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Summary:

I’m up at Microsoft HQ with a group dubbed “leaders in various aspects of the web community” for a day that closed with an hour-long conversation with Bill Gates. Gates opened with remarks about recent products, as well as the coming ascension of Ray Ozzie and […]

I’m up at Microsoft HQ with a group dubbed “leaders in various aspects of the web community” for a day that closed with an hour-long conversation with Bill Gates. Gates opened with remarks about recent products, as well as the coming ascension of Ray Ozzie and the looming decisions to be made by the two of them regarding “how much ‘Liveness’ do we get into [upcoming] products.”

As for products, he hinted at partnerships with car companies to be announced at CES and mused at the vast difference in business models – small, private sales to the military versus advertising – that have been applied to the data Microsoft uses for Virtual Earth.

We each got to ask Gates one question. I asked which applications he forecast to live within the browser and which outside of it.

He replied that the distinction would come to be silly from a technical standpoint, but that the necessary movement toward web APIs does present challenges on the business side. “One of the things that’s actually held the industry back on this is, if you have an advertising business model, then you don’t want to expose your capabilities as a web service, because somebody would use that web service without plastering your ad up next to the thing.”

His solution wasn’t very specific: “It’s ideal if you get business models that don’t force someone to say ‘no, we won’t give you that service unless you display something right there on that home page.”

Then for the tease: “And, you know, [inside the browser and outside the browser are] moving towards each other, but there’s still a bit of a barrier there, and new technology, things we’re working on, really will change that.”

The conversation was meaty at times, but also quite relaxed. I don’t think anyone in the room didn’t have a blog, so I’m not going to recap every last word here.

Fun tidbits that emerged from other people’s questions: Gates has Wicked, among other musicals, on his Zune; as a kid, he never wanted to be an astronaut or a cowboy (rather, a lawyer, mathematician, and briefly economist); and he’s delaying buying the new season of 24 on DVD so that people will have something to give him for Christmas.

Update: Posts from other participants: Niall Kennedy on his question about Linux IP, Mike Arrington on his question about DRM, Steve Rubel with a summary of the Gates Q&A, Kelly Goto with a writeup of the day, Ryan Stewart with some remarks, Molly Holzschlag on her back-and-forth with Gates about Microsoft’s bad reputation on web standards, Chris Pirillo with his personal account.

  1. cool~~~
    will bill gate be the person who holds the greatest wealth?

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  2. Isn’t it silly asking the king of desktop apps about the future of silly apps?

    Better ask the guys at 37signals.

    For more, read:
    http://mediavidea.blogspot.com/2006/12/why-google-yahoo-and-microsoft-should.html

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  3. Good Question Om…

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  4. I found one of the answers interesting:

    “One of the things that’s actually held the industry back on this is, if you have an advertising business model, then you don’t want to expose your capabilities as a web service, because somebody would use that web service without plastering your ad up next to the thing.”

    Isn’t this a basis of most Web 2.0 ideas. Web services are becoming more the norm than most average consumers now.

    The basis for this is the advertising model. I wonder how much Microsoft gets that?

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  5. ” Gates […] as a kid, he never wanted to be an astronaut or a cowboy (rather, a lawyer, mathematician, and briefly economist); “

    …or maybe a goldsmith… or a diamond cutter LOL

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  6. Excellent question for him. I don’t think it was hyperbole when he responded that new MS technology “really will change that,” because XAML has the potential, depending on how they drive WPF/e, to be the next HTML.

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  7. You needed a better title for this post. “an hour with bill gates” or something like that.

    the current title suggests a passive article.

    my 2c.

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  8. forgot to mention, i read the whole transcript at other places, yours was the best question.

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  9. Bloggers quiz Bill Gates…

    Fourteen A-list bloggers spent 60 minutes in the company. I found reports of the event from Niall Kennedy,…

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  10. I think the biggest short term hurdle to the convergence of the web and the desktop is not the technology (or the business model, for that matter). I’ve always felt it was the latency, the privacy concerns, and most of all, workflow efficiency.

    I’ve created a number of process maps for tasks that involve software that has switched from desktop to browser-based. Breaking the processes down step by step, the number of steps to complete the task often goes up, along with the cycle times.

    Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything, but there are a lot of applications where the efficiency losses are greater than the “ease of deployment” gains.

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  11. Google Kills Search API…

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  12. The first time I heard of Bill Gates as some one VIP was in the american Church in PARIS when
    I tried to convert me from Electronics and All optical network transmission to computer science.

    I’ve been told buy Visual C++ and you will become a rich life.

    The struggle was not so hard to endure but until
    I’ve been in love with a girl of USA not the same who did to me better the LIFE not the same afterward I could not understand MICROSOFT CORPORATION is not only a technology very high price from MIT but also something very usefull and interesting for the life not the same.

    That means instead to look at the ground and never know what to do with my money honest (earned thanks to Microsoft) to develop with coworkers actress of USA links with different people who can meet in a pub to codevelopp ideas for people enjoy the life.

    That is why I believe only in Microsoft for a world where people enjoy the life together.

    The keyword is to meet the good one thanks to internet expolrer and any evolution.

    After some years of studying and working I had a couple of dozens of books of microsoft in my personnal library and microsoft became a phylosophy but also applied mathematics.

    I have never loosed one cent or one second of my life thanks to Microsoft Corporation.

    David METIN

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  13. Bill Gates is cool Iwish i could be asr ich as him.Ilook up to Bill Gates he is my hero.

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  14. Man i wish Bill Gates would give us kids who need the money some money becausemy parents never give memoney and I look up to Bill Gates Well I wish he would come to my house and give me like $100 that all I need to be happy.If he wants to come to my house I live in Salem Illino at 307 South Washington.

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  15. Thanks for your ‘sacrifice’ to have to tour the Evil Empire HQ at their expense. Too bad no relevant questions were permitted. But, you were on their turf.

    As an Open Source software advocate, running *BSD and GNU/Linux on curbside donations, for charities and children, since 1997, I see Bill Gates and Microsoft as Satan and the Evil Empire that would take your children for enslavement to their propaganda.

    Anything M$ does is the result of theft from others. No surprise they have to pay people to visit them and to try to purchase some kind of positive news to counterbalance the “114,000 Microsoft Virus Definitions” and their multiple convictions on many continents, for Piracy, Theft, Monopolism, and con-games.

    Hey, everyone is paying for the in-efficient government that they get, due to the decade of ineptitude in computer communications, thanks to Micro$oft. If you aren’t part of the Open Source Movement, then you are part of the problem!

    http://livecdlist.com has 310 FREE open source distros, if you are able to click.

    http://pclinuxos.com is one of the better solutions to DRM and the stupidity of 20Gb bloatware, Vista!

    As Bill Gates said, “Just buy CDs and rip them” using http://pclinuxos.com multimedia, which has 5500 programs, included. Yeah!

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  16. i want to tell bill gates that all the things that he did in his life is so good
    but
    pleas bill gates lebanon
    neads you
    and thank you bill gates

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  17. Future of Web Apps is: Web 3.0

    Great applications, new desings. Future is tomorrow.

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  18. Excellent question for him. I don’t think it was hyperbole when he responded that new MS technology “really will change that,” because XAML has the potential, depending on how they drive WPF/e, to be the next html

    Share
  19. As an Open Source software advocate, running *BSD and GNU/Linux on curbside donations, for charities and children, since 1997, I see Bill Gates and Microsoft as Satan and the Evil Empire that would take your children for enslavement to their propaganda.

    Share
  20. [...] A respeito do futuro das aplicações, se elas vão rodar no navegador [online] ou no computador [offline], ele se esquivou. As [...]

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  21. [...] Bill Gates on the Future of Web Apps « GigaOM I’ve created a number of process maps for tasks that involve software that has Breaking the processes down step by step, the number of steps to complete [...]

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  22. [...] bloggers involved were Steve Rubel, Molly Holzschlag, Ryan Stewart, Niall Kennedy and Liz Gannes. By Robin  December 19, 2006. Filed under: Comment, Ideas, News Add to:  [...]

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  23. Isn’t it silly asking the king of desktop apps about the future of silly apps?

    Better ask the guys at 37signals.

    Share
  24. I’ve created a number of process maps for tasks that involve software that has switched from desktop to browser-based. Breaking the processes down step by step, the number of steps to complete the task often goes up, along with the cycle times.

    Share
  25. Excellent question for him. I don’t think it was hyperbole when he responded that new MS technology “really will change that,” because XAML has the potential, depending on how they drive WPF/e, to be the next HTML.

    Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything, but there are a lot of applications where the efficiency losses are greater than the “ease of deployment” gains.

    Share
  26. [...] Bill Gates on the Future of Web Apps « GigaOM I’ve created a number of process maps for tasks that involve software that has Breaking the processes down step by step, the number of steps to complete [...]

    Share
  27. The basis for this is the advertising model. I wonder how much Microsoft gets that?

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  28. Excellent question for him. I don’t think it was hyperbole when he responded that new MS technology “really will change that,” because XAML has the potential, depending on how they drive WPF/e, to be the next HTML.

    Share
    1. Anything M$ does is the result of theft from others. No surprise they have to pay people to visit them and to try to purchase some kind of positive news to counterbalance the “114,000 Microsoft Virus Definitions” and their multiple convictions on many continents, for Piracy & Theft.

      Share

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