I’m admiring Bill Gates for his new project, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Rich people everywhere should learn from him: Give away all (or most of) your money.

But I seriously think Bill should leave Microsoft now. Why wait until July 2008? Now he’s just making a fool of himself. This is what he told Steven Levy of Newsweek the other day:

NEWSWEEK: If one of our readers confronted you in a CompUSA and said, “Bill, why upgrade to Vista?” what would be your elevator pitch?

Bill Gates: The most effective thing would be if I could sit down with them and just take them through the new look for a couple of minutes, show them the Sidebar, show them the way the search lets you go through lots of things, including lots of photos. Set up a parental control. And then I might edit a high-definition movie and make a little DVD that’s got photos. As I went through, they’d think, “Wow, is that something I could use, would that make a difference for me?”

That’s it? You have a sidebar with widgets, sorry – gadgets. You can search things, photos too? You have parental control? You can edit in HD? You can make DVDs? Come on. That’s it?

Lying in front of people

Bill also thinks Apple got all their ideas from Longhorn:

NEWSWEEK: In many of the Vista reviews, even the positive ones, people note that some Vista features are already in the Mac operating system.

Bill Gates: You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts. If you just want to say, “Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along,” that’s fine. If you’re interested, [Vista development chief] Jim Allchin will be glad to educate you feature by feature what the truth is. I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise. Let’s be realistic, who came up with [the] file, edit, view, help [menu bar]? Do you want to go back to the original Mac and think about where those interface concepts came from?

What an utterly STUPID thing to say! I’m speechless. This must be the most stupid lie Gates ever has told. “Security guys break the Mac every day?” Plain lie.

I’m sure Vista is much safer that XP. And if it’s safer than Mac OS X, then a big applause! Good for computers, good for people. But the CEO of one the world’s biggest companies can’t lie to Newsweek.

I’m a PC, I’m a Mac

Then Gates talks about the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” ads.

NEWSWEEK: Are you bugged by the Apple commercial where John Hodgman is the PC, and he has to undergo surgery to get Vista?

Bill Gates: I’ve never seen it. I don’t think the over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are.

I can understand that lots of people don’t like the ads (and some of them ARE lame). But they’re not about PC users! They’re about the machines!! There’s a clue here. The ads always say “I’m a PC”, not “I’m a PC user”. Bill Gates doesn’t get it.

PC users are not klutzes. And not dullards. But PCs are more complicated to use than Macs, even though I understand that Bill Gates can’t admit that.

Bill Gates lying

John Gruber at Daring Fireball and Peter Cohen at MacWorld came to the same conclusion: Bill Gates is lying.

Or simply FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. My dictionary on FUD: “fear, uncertainty and doubt, usually evoked intentionally in order to put a competitor at a disadvantage”. Exactly. Joy of Tech is spot on.

Why Vista

I have a Windows Media Center with XP. Is there any reason why I should upgrade to Vista? The PC is wicked, so that’s not an issue. Are there any really good reasons to spend lots of money upgrading the Media Center?