digital text (finally?)


Bill Gates did an interview this spring with Peter Jennings (February 16, 2005). My favorite outtakes:

On the state of contemporary culture where even majesty, installed base, and very smart people won’t protect you from dynamism:

that’s one thing I like about the Microsoft culture — is that we wake up every day thinking about companies like Wang or Digital Equipment, or Compaq, that were huge companies that did very well and they literally have disappeared. Got bought up, you know went into a direction that was a dead end for them. So we have that lesson and we are always saying to ourself — we have to innovate. We got to come up with that breakthrough.

And evidence that we might finally see Microsoft come up with a PDA capable of delivering text. This was one of the early promises of the digital world, and still languishes.

I am meeting with our tablet people about the idea of carrying text books around. They’ll have just a tablet device that they can call up the material on. That’s been a dream for a long time, we’re making progress there. So review of the software projects and encouraging them in terms of what they are doing well and telling them who else they need to work with. That’s the primary thing on my schedule.


McCracken, Grant. 2005. It can’t read! (Microsoft’s PMC illiterate?) Post on this blog, um, some time ago here

Full interview