Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bill Gates - How to Keep America Competitive -

"Innovation is the source of U.S. economic leadership and the foundation for our competitiveness in the global economy. Government investment in research, strong intellectual property laws and efficient capital markets are among the reasons that America has for decades been best at transforming new ideas into successful businesses."

And my comments which were FUBARed by WAPOs website:

Could we first pass a law that would prevent anyone else from Microsoft from using the word "innovation"? They have practically worn the word out and it only serves as a sick joke these days that one of America's most successful companies (in money terms at least) continues to use an attribute they lack to describe themselves.

Yes, innovation is important to America, and the world, but what does Bill Gates mean by "strong intellectual property laws and efficient capital markets"?

IP laws are intended to help get new ideas off the ground by promising an inventor, but more importantly a manufacturer, at least a chance on return of their investment in production of a new product. But software patents have turned this system on its head, with more patents issued than anyone can keep up with, and in some cases on almost trivial concepts, we have the opposite effect, namely that someone can invest significantly in a new product only too find out that the proceeds belong to Microsoft.

Efficient capital markets? Like one where hardware costs continue to go down while software costs continue to go up? Where Steve Balmer can suggest that the world needs a $100 PC, while omitting that he'd like to see $1000 worth of MS software running on it?

What Gates and Balmer want is a parody of "The Al Franken Decade", and we are living it too. These two men, and their company want to continue to rest on their accomplishments from the 80's (which were significant) while the rest of us struggle with software that doesn't work, old disks we can't read and laws that threaten to put us in jail if we code up anything that might work against their retirement programs. The MS decade is OVER! Long since in fact. Deal with it Mr. Gates, get back to your charity efforts.

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