An exegesis of the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates keynotes

An exegesis of the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates keynotes

Summary: Todd Bishop has come up with a new way to look at the keynotes from CES and Macworld. For the recent keynotes by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Todd, a Seattle PI tech reporter and blogger, ran the speeches through a tag cloud generator, ranking commonly used words, and more interestingly with UsingEnglish.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Todd Bishop has come up with a new way to look at the keynotes from CES and Macworld. For the recent keynotes by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Todd, a Seattle PI tech reporter and blogger, ran the speeches through a tag cloud generator, ranking commonly used words, and more interestingly with's free textual analysis tool, which provides word count, unique words, number of sentences, average words per sentence, hard words (three or more syllables), lexical density (difficulty level of the text--low index means easier to understand) and the Gunning Fog readability index (gives the number of years of education that the reader hypothetically needs to understand the text--shorter sentences written in plain English achieve a better score).

Based on the results, Jobs' keynote, primarily introducing the iPhone, was much more accessible (easier to grok) than Gates' keynote, which dealt with Vista, Office, Xbox, PCs and home servers. Jobs, by far the better speaker, in fact a legendary presenter known for creating a reality distortion field, clearly has mastered the art of the communication...

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Jobs v. Gates

    Well it doesn't hurt that Jobs actually has cool products to announce and show off as
    opposed to some other variant of Windows.
    • Microsoft's wPhone...

      ... would, of course, be a PC running Vista. It would be a very small PC and it would have all the features the iPhone lacks such as:

      1. Replaceable batteries - power hungry Vista!
      2. A decent 102key keyboard
      3. 15" touch sensitive screen - none of this poxy 3" stuff
      4. Loads of RAM
      5. Load of disc
      6. Available in white, black and brown styling
      7. Err..... that's it!

      Having said all that it strikes me that the iPhone is a rubbish product. It's tied to one provider, won't load anything, won't interface with anything - it is a $500 phone with a fancy front.

      I don't know how much you pay for cell phones over there in Yank-land, but the most expensive one I've ever seen over here in the UK could do everything except walk the dog and make a cup of tea and it was about ?200 = $400. My daughter's Motorola with camera, phone book, connection cable, bluetooth, software, etc, etc, etc was ?50 = $100.

      I would not be surprised if the iPhone flopped or substantially dropped in price. I cannot see how the price could be justified. Of course, Apple's fans have paid over the odds for many years - maybe they're used to it by now.

      It seems to me that the iPhone is for "pose" value only.
      • Already in the works
        tic swayback
        • It just goes to show ...

          ... people don't need integrated devices. They just need a whole lot of duct tape. :-)
          P. Douglas
        • Awesome!

  • My guess is ?

    ? if Barney (the purple dinosaur) and Albert Einstein were added to the competition, Barney would have come out on top, and Einstein would have ended up at the bottom. Speeches about simple things are of course easier to understand and digest than speeches about complex things.
    P. Douglas
  • Speeches don't tell the whole story

    Gates and Microsoft have done quite well without having the most compelling tech preacher...Jobs has done well with the iPod/iTunes, but so far that is the only market share leading product
    • I don't think either of them...

      ... did a good job. The CES was two announcements of two unsurpising products.

      Microsoft launched Windows Server 2003

      Apple launched an incompatible phone

      Am I supposed to be impressed? All the rhetoric and speeches don't make any difference.
    • Oratory

      Could we focus on the technology please. Apple is continuously diminished with
      these snide tributes to the "charismatic leader". IT is going to have to come to
      grips with what appears to be Apple's large leap ahead in not only oratory, but the
      leveraging of technology. Yes. it's true. It is shining a bright light on IT's
      prejudices, and conventional wisdoms. Whether or not Apple is in fact running
      technical rings around Microsoft is up for debate. The fact is, that they look like
      they are. From Vista's OSX-like interface, to iPod knock-offs like Zune. It
      increasingly looks as though it's Apple steering this ship. The time has come for
      you folks to stop framing Apple as "fashionable" and give them credit for some
      serious technical chops.

      Why don't you tell me again who I should be paying more attention to. Should it
      be ZDNet? This bastion of IT journalism can make declarations of the obvious, like
      who is the market share leader.

      Or should I pay attention to the "mercurial, charasmatic, and arrogant" Steve Jobs
      and Apple computer. After bringing the personal computer to market, Apple has
      provided me with a stable, consequence free platform for computing for 20 years.

      So I'll listen to your warnings about the dangerous insincere nature of the reality
      distortion field, and I'll ask, what have you folks done for me lately. By my
      standards, the real spin is coming from Ziff Davis.
      Harry Bardal
  • "Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field"

    Was first coined as a somewhat offensive phrase meaning that his truthfulness
    was in question and the Mac users were duped into buying products because they
    were cult-like in their devotion to the Mac. Well, the phrase in that distinction is a
    false and deragatory statement. But, for pure presentation value, a Steve Jobs
    keynote can't be beat. The reality distortion field comes in where when you see
    Jobs present his new product, he makes you think "this" is the product I have to
    have whether you really want it or not. He doesn't lie about the product or make
    false claims, but he is a salesman and one of the best. Give the product he's
    pushing a few days of thought and the reality sets in. Apple designs very
    innovative products and some very well designed and usually the tops in the
    industry in overall quality. Occasionally they miss really bad, but usually the
    products are good. Products never quite live up to the expectations when you
    watch a Steve Jobs keynote. Still his keynotes are fun and entertaining and the
    products are usually good enough that every year you look forward to MacWorld
    just to see his keynote.

    There is a reality Distortion Field after a Jobs keynote, but it's merely a length of
    time between his keynote and the time you come to your senses and realize you
    probably don't actually really need whatever he's selling. Occasionally you actually
    will really need what he's selling, like last year when I really needed a new Mac
    when they announced the new Intel iMacs. I bought one and I can't say it wasn't an
    outstanding product.

    Last year I bought my first iPod, but it was an about to be outdated Shuffle. I can't
    say it wasn't a great buy even though there were less expensive MP3 players. It's
    Apple and it works. I've bought inexpensive MP3 players before and might as well
    have bought a piece of plastic to cut my finger on because that's about what it was
    worth, a completely useless product. I have never bought anything from Apple
    that didn't do what it was designed to do. Sony and Toshiba have reputations for
    making quality products, but neither has given me the product satisfaction of
    Apple products I have purchased.

    Bill Gates does good keynotes, but he's more of a demonstrator and less of a
    salesman. Still, you should always have respect for Bill Gates. He's made billions in
    the computer business and much of it was because he took big chances at the
    right time and after he became the big dog at the table, he has managed to cover
    or block anyone who tried to do what he was able to do. He's a very clever man
    and it's always interesting to hear what he has to say.
    • "... he is a salesman and one of the best."

      A salesman concentrates on the buyer, persuading him to spend money. As you said of the reality distortion field, after a while "you come to your senses and realize you probably don't actually really need whatever he's selling."
      Part of selling is demonstrating the product and showing it's needed.

      Bill Gates, on the contrary, sells not products but concepts. He likes software, especially what it can do. I have the impression he sees the software working and picks out words to describe what he sees that are either approximations or the phrases used when the idea was discussed inside Microsoft. Memories of approximations.

      He may be cutting back on participation because he believed too well the assertion of people like the NY Times reporter, Kristof or Friedman, that he should stop spending time on something as reprehensible as Microsoft and devote himself to charity.

      Or maybe he had been working in the field long enough.
      Anton Philidor