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It's the end of the world as we know it... #69313 26/01/04 07:27 AM
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Oh my...

Bill Gates is to receive an honorary knighthood from the (British) Queen for "outstanding services to enterprise".

Personally, given his track record on monopolisation I find that quite amusing, but my outlook on life is one of the reasons I no longer live in the UK wink

BTW, he still won't be able to call himself "Sir" - because he is neither a British nor a Commonwealth citizen.

Story from Reuters here for those with an interest.

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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69314 26/01/04 07:54 AM
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Quote:
"Microsoft technology has transformed business practices and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy,"


Seems money can buy pretty much anything. While Microsoft do make substantial contributions to charity, given their posistion and such expectations to do so one may question wether they do this willingly, it's unfortunate the 'official source' instead chose to recognise Microsoft's contribution to their piggy bank.

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69315 26/01/04 11:49 AM
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Obviously the Royal Computer runs Windows. All jokes aside though, I don't begrudge Gates the high honour, to some he's wealthier than he should be, however he has taken some big risks (as most businessmen do) to get where he got and flooding the market with a product, initially at a loss, will always create a chance for domination. Love or hate Micro$oft, computer usage in people's homes didn't really start until Windows came on the scene. Sure, we had the C64, VIC20, TRS80, Apple IIc, Amiga, Amstrad and a few others but they weren't anywhere near what computers were about to become.

One does not need to surrender market share or be compelled to do so by a court to be considered as one that commits to outstanding services to enterprise.

This is not directed at you, just a general comment: Alot of people bag Gatesy yet are still quite prepared to use his products as their mainstream or only computer software. It's either jealousy or hipocrisy or maybe Bill does make a better product or all three of the above?

Addressing the issue of donations from aother post, I understand that Micro$oft donate around $9bn a year to various things including AIDS research. Whether it is from the heart or not is irrelevant. The fact that it happens is an incredible display of generosity and there are alot of businesses that donate nothing.

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69316 27/01/04 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Whether it is from the heart or not is irrelevant.


Speak for yourself. :P

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69317 27/01/04 09:06 AM
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Well it comes down to economics, not what anyone happens to think of it in terms of genuine interest. If you are a research organisation or charity then I doubt you'd refuse a donation of such proportions simply because you felt that it may not be from the heart based on some assumption that the entity is donating only because they have the means to do so.

The fact that there are donations to worthy causes is all that is really relevant. When a company says "We care about such and such and as such we are going to provide means for ongoing research" there will be people that believe that this is a genuine desire to improve humanity or quality of life in some way and there will be knockers who say 'It's just a tax dodge or publicity stunt'. It isn't really easy or practical to measure how genuine a corporate donation is so why bother trying to do so. If the community benefits from it then that is the important bit in my view.

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69318 28/01/04 01:12 AM
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Heh
Live on cable, the match to end all matches:
Sir Bill Gates vs Sir Tim Berners Lee in an all out, now holds barred web standards show down!
Tune in as we roll out the heavy hitters and watch them duke it out!!!!

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69319 28/01/04 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Alot of people bag Gatesy yet are still quite prepared to use his products as their mainstream or only computer software. It's either jealousy or hipocrisy or maybe Bill does make a better product or all three of the above?


This is a standard argument, but one which is inherently flawed. The point is that when buying a computer most customers do NOT get an option about the operating system installed, nor do they specify it, nor do they understand the consequences of the foregoing.

MS has tied up the market by going for the manufacturers and having Windows as an installed OEM. (This is partly why I find an "award for enterprise" rather amusing! grin)

However much we may say "oh a customer could always ask for Linux", the fact is that Windows' ubiquity has nothing to do with the end user. Let's face it, if MS was *really* concerned with end users as the customer, they'd be more careful about bug/flaw/exploit checking, and their customer service would be better...

Of course, there are also people like me who really have no choice about using Windows because (a) all our customers need 100% Win-compatible files, and (b) we don't want to give up mIRC! wink

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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69320 28/01/04 09:44 AM
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Enterprising simply means successful and that is what Gates is, whether people like it or not. Personally I don't find it necessary for individuals to possess so much money but if they make it to the bigtime then good luck to them.

One of the beauties about Windows is that it provides installation instructions that my great gandmother would understand and Microsoft is to be commended for that, it's the one thing that has brought computing to everyone. If you get most Linux/Unix OS's you cop the "Select your video card fromt he following list and stiff sh*t if we chose not to bother supporting it" - With Windows you see "Windows is now choosing the best video driver for your card, please wait a tick" - clearly indicating that to install Windows requires no prior experience.

Windows has it's problems and to list them all here would be just doing so for the sake of arguing silly points. The fact that Microsoft has chosen to make life easy for those that want to enter the home computing fraternity looks pretty enterprising to me.

Looks like Her Majesty agrees.

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69321 28/01/04 03:32 PM
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If you'd look at UKs track record of monopolisation (colonization and supression, monopolization of human lives), you might find it not quite so amusing.


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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69322 28/01/04 04:02 PM
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Uhh... what? What does a light-hearted comment about market monopolies have to do with century-old colonialism?


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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69323 28/01/04 04:26 PM
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Nothing really, I'm just drawing some radical parallells without any good reason. Don't get all fired up about it though, I have no political agendas.


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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69324 29/01/04 06:44 AM
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I have no political agendas.

You have no idea either. Australia, New Zealand and Canada seem to do fine as the three surviving Dominions which is more than I can say for a few countries embroiled in civil war, poverty and socialist oppression.

Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69325 29/01/04 07:03 AM
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Well... I studied history, graduated in archaeology, have a keen interest in current affairs, and now live in a (just) post-Soviet-Bloc state, so to be honest I'd say I have a better idea than most about both Britain's track record and some more modern examples of direct state control...

Fortunately, I don't let all those terrible things in the past or the present blind me to (what I perceive as) the ironies and amusements in the world around me laugh - life would just be so unutterably dreary if we focused on the negative ALL the time!

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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69326 29/01/04 02:25 PM
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Hmm, random thought...

If we went to war with England, would Sir. William Henry Gates ]|[ become an enemy of the state?

* Raccoon plots and schemes.


Well. At least I won lunch.
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Re: It's the end of the world as we know it... #69327 30/01/04 05:43 AM
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"Over the centuries, knighthood has evolved: it is no longer awarded solely for military merit, it cannot be bought and it carries no military obligations to the Sovereign."

Quoted from Her Majesty's Website.

It's not necessarily all correct though, a former New South Wales Premier, Sir Robert Askin was rumoured to have paid the Governor of the time (also a knight) AUŁ10,000 (AU$20,000) for his gong, no doubt without Her Majesty's knowledge. Still, it was just a rumour.