The secret of Bill Gates' success

As Bill Gates prepares to end his full-time work at Microsoft, he tells the BBC in an interview that it wasn't just what Microsoft did, but what his rivals didn't do that let Microsoft get ahead. "Most of our competitors were very poorly run," he tells Fiona Bruce, for The Money Programme. "They did not understand how to bring in people with business experience and people with engineering experience and put them together. They did not understand how to go around the world."

Sir Alan Sugar, one of Britain's computer pioneers with his Amstrad range, testifies to Microsoft's global mobility even as a comparatively small company in the 1980s. Amstrad, in Brentwood, Essex, was visited by a Microsoft salesman - or "mid-Atlantic smoothie" as Sir Alan describes him - who came to sell Microsoft's MS-DOS operating system.

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Magallanes is absolutely right. Taxes. Thats the only reason for his philanthropy. Most of us have no idea what its like to be in his financial shoes. Its a whole different animal.

He may not be the richest man anymore but with all his charitable efforts he has to be among the most generous

(C_Guy said @ #9)
He may not be the richest man anymore but with all his charitable efforts he has to be among the most generous :)

It's the least he can do.

When you have resources with which to be generous, then it's rather easy.

I'm not really impressed with how the philanthropy of the wealthy is championed and congratulated. It's useful, and certainly serves a serves a social and economic purpose. But the generosity of those who have little and those in need themselves is what is most deserving of our attention.

Bill Gates is not generous, he's simply doing something else with money he likely doesn't know how else to use, and putting it to good use. It's of very little cost to him and he loses nothing. Easy peasy.

(C_Guy said @ #9)
He may not be the richest man anymore but with all his charitable efforts he has to be among the most generous :)

tax reduction.

guess it's a good thing his children had to work to earn money, instead of outright inheriting his billions.

I hate spoilt brats who live off their parents.

(LTD said @ #9.2)
When you have resources with which to be generous, then it's rather easy.

I'm not really impressed with how the philanthropy of the wealthy is championed and congratulated. It's useful, and certainly serves a serves a social and economic purpose. But the generosity of those who have little and those in need themselves is what is most deserving of our attention.

Bill Gates is not generous, he's simply doing something else with money he likely doesn't know how else to use, and putting it to good use. It's of very little cost to him and he loses nothing. Easy peasy.

Gates is not trying to be generous. He's trying to change the world.

...again.

And if you paid any attention to how he has divested his portfolio over the last 10 years, saying that he doesn't know how to use his money looks kinda dumb, dontcha think?

(LTD said @ #9.2)
When you have resources with which to be generous, then it's rather easy.

I'm not really impressed with how the philanthropy of the wealthy is championed and congratulated. It's useful, and certainly serves a serves a social and economic purpose. But the generosity of those who have little and those in need themselves is what is most deserving of our attention.

Bill Gates is not generous, he's simply doing something else with money he likely doesn't know how else to use, and putting it to good use. It's of very little cost to him and he loses nothing. Easy peasy.

So creating the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight diseases all over the world shouldn't be championed? Considering those who have little couldn't create something so huge and have so much of an impact as the foundation does, I don't see your point in this case and it seems you might just have a vendetta against Gates himself.

-Spenser

As Bill Gates prepares to end his full-time work at Microsoft, he tells the BBC in an interview that it wasn't just what Microsoft did, but what his rivals didn't do that let Microsoft get ahead. "Most of our competitors were very poorly run," he tells Fiona Bruce, for The Money Programme. "They did not understand how to bring in people with business experience and people with engineering experience and put them together. They did not understand how to go around the world."

There was only one real threat to Windows' dominance over the year: IBM and OS/2. He's obviously refering to them.

OS/2 was so much better than NT 3.5 and 4.0 back then. IBM just didn't do the right marketing job. On this point Gates is absolutely right. MS did the job.

I assume you do realise that OS/2 was a Microsoft - IBM project (at some point it was even referred as Microsoft OS/2). Microsoft abondened the project because of the success of Windows.

Actually more precisely OS/2 started as joint project of IBM and Microsoft. But both company ended up a in disagrement and split. Both company released a version of OS/2 version 1. They were pretty much the same OS.

After the split MS concentrated their effort on Windows NT. IBM went on to developped OS/2 2.0, followed by version 2.1, which were miles ahead of version 1. Those were the version that could have detroned Windows at the time. Later version of OS/2 Warp 3 and 4 were a progression but not enough to catch the market. That's were IBM went wrong, they just gave up.

Those were the version that could have detroned Windows at the time. Later version of OS/2 Warp 3 and 4 were a progression but not enough to catch the market. That were IBM went wrong, they just gave up.

NT wasn't on a throne at the time. In fact, OS/2 2.0 was released just over a year before the first version of NT was released. In addition, OS/2 2.x was a hybrid 16/32-bit operating system.

There were several reasons OS/2 failed. The most obvious reason is cost: nobody could really afford NT or OS/2. It was much less expensive to purchase an IBM-compatible machine that had DOS and 16-bit Windows pre-installed. Even DOS/Windows shrinkwrapped cost a lot less.

Another reason was greed: IBM went the same route as Apple, making their OS as a somewhat closed architecture, with little support for third-party hardware. Another big snafu was insisting on support for the PS/2 286. On the other hand, MS provided tons of drivers in 16-bit Windows, and made drivers easy to develop for hardware manufacturers.

Warp 3 was more than just a progression...it was finally a true 32-bit OS, and had far more hardware support. However, by that time 16-bit Windows was strongly entrenched, with a large number of software companies writing for Windows. Warp could run Windows apps, but the cost was still prohibitive, especially for those who already had 16-bit Windows...why pay more money for Red Spine and have two operating systems, when the pre-installed DOS/Windows pair does what you want already? And native apps for Warp...for the most part, where were they? It's all content folks...it's kinda like buying a high-def disc player when they were first released: what are ya gonna watch on it?

Then there was that debacle of a partnership with Apple...don't even get me started with that one. Apple barely made it out alive.

By the time IBM realized what they were doing wrong with OS/2, it was too late. They are an excellent example of what Microsoft's rivals didn't do that let MS get ahead.

That sums it up pretty much. Altought I don't remember it been so expensive. I have to admit I never bought it. I was getting copy at work for free. In fact most of IBM mainframe customers were getting tons of copy for free. And sweetheart deal on IBM PS/2.

If my memory serve me well, OS/2 2.1 was released in late 91 or early 92 and NT 3.5 was still in beta. I remember going to a big launch party (they had one in every major city), where I got a free copy of 2.1 and a t-shirt that said: "Up and running, not up and coming".

For many of the reason you mention and maybe more, that's when IBM missed it. And as you said by Warp 3, they had alreary missed the boat. It was too late and they gave up.

At that time IBM could have release the code and let it become open source. It could probably still be alive today.

True. Most of Microsoft's rivals just want to cry about how anti-competitive Microsoft are, instead of doing real work.

Yes, and the rest just want to SUE because it's the only way they have left to make money.

(Either that or make a commercial hoping to win you over by insulting your intelligence)

Party on, Bill Gates. I crack up every time I watch the video of Windows 98 crashing in an interview But seriously, awesome. I wouldn't be using this laptop without him.

(ricknl said @ #5.1)
Just for the record. That was Windows 98 Beta.

"It's just a beta... "

We hear that every time there is a new release from MS.

(Sam Symons Live said @ #5)
Party on, Bill Gates. I crack up every time I watch the video of Windows 98 crashing in an interview But seriously, awesome. I wouldn't be using this laptop without him.

Why wouldn't you be using that laptop if he didn't exist? I hope you haven't been sucked into the lie that "Microsoft created the PC revolution, and we should all bend over backwards praising him"