back to article Gates pumps up Office, slaps down Yahoo!

A "brilliant, powerful - and let's face it, sexy and good looking - leader of men and women who just doesn't believe in paying more than seven dollars for a haircut". That's the way Brian Williams, respected news anchorman for America's NBC, described Bill Gates in a video spoof on the Microsoft chairman's pending semi- …


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  1. Geoff Mackenzie

    Absolutely priceless

    "designed to strap the underperforming Yahoo! engine to the becalmed MSN barge and to somehow overtake the Google supertanker" - that put a smile on my face, thanks!

    Anyone who thinks MS Office is a development platform has got real problem though. I mean seriously, I know a lot of shambling mutants have been built by businesses out of this suite (usually outside the IT department), but who would want to maintain them? Of all the ways I might build a solution, I would have thought scripting it together in an office suite would be pretty damn near the bottom of the list, right by INTERCAL and a cluster of ZX81s.

  2. Bruno Girin

    M$ Office development platform?

    But we don't want M$ Office as a development platform! Didn't they learn with all the M$ Word viruses? An office suite is meant to produce documents, not be a development platform. If you need office automation, provide a real IDE next to it and libraries that can plug into the office tools but don't make the office suite a development platform!

    *shudders at the though of more shoddy VBA unleashed in the world*

  3. amanfromMars Silver badge

    The Challenge Gauntlet

    Dear Bill,

    "There is a strategy where you drive toward being a media company and you take functions and you give up the engineering to someone else. We don't believe in that. The core is going to be engineering, and you've got to get it into a level of scale so that you can go and challenge to become the number one in that space."

    Actually, that is surely much more creating a new space rather than following anyone into theirs. Bravo Bill, and "the core is going to be engineering" seems like something alien too. Would that be Social Engineering/Subliminal DirectXXXXion?

    Are they tickling the MS Kernel with ITs Virtual Substitution of Reality from the Depths of CyberSpace Bases rather than Milking the HoneyPot from the Offal Office? AI New World Order Show would Run and Run and Run and Run and would Fact then be a Fiction?

    There is no question that you have the Cash to Splash on such Flash, but do you have the Vision and the Cojones?

    No Matter though, you can easily Purchase Both LeaseLend. And the Beauty of IT is, if you don't some other Brighter Sparc will and then "you've got to get it into a level of scale so that you can go and challenge to become the number one in that space." ............ although that is Lose Lose rather than Win Win for you're still not leading with anything.

    Don't tell me. You don't do Global Operating Devices and Services which Lead, only those which you have to pay for.

    Just a John, then? Oh dear, but then Marriage can so easily kill Love's Passion. You need a Proxy Champion Bill to Boldly Go into Future Space Created and Hosted for Real Virtually...... and if that makes you AI Universal News Corporation, so what? And it is no further away than an Instant Message or an e-mail away ....and how Spookily SurReal is that.

  4. Doug

    Microsoft Office as a platform?

    so are they worried they'll lose their Windows platform position so the next best monopolistic hammer to use is the MS Office monopoly? That's what I figure.

    Look at how they are handling the MS OOXML standardization process. Busing in their business partners, paying for their ISO membership fees, and providing them with the answers to the questions they'd be asked all point to the same old Microsoft. Microsoft Office as a platform is a backup strategy and a poor one at that.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Still relying in Office to to talk up their company. Come-on M$ how old does this story have to be.

  6. b shubin

    Silver bullet?

    this would be the only way they can counter the proliferation of open development platforms like LAMP, Ruby and Java: nothing is more proprietary than MSOffice app development. this is absolute lock-in.

    MS is going to miss the boat again, just like they did with the Internet, but this time, it would be an attempt to lock people into the MSOffice walled garden. the major industry trend today is for server-side functionality with a web-face, and as little client-side app as possible. MS aversion to standards and competition makes this a very unattractive proposition.

    at one point, they stated that their goal is software-as-a-service. i believe that this thick-client emphasis is an indication that they have failed to make the transition, and may abandon the attempt, if they haven't already.

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Past Tense

    "Yahoo has done great work. I particularly point to the engineering work they've done... they did good work," he said (note the repeated emphasis on past tense).

    Speaking of past tense, Office became a platform at least a decade ago. If it hasn't set the world alight yet, it probably isn't going to.

    On the other hand, if they are now going to fix all the bugs in Office, that would be great. I'm sure everyone who has ever tried to "program Office" has run into loads of places where the actual behaviour is close enough to what's desired for a human client to cope but not for a dumb (programmatic) one.

  8. David

    Same old stuff

    There comes a time when people just get stuck in their ways and lose track of the present and future. At some point many people end up living in the past, in their hey day.

    Bill Gates is so far behind the fact that the Web is the only real and lasting platform out there. His response is to give a new spin to his legacy products that were so yesterday.

    He should write a book called "The road behind".

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