Just when you start to respect a guy, he lets you down. When asked about Microsoft adopting some features of Apple’s Mac OS X in Vista, he responds with a completely counterfactual interpretation of events. I’m going to assume Bill Gates isn’t stupid, and put his statement down to dishonesty instead. He says:
I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise.
Why can’t he just admit that in the software industry, companies adopt features that other companies create? In other industries, nobody bats an eye when desirable features see wide adoption. Take the car industry for instance. Traction control, seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and cruise control were all invented by somebody. Some company was the first to put a radio in a car. Nobody complains now that all of those features are commonly found in cars from every manufacturer. Just about everything is derivative in one way or another, trying to pretend that’s not the case is just disingenuous.