September 20, 2003
Bill Gates, Joel Klein on Same Team

It was nice to see two old adversaries, Bill Gates and Joel Klein, sharing a stage last week. In the Clinton era Klein headed the Justice Department’s fruitless antitrust suit. Klein is now in charge of the New York City public schools to which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made a $51 million grant to establish 67 small, themed high schools. According to the New York Times: “Asked about their previous dealings, Mr. Gates nodded and barely cracked a smile. "I'm glad to be working on the same team," he said. Behind him, Mr. Klein flashed a sheepish grin."

Such philanthropy (the latest in a series of high-profile initiatives) doesn't lessen Bill's responsibility for visiting the indignities of Windows and Office on computer users the world over, but it is to his considerable credit nonetheless, and it does balance a bit better the scales which weigh his overall impact.

Posted by at September 20, 2003 01:50 PM

Windows & Office products got great share through good marketing. People are willing to pay for this stuff. However, there have always been competitive products, people have just been less willing to buy them. The mac (still around I heard), xenix, open office, free bsd, linux, star office have always been choices. The US is a relatively free country.

Posted by: doug ransom at September 22, 2003 07:20 AM

"Relatively free" is the operational phrase. I have never had a job where I didn't have to fight like hell to retain the right to use a Macintosh for my work. Everyone that's rich enough to be self-employed is free to use Macintosh. The rest of us, well, it's all relative.

Posted by: TQ White II at September 23, 2003 07:23 AM