Friday, June 27, 2008
Bye, bye, Bill. I had the impression that you had a sense of humour when I interviewed you all those years ago. But even I couldn't have predicted your last, best gag - Vista, an operating system that doesn't work on computers. Tommy Cooper would have approved. You always seemed to have a lively awareness of your company's deep commitment to user unfriendliness and it is consoling to discover you couldn't make Microsoftware work either. Your retirement job, giving away $58 billion, is, of course, your finest hour. You told me you'd give away all your money, I said you'd change your mind once you had children. But you didn't. This is admirable. Also admirable is your imperviousness to the demands of image and PR. Your appalling hair and clothes have remained unchanged, your peculiar, whining, high-pitched voice remains untutored. It will be interesting to see who they persuade to play you in the movie - The Gates Code - possibly a slimmed down Philip Seymour Hoffman. My guess is that your work on software will be, one day, largely forgotten but your philanthropy will endure. Microsoft will have been a means to an end. I like that.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 1:27 pm