Bill Gates Does Reddit AMA, Says Windows 8 Better, Bing Superior
Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates took to Reddit today, answering more than 30 questions about his company, his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his and thoughts on technology and life in general.
“Hi, I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ask me anything,” Gates began his first AMA. “Many of you know me from my Microsoft days. The company remains very important to me and I’m still chairman. But today my full time work is with the foundation. Melinda and I believe that everyone deserves the chance for a healthy and productive life – and so with the help of our amazing partners, we are working to find innovative ways to help people in need all over the world.“
Although he got a Microsoft Surface Pro a week ago, Gates used a Perceptive Pixel display to answer the Reddit questions—a huge Windows 8 touch whiteboard.
“These will come down in price over time and be pervasive,” he promised.
Gates also believes that Windows 8 is honestly better than Windows 7—“Higher is better,” he said. Looking to the future, however, he sees robots, pervasive screens and speech interaction changing the way people interact with computers, possibly changing the world the way the home computer did 30 years ago.
“Once seeing, hearing and reading (including handwriting) work very well, you will interact in new ways,” Gates said.
Gates believes the greatest impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been getting vaccines for things like diarrhea and pneumonia to areas of need, ultimately saving millions of lives. He believes the next target—polio—will be eradicated within six years. After that, the foundation will focus on malaria and measles.
“Malaria kills over 500,000 kids every year mostly in Africa and did not get enough attention until the last decade,” Gates said. “We also need vaccines to prevent HIV and TB which are making progress…”
He also hopes his works sets a positive example among others who have the means to make a difference.
“I have enjoyed meeting other philanthropists and talking about what they work on,” Gates said. “I think there is a movement to do more, start sooner and be smarter about giving. Philanthropy is mostly about a broad set of people giving but it helps if the most wealthy set a strong example…”
During the AMA Gates answered several personal questions, as well, elaborating on his bucket list—“Don’t die”—and his favorite pastimes, which include tennis, bridge and touring places such as power plants, garbage dumps and Antarctica with his children. Some of the simplest pleasures in his life are his kids, cheap cheeseburgers and Open Course Ware courses.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Gates had kind words to say about late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
“He and I respected each other,” Gates said. “Our biggest joint project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications. I saw Steve regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away…”
And although Gates is supportive of open Internet, he makes no qualms about his bias in browser choice.
“Seriously Bing is the better product at this point,” Gates concluded his AMA. “Try the challenge. I am biased but the work to make Bing better has been amazing.”
I want more stuff like this!