Talk:Bill Gates/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

The article (currently) contains the statement "A return on private investments made in, a New York-based venture, have led to recent increases in his net worth."

I've not been able to verify the statement. Also it didn't seem important enough to merit mention on the opening paragraph. Hence I moved it lower.

Anyone to vouch for the claim about and Bill Gates?

--Raymond Yee

Sailor Suit?

Is this true?

"Chairman Bill Gates has been working on a solution to the film industry’s piracy problem since making a now legendary pitch to the industry in September 2002. Showing a video of himself dressed in a sailor suit pretending to audition for the blockbuster Titanic, Gates pitched Hollywood with the proposition that only Microsoft could solve its piracy problem by making its DRM software a standard across every home entertainment playback and recording device."[1]

MIT Gates' Tower

Is anyone willing to write about the William H. Gates tower of the MIT Stata Center [2]?

It should at least be listed as one of the honors.

Controversial Paragraph

I removed this:

Still, and in spite of all the criticism that is so frequently levied against him, it is important to remember that Gates has been instrumental in creating an important new industry, bringing compelling new technologies to the mass marketplace, and making computers available to millions of people. To put the matter in perspective, it is fruitful-- and revealing -- to compare Gates to certain executives of Enron, who ran Enron as if the company -- and all of its employees and stockholders -- were little more than pawns to be used for their personal enrichment. To be sure, Gates has made plenty of money for himself. But he has also made plenty of money for his employees and stockholders, and made significant contributions to the U.S. and world economies.

As it is riddled with errors. Taking them one by one:

  1. it is important to remember that Gates has been instrumental in creating an important new industry. The industry came along without Gates help; there were many, many people who played significant parts. The primary contribution Gates made was to Microsoft BASIC - an important but hardly vital thing - where he was only one of three.
  2. bringing compelling new technologies to the mass marketplace Complete nonsense. Please name three "compelling new technologies" that Gates was responsible for. Hell - please name one.
  3. and making computers available to millions of people. An even sillier statement. Far from "making computers available to millions", Gates and Microsoft have been a major restricting factor. You make computers "available to the masses" by making them affordable, and the decrease in the cost of computer ownership over the last twenty years or so is entirely due to the massive improvements made to computer hardware: the cost of software, in particular operating software, has not dropped. In real terms (i.e., after adjusting for inflation/deflation) it now costs around 12 times as much to buy operating software as it did immediately prior to Microsoft finally establishing their OS monopoly in 1995 to '96. Hardware, in the same period, has gone from 66MHz to 2000MHz (CPUs), from 0.2 or 0.5GB to 40 and 80GB (hard drives), from 14" interlaced to 17 and 19" flat screen non-interlaced (screens), from 4MB at 33MHz to 256MB at 333MHz (RAM) - and costs less than half of what it did. By stifiling competition and innovation in the software indistry and causing the flight of venture capital from the industry, Gates has held back the progress of computing (on the software side) by an unknown but large amount: somewhere between five and ten years is a reasonable estimate. By increasing the cost of operating software by an order of magnitude (compared to free market prices), Gates has raised the financial bar to computing, and kept millions of people out, not "made computers available to millions".
  4. he has also made plenty of money for his employees and stockholders This is undoubtedly correct. One might question if those same employees and stockholders might not have made similar anmounts of money elsewhere, doing more productive work in lean, mean free market companies. My assessment is that no, they would not: few businesses are as profitable as a monopoly.
  5. made significant contributions to the U.S. and world economies. And here we have the greatest absurdity of all. The net result of the software monopoly on the US economy is (as monopolies almost always are) negative. It simply transfers wealth from more productive activities into the less-productive monopoly activity. Monopolies are almost never as efficient as free market competitors (because they become lazy, because they siphon off surplus funds for unproductive activity, and above all because they must devote a large part of their revenue to the task of preserving the monopoly rather than to doing something economically useful). Then there are the flow-on effects, which are far greater in aggregate. Because monopolies produce goods of a lower standard than are produced by multiple competitors in the dog-eat-dog world of a free market, the productivity of businesses that depend on those goods is in turn reduced. Because the quality of software produced by a monopoly is lower than that of a free market, businesses waste more time and create fewer results. (And because of monopoly pricing, their ability to retain profits for investment in new plant is also reduced, of course.) As for the world economy, the points just made remain valid, but in this case, the benefits mentioned in point #4 do not apply.

Tannin 07:18 Feb 12, 2003 (UTC)

Well.... having written most of the above, I must say that I am in sympathy with the rebuttal. It's just that I wish that the rebuttal could be made part of the article! I was trying to tell the other side of the story; you've competently supplied the opposing viewpoint (with which, to be honest, I fully agree). Why not synthesize these views and add it to the article? jeez, I'm repeating myself.... pfaff de pfaffenblog
So, basically a NPOV edit?  ;)
jareed 00:08 Aug 26, 2003 (EDT)
Well, as an example of bringing compelling new technologies to the mass marketplace, I name Internet Explorer. No, Microsoft did not invent the "web browser." Heck, I think Gates even wrote off the Internet early on. After they decided to exploit the web, they started bundling IE with their OS'es. Most people used IE because it was right there on the desktop and they probably wouldn't have gone to the trouble of figuring out how to download Netscape or used the Internet if the software to use it weren't so accessible. Yes, pushing their browser and making it free was anti-competitive (since everyone used MS OS's). Yes, once everyone started using the Internet with IE, it was very unlikely they would change to another browser (actually, to many people IE is the Internet!). But, by doing so, they opened up the Internet to a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have known how to even attempt to use it. —Frecklefoot 13:54, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Hmm, from what I remember, every major ISP would provide you with a CD with Netscape Navigator (go version 3 :P) on it. --Chuq 21:19, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Since Internet Explorer is based on Spyglass Mosaic (the commercial version of Marc Andreesen's NCSA Mosaic), it's part of the typical Microsoft pattern: Rip some technology off the original author for a butter bread, and force it onto the market. --Bernd Paysan 09:52, 06 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm... An interesting argument, Frecklefoot. But, now that you cause me to cast my mind back to 94 or 95, it ain't so. In fact, if I recall correctly, Windows was the last major operating system to include web access as a standard feature. OS/2 certainly had IBM Web Explorer and various assorted other accesory products long before IE 1.0 came out, Apple were in bed with Netscape, and in any case, most new computers came bundled with internet access products courtesy of the OEM. Ours certainly did (Netscape and ... er .. Eudora, I think it was, plus Trumpet Winsock) and we were only going along with the industry-wide trend. Nope: nice try, and an interesting thought, but we can't give Mr Gates credit for that one. Tannin 14:10, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)

If anything, Microsoft has been transformed into a monopoly. I'm only 14, but even I can see the effects of Microsoft's programs. Every few years they release a new Operating System, version of Office, or some other program filled with errors. They distribute these programs to large companies like IBM and Gateway, and then wait for the complaints to come in. In turn, they charge a ton of money to fix the programs that they intentionally filled with errors and shipped. And yet nobody has taken serious note of this legal issue. Microsoft rushed to finish up XP, and even with all of these service packs, it still has many errors. Luckily I am using 98, which is probably the best version out so far. I can only hope they won't rush Longhorn, and will actually correct all of the previous problems. Still, I think I might just buy Mac OSx Tiger when it is released. You can always count on Apple to do something correct. - Zeerus

And on another note, how has Microsoft, a company that only makes software and some hardware, made computers available to the millions? It doesn't even make computers. It only distributes its products to computer companies. - Zeerus

Microsoft distributes bug fixes for free. Even XPSP2 was free.
And, yes, Microsoft has now taken a more security-orientated approach to its software, XPSP2 and the latest CTP build of Vista is proof of that.
But getting back to the original subject, I believe that no browser yet includes a phishing filter, or natively supports RSS/Atom/Web Feeds, both of which are present in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 and later releases included with the Windows Vista builds. And I believe that what the original writer was trying to convey by bringing compelling new technologies to the mass marketplace was that MS was bringing compelling new technologies to the mass market i.e. the technology wasn't in mass use previously (however this is also technically incorrect). MarkKB 19:09, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Mugshot Caption

Why was my caption of Mr Gates' mugshot reverted as vandalism? Is it not true that this very picture is the one taken by Albuquerque, NM Police Department 13. dec 1977 after mr Gates was arrested? One can even see the string around the neck holding the nametag, and I do have a copy of the whole picture. Is it not NOPV to say that he was once (or twice, if I recall correctly) arrested? Gorm 06:03, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I may have been the one who reverted the caption. I reverted it because it looked like vandalism. The photo just looks like a photo of Gates as a teen (or young 20-something)—especially since he's smiling. But now that you mention it, I do see that string. If it is indeed a mugshot, mention the circumstances of the arrest in the article, preferably right next to the photo to give it some context. To just have a photo and claim it's a mugshot doesn't help at all. It needs some context. Cheers! :^) —Frecklefoot 16:27, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)
So I provided content. It is not intended as a personal attack. I even put the references down low in the article, so that most readers would not see it. I agree that the caption of the picture is a bit verbose, maybe only a reference to the sub page in the main aricle is sufficient.
About the sub page, I would even say that it is more comprehensive than most single articles on the net about it. See: Bill Gates/Criminal record.
...much too comprehensive... --FvdP
I also think it adds a bit of huomor to Wikipedia, and all articles should not be glorifying everyone.
The sub page was much too comprehensive. Had you intended a personal attack at Bill Gates, you would not have done otherwise. Not everyone would understand your article as humour. Especially as there was no humour in it. And phrases like "the reason for arrest in unclear" let the reader think that maybe B.G. was arrested for something much worse than not respecting road rules. Not to speak of the subarticle title itself. --FvdP
By the way, I didn't upload the corresponding images because I thought it would not be appropriate... Gorm 08:34, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I didn't revert your latest addition, but it looks like you didn't add the arrest record next to the photo, which would have helped (you could've also moved the photo to the text that refers to it).
AFAIK, Wikipedia doesn't support subpages anymore (well, the s/w supports them, but I think it is against the recommended style). This is just an observation I've made where several sub-topics of articles are made into top-level articles, not subpages of the main article. So, if you get the green light on this, make it a top-level article with something like Bill Gates Arrest Record. Personally, I'm not against mentioning his arrest record, though being arrested doesn't make him a "crminal." Stating it as such may be why your additions were removed.
What does everyone else think? Is mentioning Gates' arrests okay? It wouldn't be slander and I think it adds some interest to the article. —Frecklefoot 16:24, 3 Nov 2003 (UTC)
A mention in a very short paragraph, OK. More than that (and specially a whole article, or even subarticle) borders on slander IMO. --FvdP

Any objections to changing the caption to something like Gates as a teen, image from a minor traffic violation, linking that to a summary of the incident and the two other minor incidents he's been involved in? That seems to be not unduly prominent but useful background information for the image. JamesDay 00:41, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As long as the information is true and verifiable, it should be part of this article and not stowed away somewhere else.—Eloquence 06:03, Dec 7, 2003 (UTC)

Daniel, faces of people are how they are normally recognized - you can expect to find one or more of them in all biographies eventually. They are useful parts of this type of article. A small number (or more if showing things like cosmetic surgery) are helpful and good. Jamesday 16:17, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

One year later... I came to the Bill Gates article to read some basic information about his arrest (his smiling mugshot is featured in the famous All your base are belong to us flash video), and there's no mention of it, or any link to another page that does mention it. This seems like a rather glaring omission. --LostLeviathan 04:26, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

From what it's worth, it was removed by DraQue_Star three months ago in this edit. AlistairMcMillan 08:51, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The image was gone when I visited the article on September 2004 which is why I stated that "the image link is broken." I deleted the placer only. In addition, why have the mugshot on the article especially hovering around the Microsoft paragraph which is clearly poking fun of him. (Of course, NPOV) In addition the Wikipedia article also states: "The mugshot from Gates' arrest for reckless driving has been a source of amusement for free software fans and other critics of Microsoft." :P If you want to know more about the mugshot just visit the Smoking Gun or search it... DraQue Star = Anonymous Cow, now. --Anonymous Cow 23:18, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It's plain funny how the mugshot get re-added and re-deleted almost daily... Maybe we sould better resolve the issue here and not just keep on the revert war? --tyomitch 14:31, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

<sarcasm on> I would even venture to presume that it would be best to arrest Bill and Ball, erm, Steve, once and for all, giving them at least 400+ years in a courtmartialed trial</sarcasm off>

Another Gates portrait

I think the Gates profile picture from the Hebrew Wikipedia should be restored. Perhaps its him from the early 1990's, though I am unsure. If anyone has objections to this, please talk about it on the talk page. WhisperToMe 21:48, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Social Security Number

Why the constant reverts without any discussion here? I've protected the page until the matter is settled in some way other than reverting. Cheers, Angela. 02:43, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I've presented the question in the Village Pump, as presence of social security numbers on pages extends beyond this article. If there's a better place to ask this, feel free to let me know. --Metasquares 02:46, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That seems a good place for now, though it'll probably be moved to Wikipedia:Current disputes over articles when the Village pump is next archived if it isn't sorted out by then. Angela. 02:54, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

QDOS port

The last edit claims, clumsily, that Microsoft ported QDOS from a "CP/M" (by which I presume the writer means the 8-bit Z80 platform) to the "x86 platform" (which I suppose at that stage meant the Intel 8086/88 processor). This is inconsistent with the QDOS article, which describes QDOS in some detail. Hence I'm going to revert unless somebody provides evidence to the contrary. --Robert Merkel 11:05, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Opening Name

Bill has lately (for several years since the birth of his son) been Calling himself William H. Gates, Sr.. I propose changing the name in the first paragraph to this style, and moving the {henry III) data to his birth and family detail. Thought I'd note it here first, and wait a while for comments before proceeding. Thanks for your consideration, Lou I 08:42, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Please show your source. I believe you're confusing him with his father. Anthony DiPierro 04:27, 17 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I apologize for leaping to a conclusion. The AAAS award and note was a piece of trivia I didn't research enough. ;-(. OTOH, thanks to you my mistake got WP a great new article about Bill's dad. :-). About sources: I was working on the article for the American Academy, saw the 2003 inductees, and asked a friend, who is a member of AAAS, if that was the Microsoft Bill Gates. His reply was what I echoed in the above comment. He'll remain nameless here, the fault is mine for not checking. Lou I 08:37, 17 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Sr/III arguemnt aside, he should have a few post-nomials, im thinking specifically of his KBE which makes him an honourary knight. Not being a british citizen he does not received the title "Sir" but is granted the post-nomials. Post-nomials appear on many other entries, why not this one?

Codex Leicester

Article says

the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci; as of 2003 it was on display at the Seattle Art Museum.

Press release from the museum seems to imply the Codex when off display around August/September of 2003. If so, the as-of link should be replaced by as of 2004 & new location (storage?) determined. --Jerzy 08:53, 2004 Feb 17 (UTC)

Open Letter to Hobbyists

The original phrasing made it seem like Gates just strolled in, pulled the rug out from under these poor Ham radio operators, and created a commercial empire at their expense. I know, this being the wikipedia, that there is some bias towards the open source way of things, but the entry for Bill Gates should not become propaganda for open source. Promote open source by making good articles and good software, not by putting your bias into the articles. Please, keep my recent changes, which are both described as NPOV, and, honestly, are quite subtle anyway.

You might be taken more seriously if you get a username and sign your messages. ;-) — Timwi 09:47, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Hey, I would love to log in with my username, but this is too controversial and I really don't want to get mail bombed for even suggesting open source propaganda doesn't belong in the entry about Bill Gates... can you guys at least put these opinions on a separate page... for example, the Open Letter page, which is pretty sparce.
Also, I was there in person, and yes, people were shocked. It's a misrepresentation to try to make out that it was no big deal at the time. Stan 16:08, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Not everyone was shocked, please try not to represent the world through only your eyes.
I've made another pass at the wording. It's important because it represented a significant change of direction in the PC industry, too soon to know whether it's a permanent change or a detour though (the retail software market turns out not that great of a business to be in unless you are a game publisher or a monopoly, something that a lot of commercial companies have had to learn the hard way :-) ) Stan 16:50, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I specifically don't like the wording of "freely" and "shocked". When someone creates proprietary software, they get more freedoms than if they open sourced it. Also, when there is a market, consumers get more freedom of choice. Sure, it's popular to use freedom when talking about GPL, but not everyone sees it that way. Stop creating a false dillema between freedom and propriatary software. I would be much happier if you put the bias in the Open Letter page.
So I'm biased, but you're not? Uh-huh... If you don't like "shocked", how about "stunned" or "astonished"? Saying "the community was shocked" doesn't necessarily mean 100% - as far as I know, nobody took a poll at the time - but there were very few people who reacted at the time with "hey, makes sense". By the end of 1976, there were a lot more people excited by Bill's vision, and jumping into software business. But tell ya what - WP is supposed to be a secondary source relying on published original research, so let's find a reputable history of early micros and see what it says. I wouldn't worry about anonymity; unless you're bgates himself, no one is going to be interested in mailbombing you. I've been in plenty of heated controversies in the past year, got a total of three mail messages, two of which were asking for help, the third was a complaint from some guy who thought he had the right to post copyright-violating text. Stan 20:46, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
OK, so why not say it drew mixed emotions from the crowd: some were shocked, others were excited... and eventually more and more people grew to like the idea. And, trust me, my minor revision isn't as biased as the current one is: I admit that I believe some open source rhetoric goes way off the deep end, but I'm not letting that difference opinion get in the way of how I re-edited it. I think I was even handed; I'm not exactly jumping up here saying how capitalism will save the world. I mean, why not add something like "Some hobbyist were intruged by the idea that they could make a career from what they enjoyed."?
I also object to "freely". It isn't needed and just acts like Mr. Gates was ruining freedoms. As the GPL shows, no such thing was done; Gates did not destroy the possibility for GPL, so don't act like he was the cause of the fall from the garden of eden utopia of freely shared software. That's just not historically accurate.

Interesting bits from Case Western [3]:

[...] Gates' letter was very unpopular and set off a huge controversy among computer users. Most published letters were against it, although some programmers who wrote software for a living sided with Gates. [...]

and Lee Felsenstein, in Salon [4]:

"I read it aloud from the floor of the Homebrew Computer Club. To great derision. I read it to the multitudes assembled in the SLAC auditorium. Everybody thought that was hilarious, and they were damned if they were going to send them $500."

So whatever the underlying reasons for the reaction, we don't want to whitewash the negative reaction that Gates had on the community of the time. Stan 05:24, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Ok, let's get rid of the word "shocked" and put in "unpopular with some" and created "controversy." Controversy gives it a fairer light, because it implies there was debate on either side about it, not just one side. Also, the entry has gotta describe the people who liked the idea. You cannot possibly consider it NPOV unless you mention that.
Also, can you please tell me what's so critical about the word "freely" being in there? Gates wasn't limiting anyone's freedom. And, in fact, the term used today for copying software without permission is called stealing.

Hey Stan, I think you make a good case for the wording as is. I made changes that further discuss Gates's point of the letter (i.e. that he felt the hobbyist were pirates). Also changed the awkward sentence that said "Although legally correct" to "While legally correct" and introduced the concept that it was "unprecented." MShonle 11:05, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I don't know, according to the List of billionaires the Ikea guy (Ingvar Kamprad) actually doesn't have the wealth Forbes says he does. I say we change the entry to show Bill is the wealthiest again, and then link to List of billionaries. MShonle 20:46, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Source for this Paragraph?

It is incontestable that Gates has played hardball in the software industry. It has also been established in a court of law, and unanimously affirmed on appeal by a pro-business appellate court, that his company, under his leadership, repeatedly and egregiously engaged in business practices that violated U.S. laws.

Is there a source for these claims? I think backing them up would be advantageous. --Slowking Man 01:10, Aug 14, 2004 (UTC)

No one will ever need more that 16k

What was that quote? Why is it not here under quotes?

Every version I've ever heard has 640k. It's never sourced, and Gates denies saying it. Gazpacho 00:13, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Paragraph on business practices

  • This article is about Bill Gates. Material about the history of Microsoft, but not about Gates personally, should be in Microsoft.
  • I am aware of the accusations regarding Lotus 123 but have never seen it substantiated with details about how Microsoft was breaking the program and why it was considered malicious.
  • "crushed competitors" is patently POV language.

Please note that Gates is a major public figure, and inevitably there are many unsubstantiated rumors about him. In particular, Robert Cringeley has been approached twice, by two different writers about Microsoft, to explain where he got the "ice cream story" in Accidental Empires. He either refused to respond, or said only that the story sounded plausible, without describing his source. Wendy Rohm's The Microsoft File is a basic hack-job and soap opera which frequently has Mrs. Rohm playing mind-reader. Hard Drive, although careful about sourcing, contains material that has been outdated by subsequent research. Which book did you use, AAAAA? Gazpacho 00:13, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • First, I think I will copy here the 2 paragraphs that Gazpacho deleted, and I will comment on each sentence --AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "Microsoft's key moment came when in the late 1970s, IBM was planning to enter the personal computer market with its IBM Personal Computer (PC), which was released in 1981."
      • I think we can agree on this.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "IBM arranged for Microsoft to produce the computer's BASIC interpreter, and Gates recommended Digital Research, Inc. to produce the operating system."
      • I think we can agree on this too.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "IBM representatives perceived DRI as unenthusiastic about producing the operating system, and they turned again to Microsoft."
      • I think that the explanation given in the QDOS article is better, but this sentence was here already.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "Without revealing IBM's involvement (which would have violated a confidentiality agreement), Microsoft representatives approached Seattle Computer Products, which had developed an operating system for the Intel x86 microprocessor that the IBM PC would use."
      • I am not sure if it was Gates himself, Allen, Balmer or another Microsoft employee. At the time, I would think it was either Gates or Allen who approached SCP.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "Microsoft agreed to become the sales agent for SCP's operating system, later purchasing it for a reported sum of $50,000."
      • I would probably re-write this as "SCP agreed to let Microsoft become the sales agent for SCP's operating system. But the rest seems to be true.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "Microsoft subsequently licensed the operating system for a one-time fee to IBM (which released it under the PC-DOS name) and worked with computer manufacturers to include its own version, called MS-DOS, with every computer system sold."
      • I think we can agree on this.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "At a later point in time, IBM tried to steer users to its own operating system called OS/2, but it was too late. Too many third party programs already ran on MS-DOS."
      • Isn't this true? I think this is a pivotal moment in Microsoft's history and should be included in Bill Gates biography.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "During the following years, Gates used his growing power to crush competitors such as Wordperfect, Lotus 123 and Netscape, among many others."
      • Maybe the word "crush" is too harsh, but I still think this statement is true. Probably many other people and most other companies would have done the same. That is the nature of the free market and the competitiveness attached to it. But I don't think Microsoft won because they had a better product (at the time). I think that in Wordperfect, the fact that Microsoft started bundling Word in "Office" took an important role. Eventually the same happened with Excel. And I am not saying it is right or wrong, I am just stating what I believe happened.
    • "It is said, for example, that Gates instructed Microsoft programmers to include special code in one of the MS-DOS versions to make Lotus 123 produce errors, to make it appear to the users as if Lotus was the problem."
      • I believe I read this in "Hard Drive". There are other references: [5], [6], [7].--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
      • Of course, this will NEVER be proven right or wrong, no matter what researchers on either side say. But I see this very plausible.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
      • I believe there were errors in Lotus running the new DOS (that did not occur in the old version).--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
      • Finally, I stated "it is said", which is not the same as stating it happened.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • "Some years later, being unable to convince users to use Internet Explorer instead of the then leading Netscape, Microsoft removed most of Netscape's source of revenue by giving Internet Explorer for free (including it with the Windows operating system)."
      • I think this is exactly what happened. Microsoft was initially trying to sell Internet Explorer, and very few people were buying it. Everybody (the large majority) was hooked on Netscape. Then, from one day to the other, Microsoft included the software in Windows, and in doing so KILLED Netscape.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Of course this info has to do with Microsoft, but this paragraph is the basis of Microsoft's power, which is the central issue in Bill Gates life. I admire Bill Gates and think he does deserve a lot of credit for everything. I would have probably done the same as he did. But still, for all what I have stated above, I think the deleted paragraphs SHOULD BE REINSTATED.--AAAAA 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  • Latest edit by Gazpacho: 10:32, 28 Sep 2004 seems fine to me.--AAAAA 11:57, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Religious Views

On the list of athiests, Bill Gates (Microsoft) is listed. On the list of agnostics, Bill Gates (Microsoft) is listed.

I don't know his religious beliefs, but I do know you can't be an athiest and an agnostic. [2004.12.29]

  • It depends on how you define the terms. Atheism can be defined as "not believing in God". By this definition Agnosticism is a form of atheism, and one can be both. A narrow definition of atheism is that is the denial of the existence of God. On this definition, agnostics are not atheists because they don't believe there is enough evidence either to assert or deny the existence of God. Gates has been somewhat evasive about his beliefs, and his statements are consistent with agnosticism and the weak form of atheism. It may be that he believes that God does not exist, making him a strong atheist, but he has not said this on the record, so far as I know. --BM 12:43, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Someone please verify

The following paragraph was added by a user who minutes before vandalised the [Leonardo da Vinci] page. Can this information be confirmed?

In Early Elementary School Bill participated in sporting activities such as basketball and football. During a few years of his play Gates was teammates with Paul Fisher, they played Guard and Left Tackle on the Offensive line, respectively.

--Niels Ø 13:25, Mar 10, 2005 (UTC)

I think it should be removed. Who is Paul Fisher? I tried to search on him and not coming up with notable results just random guys named Paul Fisher. Even if it is true, it is not notable for putting on the article. I'm an American football fan and never ever heard of "Paul Fisher." --Anonymous Cow 22:45, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)


20 years, mid-70s to 95, are missing!!! Scriberius 18:17, 2005 Mar 18 (UTC)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "critics"

"Critics also say that it is done purely as a tax write off to hide money and refrain from paying his share." Who are these "critics"? Unless someone can cite a respectable source, I'm going to delete the entire paragraph. Mirror Vax 20:14, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Go for it, but please preserve the "Criticism aside, this still makes Bill Gates one of the, if not the, biggest philanthropists of all time." sentence. It's a lesser known fact about Bill Gates and deserves to be in the Foundation section. JiFish 21:51, 13 Apr 2005 (GMT)

I don't like that sentence either, because it's vague and has a hint of boosterism. Dollar amounts should be given if known. Mirror Vax 21:16, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I've got some actual figures for you. The Foundation was given an endowment of $27bn, $7.1bn of which has been spent. Source: I welcome suggestions for rephrasing. JiFish
BTW, I think this is the largest charitable donation by an individual. I am looking for a source to confirm this. JiFish

"In his will Gates leaves behind .01% of his wealth to each of his children."

Does anyone have a solid source for this, i.e. a direct quote of Bill Gates? The press stories I've read are inconsistent. "$10 million each" is a common one.

In any case, "In his will..." should be rewritten as something like, "Bill Gates has been quoted as saying he will leave his children...". The will is not public information. All we can know is what Gates said about it. Mirror Vax 19:13, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree. This is another piece of Bill Gates lore that you hear all the time but it's never cited properly. This really needs a direct quote, because it's the kind of thing that local newspapers repeat as fact all the time. I took the liberty of removing it. Rhobite 19:21, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)

640 kB

In comments: "PLEASE DON'T ADD THE "640KB should be enough for anyone" QUOTE HERE. Unless you are reporting some brand new evidence, the quote is apocryphal." I think it's so famous it should at least be mentioned! Guaka 18:50, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

It is mentioned in wikiquotes. I don't think it needs to be mentioned again here. Mirror Vax 20:27, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Computing on less than a dollar a day

In this discussion, Gates outlines his view of the feasability of provision of technology in third world countries: Might it be worth referring to?

Mr. Jones 21:20, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

About Pirates of Silicon Valley

The article says: "Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) — a dramatized but historically true film about the history of Apple and Microsoft, with Anthony Michael Hall playing Bill Gates." Pirates of Silicon Valley is a very INACCURATE film. It fails on some key issues that are related to Bill Gates. The story of how Microsoft had their first contact with IBM for example: They say there that he planned the meeting with IBM and made the contact with them while the opposite is true - IBM made the first contact with him and offered him to do an OS for them. Initially he directed them to another company, a thing which is ENTIRELY dismissed in "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and is a key aspect. There are many more examples for how "Pirates of Silicon Valley" is an inaccurate film and not "historically true". In the meantime I removed those words.

Bill Gates vs General Motors

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on. At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If General Motors had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

  1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
  2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
  3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
  4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
  5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive -- but would run on only five percent of the roads.
  6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.
  7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.
  8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
  9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
  10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.
Bill Gates vs General Motors ...

Please share this with your friends who love -- but sometimes hate -- their computers.

It doesn't sound like a true quote to me. For example, if GM was trying to get back at Microsoft, why have a line about Mac computers? Seems fake to me. - --JiFish(Talk/Contrib) 11:10, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is a joke that has been passed around through email for years. [8] It is not real and it is not recent. AlistairMcMillan 13:26, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)

Bill Gates and Asperger's syndrome

We're having a discussion at Talk:Temple_Grandin on whether or not there is supportable evidence that Bill Gates has Asperger's syndrome. There are many sources online suggesting that he does [9] [10]. The Temple Grandin page currently mentions him as a case of someone with Asperger's syndrome. However, it seems odd that that page would say so, but that there is no mention of it on the Bill Gates page. Could people comment on whether there is anything more than idle speculation to Gates having Asperger's, and whether the issue merits any mention on this page? --ErikStewart 14:47, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Unless Gates actually admits to having Asperger's, any idle speculation about it should not be in the article. There is a single unsupported sentence in the first section about it; unless I hear any objections, I will remove it. android79 02:37, August 14, 2005 (UTC)
  • I once predicted that Tim Fischer (a former Australian politician) and Bill Gates have Asperger syndrome, and while I was working on it my prediction about Tim Fischer was confirmed when he said that he has some autistic traits (one of his children is autistic). But if wikipedia were to deal with this kind of topic, I'd fear that hundreds, if not thousands, might be the target of (probably not good faith) speculation as to whether or not X has Asperger syndrome. I suspect that, if ever, Bill won't discuss the issue in depth until after he retires. Andjam 15:29, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Do we need any more evidence than this? - or this

If Bill Gates had an issue with speculation about him and the autistic spectrum, do you think this article would ever have got published?

Caplan, Arthur (2005) Would you have allowed Bill Gates to be born?: advances in prenatal genetic testing pose tough questions. May 31 2005.

And Bill Gates has also been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in a recent book about autism:

Benaron, Lisa (2009) Autism. Greenwood Press, 2009. [book series: “Biographies of disease”. A discussion box on pages 56-57 checks Gates against DSM-IV criteria for AS and the author concludes that “it seems highly likely that Gates would be given a diagnosis of AS if he were to seek out an evaluation”.]

Moved from page


More on Bill Gates/Archive 1 may be found in Uncyclopedia, an encyclopedia parody.

New photo

I think that this photo looks more like him: 250px

Current: 170px

I came across a really nice photo of 13-years-old Gates at a teletype, at May I add this image to the Biography section? It's the earliest photo of Gates that I've ever seen. --tyomitch 17:56, 12 September 2005 (UTC)


"I want to make clear that we respect the role of government in our legal and economic system."

Removed this quote, it's not memorable, it's not a "nugget of wisdom", it's not in anyway revealing about its originator, nor history, or society, or current state of affairs, it begs the answer that it's not a matter of choice whether one respects government or not is he or she purport to be citizens of the u.s.a. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 15:22, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

In fact the quote is memorable and very revealing about the attitude of the speaker and his place as a member of the uppermost class of the American aristocracy who feel that they were born to rule and government and the law are for little people. The answer that is it not a matter of choice actually is the whole point of showing the quote: what sort of person THINKS it is a matter of choice and feels a need to say so?


Why isn't ther a paragraph focusing on the varied criticism which has been levelled at Bill Gates along his long and highly controversial career. I presume he's got a lot of money flowing into hired hands "expurgating" this page at regular intervals (and i am right to suppose this since he's bussiness practises have demonstrated time and again that he is not above this, on the contrary. The number of trials settled out of court for once, is a clear indication he likes to buy his way out of "problems") and what's left is imo a sub par skeletal article mentioning some basic facts and a canonizing paragraph on his role as "philanthropist". This is really an article lacking in many respects, I am sorry i dont have the time to go through the previous edits and source some valuable criticism that should be preserved, but i hope someone has the time to do so and bring this up to wikipedia standards and not the press release direct from gate's headquarters that it is right now. I cannot stress this enough, such a controversial figure (and that is also a fact, just do a bill gates criticism search on an engine, a staggering 2.820.000 results in google) SHOULD NOT be without a criticism section. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 15:22, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

This page has a critic in the blogosphere

Search for "Bill Gates" on Pcb21| Pete 15:03, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

This article is crap

Jimbo sez so. Lets get cleaning~! Sam Spade 21:54, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I tried the same thing with Microsoft months ago... ended up having to do it mostly myself... hopefully we'll get some volunteers here, eh? Ryan Norton T | @ | C 21:59, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. However, I'd like to point out that many of our Microsoft articles are actually pretty good (I'm a little biased about MDAC and Windows 2000, having contributed a fair amount to these...). This article is pretty bad though. - Ta bu shi da yu 07:29, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

You sound like the kind of man we can trust under fire! Keep up the good work... please! Seriously, you are appreciated.

Cheers, Sam Spade 22:27, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

OK - quickly (becuase I'm in a hurry :)) I did a brutal edit getting rid of a lot of stuff, and I cleaned up the biography section, moved some more to the intro, etc. This thing is still too list and trivia-heavy. Anyway, feel free to put back anything I took out. I'll take another look later too. Ryan Norton T | @ | C 22:42, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Don't forget the references! Can't forget the references. We have lots of further reading, but not enough references. Actually, no references at all. Johnleemk | Talk 17:05, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Congratulations. This article was one of two even discussed in german press for being a radiant example of crap in english wikipedia. The articles were founded on Nicolas Carrs critic and is said to be backed up by Jimmy Wales in this particular case! They even start to doubt the theory of "collective intelligence" here. And I thought only the germans would fxxx up at "Freimaurerei" etc. Clean it fast, plz! And take the job a little more serious - writing is a craftmanship. Madayar, -- 21:09, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I recently nominated this article for the Article Improvement Drive so that it can be improved by a lot of editors. This article is really shameful, missing so much information, even the lead paragraph is sad. — Wackymacs 13:58, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Scottish ?

Article added to a scottish category. In what way is Bill Gates Scottish? --Sgkay 15:44, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Seems there are some mentions of his relation to the highlands, as revealed by a quick google search. Could not find anything more authoritative however:
[[11]] "It is estimated that over 28 million people across the world can claim Scottish roots, including many famous people in politics, business and the media. ... Bill Gates"
[[12]] "With an estimated 28 million people of Scots descent around the world - Bill Gates" Mceder 01:11, 3 December 2005 (UTC)


According to our article on Melinda Gates, they have three children, but this article says two. Which one is correct? Majts 15:34, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

BBC news item says [13] 3 children. --2mcmGespräch 07:12, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Delete the article

Bill Gates is no benefit to the society nor to humanity. Delete the article, because it is not wisdom nor knowledge but pure information on volatile human development or should I rather say undevelopment?

To put it plainly, Bill Gates and his comrades destroyed a culture, that of the computer science, and with it that of the industry and with it that of the society. They caused irreversible disruption of what we call preservation of culture and cultural intent, they commercialized culture where there was no commercialization before and they monopolized where other companies long have finally grown adult and matured by their mistakes. Bill nor Microsoft ever matured. Ever listened to one of his so-called prophetic blurbs? How come that one of that stand must always recite the "you know" at least three times between "er" and "errm" with no content whatsoever in between?

I challenge you to write an encyclopaedic criticism of Bill. See Common criticisms of Microsoft. -- Zondor 02:48, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
One POV and another POV doesn't make a NPOV either how...-- 15:59, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Delete the boring POV rant on the talk page. The idea that the computer industry was all flowers and good will before Bill Gates is mildly entertaining but that's about it. --Fastfission 01:24, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Gates' -> Gates's

According to page 1 of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, although his influence on the world may be considered by some to be equal to Jesus', the possessive form of Gates's name should end in 's. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-10-22 00:46

The Main Article Image

  • May I ask why this picture

File:Bill Gates1.jpg

as recently changed to this one of him at this conference in the main article? (current image)

The old one seems much better than this new one. The other one is too big in my opinion. I think it would look better as it was but with the picture frame bigger. Then perhaps other picture could then go to use further down in the article Thoughts? Blightsoot 21:01, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

This is a Promotional photo, the licensing details state:
"It is believed that the use of this photograph to illustrate the person, product, or event in question, in the absence of a free alternative, on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Other use of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement."
Although I think that posting Image:Bill_Gates1.jpg qualifies as fair use, that image was likely replaced with a CC-licensed free alternative per the above suggestion. --anetode¹ ² ³ 20:03, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Browser War ...

If memory serves me right... once upon a time, there was a browser called Netscape, hmmm ... Anything heard about it, huh? And then the judges and authorities wanted to divide Micro$oft into several parts, ooops... let me see, who starts finding out this secret story? -- 19:50, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Bill Gates personal life

I recall reading from somewhere that BG used to go on virtual dates (b4 the inet took off obviously, he married in Jan 1 1994 after all) where he would go the a movie the same time as another women in a different city (why he went on so many dates with women in different cities I don't know) and then they would talk on the phone about it. I also recall reading that it was quite common for female MS staff to persue BG and indeed there was some standard way they signalled their interest (I have to say this because I know someone else will, it was NOT sex). Anyone have more on this? It seems quite a fascinating and bizzare aspect of his life. I do wonder what sort of prenupt he has... :-P Nil Einne 23:17, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

General structure, charity

This article is over-loaded with Microsoft and under weight on his bio. Business actions in the late seventies and early eighties are gone over extensively and then nothing until an over-detailed criticism of his antitrust testimony. Balance needed.

Also, the charity criticisms were weaselly and senseless. The 28 billion is the single largest charity endowment in history. Billions on malaria and AIDs aren't a perfidious plot to sell more software. Marskell 16:05, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I can't agree more. The article focuses too much on Microsoft and less on Bill Gates himself. The charity information needs expanding. Even the Steve Jobs article is better. The problem is that all the biographies I've found of Bill Gates on the Internet are as bad as this one. So theres nothing much I can really use as a good source to base my writing on to improve this. — Wackymacs 16:52, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Greg Palast's comments

Investigative journalist Greg Palast has accused Gates of using the Bill & Melinda foundation to cover up global harm that he is part responsible for. This is a serious accusation, and Palast is a respected journalist. The text I've added to the article is:

Journalist Greg Palast suggests that The Gates Foundation is used to make tactical donations to hide media sensitive humanitarian side effects of treaties, such as TRIPS, which have been supported by Gates and are responsible for the deaths of millions in Africa.[14]

I added this info before, but there have been 750 edits since I first added it, so I cannot track down when which edit removed it. Gronky 20:45, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

I vaguely recall removing it. I'll leave it this time, but I removed the part which states as a fact that TRIPS is "responsible for the deaths of millions in Africa". We just can't say things like that in a neutral article. Palast and radical anti-globalization groups believe that, but it's far from a fact. Rhobite 21:06, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Actually Palast doesn't even make that claim in the article. Where did you get the idea that the treaty is responsible for millions of deaths? Is that just your opinion? Rhobite 21:07, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Looking in the history, you reworded it (although you may also have later removed it, but I won't search 750 edits to confirm). I've reworded your new rewording - removing the "anti-globalisationists" remark. Palast's explanation of how TRIPS kills is from his book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy". I'm not sure how to reference that though, since it's not online. Gronky 21:19, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I wasn't joking when I wrote that anti-globalization groups oppose TRIPS. I think it is opinionated for the article to state on one hand that Bill Gates supports the treaty, and then on the other hand explain the supposed drawbacks of the treaty. If we say that Bill Gates supports the treaty with no explanation, we should simply say that the radical anti-WTO crowd (including Palast) opposes the treaty. Basically you are discussing who supports the treaty without going into any detail about why, then giving your personal opinion that the treaty is bad, without any discussion of who opposes the treaty. It's a tricky debate tactic. Not sure that I'm making myself clear here - please let me know if you're confused. Rhobite 23:02, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Saying that "the radical anti-WTO crowd [...] opposes the treaty" is an oversimplification and is incorrect. The majority of TRIPS-critics are not "anti-globalisationists" or "radicals" (whether Palast uses either of those words for himself, I don't know). It's African and South American governments, it's consumer rights organisations, it's Medicines Without Frontiers, it's Free Software Foundation, it's the vast majority of civil society. So, what would you be happy with? How about saying that Gates and/or Microsoft strongly supports the treaty, and giving two quotes from organisations that criticise the treaty? I'll come back in a few days to try another wording. Gronky 19:35, 14 November 2005 (UTC)


Does everyone actually like the {{rating|75|100}} template recently placed in the page? It looks a bit out of place. I'll put it at the bottom for now. Shawnc 08:47, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

It should go on the Talk page, it doesn't look right in the article. — Wackymacs 09:03, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

qualification of pie in the face

it might sound like i'm joking about this, but i'm serious. in the video of gates getting hit with the cream pie, you can see how forcefully it was thrown. honestly. i think the guy is kind of a tool, but i felt bad for him. that pie was WHIPPED. it was slammed. it looked painful, aside from the embarrassment. my point is, it should be noted in the TRIVIA section that the pie was thrown with impressive force. or even excessive force. or with frightful velocity. somebody: please find the right words to describe it, and add it to the wiki. thank you. 05:52, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

How about "thrust into his face"? --anetode╔╝ 06:08, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Can we please delete this?

"Historically, successful men and women in America have fallen into one of two classes: conspicuous consumption or a continuing focus on their business. William Randolph Hearst seems to have lost his passion for the newspaper business and instead wasted his fortune on a mansion in San Simeon, and Larry Ellison of Oracle is well known for his lavish yachts. Whereas Thomas Edison and Henry Ford continued to pursue the interests that enriched them, alongside, in Ford's case, an eleemosynary interest in world peace.

Bill Gates appears to fall into the latter category and his central passion remains technology and his company, and philanthropy."

Is there some kind of historical theory that divides successful people into these two classes? I sure don't know of any. These sentences just seem awfully arbitrary and seem to violate NPOV.

--Perlman10s 22:41, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, and most of it is just off-topic, too. I'd vote for simply deleting it. — Matt Crypto 01:27, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I concur. The above section reeks of "cultural history" analysis and may violate the "No original research" policy. Unless someone can link it to some famous historian, it should go. --Coolcaesar 04:07, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Gates in Coup?

"Bill Gates' great coup in his deal with IBM was retaining the right to license the DOS to other computer makers—in the long run a major mistake by IBM."

This looks like POV. Does anyone else think so? TheDarkArchon 19:28, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

  • That is obvious POV, that sentence needs to be rewritten. — Wackymacs 20:47, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Removed the great coup part TheDarkArchon 23:49, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Expanding intro

I just added a paragraph to the intro and before anyone gets uppity...

  • It needed to be longer given the length of the page.
  • Comparing to Rockefeller and Hughes is on topic.
  • He is THE iconic figure of late 20th century, American capitalism.

I don't like throwaway intros generally, but where the subject warrants a little bit of extra "ya, this guy is damn important" I don't have a problem. Gates definitely warrants a para of this sort. Marskell 22:33, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Powerful person in sports?

According to the article, Gates was "Ranked at 28 in the 'Top 100 most powerful people in sports' by The Sporting News in 1997"

Can we work on verifying or removing this? I have a lot of difficulty understanding why Gates would win such an award, and every search I've done on this phrase has just turned up Wikipedia mirrors.  :)

Starwiz 18:44, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Eidetic memory

20 years ago I learned that Bill Gates has eidetic memory (also know as photographic memory); specifically, that he could recall huge slabs of his source code. Since he was only a few years away from his coding days at the time, the casual statement was just something I filed away at the time. Can anyone else confirm this? It is unreasonable to claim that he still does, but in 1984? (I know of at least 3 other people with this mental faculty, so I know 'photographic memory' is a valid article.) --Ancheta Wis 01:09, 29 November 2005 (UTC)


As part of Bill Gates' persona, is it worthwhile to mention his habit of rocking back and forth when he is straining to think? --Ancheta Wis 01:22, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't think so because it's not really connected to his work. Players in competitive games such as chess and Go, where we will see them doing their distinctive habits while thinking, must have how they come up with their best moves. But except for rare public events that might make him think hard, it's not important what he does while thinking. Now suppose that Bill Gates fell from his chair because of his habit and had to be hospitalized or something, then it deserves a mention. --Revth 05:42, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Stop removing "KBE" from the end of his name!!!

KBE stands for "Knight of the British Empire," and is placed after the end of one's name who has been knighted by the monarch of the United Kingdom, but is not a citizen of the commanwealth; otherwise the title "Sir," would be added before their name. So, whoever keeps counter-editing me, STOP! (Bhargav mr 01:39, 30 November 2005 (UTC))

I know we've had this discussion before (possibly more than once). Why are we fighting about it again? Rhobite 01:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Rhobite -- I can't see a discussion about the KBE initials earlier in this Talk page; can you point me to the right place? Cheers. — Matt Crypto 15:09, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
Technically the Queen did knight the bastard but in reality it was Tony Blair for "services rendered". What services they were, we'll probably never know exactly but it's probably connected to Blair launching his election campaigns at MSUK headquarters to give Windows XP a boost. The KBE is the current low-water mark for the country's honour system and is deeply embarrassing to our country. Alas, this information would be POV in the article (POV being defined as anything which even a single zealot or shill would object to somewhere somehow).
Erm, thanks. — Matt Crypto 15:09, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Thankfully, Lunkwill has edited the page to way it should be. (Bhargav mr 01:39, 30 November 2005 (UTC))

According to British law, receiving the title "Knight of the British Empire" allows one to use the initials "KBE" after their name. It does not require one to use KBE any more than receiving a Ph.D. or M.D. requires one to use these initials. In certain situations, such as a research lab where everyone has a Ph.D., using Ph.D. with your name is looked upon as rather presumptuous. So to determine whether "KBE" is appropriate to be used with William T. Gates, we must not look to British law but what Bill Gates himself prefers. And in the Microsoft biography of Bill Gates [15], KBE is not used anywhere. So I don't think we should be using it in his name either. –Shoaler (talk) 12:34, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Hi, Bhargav. You seem to feel very strongly that Bill Gates should be shown with the "KBE" after his name, yet I can find no websites, other than those which are copying Wikipedia, that use the KBE. The Microsoft biography website does not use it. The New York Times does not use it. The Washington Post doesn't use it. In fact, most of the other websites I've found that mention Gates's KBE are poking fun at it [16]. I know he is entitled to use the KBE -- that is not an issue. He is entitled to use Ph.D. also since he received an honorary Ph.D. I'm just wondering why you feel the article should put a KBE after his name when no one else is doing it. Can you cite any sources that show that Gates has elected to use the KBE in his name? –Shoaler (talk) 14:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Based on the fact that most sources do not use such a title, I am reverting this usage; please see WP:NOR. Shawnc 20:10, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I concede... (Bhargav mr 00:51, 3 December 2005 (UTC))