Imitation, Flattery, Etc. (2/14/00)
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Aw, what a sweet valentine! It's like a great big smooch from Bill to Steve; an article in The Register notes that one of Bill Gates's old girlfriends, Ann Winblad, recalls his hopeless crush on the Macintosh. While the article doesn't say when this fling with good taste occurred, Ann is quoted as saying, "we all bought Macs. Bill bought a Mac. Bill was using a Mac. Bill was using a Macintosh. Not a PC." See? Bill does have a modicum of style in his soul. Of course, it wasn't quite enough to bleed over into Windows, but it shows that at least Bill wanted his product to be stylish like the Mac. Yeah, yeah, good intentions, road to hell, yadda yadda yadda. All we're saying is, it's not like Bill didn't try to make a classy copy of the Mac. From a style perspective, he just failed miserably, that's all.

But what's truly smoochworthy about this Valentine's Day surprise isn't even that Bill spent his own filthy lucre on a Macintosh. The real kicker is that Bill reportedly admires Steve personally to an almost embarrassing degree. Ann says that when watching Steve give one of his famous public addresses, Bill turned to her and said, "some day I'll be as good a public speaker as he is. How do I do that? I'm going to work on that." (Note to Bill: keep working.) It may not compare to the stalker-level Jobs obsession that Mike Dell's trying to keep under control, but it's sweet nonetheless; Bill's admiration is more "Twins," while Mike's definitely got a scarier "Single White Female" vibe going on.

So Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, and especially to Bill and Steve-- a match made in... well, maybe purgatory. Oh, sure, Bill ripped Steve off by copying the Mac's interface and all that, but hey, that's just business. We bet they still sent valentines to each other-- maybe even Hallmarks, if they cared enough to send the very best. Or at least they sent iCards...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 2/14/00 episode:

February 14, 2000: It's a big, fat valentine from Bill to Steve, courtesy of one of the Billster's old girlfriends. Meanwhile, the utter lack of scheduled webcasts and satellite broadcasts from the Macworld Expo Tokyo keynote probably has a few rumormongers squirming, and when viewed in light of Windows 2000's thirty million lines of code, a mere 63,000 bugs doesn't sound all that bad...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2096: We Don't Sweat; We Glow (2/14/00)   Nervous yet? The rumors sites probably are. Here we are, scant days away from Steve Jobs's Macworld Expo keynote, and there's been no word of an official webcast of the event. See, here's the thing; damn near everyone predicted that a slew of new hardware would surface at last month's Expo keynote-- at least the new "Pismo" PowerBook, and probably speed-bumped G4s, too...

  • 2097: New! Windows 63,000® (2/14/00)   Once upon a time, we joked that Windows 2000 was so named because it had that many bugs in it. Microsoft sure made us look stupid; we were way off. But now we take it all back-- everything we said about Microsoft's own count of 63,000 bugs in Windows 2000...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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