Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Doug's Mailbag: Allen's Comments, Windows Phone 7 Future

Doug asked readers what they thought about Paul Allen's critical look at Bill Gates in his new book:

Why is Paul Allen complaining? First, I think I could do fairly well with the amount Paul made from and with Microsoft. Second, didn't Paul realize early on what type of personality Gates is? Gates is ruthless and without scruples when it comes to building a business (Microsoft), and he doesn't care whose toes get stepped on. All Allen had to look at in the early stages of Microsoft was how Bill Gates dealt with IBM. After all, Gates's fortunes started with IBM and PC-DOS...

Have we all forgotten that the huge monolith known as Microsoft started just as humbly as any other company? And MS most probably would not have gotten as big as it did without having snatched the OS contract with IBM, which Gates then unceremoniously dumped into the ditch...

As much as we may dislike Bill Gates, I say more power to you Bill!

Frankly, I don't really care. Paul might have felt that Bill was not being fair with him but you know, he DID accept the deal. He DID leave Microsoft. Bill Gates is undoubtedly a shrewd businessman. Paul Allen chose a different path. That's fine.

Criticizing Bill Gates after all of these years is a little like criticizing Gates because he paid $75,000 to Seattle Computer Products for QDOS and then licensed it as MS-DOS to IBM for millions. Had Gary Kindall (of Digital Research) been home one evening, IBM would have done business with him instead of with Bill Gates. Fate has a way of stepping in.

Steve Wozniak chose to go his own way too after he and Steve Jobs founded Apple. Nobody is criticizing Steve Jobs.

One reader responds to the overly optimistic forecast for Windows Phone 7:

The IDC report looks like it is assuming (we know what happens when we do that) everyone with a Nokia/Symbian phone today will have a Nokia/WP7 phone in 2015, or that those leaving Nokia will be replaced by Nokia newbies. If that occurs, yes, Microsoft will have a 20.9 percent market share of smartphones and the number two rank. But a chance exists that Nokia owners will move away to the iPhone or Android. According to IDC, this report came from their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which among many other data sets, uses vendor interviews and guidance, a.k.a. Kool-aid. Good call, Doug!

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected] Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).  

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/06/2011 at 1:18 PM


  • Salesforce Buying Slack for $27 Billion To Bolster CRM Solution

    Salesforce on Tuesday announced the purchase of collaboration software-maker Slack for an estimated $27.7 billion.

  • Dark City Illustration

    The Night the Lights Went Out in the Cloud: Lessons from the AWS Outage

    Last week's AWS outage that broke the Internet showed how critical it is to build applications that can withstand transient failure. Here's what you need to know to design a resilient cloud app (and it doesn't involve multicloud).

  • 5 Steps To Fix Windows Indexing Problems

    The Windows indexing feature doesn't always deliver the correct results of a file search. Here are five troubleshooting steps you can take whenever Windows indexing acts up.

  • Microsoft Adding Simpler Microsoft 365 Admin Center Option for Small Businesses

    The Microsoft 365 Admin Center, used for setting up and managing various Microsoft services, is getting a more lightweight interface designed for "very small businesses," according to a Tuesday Microsoft announcement.

comments powered by Disqus