Shocker: Bill Gates says Windows 8 is "a big deal"

Bill Gates is still the wealthiest man in the US, but still only works a few days out of the month at the company he co-founded, Microsoft. However, Gates isn't above hyping up Microsoft's latest products.

In a new AP story, via the Washington Post, Gates says he has naturally been using Microsoft's next version of its PC operating system "“and I’m very pleased with it." He added, "Hardware partners are doing great things to take advantage of the features. It’ll be a big deal.”

It's currently unknown how much Gates will take part in the launch activities of Windows 8. Most of the job of promoting the features of the OS has fallen on the hands of its CEO Steve Ballmer, who made a surprise appearance at a startup accelerator in San Francisco this week to promote Windows 8. He also briefly demoed its upcoming Surface tablet.

Gates is still heavily involved in his non-profit and charitable efforts with his wife Melinda Gates, with their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their efforts have concentrated on fighting diseases such as polio in third world countries, along with helping to fund education efforts in the US.

Source: AP/Washington Post | Image via Forbes

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71 Comments

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Mike Frett said,
Oh please, what did you expect him to say, that he hates it?.

That's why the title says "shocker". Because it's expected. Nothing wrong with him saying something expected. It's just reporting...

I hate to say this under free speech but in my opinion, this site has a HUGE MS fanboi base. I might be popular after this but, I will always tell you what i think. I'll never sugar coat anything

ChrisJ1968 said,
this site has a HUGE MS fanboi base.

I noticed that too, but I am also MS fanboi. Do you have something against MS? Are you google or apple fanboi?

Shocker: Neowin posts completely normal responses by people and then twists it to make it sound somehow redundant that they said it at all; when what the hell else would he say? Of course he said this, if he said "Meh, go buy a mac", then THAT is news.

What would Gates know about Windows, we should listen to Valve and the goofy guy from Minecraft, since they obviously have far more understanding of Windows OS technology.

/sarcasm

I don't think he's as excited about Windows 8 as he is that Windows 8 is going to finally be pushing tablets. That's getting his trousers all sticky!

warwagon said,
I don't think he's as excited about Windows 8 as he is that Windows 8 is going to finally be pushing tablets. That's getting his trousers all sticky!
Because Windows has never been on tablets...

Max Norris said,

Seriously? Somebody should tell my tablets that.
I should tell the doctors that I saw years ago holding tablets that they had fake Windows. They're gonna be p*ssed.

KCRic said,
Because Windows has never been on tablets...

Never is a strong word for what a quick Google search could have educated you on.

KCRic said,
Because Windows has never been on tablets...

I assume you're being sarcastic, & if I'm right, I think that was warwagon's point. Microsoft has tried to make operating systems for Tablet PCs for decades now, & it's especially been important to Bill more than others at the company, but it looks like they finally cracked it.

KCRic said,
I should tell the doctors that I saw years ago holding tablets that they had fake Windows. They're gonna be p*ssed.

Should take the guy above's advice about hitting up a search engine. Windows has been running on tablets for about about a decade now. Got one running 7 and one running XP. Nothing fake about it, sorry.

Max Norris said,

Should take the guy above's advice about hitting up a search engine. Windows has been running on tablets for about about a decade now. Got one running 7 and one running XP. Nothing fake about it, sorry.

I think he was sarcastic; anyway I bought my first Tablet in 2002 (Toshiba Portege' 3500) and never looked back. Since then I did not buy laptops anymore, only Convertible Tablets with pen input.
I will not buy a Surface though, I will probably get something like a new model, Convertible Lenovo

Max Norris said,

Should take the guy above's advice about hitting up a search engine. Windows has been running on tablets for about about a decade now. Got one running 7 and one running XP. Nothing fake about it, sorry.

I think he was sarcastic; anyway I bought my first Tablet in 2002 (Toshiba Portege' 3500) and never looked back. Since then I did not buy laptops anymore, only Convertible Tablets with pen input.
I will not buy a Surface though, I will probably get something like a new model, Convertible Lenovo

Fritzly said,

I think he was sarcastic; anyway I bought my first Tablet in 2002 (Toshiba Portege' 3500) and never looked back. Since then I did not buy laptops anymore, only Convertible Tablets with pen input.
I will not buy a Surface though, I will probably get something like a new model, Convertible Lenovo


Only a couple of months ago I got a Eee PC T91 netvertible off eBay for the sole purpose of installing Win 8 on it, (I know that it initially can't run Metro apps due to the screen resolution, but jsyk if you install the Intel GMA 500 driver in Win 7 Compatibility Mode it fixes that problem,) & I have to say, I love it. I personally consider it the ultimate portable computer, (but that's really just my opinion,) so it's the computer I tend to use when I'm out of the house or if I'm unable to use my main laptop for other purposes. The Kindle app's also great for eReading...

KCRic said,
Because Windows has never been on tablets...

I keep trying to tell me that, but the nightmares from our Windows 7 installs on our rugged tablets here just won't go away. Windows 7 has to be the worst OS I have ever used on a tablet device. The keyboard integration, the expectations of touching small widgets even in high DPI mode. The pain.

Max Norris said,

Should take the guy above's advice about hitting up a search engine. Windows has been running on tablets for about about a decade now. Got one running 7 and one running XP. Nothing fake about it, sorry.
Holy s**t that all went way over your head. You need a bit more coffee it seems

He'd say anything to get people to buy into it. C'mon; he still has a financial interest in MS, you think he's honorable enough to speak out against a product that'll pay him?

the wolf watching the hen house

of course he does. what else do you expect him to say? but I personally believe they knowingly deliberately made windows 8 make lot of controversies in this way at this time which I think one the financially and strategically healthiest times of Microsoft so they shift the platform to a better good. Although I am almost disappointed in Windows 8 unlike bill gates but I am seeing a bright future for Windows RT and their new modern interface style. Windows 9 or 10 will be awesome for sure.

S3P€hR said,
of course he does. what else do you expect him to say?

To complain how annoying it is to install stuff? He did with Windows XP, didn't he (in that famous quote)?

ahhell said,
Was putting "shocker" in the title really necessary?

I don't see why not, does it rustle your jimmies?

KSib said,

I don't see why not, does it rustle your jimmies?


No, it just turns a story into yet another ****ty John opinion piece.

I have never understood what is the point of asking someone involved in something, what does he or she think of their product. Is like journalists expect that suddenly a movie director, a music artist a CEO or anyone would say that their product sucks, and no one should put money on it. And we watch, hear or read just to find out about it....so far it has not happened.

BTW not complaining about the article, it's just a thought that came to my mind.

It's a great OS technically.. but it needs to fix up the UI confusion because it's just a mess. I love using it for its speed, stability, and other technical features... but the desktop OS is terrible and metro is just "meh". I love the snapping though.

jimmyfal said,
I would love to see Bill get up on stage for the Windows 8 release party.

Yeah I kind of miss him in their keynotes. Not a big fan of Ballmer at all as a face of Microsoft. Not sure why. Smart guy but rubs me the wrong way...

Windows 8 is not bad, so why people are surprise. There's no huge difference between win 8 and win 7 as it was the case with XP and Vista. Plus windows 8 is a stable OS.
People would just need time to play with MS latest baby

PaCpiS said,
Windows 8 is not bad, so why people are surprise.

The "Shocker" part was sarcasm if that is what you're referring to
PaCpiS said,
There's no huge difference between win 8 and win 7 as it was the case with XP and Vista.

Except it's not. It's going to have a decent learning curve.

PaCpiS said,
Plus windows 8 is a stable OS.

The OS itself? Probably, yeah. The release software? Eh, not so much. Splash screen crashing is kind of annoying.

KSib said,

The "Shocker" part was sarcasm if that is what you're referring to

No, was referring to many others comments, like "win 8 is the next vista"

KSib said,

Except it's not. It's going to have a decent learning curve.

It's not so complicated to make transition from 7 to 8

KSib said,

The OS itself? Probably, yeah. The release software? Eh, not so much. Splash screen crashing is kind of annoying.

Sure, the OS itself, i'm sure after SP1, Win8 will be more solid

I think problems will have a greater problem transitioning to Windows 8 than you may think. I would actually not be surprised if Windows 8 SP1 will have a user option as for which environment you want to boot into, but that they didn't want to give us that from the start in order to give Metro exposure.

abysal said,
It could be just PR, who knows how he really feels.

He still does make decisions at Microsoft. So I think he definitely had some input on their newest products.

Lprd2007 said,

He still does make decisions at Microsoft. So I think he definitely had some input on their newest products.

Bill Gates is currently Chairman of the Board. That means that he only does big-picture stuff -- he leaves the day-to-day management to, well, management.

TomJones said,

Bill Gates is currently Chairman of the Board. That means that he only does big-picture stuff -- he leaves the day-to-day management to, well, management.

And Windows 8 isn't 'big picture' stuff?

THolman said,

And Windows 8 isn't 'big picture' stuff?

Day-to-day management issues, such as the development of Windows 8, are left to subordinates like the two Steves.

Things have changed since Bill Gates was simultaneously Chairman and Chief Software Architect. When he stepped down from the second role, he dramatically reduced the time he spent at Microsoft.

TomJones said,

Day-to-day management issues, such as the development of Windows 8, are left to subordinates like the two Steves.

Things have changed since Bill Gates was simultaneously Chairman and Chief Software Architect. When he stepped down from the second role, he dramatically reduced the time he spent at Microsoft.

Oh yeah, I'm sure that Bill's not keeping up with day to day development of Windows 8, but I can't imagine that he didn't have some say in the overall 'big picture' development process of what it was going to be, how it was going to work, and what it would look like. I imagine that he is involved - at least to some extent - in any major product launch, even if it's just a quick review to give his stamp of approval.

THolman said,

Oh yeah, I'm sure that Bill's not keeping up with day to day development of Windows 8, but I can't imagine that he didn't have some say in the overall 'big picture' development process of what it was going to be, how it was going to work, and what it would look like. I imagine that he is involved - at least to some extent - in any major product launch, even if it's just a quick review to give his stamp of approval.


I agree. Not specifically about how Windows 8 would look and its feature set, but it's possible he gave input of the kind "I think Microsoft needs to move into the tablet space more". Not that I think Ballmer didn't realize this too.

Well he's no Allchin who used to push for backward compatible design and leaving options/customization and features intact.

MsftGaurav said,
Well he's no Allchin who used to push for backward compatible design and leaving options/customization and features intact.

I'm sure you know everything about resource management....please enlighten us as to how it is possible to maintain every option ever while adding new features to old functionality without sacrificing the ability to innovate or the resources allocated to new stuff?

MsftGaurav said,
Well he's no Allchin who used to push for backward compatible design and leaving options/customization and features intact.
People change their minds and opinions based on new facts and events. Who knew....

MsftGaurav said,
Well he's no Allchin who used to push for backward compatible design and leaving options/customization and features intact.

Win 8 is extremely backwards compatible. With it's Hyper-V it's more backwards compatible than any other Windows OS to date. It also has more features than Win 7 and atleast as much customisation. Windows Explorer is more customisable than before and i have more customise options for the taskbar with multiple monitors. Guess you're one of those idiots who bitch about the Start Menu missing when the new Start screen is an improvement. And again more customisable.

MsftGaurav said,
Well he's no Allchin who used to push for backward compatible design and leaving options/customization and features intact.

There are two philosophies at Microsoft, Gates and Ballmer.

Allchin comes from the Gates philosophy. (Not the other way around.)

NoClipMode said,
Windows Explorer is more customisable than before

And how precisely is that? In Windows 7, I had a choice between translucent and opaque window borders. Windows Classic was an option. Oh, and there was an entire configuration dialogue for the appearance of GUI elements (the Advanced option under Glass that let you change fonts, border padding, etc...) - completely stripped from Windows 8.

I'm not sure what you're getting at unless the ability to toggle the appearance of the ribbon in Explorer is what you're considering customizability.

Aethec said,

I'm sure you know everything about resource management....please enlighten us as to how it is possible to maintain every option ever while adding new features to old functionality without sacrificing the ability to innovate or the resources allocated to new stuff?

Could you enlighten me how you expect me to show you that via a comment? I am not a magician. If I had access to Windows source code and designers+developers at hand, I would show you how.

MsftGaurav said,
Well he's no Allchin who used to push for backward compatible design and leaving options/customization and features intact.

Not sure what you mean, since Windows 8's main feature is the duality of it. Both a tablet-oriented variant and the old desktop. This kind of backwards compatibility is seen nowhere else and unique for Microsoft.

I agree. Windows 8 forced me to review my PC needs and how I can apply them differently. For all the complaints against Metro, it opens the door for several new possiblities that the old school Windows desktop just never was a good fit for.

Bad Man Duke said,
I agree. Windows 8 forced me to review my PC needs and how I can apply them differently. For all the complaints against Metro, it opens the door for several new possiblities that the old school Windows desktop just never was a good fit for.

Out of curiosity, care to list a few of these several possibilities?

KSib said,

Out of curiosity, care to list a few of these several possibilities?


IMO the Contracts are a killer feature. It's an insanely great way of connecting all your apps together, and there's no way that could've worked well with Desktop apps. The Store is also a big deal. Having a single place where to buy and download apps is amazing. Also, the vector-based UIs blow my mind as a developer and end user too. Apps just work on multiple resolutions. No need to support "retina" and stuff. It just scales up automatically.

Lprd2007 said,

IMO the Contracts are a killer feature. It's an insanely great way of connecting all your apps together, and there's no way that could've worked well with Desktop apps. The Store is also a big deal. Having a single place where to buy and download apps is amazing. Also, the vector-based UIs blow my mind as a developer and end user too. Apps just work on multiple resolutions. No need to support "retina" and stuff. It just scales up automatically.

"BOB" UI was fully vector based...... in 1995.
And yes I bought it: very expensive, too cartoonish for my taste but, technically speaking, very well ahead of its time.

Bad Man Duke said,
I agree. Windows 8 forced me to review my PC needs and how I can apply them differently. For all the complaints against Metro, it opens the door for several new possiblities that the old school Windows desktop just never was a good fit for.
It's funny seeing that Desktop is "oldschool" So using Anything below Windows 8 is uncool to hipsters now.

Totalaero said,
It's funny seeing that Desktop is "oldschool" So using Anything below Windows 8 is uncool to hipsters now.

So true. Also hipsters also forget to say tha Mac OS X is still beautiful and easy to use on retina. No need for vector-graphics fake and ugly simplicity.
Also they forget to say that Windows 8 is a tablet OS with desktop functionality... Which may not work at all.
I hope Bill is right though.

drazgoosh said,
Windows 8 is truly a big risk, but I think it will pay off.

I agree with you, but with the opposite conclusion. Taking risks can be particularly tricky when the market is already dominated by two companies building very polished operating systems (talking the tablet space here since this is the focus of Windows 8). This sounds like Linux's scenario of entering desktop with Windows and OS X already there. But we'll see if there is room for Microsoft too. It'll definitely be interesting to watch how it plays out the forthcoming few years.

Totalaero said,
It's funny seeing that Desktop is "oldschool" So using Anything below Windows 8 is uncool to hipsters now.
Try to understand the context that is being used before labeling someone as a "hipster". The Windows desktop interface is limited in its applications. Input methods are limited. The interface has pretty much reached its limits. New and different interfaces are just that new, hence why the desktop is "oldschool". It's not meant to be derogatory, yet fanboys jump and throw a fit at any indication of what they cling to is old and stale.

smooth3006 said,
im honestly shocked he enjoys it.

I've been using the Enterprise Eval for over a month and I thoroughly enjoy it.