Re: Bill Gates

Mark Grant (
Mon, 06 Oct 1997 10:58:34 +0100

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> how much
> they lied to themselves about wanting reliable software (no one
> really wants reliable software, they just think they do),

I want reliable software; at home I use Linux for everything but the
few applications I want which don't run on it.

> Except to the small
> extent of MS's government contracts (a /very/ small part of its
> business) which are not paid for voluntarily, every penny of the
> world's richest man's fortune came from people who /chose/ to give
> it because they derived benefit from his products.

Nonsense; Microsoft receives a massive subsidy from the world's
governments in the form of copyright enforcement. Without that it
would be a much smaller company than it is today.

Having said all that, I've recently moved from working on Linux to
working on Windows, and I'm impressed by the amount it's improved
since my last 'Windows experience' with 3.0. The main things that bug
me are the memory usage, sluggish performance (a 166 MHz Pentium
running Windows 95 feels much slower than a 90 MHz Pentium running
Linux), and the way that the applications work fine until you want to
use them with something other than a Microsoft application (e.g.
exporting email into a standard Unix mail file format).

Then there are the little things; I installed Netscape because Internet
Explorer was so unreliable, and if I run Explorer it puts up a panel
asking whether I want to reinstall it as the default browser, like
no-one could possibly want to run a browser that wasn't written by

The other problem is security, which is notoriously lax. And Microsoft
go a long way to reduce it themselves; for example I read recently that
IE 4.0 has a 'feature' which allows any Web site to retrieve a list of
recently visited sites from your browser... I'm sure that will come in
very handy for industrial espionage in the future. I won't even mention
Word macros or ActiveX downloads.