Scoble pitches softballs to Gates

Scoble pitches softballs to Gates

Summary: Continuing my last few days of Microsoft watching, I just viewed Robert Scoble's 16-minute interview with Bill Gates on Channel 9.  Gates was very relaxed, and Scoble (famous blogger and a Microsoft evangelist) was admittedly a bit nervous.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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gateslong.jpgContinuing my last few days of Microsoft watching, I just viewed Robert Scoble's 16-minute interview with Bill Gates on Channel 9.  Gates was very relaxed, and Scoble (famous blogger and a Microsoft evangelist) was admittedly a bit nervous. I don't know if the nervousness rattled his brain, but he threw him only softballs. Scoble even told Gates during the interview that it's hard to come up with hard questions because Gates has heard them all. Not exactly true.

I can understand Scoble not wanting to be impertinent and being a good corporate citizen. Microsoft pays his salary. But as a leading member of the blogger community, for whom credibility and transparency are important virtues, I wish Scoble had dug just a little deeper in his allotted time. 

If I had known he was talking to Gates, I would have sent Scoble a few of my questions, about security issues, Google, relations with China, the Web as the platform, OpenDoc and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, etc. Of course, if those issues were among his questions, Gates probably wouldn't sit for a Channel 9 interview.

I did see Gates (he was on a stage and I was in the audience) on Tuesday at an scoble1.jpgevent on the Microsoft campus (and posted my take here), but he wasn't available to the press for questions. At the same event, Ballmer only took a few scripted questions.

Scoble did ask Gates a somewhat philosophical question--how he would want to be remembered. He responded: "I don't think being remembered is important, and I don't think it's a good way to decide what you want to do. For me, every day I want to make sure I am motivating people and hopefully sharing some good ideas, and if a product is not very good, telling in some positive way how they can make it better.  And then, having long-term goals around the empowerment of software and what the software industry should be able to do for people." I'm sure that's an accurate statement, but it's missing another side of Gates.  Over the 30 years he has driven Microsoft, Gates has aspired to dominate software for everything from the desktop and back office to the living room and the car. That's more of the Bill Gates we have come to know...

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Plenty of opportunities

    Bill Gates :

    "For me, every day I want to make sure I am motivating people and
    hopefully sharing some good ideas, and if a product is not very
    good, telling in some positive way how they can make it better."

    He'd has plenty of opportunities at the MS campus for his positive
    suggestions given many of their products are "not very good";-)
    Richard Flude
    • All questions are prearranged

      You hand Bill a list of questions beforehand. He tells you which ones you're allowed to ask, which ones you aren't.

      If there's any deviation from the agreement the interview is terminated and the lawyers appear from the shadows.

      Not that Bill is different in this, all politicians, etc. do exactly the same.
      figgle
  • This is enough to make you vomit!

    Gates could care less about quality, it only becomes an issue when people stop buying his products because of it. This has not happened so why bother with that quality crap.
    Wake up you lemmings!
    Reverend MacFellow
  • All the entertaining people.

    Observation for a Friday:

    On public speaking, seems
    - Steve Jobs
    - Scott McNealy
    - Larry Ellison
    - add whom you will
    are real crowd pleasers.

    But the biggest winner of the bunch is someone whose public statements I have to read several times before being reasonably confident I've understood.

    Right now, I think this shows something about the superiority of the serviceable and cheap and responsive to people rather than dazzling or incomprehensible.

    But then I'm thinking of Bill Gates and his products as (what?) comfortable as an old shoe.

    Somehow that doesn't sound correct.
    Anton Philidor
  • What's wrong?

    >>Over the 30 years he has driven Microsoft, Gates has aspired to dominate software for everything from the desktop and back office to the living room and the car.<<

    If I recall,

    Once upon a times, a dominant Micro Processor Operating System named CPM...
    Once upon a times, a dominant Word Processor named WordPerfect...
    Once upon a times, a dominant SpreadSheet named 123...
    Once upon a times, a dominant Database named DBase...
    Once upon a times, a company even bought WP and Dbase to add to their own Sprint and Paradox...
    Once upon a times, a big blue dinosaurs co-developed the (accordingly to Mr. Gates himself) next to be operating system named OS/2?

    And today:

    the dominant Operating System is??(drum rolls)???.: MS Windows!
    the dominant Office Suite is??(drum rolls)???.: MS Office Suite!

    Is that the fault of Bill Gates (or the fault of his organization) if any and all of their competitors failed (and continue to)!

    Dear Mr. Farber, you are (obviously) an American living in a free country which main essence is competition!

    Whatever you?re building cars, sodas, rocking-chairs, swiss-army tools, nuclear weapons or even simple software, your goal is to be the FIRST and to dominate your market.

    Nobody cares about the second (even if (when) the first is cheating).

    Furthermore, with regard to the software industry (in which I?ve been involved these last 25 years), users were desperately asking for integration since inter-operability was nothing but a myth.

    And this is exactly what MS delivered (even with a bunch of flaws).

    So, please don?t bash your flag that actually makes your living. I?d like your article, but I dislike your above quoted comment.

    Just my two cents.
    Furball Tipster.
    furballtipster