This piece in The New York Times on Bill and Melinda Gates Divorcing got me thinking about Bill again. I’ve written about him several times on this blog. I often think of him because for most of my career my field (IT) has been shaped by him. Then he left Microsoft and went off to save the world. In doing so, he transformed from the Bill Gates of old to a newer and gentler Bill Gates. The change has been so remarkable that many people likely don’t know that young Bill Gates and what he was like. If you want a better understanding of that, this old TIME article from 1997 by Walter Isaacson s helpful. (Isaacson was Steve Jobs’ biographer among other things.)
I think old Bill Gates still has some of that personality in him. I am curious to see how the divorce will change him. Whether we will see Bill Gates v3.0, someone who is neither CEO nor philanthropist. Time will tell.
August 7, 2021: It looks like Bill and Melissa have officially divorced. As a result, I suspect we will be hearing less about Bill’s bad judgement when it comes to affairs or hanging out with Epstein. As I said before, I’ll be curious how all this changes him.
(Image is a link to Wikimedia.org)
Posted in IT
Tagged billgates, IT, microsoft
I found this piece on Microsoft FrontPage fascinating. I remember when it first came out: it was a great tool if you wanted to develop for the web. While serious people went with Adobe products, FrontPage made developing web page easier for the rest of us. If you want to learn about the early days of the Web, or if you want to see what well designed software looks like (even if it seems very clunky with that Windows XP interfact), I recommend you read it.
You can actually still download it, here. Now should you? No. Read the sections of the article subtitled “Bad” and “Ugly” to see why.
And Verge has the story on this device…
…here: Microsoft’s Surface Duo looks like it’s ready to launch – The Verge.
Who knows if the world is ready for a Microsoft Phone or a Dual Screen Phone. I predict that dual screen phones like this will become more common in the next few years. Unlike some of the foldable screen phones, this one looks more durable, which will help. As well, phone makers need new designs to entice people to upgrade. And people will want the next new thing (though maybe not from Microsoft). All this adds up to more of these in the hands of cell phone users in the next few years.
That said, I am terrible at making predictions! But I predict this will see some form of success. 🙂
Is this: Inside Microsoft’s surprise decision to work with Google on its Edge browser – The Verge.
Years ago Microsoft would have not made such a move. They would have kept trying until the bitter end (e.g. Zune, Microsoft phone). Instead Nadella and team made a decision based more on what works for the users rather that what works for Microsoft. It’s not a radical notion in itself, but for a company that prides itself on being successful and dominant, it’s a big switch. And it’s not just here with browsers. Microsoft’s cloud service, Azure, has a range of technology supported. It’s one of the reasons it is successful.
Microsoft has always been a successful company. They were successful under Gates and Ballmer with one approach. Nadella has a somewhat different approach, and I believe they will continue to be successful with it.
This piece makes a strong case that he is: Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple. I’d add to it and say that people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were great people at a great time and a great place. Steve Jobs wasn’t terribly successful at NeXT: he was still great, but the timing of his ideas wasn’t and the company itself wasn’t either. Tim Cook and Steve Ballmer are very good CEOs, but they are not in the same league as Jobs and Gates, and you could argue that the time has come and gone for both Apple and Microsoft.
Apple has many good months and years ahead. We will have to wait and see if they can regain the golden era of Jobs and his new iMacs, iPods, and iPhones.
I remember all this, but for those of you who feel like the Web has always been with us, it’s worthwhile reading his piece, The Java Theory in The Atlantic.
He didn’t know it at the time, but everything was about to change. I enjoyed reading it, first with hindsight, and then reading it while imagining/remembering what it was like then.
If you are an old geek or interested in computing history, especially the early days of the PC, then I highly recommend you check out the section of the Computer History Museum on CP/M. Before Microsoft and Apple there was CP/M. You can even download the source code! Fun! 🙂
See Early Digital Research CP/M Source Code | Computer History Museum.
Microsoft is providing Office for the iPad, starting today (See this for some of the highlights: Microsoft Office For iPad Launches Today).
This is one of those milestone events in the history of Microsoft and Apple, and the computing industry in general. Back in 1997, after Steve Jobs returned to Apple, there was the big news of Microsoft investing $150 million in Apple (CNET News). And not just money…
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said today that the software giant will invest $150 million in Apple and will develop and ship future versions of its Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and development tools for the Macintosh
Back in 1997, Microsoft was dominant and Apple was dramatically regrouping. Apple needed Microsoft, especially their software. Now Microsoft is trying to pivot from the PC market (which is rapidly declining) to the future, which is mobile and cloud based. A future where Apple is currently one of the dominant players, and Microsoft is struggling. Microsoft needs Apple’s hardware, just like once Apple needed Microsoft’s software.
It is hard to say if this is going to change things around for Microsoft. I never count them out, ever. In the meantime, this is another sign that their transition is still a work in progress.
If you want to get it, you can get it here: Buy Office 365 Home Premium – Microsoft Store