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After successfully kicking Ballmer out, the sharks want more blood

While Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was riding on an epic sales streak in the Windows 7 era, shareholder infelicity was slowly amounting as weak stock prices failed to reflect Microsoft's strong earnings.  Disruptive investor David Einhorn first called upon CEO Steve Ballmer to resign in early 2011.  At the time the board defended the boisterous Mr. Ballmer.  But then came Windows 8 and the biggest percentage drop in PC sales in history.  Now Mr. Ballmer is out, and that could be just the start.

Now three of Microsoft's top 20 investors have set their eyes on a new target -- William Henry "Bill" Gates III.  Since stepping down as CEO in Jan. 2000, Bill Gates -- who cofounded Microsoft in 1975 -- has continued to serve as Chairman of Microsoft's board.

The investors reportedly want a more radical departure from Microsoft's current path and are afraid Bill Gates could stand in their way.  They're particularly upset about Bill Gates being allowed to lead the committee that's hunting for Microsoft's next CEO.  Thus they're reportedly internally calling for Mr. Gates to resign as chairman of the board.

Bill Gates
Three top shareholders reportedly want Bill Gates to resign early from his chairman position at Microsoft. [Image Source: Getty Images]

While the investors represent only 5 percent of the total share pool, the attack on Mr. Gates is a sign that shareholder outrage has reached a new level.  Todd Lowenstein, a portfolio manager at HighMark Capital Management, did not disclose whether his hedge fund was part of the campaign against Mr. Gates, but at the very least he sounded quite supportive of it.  In a comment to Reuters he stated, "This is long overdue.  Replacing the old guard with some fresh eyes can provide the oxygen needed to properly evaluate their corporate strategy."

Other investors aren't so supportive of the attack on Mr. Gates' position of leadership.  Kim Caughey Forrest, senior analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group -- another major shareholder -- comments, "I've thought that the company has been missing a technology visionary.  Bill (Gates) would fit the bill."

Fortune forecasts Microsoft to make $17B USD in profit this year, and calls it the world's 110th biggest company in terms of revenue -- up from 119th in 2012 on a profit of $22B USD.  But Microsoft's market capitalization (based on share prices) has fallen from first place in the world in 2000, to seventh place this year.  That's the same place as Microsoft occupied in 2008, but is down from the third place mark Microsoft managed to achieve in 2010 amid Windows 7's booming sales.

Steve Ballmer
Mr. Gates' chosen CEO successor, Steve Ballmer, was recently driven out by the board.
[Image Source: Getty Images]

Mr. Gates currently spends most of his time and effort on his $38B USD Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Mr. Gates plans to donate his entire fortune to charity by the time he dies and has inspired other billionaires -- including Facebook, Inc. (FB) CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg to do so as well.

The calls for Mr. Gates resignation come at a time whens his own ownership of Microsoft is waning.  Mr. Gates owned 49 percent of Microsoft shares when the company went public in 1986, but entered a plan to sell off his holdings on a pre-set basis, selling about 80 million shares a year.  Sales to date have reduced Mr. Gates' stake to 4.5 percent of current shares, or about $12.4B USD worth of stock.  The share sales plan will eliminate Mr. Gates' ownership entirely by 2018, at which point he would presumably step down as board chairman -- a spot reserved for a top investor.

Thus whether or not the angry shareholders get their wish, Mr. Gates will likely be leaving what is likely his final position at the company he cofounded within the next five years.

Source: Reuters

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There can be no more doubt.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 8:48:54 PM , Rating: 5
Board members wanting gates out... MS is definitely turning into HP.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Fleeb on 10/2/2013 8:56:06 PM , Rating: 5
3 out of 20 investors.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 9:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
That's how it all started with HP. Lousy performance, denial about the root of the problems, blamey mentality... The next thing you know the board is going through new CEO's every couple years. I'm not saying that's going to happen here, I certainly hope it doesn't, but its starting.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Lord 666 on 10/2/2013 10:00:38 PM , Rating: 3
It started when they made Carly the CEO and its definitely starting at MS.

As much as I would love to see Elon Musk head up Apple (Cook will be the death of them), MS needs that caliber of leadership even more.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Da W on 10/2/2013 10:05:19 PM , Rating: 4
MS needs somebody nobody's ever heard of as CEO. Gates should leave when he pleses, that's its baby. I laugh at investors who never lifted a finger, buy a few stock and think they know whats best.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By troysavary on 10/2/2013 10:10:44 PM , Rating: 5
Trying to please idiot investment firms has been the death of many companies. Most of them have no clue about running a business.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 10:17:30 PM , Rating: 5
Agree. That's why Micheal Dell just spent a cagillion dollars in taking his company back. It's the only way to save it.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By maugrimtr on 10/3/2013 10:33:54 AM , Rating: 3
Investors are only interested in your next quarter's results.

I know, as we all must, that Microsoft has made several big mistakes. We now know that it was dumb not to invest in small factor computing (phones/tablets) and we also know Windows 8 has been a flop. Worse, Microsoft is constantly failing to recover from such mistakes. At least the Surface was a decent stab - they just need to commit to competing in hardware and let the OEMs go hang themselves on their shoddy designs instead holding back.

In the long run, Microsoft can, and has no reason not, to recover. While investors only see a quarter ahead, a good CEO is watching years ahead. Steve Jobs, for all his flaws, was excellent in that capacity. He was also lucky enough to have an underachiever company and a massive market success to keep the investors off his tail. Next best thing to be a private company.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Lord 666 on 10/2/2013 10:22:14 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed Gates should get a permanent pass.

Its funny how Gates nor Musk nor Jobs were CEO material to start with and yet they started empires. Unfortunately, that passion of ownership is hard to come by and usually starts with employee #1 or #0 in the case with Apple.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By GulWestfale on 10/2/2013 11:02:13 PM , Rating: 5
wanting someone out may not be a bad thing, but just wanting them out for the sake of them being gone is dumb.

in order to turn around a company, you do not need to focus on who should leave, you should
1- have a goddamn plan
2- maybe find a replacement for the person you want to kick out, preferably a replacement who is an integral part of the aforementioned plan

without those two, the company will still fail, while investors can pat themselves on teh back and say "we tried everything, we even brought in new people, blah blah blah."

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By sleepeeg3 on 10/3/2013 11:37:05 AM , Rating: 2

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Samus on 10/3/2013 12:24:49 AM , Rating: 3
These investors are completely nuts. Saying Jobs is the "old guard" and they need "fresh eyes" in the company is simply ludicrous when talking about Bill Gates. He has more vision than just about anybody in the industry. I will seek out a great CEO for Microsoft, just like he did with Balmer (who did an exceptional job for a decade until mobile changed the landscape and he didn't take the iPhone threat seriously.

XP, Vista (not a disaster like everyone thought it was) and Windows 7, along with the greatest editions of Windows Server and Office system, all under Balmer.

Just because these greedy investors don't have Apple-level of returns (btw, Microsoft has always paid dividends and Apple just started) they are pulling the same tactics Dell and HP investors did and screwing up the company.

These are the same tactics that will eventually take down Apple.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Kiffberet on 10/3/2013 7:36:46 AM , Rating: 3
greedy investors

Investors equal owners.

They see THEIR company employees (directors etc) walking away with millions every year. Meanwhile they get lousy returns on the money they've risked.

You call them greedy, the directors call them mugs (as the laugh all the way to the bank)!

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Amiga500 on 10/3/2013 8:15:34 AM , Rating: 5
Then they can sell their shares and "invest" somewhere else.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By lifewatcher on 10/3/2013 5:16:58 PM , Rating: 4
"owners"? Mere gamblers. As such they have none of my respect. Their interest is disgustingly single-minded. Like a horse on a race - those, who bet on it, couldn't care less if it takes steroids, cocaine or dies at the end of the race, as long as it wins. The only shareholders of a company should be the employees.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Argon18 on 10/3/13, Rating: -1
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/3/2013 11:20:44 AM , Rating: 1
Who has more money right now? Bill Gates or Linus Torvalds?

Face facts here: Gates had the vision to make, and market what people wanted to buy - regardless if there were better options out there. He wasn't the technical genius - he is the business genius. He was in the right places at the right time (IBM and DOS) and knew how to sell to the average Joe (ehrm - Windows). And yes, non-technical people actually liked Bob and Clippy.

Torvalds on the other hand just is not the marketing giant Gates was. He has a lot of technical smarts, but he just does not have Billy's marketing clout. In this market, if you don't have that, it does not matter a hoot which product is better. It is whether or not you can convince people to use and buy it.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By retrospooty on 10/3/2013 12:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Bill Gates has vision? Right. "

You are truly retarded... Almost every post you say something that just screams facepalm. Considering almost the entire planet runs off software that he started, yes he has vision. Not that every single thing he did worked, but he changed the world more than any other tech guru ever has or likely will. 100x more than Jobs could ever hope to. If any other companies toys or even enterprise stuff went away, people would have to find other options, if MS's software went away the entire world would immediuatly come to a crashing halt. All commerce would stop and we would be in the largest depression in history. It would take decades to recover.

Get some perspective.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By sorry dog on 10/4/2013 11:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
Not disagreeing with your opinion, however Microsoft has NOT always paid a dividend. They were in fact considered a growth stock for a long time.

I don't think it sounds very intelligent to broadly call "investors" in a popular stock "greedy" as many of those investors at the end of the day are normal people.

Now, over driven stock analysts and fund managers are another matter. Yet, even with that said, it's the short timer top executives who receive the majority of compensation in options who are usually guilty of distorting company strategy toward short-term performance at long-term expense.

That doesn't appear to describe Microsoft management yet... however, if Stephen Elop gets a big promotion, then that would be a troubling sign....

By GlobleWarmingisbunk on 10/4/2013 9:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, look at what happened to Blockbuster. Is their a company that Carl Icahn is part of that is not bankrupt.

By peanutgallery on 10/2/2013 11:40:22 PM , Rating: 4
It started when they made Carly the CEO and its definitely starting at MS.

Well, Carly thought that combining Compaq into HP, which raised capital by spinning off Agilent was a good idea. In reality, it worked in reverse. I remember when I was locked out of a computer BIOS, I had to send a fax to an office in Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins was also where many HP printers were manufactured.

Carly understood the financial position of the company; yet didn't fully understand the engineering talent it had in the US. Teams of engineers were managed by financial metrics. Business Lines that were too complex, or duplicated by well-known companies in Silicon Valley were divested. For example, Agilent Technologies was spun off. Today, Agilent continues to perform well. But if your stuck in the Silicon Valley Area, it's easy to stop investing in business you don't understand!

The biggest thing with HP, however, was when they turned their back on the US. Steve Jobs' last public appearance, on Youtube, is when he bought the HP campus, in an attempt to manufacture Macbooks in the US.

As much as I would love to see Elon Musk head up Apple (Cook will be the death of them), MS needs that caliber of leadership even more.

Cook is of the same breed of Carly and Meg Whitman, in my mind. They also attempt to manage innovation by the balance sheet. It will be interesting to see if Steve Jobs' final project is completed by current leadership. That was Macbook Manufacturing in the US.

All industries need a solid competitor. Otherwise you become like BestBuy. BestBuy is all fluff, and no substance. You only learn of specific manufacturer's technology when individual manufacturers take a lease in the store..!

That's not how a typical marketplace should work. Also, not everyone wants to purchase the cheapest gadget made at the minimum standard. Then sell insurance because we know it's made poorly.

But I guess this is what they teach in Business School these days-- Quality is worthless; make sure it's cheaply made, or has a built-in Design Flaw so it quits working or looses its shiny luster. Customers can buy another one in a year.

When you remove defect management, quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement from the engineering process, by offshoring, you'll hit your finance targets, and qualify for an MBA!

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By piroroadkill on 10/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/3/2013 8:59:06 AM , Rating: 1
Can't see where he would want to have anything to do with Apple.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By aliasfox on 10/3/2013 11:07:14 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. It's not that Apple wouldn't want someone like Musk, it's that Musk wouldn't want some place like Apple. People say "Apple needs a CEO like Elon Musk" because he's one of the current crop of executives that shares the same qualities as Steve Jobs, and in some cases more so:

- Has a vision of where he wants the world to be (Musk's vision is obviously grander than Steve's)
- Has the force of will/personality/drive to push others to do what he wants
- Has an eye for aesthetics, quality, fit-and-finish (whether the goals are always accomplished is another story)
- Has the instinct to know what will get people to want to buy his product, rather than grudgingly buy because they need to (nobody needed an iPod, and nobody needs a $70k luxo cruiser, but man did/do people want them)
- Has the marketing chops to sell his product
- Is full of himself (not necessarily without reason)

Given these similar traits, it's conceivable that Musk will always want to be "Employee #0" wherever he works from now on, and taking the reins somewhere else simply wouldn't appeal to him.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By MaulBall789 on 10/3/2013 3:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Musk taking over Apple or MS would be brilliant for those companies, but I can't see him wanting to carry out someone else's dreams. Apple was passion for Jobs, his baby, just as MS was for Gates. Elon Musk would likely want to keep build his own growing empire and do only what he wants to do when he wants to do it. If he joined another company he would lose that ultimate freedom.

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By Samus on 10/3/2013 12:37:16 AM , Rating: 2
HP was doing just fine under Mark Hurd. Larry Ellison knew talent when he saw it and snatched Hurd up no questions asked when HP booted him for some completely bogus sex scandal and very minor spending of company funds for personal use ($250,000, thats like 1/40th of his salary after bonuses)

He wanted to acquire Palm in 2009 to get into mobile. He had the vision to know to go mobile even before Microsoft took it seriously. If Hurd were still around, HP would be making awesome webOS phones and tablets and we wouldn't have this crap phone OS duopoly.

Mark Hurd spent years cleaning up HP after Carly Fiorina did much damage to their server division (and is pretty much responsible for tanking the Itanium) and didn't value engineers. She outsourced everything. The whole benefit of buying Compaq was clearly for the name and to buy a competitor, when Compaq had valuable staff, IP and reputation. In the end all they kept were torx screws and softpaq's.

Mark Hurd is the only CEO HP has had in decades that was any good. And guess who axed him. The board! Because they know better...

RE: There can be no more doubt.
By sleepeeg3 on 10/3/2013 11:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
Only 5% of the voice...

By Monkey's Uncle on 10/3/2013 9:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
Can't see why. Gates really hasn't had anything to do with the operation of Microsoft in 7 years.

Perhaps that is why. Microsoft looking for a chairman that is a little more hands on.

Bill Gates is selling his stock....
By tayb on 10/3/2013 8:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
It isn't surprising that investors want him out now that Bill Gates is committed to emptying his stock over the next n years (5-10 I believe). I'm sure they would rather have someone who is more financially invested in the company. Not only that but Bill hasn't been involved in day to day operations in 7 years and the people he has previously hand picked haven't exactly nailed it. A few members of the board want to go a different direction and that seems pretty fair to me.

Microsoft isn't remotely struggling financially but haven't done an amazing job penetrating emerging markets or rapidly adjusting to market changes. I think the board has a duty to the rest of the investors to be diligent in picking the successor for Ballmer. Everyone needs to remember that Gates stepped down on his own and only owns a 5% stake himself. He is an extremely successful man but when he took the company public he forfeited absolute control in exchange for wealth.

RE: Bill Gates is selling his stock....
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/3/2013 9:16:21 AM , Rating: 2
Sheeit, Gates is only a month older than me...

I doubt Gates is totally emptying his stock. As 49% shareholder he is the largest single shareholder in the company. The only way he could be ousted as chairman is with a unanimous vote of the entire board. Even to quit he would have to reduce his shares to the a level where then next largest single shareholder can take over.

Perhaps that is what he is doing. I doubt very much if he is interested of divesting his entire interest in Microsoft. Just his position as Chairman. After all if he is my age, I can very well see him wanting to get away from directing Microsoft and spending a lot more time with his grandkids.

By ilt24 on 10/3/2013 9:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt Gates is totally emptying his stock. As 49% shareholder he is the largest single shareholder in the company.

He is still the largest shareholder, but now has under 5% and he seems to be selling all the time. So far this year he has sold around 50M shares.

By MaulBall789 on 10/3/2013 9:23:43 AM , Rating: 3
I don't disagree with anything you're saying, this is all true and Gates started this process of stepping down from MS on his own years ago. But a small part of me is envisioning this scenario:

Gates calls the three shareholders to a meeting.

BG: So I hear you want me out as Chairman of the Board?

SH: We feel that you are part of the old guard and are hindering the growth that our hedge funds demand. Our job is to create more wealth and MS profits of $17 Billion this year are not enough for us.

BG: I see. My job is to create solutions for people to improve their lives, first in software with MS, now in helping lift people in third world countries out of sustained poverty and in doing so developing whole new markets for future products, hopefully benefiting MS in the long run. I may or may not be able to see it in my lifetime, but I know that my legacy will remain as a philanthropist who gave something tangible to this world and worked to improve it in ways that couldn't be imagined 50 years ago.

In your cases, however, I'm about to make an exception. You see, in the few minutes you've been sitting here I've acquired all three of your hedge funds. I also took the liberty of slashing your credit ratings, zeroing your account holdings and foreclosed on your homes. As an added bonus, I've also put your names to the list of high value targets of the NSA as a terrorist cell. Your families will spend their remaining days crawling through dumpsters and scavenge for their meals with the various rodents of the area. The FBI is waiting outside to take you to Guantanamo. Just remember, I could have done much worse. But deep at heart, I'm a nice guy. Have a pleasant day.

SH: (Soiling themselves)

The Irony Is...
By bitmover461 on 10/3/2013 10:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 is a good OS and would have been much better received with two simple additions; 1) A dialog during installation giving the option to boot to the desktop or 'Metro', and 2) A simple tutorial during installation (remember Windows 95 explaining the Start button?) explaining the Hot Corners. The main issue for me was installing the stupid thing then sitting there looking at a screenful of tiles and having NO IDEA what to do. These two simple omissions amounted to an epic fail.

RE: The Irony Is...
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/3/2013 11:46:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid it needed (and still needs with 8.1) a little more than that.

I have to use third party applications, at additional expense, to provide the functionality and aesthetics that Microsoft removed in Windows 8 (and still won't be putting back in Windows 8.1). Windows does have a user guide built in that explains the quirks like charm bars and such, but you really have to take the time to read it carefully (nobody bothers to RTFM).

Even after reading the docs it is half-baked.

I like consistency in my operating systems. I do not accept using the desktop, then being yoinked off to start screens or 'modern apps' that take over my entire 27" monitor. It is inconsistent, visually jarring and most of all annoying!

RE: The Irony Is...
By chripuck on 10/3/2013 11:59:04 AM , Rating: 1
Then don't use Modern apps, problem solved.

The only thing they really got wrong was not splitting Desktop/Laptop behavior from tablet. The multi-tasking bar that is on the left should be hidden and combined with the desktop multi-tasking bar in Desktop/Laptop mode. The Start button should have stayed, but the Start Screen is fine.

The Start Screen itself is a perfectly good replacement of the Start Menu if you actually open yourself up to new technology.

RE: The Irony Is...
By Aloonatic on 10/5/2013 2:34:14 PM , Rating: 3
"Then don't blah blah blah...."

That's just not a mature response, but sadly one that's so prevalent on these boards.

This is where many tech companies fall down, trying to force customers to do things that they don't want to and don't feel comfortable doing. I know it's a fine line, and sometimes (especially for well established companies) getting users to change with the times can be hard and it's a balancing act, but I think that MS has simply got it wrong with Win8.

Yes, I've finally used Win8 and I must say, I was amazed. I honestly thought that the desk-top section would have been far more win7 than it is. It's basically a bodged together version to try to make people use the start screen.

The start screen isn't bad, don't get me wrong, but it just doesn't work with a Laptop/PC. Tablet and phones this style works as users only want to do simple things, one app at a time. On a PC, no no no no no...

When I opened a browser on the desktop and got kicked out into a browser app that went full screen, and I couldn't easily see how I could have 2 tabs open at once (I assume there is a way, as it would be frankly stupid not to) and then when a chat window opened for the store I was looking at and I opened it, it took over everything, not just a little window allowing me to get on with other things at the same time.

To be fair, my experience of Win8 was marred further by having to cope with Office 365, which seems to be another user unfriendly, but revenue/shareholder pleasing move.

I guess this leads to the main point here. MS are being forced to behave like any other company, and I'm not anti MS, as really, they have largely been a benevolent giant (IE and other regulatory/position abusing issues aside).

Now they are having to really make as much money out of what they are doing, they are making people pay a subscription with office 365, and will get away with it for a while, but ultimately I think this will just push people to use other free/cheaper alternatives. Now they want Win8 and get you to go down the App Store route, and make you use their account, which they can keep an eye on and all that personal data/data mining stuff, and force developers to do things more their way.

We've been used to a much more open and relaxed feel when using Windows before, but this has pretty much gone, and it's a shame. Win8 just feels controlling, overbearing, oppressive and uncomfortable.

I went to buy a laptop the other day, but all they had were Win8 machines (with no win7 "downgrade" option like the Vista days), and I couldn't bring myself to part with £1,000 for that.

Maybe I bought my last PC a couple of years ago without realising it? If they want me to use a tablet OS, then an iPad might be a better option.

Ars has it right....
By Amiga500 on 10/3/2013 8:13:20 AM , Rating: 2
The sharks basically want to pump n dump so they can make a small fortune on a sell-off.

The long term strength of Microsoft is not a concern of theirs, their own profits are. So, sell off the promising and profitable bits now - throw the cash accrued out in a dividend pay-out then the sharks sell their shares.

[A further example - as if it were needed - as to why the stock market is now becoming more of a drag on companies, their employers and their management rather than a lift via investment.]

RE: Ars has it right....
By conq on 10/3/2013 8:27:20 AM , Rating: 1
I'd like to think if we could stop double taxing dividends it would welcome back the old tradition of sharing profits via payouts. But since they are, many claim dividends are one of the most inefficient way to rewards investors. So instead we have the current mentality that the only way of rewarding investors is to pump the stock price via hype and growth... which works really well in the short term but certainly not the long term.

They should also tax dividends as ordinary income instead of giving it a special tax status. If they did that to capital gains too I'd speculate it would eliminate 90% of our so called "tax loopholes". That would level the playing field on all sides. Of course that's never going to happen but I can keep dreaming...

RE: Ars has it right....
By Skywalker123 on 10/3/2013 4:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
They should also tax dividends as ordinary income instead of giving it a special tax status. If they did that to capital gains too I'd speculate it would eliminate 90% of our so called "tax loopholes". That would level the playing field on all sides. Of course that's never going to happen but I can keep dreaming...

You want to stop double taxation of dividends then turn around and say that dividends and capital gains should be taxed as ordinary income? That would be a nightmare for investors.

By unimatrix725 on 10/4/2013 2:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
I can see agreement with many comments so far. I would say this is a rehash of Jobs/Apple tactic. Without Gates it will flounder as HP. The I see in the near distant future them hiring Gates back much like what happened to Apple. They maybe able to pull this off. There is no hard feelings about getting rid of Balmer, however Gates is different. I am by no means a M$ fanboy, was a Apple Fanboi until they started on Android. I am now 3/4 Linux Fanboi. I recommend Apple only for their "Desktops", bash them for any ios product, instead pushing Android (bang for buck). Will soon push against their desktop line as it is too much like ios now. I have always had a hatred for M$, but feel pity for him, I guess because he has become the ""Poster boy for Charity causes".

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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