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For all his $G
Week of November 1, 2001
We should have Carl Sagan here. 'How much money does Bill Gates have, Carl?' And Carl would answer, 'Billions and billions and billions.' Bill Gates has so much money that he is the richest human being on earth. Bill Gates has so much money and his corporation has so much money that his co-founder who quit the company eighteen years ago under seldom discussed circumstances is still one of the richest human beings on earth, so much money that Bill's partner, that Harvard basketball cheerleading captain and Proctor & Gamble spin wizard Steve Ballmer is one of the ten richest human beings in the world, and so much money that even more of the upper echelon in Redmond regularly make it into the top ten list of the richest human beings in the world.
And Steve Ballmer, Gorillas in the Mist wannabe, what's he getting so excited about? He shouts so much at these corporation rallies that he's operated his larynx twice already. What for? Why does he shout so much? What's he on? With all that money why is he on anything?
With all that money, why do Microsoft programmers have to have futons in their offices and sleep on them when deadlines approach? With all that money, why doesn't Microsoft hire better project planners? With all that money, why doesn't Microsoft hire more and better programmers?
With all that money, why doesn't Microsoft have the best programmers in the world?
For there is no question that Bill Gates and Microsoft could do this. It's just that they don't. So they must have consciously chosen to not do it.
Why does Microsoft spend more money on spin doctor accounts than they do on developer salaries? Why hasn't Microsoft concentrated on becoming the best software corporation in the world and on getting all the big names - from the Unix gurus, Vint Cerf, and all the rest - working for them instead? For all that money, why isn't Microsoft an innovator instead of a pathetic copycat?
For all that money, why can't Microsoft afford to produce the best, the most feature-rich, and above all the most stable and secure operating system and software in the world? The system and software that are the leanest, the meanest, and run the fastest on hardware that is already several years old?
There is no doubt that they could do it - but they choose consciously not to do it.