Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft conducted a fun ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit on Monday answering questions about Steve Jobs, Windows products and his pet philanthropy project. He went on to answer over 30 questions, some about the company he founded, his new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and some about his personal life.
When quizzed about the type of computer he currently uses, Gates said that he had just received his Surface Pro and to answer the AMA he was using a Perceptive Pixel display, an 80-inch Windows 8 touch whiteboard and posted a picture of him using it. And yes, he does use Internet Explorer.
Bill Gates with his 80-inch, whiteboard device
Gates also surprised more than a few Redditors when he said that Windows 8 was a huge advance for the OS. He asserted that people will see his line of thought better as ‘great applications and hardware come out’. When asked to choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8 honestly, Gates replied, tongue-in-cheek, "Higher is better."
He confirmed that he indeed used Bing and not Google. “Seriously Bing is the better product at this point. Try the challenge. I am biased but the work to make Bing better has been amazing,” he replied candidly.
The topic obviously shifted to Steve Jobs and the relationship Gates shared with Apple honcho as Redditors got a chance to personally address him. Gates said that he and Jobs respected each other. “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,” he wrote. Gates also mentioned that he has tried a lot of Apple products ‘from time to time’ indicating that he has always been with the competition.
The software genius lamented that he doesn’t code as much as he’d like to these days, mentioning that he writes some C, C# and Basic. Talking about Microsoft, gates said that the one product that excited him there but never made it to release was WinFS, a smart cloud storage system that was "ahead of its time".
Now involved heavily with philanthropic work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates also spoke about Polio eradication amongst other issues that need to be addressed in South Asia. “India is making progress but there is still a lot to do particularly up in the North. They still need to add some of the vaccines that poorer countries are already using and saving lots of lives. India did a great job on polio and is increasing the health budget. We work closely with the federal and state governments to help out,” he wrote.
Very classy, Bill
Gates also displayed a brilliant sense of humour that bowled Reddit over. He posted a meme displaying a very old, nearly embarrassing image of his, with the words ‘Still trying to delete this photo from the internet. Any ideas?’ in reference to the recent Beyonce fiasco where she wanted an unflattering image of hers pulled off the Internet. (If only she knew that the Internet doesn’t work that way.) The irony was not lost on us, Bill.
Bill Gates isn’t the only celebrity to take to Reddit’s AMA to connect with the average Internet user. Barack Obama, President of the United States conducted an AMA in the run up to the elections, urging users to go and make their votes counted.