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Do the Math

Week of July 19, 2002
How sorry was Bill Gates? Fifty cents tops.

Bill Gates said on Thursday 18 July 2002 that his high-profile Trustworthy Computing campaign cost his company $100 million. Poor Bill.

Do the math: There are at least 200 million functional personal computers in the world running Windows and other Microsoft products right now. And everyone has run into the dorkiness of Bill's rocket scientist software designers and developers. Almost everyone has run into a fouled-up OS install or a system patch that ruins everything on a machine, including the hard drives. Sysadmins have spent weekends in pain because Bill has some new trick up his sleeve. But the sum total value for each and every person's inconvenience in these matters is $.50 - fifty US cents. At the most.

Mark Joseph Edwards estimates the cost of a worm outbreak to be as much as $5 billion, and he firmly lays the blame at Bill Gates's doorstep every time.

Users of personal computers buy additional software by the billions because Bill Gates's products are so abysmal.

While PC users have suffered in pain - a pain recognised by Bill Gates in his notable PR coup in February 2002 - Bill Gates has raked in the billions and stuffed his coffers even more.

At the same time, the King of Park Place stands defiant in the face of the US court system, personally demanding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly now throw out the case she just finished listening to.

And now he wants - what does he want? $100 million? He wants us to what - pity him? Feel sorry for him? Be impressed? What exactly does the slime ball want now? $100 million? What is $100 million? When ILOVEYOU destroyed networks, when Outlook continues to spread disease, when IIS is so bad the US federal government warns against its use? $100 million? $100 million is what Bill Gates tips the pizza delivery boy. It's what he and his pretty wife give to a school in a bad area so they can buy computers that are only allowed to run Microsoft products as Microsoft configures them. $100 million is less than what Bill Gates gave Intuit as a cash compensation for reneging on a deal to buy them out in the summer of 1995. $100 million is nothing.

Go away, Bill Gates. We don't want to see your ugly face anymore.

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