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New Bill Gates Interview

The UK’s Daily Mail has a wide ranging interview with Bill Gates, which is actually much rarer than you may believe. With recent misguided nostalgia for the Bill Gates years at Microsoft and a fanciful if equally misguided belief that the company would be better off today if he seized control of the company again, I figured it might be interesting to note the tech-related bits of the interview. (A lot of it involves Gates’ more recent—and, by the way, more important—philanthropic work.

On whether Bill G’s kids have iPads or other Apple devices:

“They have the Windows equivalent. They have a Zune music player, which is a great Windows portable player. They are not deprived children.”

Will he ever return to helm Microsoft?

“No. I’m part-time involved. But this is my job now ... My full-time work for the rest of my life is this foundation.”

On his continued interest in technology:

“he next big thing is definitely speech and voice recognition. You’ll be able to touch that board or speak to it and get your message to colleagues around the world. Screens are cheap.”

He has his own Twitter account and Facebook page, although “ had a problem with Facebook, because the friend requests got out of hand”

I know that feeling, as I’m “fixing” my own Facebook issue right now. I can’t imagine what that’s like for Gates.

About his legacy:

“That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard!”

Which is sort of a Bill Gates compliment, actually.

“Legacy is a stupid thing! I don’t want a legacy. If people look and see that childhood deaths dropped from nine million a year to four million because of our investment, then wow! I liken what I’m doing now to my old job. I worked with a lot of smart people; some things went well, some didn’t go so well. But when you see how what we did ended up empowering people, it’s a very cool thing.”

“What I’m doing now involves understanding maths, risk-taking. The first half of my life was good preparation for the second half.”

You big geek

“Hey, if being a geek means you’re willing to take a 400-page book on vaccines and where they work and where they don’t, and you go off and study that and you use that to challenge people to learn more, then absolutely. I’m a geek. I plead guilty. Gladly.”

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