gets royalties on all PC’s. What’s the problem with that? How were they “forced” to sign the agreement? Again, sounds like nothing more than a great business move. There wasn’t anything illegal about it.

I do not own any stock in MS or know anyone who does, so I do not benefit in any way by defending them. I just have never seen a legitimate reason why they should be broken up, just a lot of other companies crying about their inability to produce something better, market it as well, or compete in general. The general population didn’t care about MS one way or the other, until the whole “monopoly” thing came up. Suddenly the bandwagon is overflowing with people against MS. I’m willing to wager though, that 90% of the people suddently supporting the “monopoly break-up” are running MS on their puters though, when they could have Linux. Why is that?

Turbo Dog, you seem to know very little of how much it costs to design and build an automobile. GM and the others spend literally billions to design ONE car! That’s with the infrastructure already in place to be able to do so. Imagine if you had to try and do that from scratch (assuming, of course, you were trying to develop a car which would go up against any of their models), WITHOUT that infrastructure in place. Your cost would probably be in the neighborhood of $5 billion or more ($5 billion is what GM allocated to pay for the start up of Saturn, the final cost once they got a car off the production line was much higher). If you want an idea of how hard it is to try and start you’re own car company watch Tucker: The Man and his Dream or talk to Roy Gullickson who’s trying to relaunch Packard. He’ll tell you it ain’t easy, even when you’re dealing with a market segment currently ignored by the big automakers. Were they to decide tomorrow that they wanted that segment, they could shut him down in less than a week, no matter how poor of an alternative to his car they might be offering. Money equals power and the US Constitution has put limits on the amount of power our politicians can hold, perhaps we should do the same with corporations as well.

Gates was never a geeky kid working out of his garage. Gates was a Havard student who was approached by IBM to develop an operating system for their new line of computers. Gates cut a deal with IBM and the rest is, as they say, history.

As for MS not kicking in the door and cornering the market, that’s a matter for debate. Call up Compaq and ask if you can get a PC without Windows installed on it. They’ll tell you “nope”! And even if they were to sell it to you, you wouldn’t get it any cheaper. Why? Because they’ve still got to pay for that Windows royalty. Why should you have to pay for something you’re not going to own or use? Kind of sounds wrong to me. (Besides what’s good for business, isn’t always good for America.)

Linux may be better than Windows. I don’t know, I’ve never used it. I don’t have the time to learn it. I use a Windows based machine because when I bought it I needed a computer and I could get a PC cheaper than I could a Mac (however, since I’ve heard what’s going to be going on with XP, I’ll keep this machine until I can afford a Mac). I don’t use a lot of MS software, and I’ve had a bitch of a time finding much of it. Most people aren’t willing to put that kind of effort into it when the machine they buy comes preinstalled with all kinds of things from MS.

Well, that’s sort of a self-fulfilling statement, isn’t it? It wasn’t until he had become wealthy and his company had grown large that he was able to put together such a massive charity organization.

Correlation doesn’t equal causation, as is often mentioned in Gun Threads…

Well, I guess that depends on what you mean by “actual wealth”. Sure, estimates of his money go in the $50-$70 billion range, but how much of that is liquid capital? The vast majority is in stock, and he can’t very well sell that off and maintain a significant ownership of his own company, can he? Then a lot of it is tied up in savings bonds and property holdings. Very little of it is actual cash.

What, you thought Bill Gates has a giant vault, a la Scrooge McDuck, where he swims around in money all day? When it comes right down to it, Gates doesn’t have nearly as much money as you think he has. Hell, it’d be impossible for him to.

He’d also lose control of his company that he worked so hard to build.

Methinks you’re being very generous with someone else’s money.

Actually, what the court found, in essence, was that Microsoft was forcing people to buy their products and preventing others from buying something different.

Because of their monopoly power in Windows (which nobody is really objecting to), they have effectively forced Windows sellers and users to use their IE browser, preventing Netscape and other potential competitors from selling competing browsers.

I’m quite aware of how much it costs to design a car. I’m also aware of the fact that I can’t afford to design a car. That’s why I chose a different career rather than start my own auto corporation. I don’t blame GM for that. I have watched “Tucker”, and it’s a shame what happened to him. But that’s business. Beating out the competition just kind of happens.

As for kicking the door in, my point is that MS did not conquer the world upon being formed. It was a gradual process that was, up until recently open for anyone else to do so. If someone gets in ahead of you, you lose.

When I was with the government, every so often we would have to put out a contract for ammunition to be manufactured for the military. By law, we had to offer bidding opportunity to known “mom and pop” manufacturers, even with the knowledge that they were logistically unable to produce the required amount for a decent price, on time, and at required quality levels. Naturally, they would lose out. On nearly every contract award, we would wind up in court against the “mom and pop” bidder spending much money and time explaining why the small company lost, when they knew why they lost, knowing that they would lose, and why, even during bidding. Why? Because time and again, the little guys simply felt it was unfair that they couldn’t get a contract worth a couple of million dollars just like the big guys, even though they weren’t capable of doing the job as well, simply because they started their companies too late and weren’t able to build up fast enough to get the capital for continued investment for improvement. It’s not the fault of the big companies, that’s just the way it is sometimes.

If you put up a hot dog stand on a street corner, do well enough to put two more up after a couple years, and I come in with one for the remaining corner, is it your fault that I can’t compete with you, an established vendor? No, it’s mine for trying to break in on your area expecting to make the same amount as you.

In other words, Turbo Dog, “that’s capitalism”, yes?

SPOOFE, what I meant was that there wasn’t any mention of Gates doing charitable work until after the government launched its first investigation into Microsoft. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t donating money to charity before this, he may have been and was just keeping quiet about it. It could be that his foundation (and BTW, don’t you think that’s a bit egotistical to name a foundation after yourself?) was set up long before this and his lawyers suggested that he make it better known once the investigation was announced to show Gates in a better light. Or, it could be that it was set up by his lawyers after the investigation was launched to try and put him in a better light. I don’t know. I think that he only started it after the investigation was launched, which leads me to believe it was merely done for PR purposes. (Gates’s father’s a pretty savy lawyer, judging from the interviews I’ve heard, so I’m certain that Gates would hire ones equally as good.)

I also know that most of Gates’s wealth isn’t liquid, but I seriously doubt that if he shed most of it, he’d lose control of MS. After all, he built it up to be one of the most successful companies in the world (if not the most successful), I doubt that if he decided he wanted to spend most of his money anyone would seriously try to oust him. Why kill the goose that laid the golden egg?

You didn’t mention, but I’ll toss it out here anyways, that Gates couldn’t unload his entire fortune at one time, either. If it was all in MS stock (which I doubt), it’d destroy the share value of the stock. With it being spread out all over the place (as I’m sure it is), he’d no doubt depress the stock prices of so many companies that it’d make the Crash of '29 look like a minor dip.

Despite his success with MS (or maybe because of it) Gates hasn’t proven himself to be all that astute of a businessman outside of the PC realm. Are you familiar with the Iridium debacle? Gates, Motorola, Intel, and a few others got together and decided that they wanted to get into the satellite phone business and Iridium was born. The idea behind Iridium was that you’d be able to make a phone call from anywhere in the world using a sat phone. Great idea, but the execution was flawed. The software in the phones was crappy (don’t know who wrote it), and the airtime rates were expensive and confusing. A call could cost anywhere from a few dollars a minute to almost eight dollars a minute. Compare that to the Inmarsat system, which until Iridium was the only other sat phone system out there. With Inmarsat phones, you paid the same rate no matter where you were in the world. Plus for a few dollars more a minute, you could surf the web at 64K, something impossible for an Iridium phone to do. Gates, Intel, and the others all bailed out of Iridium, the company went bankrupt and was brought back to life only after a group of investors received a $72 million contract from the US government (this is after they paid a mere $25 million for a company it had cost billions to create). The new owners cut the price of the airtime, lowered the per minute rate, improved the software for the phones, and have been raking in the cash ever since.

Until Microsoft perceives you as a threat, or just decides that you’ve opened up a delicious new market, and they want it. So they knock on your door and offer to buy your company; you refuse. So they add some lines of code to Windows that breaks your product; they go to their OEM resellers (Dell, Gateway, Compaq, HP) and say “don’t bundle this hot new software with your computers, or we’ll increase your Windows licensing fee by 50%”; they create a competing product that’s not as good, at least for the first few versions, and put it smack dab on the desktop, so that Windows users already have the basic program, and don’t bother downloading the demo, or paying for a better version when they’ve got a free one that’s basically the same.

But you’ve designed a better product, so no problem, right?

None of that’s illegal when you’re not a monopoly; when you’re a monopoly, it’s illegal because they can push you out of the market, regardless of the merits of your product or their competing product. The natural action of the market regarding competing products can’t occur because of outside factors that are controlled by the monopolist.

Everything I’ve mentioned above as an MS action has been upheld in a court of law, including the federal appeals court that is blatantly pro-Microsoft.

Turbo, I have no problem if you beat out the competition by selling a superior product. If, however, you beat out the competition by bribing judges (I’m not saying Gates has done that, BTW.) or strong arm tactics, that’s wrong and the government should step in and prevent it.

One of the reasons Standard Oil was broken up was because in areas where its marketshare wasn’t 100%, it would cut its prices to the point in those markets where it was selling gas below what anyone else could do, in the markets where its share was 100%, it’d raise gas prices to compensate. That’s totally wrong, IMHO.

Oh, and don’t think that government bidding is an entirely fair process either. One of the reasons the original Packard car company went under was because the military contracts it had were suddenly cancelled. Why? Because Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense felt that Packard wouldn’t be able to fulfill them. Those contracts were awarded to GM. Funny thing is, Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense was a former GM executive. Guess that’s “just business.” :rolleyes:

Let me rephrase that: everything I listed as an MS action above, MS has been found guilty of doing in a court of law, including the federal appeals court, etc.

Do you have a cite for this? Gate’s book the Road Ahead would contradict your assertion that Gates was a) still at Harvard and b) started Microsoft at the behest of IBM. Admittedly, the book was written by Gates but I’d like to see some contradictory evidence.