Ever wonder what the heads of Microsoft are thinking? Below is a listing of some of the more famous quotes from Bill Gates and Steve Balmer. Some of the quotes defy belief but they’re all true.
In six months Microsoft’s search engine “will be more relevant” to the consumer than Google’s – Neil Holloway, president of Microsoft EMEA March 2006
The Mac heralds a major change in how people view and interact with application programs. That’s why I’m so excited about it. There’s no question that I’ll let my mom try it out. – 1984
You couldn’t get performance or graphics like the Mac’s out of the PC at a comparable price. … “The Mac has easily twice (the horsepower) of a PC. That’s a lot of power, and that power can be exploited in many ways, including moving bits around on the screen. – 1984
The Mac will mean that there’s at least one company besides IBM in the personal computer business that doesn’t have to do everything the iBM way. … I’ve always said that the Mac is an ideal machine for office use, but it’s also a great general purpose machine. We think it will address several markets and remind people that the pace of innovations hasn’t slowed down in the industry. – 1984
I’ll enjoy having some people I know who are new to computers play with the Mac and see if it doesn’t draw them into the excitement of interactive personal computing. – 1984
The Mac is fun and exciting, and it fulfills Apple’s image of producing very personal, interactive, state-of-the-art computers. It’s a blend of Apple’s knowledge of what personal computing should be and what the semiconductor industry has made possible. It’s a great mixture, and it’s something that Apple is perfectly positioned to sell to people. The Mac will be remembered as one of the great classic machines. – 1984
640K [of memory] ought to be enough for anybody.
AIDS is a disease that is hard to talk about. The ideal thing would be to have a 100 percent effective AIDS vaccine.
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
As you improve health in a society, population growth goes down. You know, I thought it was… before I learned about it, I thought it was paradoxical.
At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right.
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
Capitalism is this wonderful thing that motivates people, it causes wonderful inventions to be done. But in this area of diseases of the world at large, it’s really let us down.
DOS is ugly and interferes with users’ experience.
Hey, I never told anyone to buy my stock! Besides, no one is less happy than I am with the performance of Microsoft stock! I’ve lost tens of billions of dollars this year-if you check, you’ll see that that’s more than most people make in a lifetime!
I actually thought that it would be a little confusing during the same period of your life to be in one meeting when you’re trying to make money, and then go to another meeting where you’re giving it away.
I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.
I do think this next century, hopefully, will be about a more global view. Where you don’t just think, yes my country is doing well, but you think about the world at large.
I have 100 billion dollars… You realize I could spend 3 million dollars a day, every day, for the next 100 years? And that’s if I don’t make another dime. Tell you what-I’ll buy your right arm for a million dollars. I give you a million bucks, and I get to sever your arm right here.
I have drifted away from thinking about these philanthropic things. And it was only as the wealth got large enough and Melinda and I had talked about the view that that wealth wasn’t something that would be good to just pass to the children.
I mean, if we said right now, there’s somebody in the next room who’s dying, let’s all go save their life, you know, everybody would just get up immediately and go get involved in that.
I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.
I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.
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.
I’m sorry that we have to have a Washington presence. We thrived during our first 16 years without any of this. I never made a political visit to Washington and we had no people here. It wasn’t on our radar screen. We were just making great software.
If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG.
If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?
If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.
If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.
In the decade ahead I can predict that we will provide over twice the productivity improvement that we provided in the ’90s.
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.
Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.
Is the rich world aware of how four billion of the six billion live? If we were aware, we would want to help out, we’d want to get involved.
It’s been shown that most people download viruses unwittingly – they don’t know they’re doing it until it’s too late. That’s what I mean here. We’re talking about protecting the consumer.
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.
Let’s face it, the average computer user has the brain of a Spider Monkey.
Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.
Life is not fair; get used to it.
Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so exciting.
Microsoft is not about greed. It’s about innovation and fairness.
Oh, I think there are a lot of people who would be buying and selling online today that go up there and they get the information, but then when it comes time to type in their credit card they think twice because they’re not sure about how that might get out and what that might mean for them.
People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines… There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.
People everywhere love Windows.
Security is, I would say, our top priority because for all the exciting things you will be able to do with computers – organizing your lives, staying in touch with people, being creative – if we don’t solve these security problems, then people will hold back.
Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
So we do software for watches, for phones, for TV sets, for cars. And some of these take a long time to catch on.
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
The browser space that we are in we have about 90 percent. Sure, Firefox has come along, and the press love the idea of that. Our commitment is to keep our browser that competes with Firefox to be the best browser – best in security, best in features.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
The huge turnout for Live 8 here and around the world proves that thanks to the leadership from people like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown the world is beginning to demand more action on global health and poverty.
The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.
The reason you see open source there at all is because we came in and said there should be a platform that’s identical with millions and millions of machines.
The two areas that are changing… are information technology and medical technology. Those are the things that the world will be very different 20 years from now than it is today.
The U.S. couldn’t even get rid of Saddam Hussein. And we all know that the EU is just a passing fad. They’ll be killing each other again in less than a year. I’m sick to death of all these fascist lawsuits.
There are people who don’t like capitalism, and people who don’t like PCs. But there’s no-one who likes the PC who doesn’t like Microsoft.
There are some things that we are always thinking about. For example, when will speech recognition be good enough for everybody to use that? And we have made a lot more progress this year on that. I think we will surprise people a bit on how well we will do on our speech recognition.
There is a certain responsibility that accrued to me when I got to this unexpected position.
Until we’re educating every kid in a fantastic way, until every inner city is cleaned up, there is no shortage of things to do.
We are not even close to finishing the basic dream of what the PC can be.
We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.
What we’re really after is simply that people acquire a legal license for Windows for each computer they own before they move on to Linux or Sun Solaris or BSD or OS/2 or whatever.
When the PC was launched, people knew it was important.
When you want to do your homework, fill out your tax return, or see all the choices for a trip you want to take, you need a full-size screen.
Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.
Windows 2000 already contains features such as the human discipline component, where the PC can send an electric shock through the keyboard if the human does something that does not please Windows.
You see, antiquated ideas of kindness and generosity are simply bugs that must be programmed out of our world. And these cold, unfeeling machines will show us the way.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Accessible design is good design.
All companies of any size have to continue to push to make sure you get the right leaders, the right team, the right people to be fast acting, and fast moving in the marketplace. We’ve got great leaders, and we continue to attract and promote great new leaders.
And then you take a look at Spaces, there is this great innovation that came out of nowhere. We have the number one blogging site in the world because of the innovation that’s there.
Certainly, we continue to bring in new people. We’ll hire, net new, over 4,000 people this year, and attract great people into the company. I’m very bullish about the employee base and what it can accomplish.
Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.
Great companies have high cultures of accountability, it comes with this culture of criticism I was talking about before, and I think our culture is strong on that.
Great companies in the way they work, start with great leaders.
I come back to the same thing: We’ve got the greatest pipeline in the company’s history in the next 12 months, and we’ve had the most amazing financial results possible over the last five years, and we’re predicting being back at double-digit revenue growth in fiscal year ’06.
I don’t know what a monopoly is until somebody tells me.
I have four words for you: I love this company, yeah!
I have lots of sources of information about what’s going on at the company. I think I have a pretty good pulse on where we are and what people are thinking.
I have never, honestly, thrown a chair in my life.
I like to tell people that all of our products and business will go through three phases. There’s vision, patience, and execution.
I think it would be absolutely reckless and irresponsible for anyone to try and break up Microsoft.
I think our leadership team is a highly accountable leadership team.
I’m not sure blogs are necessarily the best place to get a pulse on anything. People want to blog for a variety of reasons, and that may or may not be representative.
I’m very, very bullish about our prospects, and as I tell our board, as I tell our employees, this is the time to invest. There’s so much opportunity. Let’s just invest in that opportunity, and really get after it.
Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.
Look at the product pipeline, look at the fantastic financial results we’ve had for the last five years. You only get that kind of performance on the innovation side, on the financial side, if you’re really listening and reacting to the best ideas of the people we have.
Most people still steal music.
My children – in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.
Obviously, I think our stock is attractively priced, and we’re buying our stock.
Our company has to be a company that enables its people.
Our mail product, Hotmail, is the market leader globally.
Our people, our shareholders, me, Bill Gates, we expect to change the world in every way, to succeed wildly at everything we touch, to have the broadest impact of any company in the world.
Our vision and our mandate is to give customers the kind of holistic, simple experiences they want, and we do that every day.
So, I think the output of our innovation is great. We have a culture of self-improvement. I know we can continue to improve. There is no issue. But at the same time, our absolute level of output is fantastic.
The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.
Vista will be out next year. Vista has never been delayed. I mean, we had earlier conceptualizations, but the thing that is Vista is on its track.
We can believe that we know where the world should go. But unless we’re in touch with our customers, our model of the world can diverge from reality. There’s no substitute for innovation, of course, but innovation is no substitute for being in touch, either.
We don’t have a monopoly. We have market share. There’s a difference.
We have 85% of our people say they feel strongly that they’re proud to be at Microsoft. They love their work. They’re passionate about the impact that we’re having on customers and society. And that’s a real powerful, a really, really powerful statement about where our people are.
We have as an excited and engaged a team at Microsoft as I could possibly manage.
We will make our products work out of the box.
We’ve grown from 18% of the profits of the top 25 companies in our industry to 23% of the profits of the top 25 companies in our industry over the last five years. Profits are up over 70%, where the industry profit is up about 35%. Pretty good.
What we’ve gone through in the last several years has caused some people to question ‘Can we trust Microsoft?’
You take a look at the market share, virtually every business we’re in, our market shares are up over the last five years.