Dr. Evil impressions, Zune defensiveness and a willingness to give away $28bn dollars: can you blame us for liking Bill Gates? The Microsoft chairman has been talking to UK paper the Daily Mail, and while the focus is the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization which kicks off today, there's still plenty of time for gadget anecdotes and singing Travie McCoy's Billionaire.
Despite calls for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to be toppled, the company's board of directors are apparently standing behind the outspoken exec. According to a source close to the board talking to Reuters, the nine-strong directorial team - which includes ex-CEO and current chairman Bill Gates - all support Ballmer; earlier this week, notorious hedge fund manager David Einhorn led demands that Ballmer be replaced.
Microsoft's acquisition of Skype may have proved controversial thanks to the big sums involved - $8.5bn in cash, no less - but according to chairman Bill Gates it's not just "a great deal for Microsoft" but something he personally was pushing for. "I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done" Gates told the BBC about what is Microsoft's largest ever acquisition, suggesting that it would "be fascinating to see how the brilliant ideas out of Microsoft research, coming together with Skype, what they can make of that." However, others suggest that rather than just having improved video conferencing in its sights, Microsoft is actually looking to do what, so far, Apple and Google have failed to achieve: undermine the carriers.
Extracts from the upcoming autobiography of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen have revealed significant resentment toward Bill Gates, with the ex-exec accusing his one-time partner of conspiring to take shares in the company from him while he underwent treatment for cancer. "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft" is scheduled to go on sale on April 17, but according to the WSJ's early access paints "a revisionist take" on Microsoft's early days.
In what probably takes the award for today's strangest news, Ars Technica spotted that the generic user icon in the Outlook 2010 People Pane appears to use the outline of previous Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. More bizarrely, the image the Microsoft developer(s) responsible for the icon have used is seemingly Gates' 1977 police mugshot, from when he was pulled over for a driving offense.
Apple's iPad may be an early sales success, but it's still polarising opinion between those for whom fingers are the be-all and end-all, and those who prefer the precision of stylus input. Nobody represents that split better than Steve Jobs and Bill Gates; the Apple CEO recently said that if users had to reach for a stylus then a touchscreen device was a failure, while the Microsoft chairman has described the iPad as "a nice reader" but reiterated his preference for a "mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard." It seems he's not alone in that; according to a recent Gates interview, he revealed that Microsoft "has a lot of different tablet projects" including prioritising content creation rather than consumption.
Microsoft aren't just aiming for your games room with Project Natal, but your living room and even your office. That's the latest from Bill Gates, who confirmed that both the Xbox and Windows teams have "latched onto" the motion-tracking camera system and each plan to develop applications that will range from gaming through controlling an HTPC, to increasing interaction in meetings.
It's been around a long time. The Microsoft-Apple war. People on both sides of the fence argue until they're foaming at the mouth about "who is better." The media has even poked fun at it but Apple has full on embraced it with the Mac and PC Guys in commercials. That being said, these CEO icons are no longer really at war, and even though Microsoft still pushes more units each year, Apple is the clear winner.
As much as I hate to admit it, Steve Jobs is the jock. He's the cocky guy that knows he's the best and most of the time, he's right. Bill Gates is the nerdy type with a chip on his shoulder. He knows he's smart and he wants to let you know too. Both guys lack social decorum, but one comes out on top as the victor time and time again, and that's Steve Jobs.