-- Bill Gates has a new business in the works -- and, depending on whom you ask, it could be anything from a philanthropic foundation to a high-tech firm for space exploration.
First, the facts: The company will be called bgC3, according to publicly filed documents discovered by Seattle tech blog TechFlash. The official logo looks kind of like a magnet on top of a rounded-off rectangle, though if you focus your eyes right you can see that it forms a â€œcâ€? interlocked with a â€œ3.â€? A Web site, bgc3.com, has already been registered privately with Network Solutions. As of now, though, the logo is the only thing there.
A Matter of Record
Courtesy of MicrosoftState records indicate the company was first founded this March under the name Carillon Holdings. The bgC3 name came into play a few months later in July, just over a week after Gatesâ€™ final day as a Microsoft full-timer.
Publicly accessible trademark requests (search "bgc3") filed at the end of September describe the operation as a â€œthink tank service.â€? That categorization can include anything from "scientific and technological services" to "industrial analysis and research," or even "design and development of computer hardware and software." As for an office, bgC3 is headquartered in Kirkland, Wash., near Gatesâ€™ home.
Thatâ€™s pretty much it as far as the official information. But not to worry -- thereâ€™s plenty of unsubstantiated speculation to go along with it. Some highlights from around the Web:
* bgC3 is a â€œnot a commercial venture but rather a vehicleâ€? for Gatesâ€™ business and philanthropic endeavors. It could, however, include the development of Gatesâ€™ â€œbreakthrough ideas in science and technology." - Source TechFlash
* The bgC3 office is â€œfilled with high-tech Microsoft paraphernalia,â€? ranging from a new Surface tabletop computer to a virtual guestbook. - Source The New York Times
* The name bgC3 stands for â€œBill Gates Catalyst 3,â€? with the â€œ3â€? signifying Gatesâ€™ third operation (preceded by Microsoft and his foundation). - Source TechFlash
* The company may focus on â€œcreating catalyst business ideas to spin off to Microsoft, the Gates Foundation or elsewhere.â€? - Source The New York Times
* Gates may be developing the â€œMicrosoft of space,â€? a DNA-mapping organization, a command line computing resurrection, or a â€œconglomerate that will make Microsoft seem tiny.â€? Source - Computerworld
* The new office will serve as a â€œneutral ground for discussingâ€? information either from Gatesâ€™ foundation or from Microsoft. - Source The Wall Street Journal
* The startup will become a â€œclearing house for new technology,â€? be it nuclear waste containment, medical robots, or inexpensive laptops. - Source CrunchGear
* bgC3 will develop computers that are â€œmoist and chewy, like cake,â€? along with â€œblogging software for amoebae.â€? - Source InformationWeek
Now, to be fair, weâ€™re pretty sure a few of those predictions were meant in jest. But hey, you never know -- we might just end up seeing a not-for-profit command line-driven space vessel thatâ€™ll launch medical robots and blog-writing amoebae that feed on moist cake into orbit. Then whoâ€™ll be laughing?