More on Bill Gates Deliberately Misleading or Lying to Computer Users

May 7, 2004

The other one was from the Bill Gates interview on Charlie Rose a couple of months ago, where, when asked for his thoughts on open source software, Gates responded that there always has been free software and there always will be free software, but people pay for the product because

  1. it is a better product,
  2. support is available,
  3. documentation is available, and
  4. people like their relationship with their software vendors.
This statement shows that first, Bill diverted the question from open source to free—which are not the same, then feigned ignorance or attempted to disseminate misinformation. i.e. if 2 & 3 are true (open source software does not have documentation or support), then 1 must be false (open source software MUST be better) in order to justify people putting up without 2 & 3—or the price of the software must be so disproportionate with the value of the software that it makes up for 2 & 3. However, all of the open source software and most of the free software I have or use has better support than anything that I have seen from Microsoft since 1991, and more useful documentation. On the other hand, 4 is demonstrated to be false by almost all surveys of software consumers from individual users to corporate software purchasers—the consumers feel, generally, like the software company has them over a barrel and that the software delivered does not meet the expectations. This indicates that either Bill does not want to masses to know that everyone else feels as upset with the software companies that they have to deal with as the viewer does, or it means that Bill thinks he knows better that the industry analysts and knows better than to believe the actual opinions of users before Microsoft has given them those opinions...