'

Gates' Microsoft future of intense interest

Those hoping for a peace between Microsoft and open source are going to be disappointed.

Bill and Melinda Gates with Warren Buffett
My speculation about Bill Gates' future with Microsoft was the 9th most popular blog post here during 2007.

Back in February I noted how he was the public face of the company during the Vista launch, suggesting he might help smooth over the harsh attitudes open source has toward the company.

Gates is still Microsoft's chairman, but his main commitment is now the Gates Foundation, which must soon begin putting $3 billion into good works each year under terms of a bequest from Berkshire-Hathaway head Warren Buffett (above).

Recently the Foundation split in two, creating a Gates Trust Foundation to maintain the capital and a Gates Foundation to spend it. It also began construction of a corporate campus in Seattle.

Gates' main role with Microsoft these days is to draw headlines, as he did recently in a meeting with tech bloggers at Microsoft's headquarters.

There he complained that others copy Microsoft innovations and insisted every "stupid thing" the company did provided value to others, showing competitors what not to do.

It was a question by Jonathan Snook which set him off, revealing much not just about his personal feelings but about Microsoft's attitude toward open source generally.

They don't like you any more than you like them. It's sad. Those hoping for a peace between Microsoft and open source are going to be disappointed.