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Bill Gates: ‘I’m not an iPod user’

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2005
News Categories: iPod

Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates said Wednesday that while the iPod has been “a great success,” he doesn’t use the Apple music player and doubts claims made earlier this month that the majority of his employees are iPod owners.

In an interview with ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, Gates said: “I’m not an iPod user. I use the Creative Zen which is a fantastic product. That’s another space where, even what we have today, whether it’s iPod or the other things are only the start of what we’re gonna have in a few years. People are gonna want choices. These things are going to be smaller or better, cheaper.”

When asked about a recent Wired News article that reported about 80 percent of Microsoft employees who own a digital music player own an iPod, Gates said: “Well, I doubt that’s the case. Certainly, the iPod’s a great success.”

Gates went on to say that Apple “did a great job” with the iPod, but “what Apple’s done there is typically what they do.” He said: “It’s only their one music store, only their device. What we’re doing is providing choices.”

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Comments

21

“You get that rich by being lucky. Smarts has little to do with it.”

Spoken like a true Mac zealot.  A *poor* zealot.

Posted by stark23x on February 17, 2005 at 12:25 AM (PDT)

22

Yeah, sorry dude, that makes no sense. You’re telling me getting rich is all luck? And that there’s no smarts involved? HA! What a sad statement.

Posted by Joshdude in Long Beach, CA on February 17, 2005 at 12:48 AM (PDT)

23

“I’m not an iPod user. I use the Creative Zen which is a fantastic product.”

Good for you Gates, nice to know had a ‘choice’ in an open and free market.

Posted by iZON in London on February 17, 2005 at 1:55 AM (PDT)

24

Frankly I don’t care if Bill is using a Zen, an IRiver, a Netwalkman or whatever…. it’s not going to make me feel bad that I got an Ipod, nor is it going to change anyone else’s opinion that the Ipod is the thing to have right now.

Ultimately many people who own Ipods don’t even know how to download updates for their Windows OS, so they’re not the sort of people who are going to sit around and listen to what people like Bill Gates or Sim Wong Hoo say.

So maybe Microsoft offers choice: but at the end of the day it’s a question of what choices are being made, and all those millions of Ipods sold say only one thing….

Posted by Popjunkie in Singapore on February 17, 2005 at 2:07 AM (PDT)

25

A) to be honest, being rich is a combination of good choices *and* luck. I am no smarter than many of my fellow college classmates. But I was lucky to get hired on at a start-up that had a product that was good. Not necessarily better than its competitors, but quite good. We looked good to investors, went public. I was no smarter than most of my fellow employees but I decided I couldn’t ride out the rise any further and sold out. Two weeks later investors decided we were over prices and the share price plummeted to less than half of what I sold for. Luck alone lets one in a couple billion win the lottery. Hard work and intelligence alone let many people live anywhere from on the edge of poverty to comfortable. Add some luck and you get a Bill Gates. Any attempt to claim he got there only on intelligence and hard work is silly. Any attempt to claim that he got there only on luck is equally silly.

b) What Bill Gates means by choice is having the choice to buy a device made by a range of companies and the choice of buying music from a range of sources. That ultimately the choice is limited by *his* DRM system and to *his* operating system is, to him, irrelevant. To me that is like having my choice of seats on the Titanic - I’d rather choose another ship thank you very much.

c) Intelligent or not, Gates has been saying lots of really stupid things of late. The idea that those of us who are opposed to DRM are communists, for example. The fact is Microsoft is in serious trouble and as the iconic leader of the company Bill appears to be foundering. Speaking in public has never been his forte and that explains part of it. But I think it goes further than that. For over 10 years Microsoft has been on top; it could do no wrong. Now everyone sees that the emperor has no clothes and he doesn’t know what to do. (It was that or a comparison to the the Wizard of Oz <grin>)

Posted by david_b on February 17, 2005 at 3:58 AM (PDT)

26

Bill got rich off of Windows-using suckers.  But, for the first time in his life, he’s a little worried.  Apple has beaten him in the digital download business and spyware-infested PCs are beginning to frustrate end users so much so that some of them are looking for Windows alternatives.  Now, instead of fixing his POS operating system so it doesn’t allow bad things like spyware to happen, he just buys some anti-spyware company and says, “computer security is important.  Look what I’m doing for you.  I’m offering you a free anti-spyware product.”  Why go to all the trouble of actually fixing the OS when he knows there’s a Windows-using sucker born every second?

How much longer are you Windrones going to bend over and take it from the company that “offers choices”?

Posted by Quoth_the_Raven in Herndon, VA on February 17, 2005 at 4:14 AM (PDT)

27

Untill the Day comes when we Windows useres stop bending over and run like Lemminigs to Apple and the overpriced and obscure Hardware & Software. Sure there might be a priode of 15 to 18 Months for everyone to get aquanted with there new Mac’s! But, GOD HELP YOU IF YOUR DEARM OF STICKING IT TO M$!! Ever comes true.

Security though obsurity is not very much security if you ask me. It may be more then your average WIN/PC but, then when was the last time you heard of a 98% penatration rate for the Mac?!?!

I didn’t think so. So you’ll forgive my cynicism, when I here you Mac People yap on about how clean and pure your White Vests are….

Posted by Ichijoe in Deutschland on February 17, 2005 at 5:00 AM (PDT)

28

I’m surprised he uses any portable music device.  I thought he was a robot.

Posted by purplestallion in Dallas, Texas on February 17, 2005 at 5:09 AM (PDT)

29

Boy, a lot of Windows fanboys in here.  The fact that there are people that actually are fans of things made by Microsoft just amazes me.  I can understand having to put up with Windows, and using it because you think you have no choice, but to actually *like* it and defend the practices of Microsoft?  Amazing….

Posted by m. sherman in Northern VA on February 17, 2005 at 5:11 AM (PDT)

30

It must take a thief to be rich like Bill Gates.  Didn’t you windows(windows not capitalized on purpose because of inferiority) slaves bother to watch “Pirates of Silicon Valley”  Bill Gates is a thief.  Jobs had a part in it, but Xerox was robbed of the GUI way back when. 

Remember, once upon a time, Apple was king.  They misstepped somewhere along the way.  Windows did not, nor ever has, become superior.

I use both Mac and a new PC, and there is NOTHING I prefer to do on the PC than I can and enjoy on the Mac.  And, the number of issues encountered using a PC versus issues on a Mac is pathetic.

Posted by genrlz on February 17, 2005 at 6:07 AM (PDT)

31

“Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates said Wednesday that while the iPod has been “a great success,” he doesn’t use the Apple music player and doubts claims made earlier this month that the majority of his employees are iPod owners.”

Big deal. Why does anyone give a ****? BG has stated anything in years that anyone who is conscious didn’t already know about at least a year before. How is this news? It’s not.

BG’s next announcements of things he has ***finally*** realized. The earth is round. The sky is blue. The guys from dumb and dumber are idiots and he is too.

Posted by Sabon on February 17, 2005 at 6:57 AM (PDT)

32

I am obligede to use PC’s at work…

Every time I get home and open up my PowerBook I let out a sigh of relief.

I agree that the iPod iTMS paradigm is not as open as it could be, but I wouldn’t be caught DEAD using a Windows if a Mac is available.

I challenge all you Mac-bashing troglodytes to ACTYUALLY TRY a Mac.

And if you can’t afford one, steal one… but don’t steal music wink

Posted by Alirio in Montreal, Canada on February 17, 2005 at 8:29 AM (PDT)

33

“Security though obsurity is not very much security if you ask me. It may be more then your average WIN/PC but, then when was the last time you heard of a 98% penatration rate for the Mac?!?!”

There are more cockroaches than humans on this planet. That does NOT make them the superior life form!

Posted by ahMEmon in Canada on February 17, 2005 at 8:45 AM (PDT)

34

Why is it that none of these execs ever want to admit that the reason the iPod became the market leader is thru CONSUMER CHOICE? Apple did nothing to prevent the sale or promotion of OTHER didgital music players, they just provided a superior device married with a superior service and the CONSUMER chose.

Now all this “Apple only offers their Store as a choice for the iPod” is rubbish. There are some of us who either dont have access to the internet, don’t have a credit card or dont CARE to purchase music online. What about the good old fashioned way of creating your OWN mp3s to load ‘em onto your ipod? Since purchasing my ipod, I have bought shitloads of cds, and have created digital versions of each and every one of them.

As for Bill Gates, you know the man is lying and wont admit it. Walk down the street of any major city in almost any country, and you will certainly see those lil white headphones and way too many people. What makes him think that because his emplyees work for him, that they will be different from ordinary people on the street? Apple employees, on the other hand, are TOTALLY influenced by Job’s Reality Distortion Field™! (snicker)

Posted by ahMEmon in Canada on February 17, 2005 at 8:55 AM (PDT)

35

Way to go, ichijoe.  I see you’re using the tried and true Windoze user non-answers.

Windows has 98% penetration rate because of the complete ignorance of most consumers much like yourself when it comes to computers and computing and, not least because of the practices of convicted monopolist, Microsoft.

Posted by Quoth_the_Raven in Herndon, VA on February 17, 2005 at 8:55 AM (PDT)

36

I agree with catboy17 and david_b.

Windows has 98% penetration rate because of the complete ignorance of most consumers

THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE but I think it would mostly apply to people living in 1st worldcountries who can afford to buy an above-the-average-price computer and have the CHOICE to go for an apple computer. I think people who live in countires, where PClones (compatible x86-based) are way cheap and are already loaded with windows/office, aren’t ignorant for choosing windows. It was their only choice. Eventually, when they can afford a better computer with windows legally installed, they go for windows because of the reason mentioned before. Even if these people wanted to change and have a taste of the mini, they will have to pay expensive taxes for importation and the currency exchange rate.
So I think the penetration rate is not just because of the ignorance but because necesity and availability.

Posted by iYuc in Yucatan on February 17, 2005 at 11:12 AM (PDT)

37

Security through obscurity = argument through ignorance.

I find that Windows users are largely ignorant of the facts - not too surprising when you stop to realize that most bought a Windoze box in ignorance of their choices. But I digress.

Linux and UNIX has a history of high security because they were designed to be online 24/7 and because the codebase is open. Windows, by contrast was originally designed to be a standalone computer or, at best, networked within a closed environment. Security wasn’t an issue. Further, because Windows codebase is proprietary only Microsoft can look for the security holes and only Microsoft can fix them - I mean attempt to fix them.

UNIX, and by extension Linux and the MacOS, are not secure through obscurity by secure through superior technology.

Face it Windows Fanboys, Windows isn’t getting banged just because it is so prevalent (although that is part of it) but also because it is so bangable. When an operating system has swiss cheese security even a script baby can put together a little exploit - and that is Windows’ problem.

Of course I am arguing with logic and facts which means most of the fanboys won’t understand it.

Posted by david_b on February 17, 2005 at 12:01 PM (PDT)

38

Sorry? Bill Gates is going on about choice?

The public has a choice, some people prefer Windows, some Mac, some Linux (of which I am one, for superior development libraries). Bottom line is everyone made a choice when buying a computer.

It’s the same with the digital audio players - people have a choice, and the majority chose the iPod. Despite the limitations of the iTMS - I’d rather just buy the CD albums and import it anyway - Apple have successfully created a powerful, easy-to-use device that is true to their company ethos. It just works.

The iPod has been a hit for several reasons: a winning design, a simple user interface, and a well integrated, supremely powerful music management solution that is usable on both Mac & PC.

Microsoft does not provide this choice: do the Zen jukeboxes work on Mac? No. How about Linux support? No. Are they easy to use? Hell No.

Case rested.

Posted by Fudge150 on February 17, 2005 at 12:27 PM (PDT)

39

Im new to this site, and i read this.  Bill Gates had NO right whatssoever to talk about choice.  hes smart, but he is well…..a bit confused right now.  He may think all Apple wants is to make money, well ofcourse, and he doesnt want to make money?!?  apple is great, and they did good with the iPod.  People also see the similarity between the ipod mini and the dell dj mini >_>

Posted by Sonic4390 on February 17, 2005 at 5:30 PM (PDT)

40

Well I’ll sit here and pray for all you Mac Zelleits! that you should get your wish of Apple captureing the Flag… So that you too may then come to know of Trojans and other nice things!

The iPod is only where it is now, is two fold.

1) Mr. Job had no choise but to let the PC (Read Windows) People in. Or let them force there way in bypassing any other revenue stream (e.g. iTMS), This was so true of the 1 & 2G iPods!

2) iPod Hacking (Read iPodWizard), would NOT BE POISSIBLE! without Wondowz users becouse Windowz users don’t “Think Differently!” (Then again mabye we do?!?!) smile

Posted by Ichijoe in Deutschland on February 17, 2005 at 5:55 PM (PDT)

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