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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Since the machine they used to develop the interpreter, a DEC PDP, was used without permission from Harvard.

Harvard didn't have a policy about usage of the PDP. So, the rest of your comment is nothing but hyperbole. They couldn't have been disciplined or expelled for violating a non-existent policy. But thanks for playing, anyway.

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.

That's a nice fairy tale you've created, but it's just that. Gates and Allen were students when they were using the timeshare system. They had every right to use the system and, as I said above, Harvard had no policy governing its use. Microsoft wasn't incorporated until November 1976 in New Mexico. If you seriously think that any innovation which has its roots in academic research is tantamount to piracy/theft, then you're seriously nuts. Add Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google fame to your list. They were working on doctoral degrees at Stanford when they created the first search engine. They followed a similar course to Gates and Allen. And there's a world of difference between developing an innovation while a student -- and having somebody pirate your work product.

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.

BS. Complete utter BS.

Bill Gates is a great marketing person, also aided in an interesting way by his functional autism...

Here, we agree.

... and a personality which seems to be unencumbered by certain moral dilemmas.

Yet more hyperbole on your part. It's very easy to criticize Gates in hindsight based on rulings that Microsoft had a monopoly in operating systems and, therefore, whatever it did would eventually be considered illegal. But Gates and company were operating prior to that ruling and, therefore, anything they did was done without the knowledge that they would be violating the law. That's one of the ironies of antitrust law: You CAN'T know you're violating antitrust until a court rules against you. So "morality" had nothing to do with it.

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.

None of them have "technical cred" today. Their innovations took place years ago, long before you were wearing diapers and sucking your thumb. So, really, trying to say, on the one hand that Allen and Wozniak deserve praise, while Gates and Jobs don't, smacks of hypocrisy or idiocy. Take your pick.

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