From schoolboy to software titan, Bill Gates on how it all started
BBC Money Programme has an exclusive on cameras interview with Gates, before he end his full-time work at Microsoft. Mr. Gates tells that it wasn’t just what Microsoft did, but what his rivals didn’t do that let Microsoft get ahead.
“Most of our competitors were very poorly run,” he tells Fiona Bruce, for The Money Programme.
“They did not understand how to bring in people with business experience and people with engineering experience and put them together. They did not understand how to go around the world.”
Sir Alan Sugar, one of Britain’s computer pioneers with his Amstrad range, testifies to Microsoft’s global mobility even as a comparatively small company in the 1980s.
Amstrad, in Brentwood, Essex, was visited by a Microsoft salesman – or “mid-Atlantic smoothie” as Sir Alan describes him – who came to sell Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system.
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Sir Alan declined, telling the salesman he was quite happy with the rival DR-DOS system from Digital Research for his new computer, explaining that “we’re a consumer electronics manufacturer here, we’re not a bunch of geeks, we don’t give a sh**”.
But the Microsoft man wouldn’t take no for an answer, and “was constantly coming back each day” to the Amstrad offices, Sir Alan says, until a deal was done.[…]
[…]”Most of our competitors were one-product wonders,” he says.
“They would do their one product, but never get their engineering sorted out.
“They did not think about software in this broad way. They did not think about tools or efficiency. They would therefore do one product, but would not renew it to get it to the next generation.”[…]