Gates Still Not Mellow

Bill Gates has never been afraid to speak his mind, a characteristic that drives competitors (and government regulators) insane, but makes his company all kinds of interesting to write about.

Lately, Gates has been less visible and less lively. I half-figured all those dinners with Bono and the president of China -- and his impending retirement -- lulled Gates into a sense of complacency.

Not the case, at least when it comes to Vista. Gates spoke with Newsweek's Steven Levy (a longtime Mac freak) and was as feisty as ever. Gates strongly suggested that Apple's TV commercials are "lying" about just how flaky PCs are, and how tough it is to upgrade to Vista.

More Apple Ads On the Way
Maybe it's because they're working, or perhaps it's because they get under Bill Gates' skin. Either way, Apple plans to keep up the attack and is taking particular pleasure in roasting Vista. This is all well and good, but Apple is missing a huge opportunity by not going after IT. Let's face it: IT loves computers and knows good tech when they see it. Many of you have Macs at home and would gladly have more in your shop if you felt that Apple was serious about servicing the corporate market.

But Apple does no PR, marketing or advertising at this influential and well-heeled segment of the market (Steve, we still have a cover story waiting if you want to talk to us!).

I prodded Apple about this in a column and then did a feature explaining just what it would take for Mac or Linux to blow away the Redmond desktop monopoly.

Bill's Mac Ad
Meanwhile, there's an old video of Bill Gates that could be even more effective than the Mac ads -- if Apple could only gain the rights!

iTunes and Vista Non-Simpatico
I'm not sure who's at fault here, but it seems iTunes and Vista aren't altogether compatible, and Apple is warning users to wait before upgrading to the new Windows. Of course Apple isn't Vista's biggest fan and wouldn't mind if the OS just dried up and blew away. And Microsoft, especially with the Zune in tow, wouldn't mind if iTunes just dried up and blew away.

Regardless of who blew it, the problem should be straightened out in a few weeks.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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