Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Feb 2010 22:55 UTC
Microsoft Sometimes, the sheer size of a company like Microsoft can make it quite hard to see and realise just how large and profitable such a company can really be. In these kinds of situations, there's nothing like a clear graph to make all those pretty numbers tangible. Up to a point.
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Ironically Gates also took memory and CPU for granted. Since the machine they used to develop the interpreter, a DEC PDP, was used without permission from Harvard. In fact neither Bill nor Paul Allen really "dropped out" of Harvard, like they like to wax poetic about, but it was more an issue of being asked politely to take a leave of absence or face the disciplinary actions associated with their "commandeering" of a minicomputer which was not theirs. At the time, the machine they had been using was worth a pretty penny. So this was not an "innocent" transgression.

Which made the Gate's bitchfest regarding piracy during the 70s even more hypocritical. After all, Microsoft did not really paid any royalties or negotiated any licensing with Harvard regarding the code they had developed on machines/property which were not Microsoft's. Also there is also the issue that their "original" BASIC interpreter, which wasn't really original since it was a port of somebody else's work.

Bill Gates is a great marketing person, also aided in an interesting way by his functional autism... and a personality which seems to be unencumbered by certain moral dilemmas. As a technical person, he has no cred to speak of. And neither does Jobs really. Wozniak and Allen deserve most of the technical merits regarding the founding of Apple and Microsoft respectively. Ironically both ended up burned out and stabbed in the back by their respective partners.

Edited 2010-02-14 00:09 UTC

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