The Register: Bill [Gates] speaks on integration, lawyering and linux

[ Thanks to Louis Aragon for this
link. ]

“When he was talking to shareholders yesterday Bill Gates didn’t
just deal with the trial. Remember this is probably the most
favourable audience he could ever had (so long as the stock price
stays up), so they get to ask serious questions, and they get
answers that are a cut above your average press conference. That
process threw up some interesting data yesterday, and we were

“Gates regarded the two as “very potent sources of competition”
and specifically mentioned devices that would go to AOL
specifically. Some of them are on Linux, he noted, while others ran
on other code. He continued: “It’s important for Microsoft to
make the value of Windows, which will make the device modestly more
expensive, on the order of, say, $70 to $90 more expensive, that
the value you get in terms of being able to run the
” It seems pretty clear (remember he’s talking
to the shareholders) that Microsoft is still focussed on getting
that $50 fee from everything that goes out the door. Bill, and
Microsoft, still don’t get it.”

“Gates mentioned WebTV, but so far as the competition was
concerned, he said Microsoft would “rededicate itself to making
Windows easier to use, and having the value that justifies Windows
being on those devices.” So far as Linux was concerned, Gates said:
“In terms of Linux, in general, there’s a lot of different versions
of that out there. There’s no sort of centralised control. But,
it’s definitely a competitor. This is a piece of sort of public
domain, open source type software. And, again, the challenge to us
is to advance Windows in ways that through our innovation and
testing makes it preferable to that choice that’s out there…
we’re challenged now… as we deal with those competitors.” With an
understanding of Linux like that, and the promise of all that
innovation and testing for Windows in the future, it looks as
though the Linux community can rest easy.”