Bill Gates has the questionable honour of getting the number 5 spot in Business 2.0's annual list of the 101 dumbest moments in business, making the Microsoft co-founder the highest ranking high tech entry in the list.
The business magazine chose to castigate Gates over his comment that: "Microsoft has had it's competitors in the past. It's a good thing that we have museums to document this stuff," which he said in a speech at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
Silicon Valley Sleuth happened to be at the event on 1 October 2004, so I'd hereby like you present you with Gates' full quote.
As a first for Silicon Valley Sleuth, I have posted an mp3 audio file so you can hear Bill Gates talk directly (but please don't call this a podcast). Click here to download. You will also find a slightly edited transcript below:
Question from the audience: "There is a report that almost 50 percent of servers being sold today run Linux or some kind of open source system. What does Microsoft have in mind today to counteract this transition?"
Bill Gates: "You should go get the numbers from the reputable people who track the numbers. This is not a right number. Go get a IDC number or anything. Well over 50 pct of servers being sold, run Windows. First start with the facts, than proceed from there."
"We do compete with Linux. The shift in market share to Linux has been dramatic. Linux has now the dominant share of Unix. It will wipe a lot of this stuff that’s been out there down to very small numbers. If you look forward to the next 10 years, a lot of the market share will be whatever Windows is used for and whatever Linux is used for. Sun’s still enhancing Solaris, Apple is still enhancing OS X. But those two [Linux and Windows] will be the big numbers. We are their competitors."
"Microsoft has had their competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that [note the misquote by Business 2.0]. OS2 was going to kill us. IBM which has 10 times as much employees as us said to me, we will put you out of business with OS2. This is all part of history. The same thing was said about Novell. And that makes my job interesting."
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