Gates is not God

Ernest N. Prabhakar (
Tue, 2 Sep 1997 14:31:19 -0700 (PDT)

As an expert on both computers and theology, I can make the above
statement with confidence. The press does tend to forget this, which
is why I appreciated the Boston Globe article:

It is also a nice fit with the "Gates as Satan" theme resurging in post-MacWorld jokes.

I like the quote:

> He seems more like Vince Lombardi than Thomas Edison.
> ''Winning isn't everything,'' Lombardi said. ''It's the only thing.''
> Gates brings that credo to cyberspace.

The most amusing bit is second-hand, though:
> Jules Feiffer caught the mood in a recent cartoon entitled
> ''Bill Gates Visits the Grand Canyon.''
> Gates is peering into the canyon, and the canyon thinks:
> ''He makes me feel so insignificant.''

Overall, it is a nice commentary on the press's tendency to deify
heroes. I am not really surprised or shocked anymore, but every now
and then I still do a double-take. For example, the unabashed spin on
recent events:

Exhibit 1) Microsoft is forced to hand over something like $250
Million dollars to their largest competitor in lynchpin OS technology,
and promises to support the competing product and share the fruits of
$1 Billion in R&D. The press hails this as a brilliant strategic
victory for Microsoft.

Exhibit 2) Apple buys out their largest direct competitor for $100 M,
gaining expertise in direct marketing and roughly 10% in revenue. The
press pans this as an act of desperation and timidity.

I know I'm biased, but how come when Microsoft buys out (or even
subsidizes) competition - with no clear revenue advantage - it is
"aggressive," whereas when Apple buys out a real threat it is "wimpy"?
I could almost accept the argument that Apple's fighting cloners is too
lopsided, except that anyone against Microsoft is even more

-- Ernie P.

P.S. On the theological front, I have actually started trying to pray
for Bill Gates recently. Of course, my prayers are all along the
lines of Daniel 4...