Open letter to Bill Gates: what would you say?

Dear Bill

I’d like to thank you and Microsoft for helping to turn the computer industry around. Software used to be bundled with hardware. IT was extremely expensive. But Microsoft separated the software from the hardware, and with IBM, created affordable computing for the masses.


In the last decade, with the boom in home PCs (many of which run Microsoft software), and the internet revolution, I’m glad that Microsoft has made software that has simplified programming, helping software developers to create applications to meet user demands.


I guess it is fair to say you have made computers easier to use – but lack of ease-of-use is my biggest issue with Microsoft software. I often find functions in Windows that do not do what they are supposed to. Plug and Play was a great innovation, but how many hours have been lost, when Windows fails to detect a perfectly working device? Plug and Play has to do just that, plug and play – 100% of the time.


I also like the idea that Windows offers a fairly well integrated software stack. Wouldn’t it be really neat if the whole world ran on Microsoft software? But it doesn’t and today, IT departments need to support many other types of software. I wish you could have made it easier for Windows and the server products to co-exist and integrate better with other software.

Writing about you and Microsoft has kept me busy for the last 18 years. I appreciate you and Microsoft has done a lot to make computers affordable by separating software from hardware. But now Google has created an entirely different business model where software is effectively free, subsidised by internet advertising.

I think Microsoft, as a company, needs to evolve to embrace the internet and open standards completely.



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For me bill gates is an inspiration.

His vision,and great combination of technical and business leadership skills of such magnitude and intensity are very unique and rear.

world's richest person ,yet so unique,with a smile,intense,such a versatile personality is what inspires me.

Bill Gates brought computing to the home, the office and most recently, he has started the enterprise computing revolution. Business systems such as SharePoint and now with Dynamics are delivering step-change reduction in cost of ownership, and industry-leading levels of flexibility and integration.

However, Bill’s legacy will be realised as Microsoft delivers even more to the enterprise in the future, with big ticket innovations such as software as a service (and not just a package you must load and configure locally). Just as, ten years ago, we could not have imagined where we would be today, in five year’s time we’ll look at this as the start of whole a new era in Internet-based computing, building on Gates’ foundations.

What Bill Gates portrayed as the public face of Microsoft, and the reality of Microsoft, are two very different animals. The public face that most relate to is as a dynamic, innovative giant that stumbles over its evolution into a monolith.

Few appreciate the distasteful reality that is today’s Microsoft Corp: the company that will steal anything that it doesn’t have to buy; the company that will only ever settle with its victims on the back of a court order; the company that contrives to auto-update the computing devices of citizens the world over, in a way that delivers access to their personal information by agencies of the state; the company that will flout US anti-trust legislation, in the face of a weak Department of Justice; the company that US government perceives to be, like a US oil company, an extension of US Foreign Policy.

Microsoft is living proof, if ever it were needed, that once you relinquish control to lawyers and accountants, you are forever doomed. Bow your head in shame Mr Gates, for what passed in your name as an organisation with the best of intentions, has truly passed to the Dark Side.

David Gale