How Can Anyone Still Hate Bill Gates

David Coursey from Forbes has a nice article on Gates titled – How Can Anyone Still Hate Bill Gates?

There were a couple of line in Coursey’s article that rang very true.

All that money you think Gates stole from you? He’s giving it back, with interest, to the world’s poorest.
All that money you think Apple has overcharged people? Apple still has it and Steve got and kept his share.

Steve Jobs has fittingly had a long list of tributes. He was among the greatest technologists, businessmen, marketeers and charismatic leaders of our generation. He was to CEO’s as the late George Best was to football – the first pop star.

However, there’s been an unfair amount of Bill Gates bashing that’s been going on on the side. Especially with Jobs’ new biography. Now, Bill Gates needs no defending whatsoever just like Steve Jobs didn’t need any additional tributes but I’m going to launch into a staunch defence of the great man purely because there are so many lessons in here.

Gates has been the man easy to hate just as Jobs has been so easy to love. Steve Jobs was the maverick, the showman, the obsessive genius while Gates is the boring anti-technology nerd who copies people’s ideas and makes money of them.

Now, I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Microsoft’s products. I think Steve Jobs definitely got the concept of ‘shipping’ spot on. I love my iPhone and wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I love Windows, too, though and primarily because it is excellent for collaboration and the world practically runs on Windows. It’s credit to Bill Gates that that has happened. Microsoft’s goal was to put a computer on every desk and thanks to Gates’ leadership and vision, they actually have. I have never been a fan of Microsoft’s business practices but, that said, Apple’s aren’t much better either. For excessive use of lawsuits on one hand, we have a closed app store on the other.

But, the biggest reason I feel Bill Gates is the man to be idolized is because of his work ethic and humility. He is known to be a voracious reader, an extremely hard worker and has constantly carried himself with an incredible amount of humility for what he has achieved. Make no mistake, he is still Superman. A lot has been made of late of Apple overtaking Microsoft in terms of market cap. Mike Arrington puts this in perspective when speaking of Jobs and Gates as supermen

Bill Gates was the co-founder and CEO of Microsoft, building it to an astounding $470B market cap. Under him, Microsoft had multiple acts, among them: DOS, Windows, Office, and enterprise server software. Since Steve Ballmer became CEO, the company’s value has declined to $223B. I’m sure Steve Ballmer is a smart and passionate guy, but he’s no superman.

In short, I am a huge fan. And always will be.

That said, he just went up many notches when I read this bit of news.

ABC news asked Gates of his view on Jobs’ criticism in his Biography.

Here’s the quote from Steve Jobs: 
“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”
And here’s Bill’s response:
“When you think about why is the world better today, the Internet, the personal computer, the phone, the way you can deal with information is just so phenomenal…Over the course of the 30 years we worked together, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I mean, he faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it’s tough. So the fact that at various times, he felt beleaguered, he felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys, you know, very understandable. I respect Steve. We got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.”
When you have the sort of power that Gates does, it is imperative that you act with equal responsibility because the world, in many ways, is listening. 
And here, Bill Gates once again proved himself worthy of it. 
Thanks Bill, for showing the way.