Liar, liar, ill-fitting pants on fire.

Poor Bill Gates (antler tip to several readers for the link).

The Vista rollout is simply not what he’s used to.

This is probably why Gates gets awfully snippy when asked about the “Get a Mac” ads. The Macalope’s velvety flanks heaved with laughter when he saw that Newsweek decided to actually put the “Get a Mac” ad in question on every single page of the interview in case readers hadn’t seen it. Just another in a long string of Vista rollout pieces that have turned into free Mac ads.

So forgive Gates for being reduced to his inner 14-year-old.

Does honesty matter in these things, or if you’re really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There’s not even the slightest shred of truth to it.

This response, really, is pathetic. The way to deflect these ads is not to get your panties in a bunch and whine that they’re just big fat stupid liars and shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!

You laugh them off and move on to the next question.

And did Gates just say Apple was cool and Microsoft was not?

It must be hard for all those painful junior high memories to come flooding back.

Gates engages in some “historical revisionism”, particularly with regards to security.

Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally.

Well, that’s just a load of crap. No, they do not come out with one every single day (cough). And even if they were, who’s exploiting these bugs? No one. Well, no one other than the MOAB folks themselves, that is.

The Macalope found it really interesting that Gates chose to mention the MOAB (as if it were still going — a perpetuity of Apple bugs rather than just a month). Let’s consider again the timing of the MOAB — timed for Macworld or timed for the Vista release? Or both?

Well, the Macalope’s probably being paranoid. It’s not like Microsoft has ever paid anyone to conduct dubiously ethical guerrilla marketing.


The Macalope himself is getting a little tired of the Windows/Mac OS “who copied who” argument. It was more interesting during the naescent development of the desktop operating system market (indeed, Mr. Gruber’s detailed analysis is a walk down memory lane), but now that both platforms are mature, it would simply be irresponsible if they didn’t copy ideas from one another. But, as Gruber notes, Microsoft’s habit of saying Apple’s shipping product stole ideas from Microsoft’s vaporware (yes, Vista’s shipping now, but they’ve been doing this for over a year) is a sad piece of dissembling.

The one feature Gates mentions for the next version of Windows (coming in 2010! Or maybe 2011! Or…) is one that’s been rumored to be included in Leopard. So he’ll be able to claim Microsoft invented it first four years from now when it finally ships in Windows because he mentioned it once in an interview.

The house that Gates built sits on top of a crumbling hill. As Merlin Mann noted on the most recent edition of MacBreak Weekly, the company’s money-makers are, as they have always been, Windows and Office. Everything else — the Zune, the Xbox — is losing it money.

So when a big product rollout of one of its two money-makers fails to excite the user base and turns into an ad for the competition, it challenges Microsoft’s ability to manage its revenue stream like a subscription service.

And pisses off it’s founder and chief technologist.

However, one might have hoped for a better response than “I know you are, but what am I?”

UPDATE: Peter of the Norse in comments points out something the Macalope noticed but forgot to comment on. Many of Gates’ comments were heavily edited, prompting Peter to quip:

There are so many square brackets, I thought it was obj-C.

Trackbacks Comments
  • Splashman:

    Yeah, I saw that interview and immediately figured it for Macalope bait and/or “Jackass of the Week” honors.

    So much fodder, so little time.

    Notice how Gates defends the notion of 5 years between major releases. Basically, he’s saying most people don’t care about incremental upgrades, and they don’t upgrade even when they are given the chance. And to prove his point, he cites XP.

    He really does live in his own little world.

    And yes, I laughed too when I saw the Apple ads being given free airtime next to BG’s pathetic interview. Ah, it’s a glorious time to have been a Mac user for 23 years.

  • John Muir:

    Taking off my Mac user hat for a second, I wonder what it’s really like inside the upper echelons of Microsoft these days, reviewing the data which says again and again that the only damn profit the company can make comes from Windows and Office?

    The Windows story isn’t something MS can repeat. No one can. There’s no IBM out there with a new all consuming platform, with its head up its backside looking for a partner to screw it over on the lucrative software side. MS were in the right place at the right time, and brought an OS to the table (a CP/M clone called QDOS which they bought rather than bothered to develop for themselves) as well as a ruthlessness which saw their future ensured. Every strength of theirs since has followed from the same original win. DOS begat Windows, Windows and DOS begat Office (after the Mac), Windows begat Internet Explorer and Windows begat DirectX to trap the desktop games market.

    They’re obviously clawing around looking for new ways to dominate or just earn a profit. But they know as well as we do that their cash cows are Office and Windows, and if one or both should fall, so does the reigning titan of the computer industry.

    Now I’ve said all I need to about Apple’s own disadvantages and the scrabbling mess which is the Linux movement even in Windows’ darkest recent days when Longhorn kept being put back and back again. “OEM is the lord thy god and you shall worship no other than him!” But MS aren’t stupid. They know they’ve got a *lot* of work to do.

    High tech has this habit of biting its giants in the arse…

  • baxtrice:

    Do you think Bill would feel better if I gave him my last cupcake? Here, take it. C’mon. Now does that make you feel better?

    Seriously, this “who copied who” line is so last decade. It’s 2007 Bill. Or have you been in a basement with Longhorn for the past 5 years?

  • PZ:

    “Does honesty matter in these things, or if you’re really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it?”

    So what’s Bill’s excuse?

  • Pardon the profanity, first thoughts that come to mind.

    “And then I might edit a high-definition movie and make a little DVD that’s got photos.”
    Bitch, we’ve been doing that on iMovie for what, 2 years for HD and 5 years for anything not HD. Why isn’t Bill showing us these features instead of just mentioning them?

    “Actually, if you look at Windows strength versus Linux, or versus anything, it’s done very well, because we have this big ecosystem.”
    Oh yeah? Is that why when ever I stumble across anyone dumb enough to buy a Windows machine their first and major concern is anti virus software.

    “I don’t think the over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards”
    No Bill, no body ever thinks of themselves dullards, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t. Do you think massively retarded people know they are retarded?

    “Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.”
    Wow, I mean wow, did I just read that right? Fuck Bill, not only did you just invite the entire collective of hackers and crackers to rip apart Vista (which they are going to do anyway because you are gay) you had some damn lies fall out your word hole at the same time. Bitch I’m going to ball this (fist) up if you don’t watch it.

    “As we sit down and think, what are the things we’re going to do in the next release, there’s no shortage of radical things that will be happening in the operating system.”
    Bill, you mean as you shit birds sit and wait to see what Apple does there will be no shortage of radical things.

  • Peter of the Norse:

    There were so many things that bothered me about it

    At no point do they point out that it’s on a MS run site. Usually they have a small disclaimer at the end.

    It was heavily edited. There are so many square brackets, I thought it was obj-C.

    I’d say more, but I suspect that the editing did it in.

  • dogfriend:

    Speaking of pants (liar, liar, pants on fire), I saw Bill G on The Daily Show and I noticed how big his pants are compared to the rest of his body. Like he is storing something in there. Maybe more lies?

  • Alan:

    The man knows no shame…

    I can remember the first time I saw him being interviewed on the BBC. I quote:

    “Microsoft invented Multimedia”.

    Yes the guy was actually trying to show how his new version of Windows could play sound or video clips like it was some revolutionary event.

    I think quicktime had been around for about 5 years by then.

    Nobody challenged him then and it looks like no one is challenging him now.

  • Pete:

    Bill is a revisionist. Just like the old Chinese Red Guard, Microsoft likes to rewrite history to their own making.

    Fortunately these days it’s become harder for them to get away with it. But oh lord, what a pile of lies they spew forth.

    The Apple ads are rigth on the money and he knows it. I hope Apple gets even more vicious.

    Sleep well Bill!

  • TMoney:

    To a degree, I feel sorry for Bill. I mean here we have what amounts to years and years of work, finaly being released, and it is an impressive piece of work (even if it is still a bit behind the times) and instead of talking with people about his work, he has to spend his time listening to people ask him why they shouldn’t just buy a mac. That’s got to be irritating. Basically every stupid pundit who thinks he’s funny is getting Bill on their show and then turning around and making him do a side by side with OS X.

    It was cute the first time with the Zune and the Shuffle incident, but since then it’s gotten really tired and really old. Especially because it’s being perpetuated by pundits who wouldn’t know a floppy disk from their ass if it weren’t for the teleprompter.

    It’s all well and goo to ridicule microsoft, but if you’re going to interview bill about vista, interview him about vista, not OS X.

  • Vista is the most recent release of an operating system and it’s behind the times. The fact that it’s largely a knock-off and just barely as good as the competition is about Vista.

  • flintwall:

    Umm… Macalope, you must have your monitor turned up seriously bright if you think the text background is easily readable?
    Your points are all true but ‘Liar, Liar, pants on Fire’ scans much better to my ears ;->>

  • How much stock does Bill Gates have in Apple anyway (besides the $150 million to satisfy the legal eagles)? And did he sic the SEC on Apple, after Apple volunteered they made an accounting error and got rid of the perps?

    Did Microsoft set up MoAB?

    Is Apple paying Bill Gates to do ads for them? His mouth will most certainly sell more Macs than the two boys that have been doing the Apple ads could possibly ever do.

    This month, hug your Mac for Valentine’s Day…and thank Apple for great products.

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