From Anil Dash, for those who want to understand more about Bill Gates:
“Gates’ mother Mary Maxwell Gates … how philanthropic work opened doors for a fledgling Bill Gates and Microsoft.
“Mary Maxwell Gates was deeply involved in the work of the United Way for many years before her passing in 1994, most notably as its first female chair. And one of the connections she made through that work back in 1980 was to John Opel, the chairman of IBM who was also a member of the United Way’s executive committee.
“It’s become fairly clear in the years since that at least part of the reason IBM was willing to hire Microsoft to create an operating system for the initial release of the IBM PC was because of the introductions made through that connection.”
On the other hand, Michael Masnick at Techdirt takes us down a different road:
Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO, 1991: “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today… A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose.”
If you needed any proof that Microsoft has shifted from a “young company innovates” to an “old company litigates” stance, just take a look at the massive ramp up in patents awarded to Microsoft over the last decade and a half. It’s been steady growth, with a massive leap in the past two years.
Every week, if you follow patents granted to Microsoft you see huge numbers. In the past four weeks alone, Microsoft has been granted 49 patents (June 24), 44 patents (June 17), 42 patents (June 10) and 76 patents (June 3). That’s 211 patents this month alone. Compare that to a company like Google, who was granted a grand total of 7 patents in June.
And I just found an ‘exclusive exit interview‘ of Bill Gates conducted by Michael J. Miller at PCWorld.