The Quotable Bill Gates

-- "And so it's fair to say what's going on today is like the arrival of the printing press, or the telephone or the radio. And these communications tools did have pervasive effects. They made the world a smaller place. They allowed science to be done more efficiently. They allowed politics to be done a new way. They had a modest impact on how people were educated, but people were optimistic that they would make a very big change. Now, the personal computer connected to the Internet is far more powerful in many ways than any of these other communications devices." Harvard Conference on Internet Society, May 29, 1996, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

-- "The PC and the Internet are going to be fundamental. They're not there yet, but we're certainly on a course to do that, and it will be just like the automobile." Windows '98 launch, June 25, 1998, San Francisco.

-- "You know, in many people's cases, they decide they want to pass most of their wealth on to their children, and that's a perfectly legitimate choice. In my case, I think it's better for society and better for my children if the vast bulk of the wealth that I'm lucky enough to be shepherding at this point, if that goes back to causes that are important, things like access to technology, education, medical research, social services and a variety of things." Interview with Charlie Rose, March 4, 1998.

-- "Well, one of the privileges of success in this country is government scrutiny, and that's okay. I mean, we have a very sexy industry. If you worked at the Department of Justice, which would you rather investigate -- bread or software? ... Our, I guess you could call it, 'dispute' with the Department of Justice is about over whether we need to cripple our products or not. That is, can we take a feature that was once available separate from the operating system, like a browser or a graphical interface or any of the other things we've done, and then integrate that into the operating system so that users don't have to go out and buy those separate pieces and they have one unified product that creates a simple user interface ... So with Windows 98, we're not changing anything we do there. Worst case, they'll ask us to create a crippled product as well as the normal product, and that would be too bad. That would really hold us back, so we're quite confident that won't happen. -- Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, Jan. 27, 1998.

-- "I'm a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they're interested in. E-mail in Russia was very key in allowing people to get together and think about, did they want to revert back to the previous mode of government? In country after country, you can see that having these tools, there has really made a pretty incredible difference. ...

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