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Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Bill Gates Drops To Number 2 388

Posted by kdawson
from the still-got-a-few-to-rub-together dept.
A number of readers made sure we know that Bill Gates is apparently no longer the world's richest person. His wealth, estimated currently at $59.2 billion, has been surpassed by that of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. Slim, the son of a Lebanese immigrant, runs businesses in a number of industries from Mexico City. Stock in his wireless company, American Movil, recently surged in price by 27%, boosting his net worth to $67.8 billion. Last April Slim passed Warren Buffet, who had long held down the number 2 spot. In this audio Bill Gates says he won't care when he is no longer number 1.
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Bill Gates Drops To Number 2

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  • We still hate him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:10AM (#19740387) Homepage Journal
    There seems to be a misunderstanding by some people - including Gates himself - that Bill Gates is hated because he is rich. This is not true. We envy him because he is rich.
    We hate him because he produces crappy software and uses unethical techniques to promote it. Being surpassed in the richest person list does not change this.
    • Re:We still hate him (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:33AM (#19740517)
      Um, either reason is missing the point.

      Technology rules and shapes the human race. He seeks to control all technology. *That's* the real reason to hate him. For 25 years the world has concerned itself with pittiances like who's president and which country has a despot in charge, while right under our noses the biggest monopoly in human history has effectively brought the globe under the dictatorship of Bill Gates - through the computers.

      Wait til we rely on biotech to live past 150 years and we're colonizing space. There Gates will be, deciding who lives and who dies and charging everybody 50 cents to breathe. Think the people will wake up then? If so, do we want to wait until it's that bad before we start to resist?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Wait til we rely on biotech to live past 150 years and we're colonizing space. There Gates will be, deciding who lives and who dies and charging everybody 50 cents to breathe. Think the people will wake up then? If so, do we want to wait until it's that bad before we start to resist?
        But do you want Air Ultimate or Air Premium?
      • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kahei (466208) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:30AM (#19741375) Homepage

        Bill Gates is one entrepreneur among many. His products came to a position of prominence in many markets, competing against the likes of NeXT, Apple and Sun whose offerings had weaknesses obvious to anyone who was trying to actually build a company using them. His company, Microsoft, isn't as nice as Ben & Jerry's but then it's a lot nicer than Sun and IBM. Although by offering commoditized, loosely-controlled solutions in an industry previously dominated by massive hardware/software lock-in, he is still small fry compared to the great 19th century monopolists like Vanderbilt and Rockefeller, or even the great 18th century players (Clive of India, anyone?)

        He's a guy, with a company, that makes products, that people either buy or don't. He has major market share in a niche which, to be honest, was not very strongly contested, and he has a few OK products in other niches. Microsoft's smaller than Exxon, way smaller than GE, FAR smaller than Standard Oil, and VASTLY less controlling and anti-innovation than old-school IBM. On the other hand, it's not a particularly nice and fluffy company either. None of them are. Get over it. Now, quietly listen to yourself:

        For 25 years the world has concerned itself with pittiances like who's president and which country has a despot in charge, while right under our noses the biggest monopoly in human history has effectively brought the globe under the dictatorship of Bill Gates - through the computers.

        First, it's 'pittance' and it doesn't mean what you think it means.
        Second, the above is exactly why basement-dwellers whose whole world is home computers do not wind up in important decision-making roles. And I think we should all be very grateful.

      • by bmgoau (801508) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @05:57AM (#19741795) Homepage
        "There Gates will be, deciding who lives and who dies and charging everybody 50 cents to breathe"

        Don't forget giving out free vacinations, building schools, improveing healthcare, researching technology, paying taxes and employing people. How darstedly evil!

        Oh and between you and me, he plans to be both Evil Overlord and Good guy between loving and raising his children and being a good husband to his wife.

        You might think im missing the point here, that his business tactics are evil. Well i agree, they were and still are. But thats not the point you raised, you implied that he has some kind of 1000 year fourth Richt plan for the human race. What im pointing out here is that he is a business man, living in the US, mainly concenred with technology, who has done some bad business things in the past, he has a loving wife and some beautiful kids. His investments do cover alot of fields yes, but so does any investors. Oh and he is the most charitable person in our generation.

        Before you go and spend your time photoshoping hate images of Bill Gates for his most evil business moves read up on companies like Texaco, ExxonMobil, Amgen, The US Government, Shell, BP, Disney and Nike.

        For all that is good and evil in this world, if Bill Gates and Microsoft is the worse we can do in the industry most of make a living from then we could ALOT worse. Now grow up and place your activism somewhere where it counts, say maybe worrying less about IT business and worrying more about the education and health tomorrows children. And in case your wondering where to start, heres a good charity: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm [gatesfoundation.org]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by db32 (862117)
          Well I will just touch on a few things. Melinda Gates was the one responsible for Microsoft Bob which eventually became clippy. He married an employee, which while there is nothing inherently wrong with it, given his past behaviors it certainly looks funny.

          That wonderful gates foundation you are so happy with ALSO invests heavily in various chemical plants in africa that are causing huge amounts of lung damage/disease in the areas they operate in because its so horribly profitable for these US companies t
      • by Bandman (86149) <bandman@ g m a i l . com> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @07:18AM (#19742269) Homepage
        I think you're resorting to some inverse megalomania.

        Bill Gates has never shown any inclination to reach beyond the electronic realm with evil inclinations.

        Quite to the contrary, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given so much money away that I'm willing to bet that if they hadn't, Bill would still be on the top of the list.

        You can pooh-pooh Microsoft for giving away computers loaded with Microsoft software to indoctrinate the next generation into their cult, but you can not fault Bill Gates for his charitable donations, because he gives large cash donations and other useful things as well.

        I really don't think Bill is evil. Ruthless with his business yea, but not evil. And yea, I envy the money the guy has, but in the same situation, I'm not sure i could have accumulated it the same way, but since he did, I'm glad he's giving it away.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by GodOfCode (878337)
      There seems to be a misunderstanding by some people - including Gates himself - that Bill Gates is hated because he is rich. This is not true. We envy him because he is rich. I couldn't agree with you more on this part. We hate him because he produces crappy software and uses unethical techniques to promote it. Being surpassed in the richest person list does not change this. On this one, I am not so sure. Do we all hate all other "producers" of "crappy software" just as much? I am sure a lot of these f
    • by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:01AM (#19740675)
      "We hate him because he produces crappy software and uses unethical techniques to promote it."

      There are lots of guys out there running software companies that produce crappier software than MS and are less ethical. Since they aren't rich, however, nobody gives a shit.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Aliriza (1094599)
        Well maybe it is because he never gives up , if most of us were as rich as him we'll not work :)
      • by hdparm (575302)
        How many of them are in the position to have monopoly in a PC market? Yeah, zero so we can just ignore bustards. Hard to ignore Gates though. The reason to hate him is that he hasn't achieved that position ethically in the first place, let alone active exploatation of it and destruction of any remotely dangerous competition. Bill Gates is a bad person.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138)
        Every one of the people who has to use their poorly made software hates the people responsible for it.

        It's just that Gates happens to be responsible for a poorly-made piece of software that everyone uses.

        • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @07:27AM (#19742331)
          It's just that Gates happens to be responsible for a poorly-made piece of software that everyone uses.

          Apple took the word "Computer" out of its name.

          The Mac is built using generic Windows PC parts. "Boot Camp" becomes a core marketing tool. In damn near thirty years of competition Apple remains a - very - distant second to Microsoft, in Microsoft's core markets.

          The Geek trots out the "poorly-made" argument at every opportunity.

          It is guaranteed a +4, +5 mod-up, Insightful, on Slashdot. But the fact remains that something like 500 million desktop-laptop users world-wide have found that Windows does what they want it to do.

          • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @10:48AM (#19744105) Homepage
            The strength of Microsoft's software isn't in its quality. It is in it's compatibility with existing infrastructure. If you want to play most games, you need a PC. If you want to reach an audience, you need to program for a PC. If you want to communicate with the world, you need Word. Many places won't even accept Resumes that aren't in Word format. Lots of VPN software is only written for Windows, because customers are on windows, because the VPN software is written for it. And when one business manager in an office decides that you should be on outlook, everyone has to go to outlook.

            Thankfully websites have more or less broken the Internet Explorer requirement, but those seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Secondary platform support is always that... secondary. Unless you're working in a back-end capacity, the software that you use, and write, is expected to be written on Windows first and foremost.

            Again, Windows' strength lies not in its so-so quality (look at the backlash against Vista), but in its slew of indespensible 3rd party applications all written for the platform. Applications that are unavailable elsewhere simply because everyone is locked into Windows. It doesn't help that Microsoft goes out of their way at every available opportunity to make Windows software incompatible with other platforms, pushing incompatible APIs such as DirectX and ActiveX.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        Nonono, people don't give a turd because they don't have to suffer from it. I don't have to suffer from Syman... I mean, a crappy AV tool. I simply choose another one. I don't have to suffer a bad game, I simply play another one. I don't have to eat crappy ramen, I ... ok, there's no such thing as crappy ramen, but you get the idea.

        On the other hand, you can't escape the grasp of MS. Even if you personally run Linux at home, or if you have a Mac, you can hardly escape it. You will have to suffer from MS rel
      • by pilot1 (610480)

        There are lots of guys out there running software companies that produce crappier software than MS and are less ethical. Since they aren't rich, however, nobody gives a shit.
        No, we give less of a shit because they're not as widespread (which is directly related to Gates being rich).
      • It's simply a matter of the extent of damage done. Yes, there are people who are less ethical, but if their whole user base is measured in hundreds or maybe thousands, well, that's a rather tiny amount of damage done. The extent of their unethical behaviour may be limited to bribing a PHB or two to buy their software, but otherwise they're just not in a position to do much harm.

        MS by contrast, even managed to pull the stunt of getting the US government to bend over and give it a sentence that says, in a nut
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I'm not sure what you're talking about. Outside of certain tech circles, a lot of people love Bill Gates. And outside of the tech world altogether, most people have extremely favorable opinions of Gates.

      Personally, I don't care much for the guy. His whole charitable foundation and generosity does get a great deal of favor from me, though.
      • by HuguesT (84078)
        Only remember that the money that he is giving away, he took from you and me and millions of others. I personnally have paid many many times over a MS O/S tax, even though I haven't used their O/S on any of my PCs since 1991 or so. The money he got didn't grow on tree. It's easy to be generous with a few extra billions you don't need anyway.
      • Outside of certain tech circles, a lot of people love Bill Gates.

        Amen to that. I was working as a server in a restaurant, and when my brother let it leak that I was a computer geek, this one baker started calling me Bill Gates and the like (my last name, as you can tell from my email here, is Goetz).

        He was genuinely shocked when I asked him not to call me that, and I proceeded to explain why I wasn't a fan of the man.

        I will concede, however, that Bill's recent actions make me more of a fan.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Bill Gates? He hasn't really being doing that all so much recently. Seriously, the Microsoft hate is still valid, but Gates himself really ain't doing much of the evil, screwed up practices.
    • Sometimes, the dislike of Bill Gates is more than dislike, sometimes people say he is Satan, or a friend of Satan: Bill Gates: Disliked. [slashdot.org]

      Here are some other reasons he is disliked: Don't accept abuse. MS apparently lied. [slashdot.org]
    • by HuguesT (84078)
      Hate and envy are both mortal sins. At any rate there is no difference between the #1 and the #n spot, with n small. These people are way too rich to make effective use of their money anyway.

      • by loganrapp (975327)
        Though part of me really wants to see what Bill's going to do once he's completely done with Microsoft. In that dual Steve Jobs-Bill Gates interview earlier this year (or 2006, I forget, very recent), the thing Jobs said he liked about Gates was that "he doesn't want to be the richest man in the graveyard."


        I really want to see if he maintains that image Steve has of him as a man. I hope so.

    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      There seems to be a misunderstanding by some people - including Gates himself - that Bill Gates is hated because he is rich. This is not true. We envy him because he is rich.
      We hate him because he produces crappy software and uses unethical techniques to promote it.


      There seems to be another misunderstanding among people: that because a subculture of "misfit geeks" seems to hate Gates as a professional job, it's somehow supposedly everyone hating Gates.

      Well, most people don't hate Gates. Many people compete
  • But For How Long? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:11AM (#19740395) Journal
    I thought I had heard that Ingvar Kamprad [wikipedia.org], the Swedish owner of Ikea, had surpassed Gates due to the slide in world markets of the American dollar versus the Swedish crown.

    Of course, Forbes never registered that because, I believe, the slide was temporary and the dollar rebounded somewhat and some reports put Kamprad in front of Gates and some didn't.

    It's kind of funny when your ranking in the world's richest raises and falls with small market fluctuations. Regardless, I'll throw out the idea that it is extremely likely that Slim's net worth will be 'adjusted' by the stock market in the coming days when his stock is re-evaluated. I could be wrong but Kamprad saw his worth rise on something that is (usually) much more stable than the stock market--his country's currency.

    Placing an unprecedented 27% increase in his stocks makes his position as the world's richest man all that much more volatile to me. Then again, I'm not an economist or finance specialist so I could be wrong. How the stock market index seems to consistently return 11% on investments baffles my simple computer scientist mind.

    I would also like to point out a few things relating to this #1 position of world's richest man. It's obvious in (at least America) you often need money to make money. More money you have, the easier it seems to be to make money.

    I've half a mind to go on a rant about the questionable business model that Gates employed to gain his position as world's richest and keep it ... but I'm too tired and it's obvious [wikipedia.org] by now [wikipedia.org] that some people agree. Though I'm sure there won't be a lack of posts on that topic for this particular news story.

    Reason Gates won't care that he's not #1 is probably because he's giving a lot of it away anyway in the end. That and he's made his mark on history ... will we remember Kamprad or Slim? Highly unlikely. But Gates has touched entire generations with software we been forced to and have chosen to use for better or for worse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CriminalNerd (882826)
      He did pass Bill for a day at most, but then Bill passed him again on the same day.
    • Re:But For How Long? (Score:5, Informative)

      by drawfour (791912) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:25AM (#19740469)
      Meh, let me know when someone surpasses Rockefeller. In today's dollars, he would have been worth around $200 billion [askmen.com]. And you wanna talk about monopolies, predatory pricing, and anti-trust? The Sherman Antitrust Act [wikipedia.org] was DIRECTED at Rockefeller's Standard Oil.

      Oh, I guess since it was over 100 years ago, no one cares anymore.
      • Oh, I guess since it was over 100 years ago, no one cares anymore.

        Heh, with the attention span of people today, no one cares what happened a month ago [theonion.com]...
      • by westlake (615356)
        Meh, let me know when someone surpasses Rockefeller. In today's dollars, he would have been worth around $200 billion. And you wanna talk about monopolies, predatory pricing, and anti-trust? The Sherman Antitrust Act was DIRECTED at Rockefeller's Standard Oil.

        Standard Oil became dominant before the automobile.

        You could fill a lantern or a stove with the Standard product with the reasonable expectation that you wouldn't be widowed the next time your wife struck a match.

        That side of the story tends to be

    • by Imsdal (930595)

      How the stock market index seems to consistently return 11% on investments baffles my simple computer scientist mind.

      That one is quite simple to explain: it doesn't. Did you really miss the bubble burst six years ago?

      And in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 peaked at 38957 18(!) years ago. Now it's at 18000. If it had gone up by 11% a year for 18 years it would have stood at 250,000. (I assume that the Nikkei 225 is a price index and thus doesn't include dividends. If so, the real performance is slightly better, bu

      • Of CURSE if you include catastrophic cascading failures ANY system is going to look shitty. Simply put, considering the rate of transactions occuring on the market at nay given time, I can safely say that if you invest yourm noey right now it WILL average out to 11% annual gain over any kind of a foreseeable future.

        The Nikkei's downfall has nothing to do with the stock market and everything to do with the housing/construction market, which is an entirely different beast. It would be like blaming Ditech fo
    • I would also like to point out a few things relating to this #1 position of world's richest man. It's obvious in (at least America) you often need money to make money. More money you have, the easier it seems to be to make money.


      This can be true, however, it need not be *YOUR* money. This is known as leverage.
    • It's kind of funny when your ranking in the world's richest raises and falls with small market fluctuations.

      These fluctuations, trends aren't small, they're real (huge) flows of wealth. Americans really have become 30% poorer over the last few years.

      http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=USDEUR=X&t=5y&l=on &z=m&q=l&c= [yahoo.com]

      They haven't realised it yet almost exclusively because China has the Renminbi clamped at a fraction of a dollar. China recent allowed that to begin to change somewhat and Americans will start to see how poor they have become.

      http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=5y&s=USDCNY%3DX&l= on [yahoo.com]

  • Telmex and Microsoft use the same monopolistic practices, Gates and Slim are not very different. They both apply the same practices in different markets. The interesting part is that we will get to see both of them competing in a few years, since POTS is disappearing and the fight will be on VoIP, that's a market both of them will be into.

    I Hope we see them fighting each other for control, because if they reach an agreement, for example, m$ makes voip software, and Telmex provides the service, we are really screwed up.

    Telmex got here [Argentina] only a few years ago, they acquired CTI (Biggest mobile telco), Techtel (at the time one of the 5 top players in the carrier and corporate market), Ertach (Biggest Wifi ISP), and lots of kilometers of fiber that interconnects the main cities in Argentina from other companies (metrored, etc.). They also are betting money into Telecom. So, in just a few years they become the third biggest player in Argentina (In this order: 1 - Telefonica, 2 - Telecom, 3 - Telmex), But they have a pretty tight relationship with Telecom Argentina (Read: They are buying stock, big time), And Telefonica has a policy of being friendly with the 5 biggest players, and screwing the rest, So they are now the second bigger in Argentina, and the first one keeps them safe.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.
    • You sure? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@NOspam.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:36AM (#19740543) Homepage Journal
      Telmex and Microsoft use the same monopolistic practices, Gates and Slim are not very different.
      They both may be monopolies, but there IS quite a difference. The difference is that Telmex *IS* a competitive and efficient company. If it wasn't for Slim's investment in telecom infrastructure, we mexicans would still be calling the state-driven phone company to complain that our 24K modems disconnect too often. I do remember those times... Slim practically saved the country from stagnating in the information era.

      Microsoft is an artificial monopoly, reeking with planned obsolescence and lack of innovation. In contrast, Telmex already gives us the videophone [telmex.com] service.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333)
        "They both may be monopolies, but there IS quite a difference. The difference is that Telmex *IS* a competitive and efficient company."

        If Telemx is really competitive compared to MS, then there must be stronger telecom competitors in Mexico than MS had in computers in the US. What competitors does Telemx have that are stronger than Sun, Oracle, IBM, and Apple?

        Isn't there evidence that Telmex maintains it's monopoly through political influence and protectionism rather than through providing better service th
      • Logic fallacy (Score:3, Interesting)

        The difference is that Telmex *IS* a competitive and efficient company. If it wasn't for Slim's investment in telecom infrastructure, we mexicans would still be calling the state-driven phone company to complain that our 24K modems disconnect too often. I do remember those times...

        There's a logic fallacy in your argument. I could just as easily say: "The difference is that Microsoft *IS* a competitive and efficient company. If it wasn't for Gate's investment in GUI-based operating systems for personal computers, we Americans would still be using a command-line interface to telenet into mainframes when we needed to use a computer. I do remember those times... " And if I did, I would probably be as wrong about how the future of PCs played out over the last 20 years as you are about ho

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by xtracto (837672)
        Just to put a bit of perspective on that. The reason why Mr. Slim got Telmex and in great degree, all the money he has is because a very well known (and hated) Mexican corrupt ex-president (Mr. Carlos Salinas de Gortari) privatized the then state-controlled Mexican Telephone company (TELefonos de MEXico) giving Mr. Slim a lot of advantages over other offerers. And after the acquisition, providing him with government policies to make him increase its power.
        Slim practically saved the country from stagnating i
    • How much has Slim given to charity? One difference that separates Gates from his fellow super-rich is the amount (or percent) he has given to charity, specifically to the Gates Foundation. He gave the foundation $20 billion in either 2000 or 2001. At the time I believe it was over a third of his net worth. Had Gates been trying to win the "richest man" contest, he shouldn't have given so much money. I don't believe Slim has made any comperable donation. Even Warren Buffet's $30+ billion commitment to t
      • That makes Gates Twice as bad. Not only is he an imperialist, he also is weak, and I'm sure he's a Religious person, probably Christian or worse.

        How is making donations a good thing? Promoting people to live from cheap donations other give them, with no dignity?

        Why doesn't he spend THAT MUCH into opening software factories around the world, and paying competitive salaries? That would prove him to be a righteous man.

        Charity is something totally wrong, done out of stupid christian guilt. Actually, it goes aga
  • by Itninja (937614) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:22AM (#19740455) Homepage
    I just watched the 'complimentary' download from Xbox Live Marketplace of Austin Powers. It looks like Bill is now on par with Robert Wagner as 'Number 2'. Coincidence? I think not.

    In other news, Slim is now (apparently) Dr. Evil. Go figure.
  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:28AM (#19740487) Journal
    "Well, well. If it isn't number 2..."
  • Carlos Slim Fortune (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:41AM (#19740567)
    Slim was one of the first traders in mexican stock market (before he was stock operator in usa) but really become mega-rich after getting TelMex from the goverment (at that time the monopolic, state owned telephony company) from former mexican presindent Carlos Salinas (due to corruption)

    Talk about, how not to sell a state monopoly: just making it private, instead of dividing it to form a competitive market. To this day méxico suffers from that.

    America-Movil its the celular telephony company from Grupo CarSO (Carlos Slim keiretsu that started with TelMex)

    Today CarSO participates in the telephony of most countries in latinamerica, and soon also in spain

    Both Gates and Slim are unfair market monopolist... because the ones in power dont care
    • by nelsonal (549144)
      At least Bill's monopoly didn't result in buying it on the cheap from the government. I doubt even his worst opponents would prefer to be under IBM's monopoly (leasing server time was much worse). They made a mistake and he capitalized on it.
  • After listening to the link provided, I can't help but think that Gates is just like the rest of us normal humans - far too much noise coming into the inbox as compared to the signal.
  • by hobo sapiens (893427) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:48AM (#19740609) Journal
    At first I thought it read "Bill Gates drops A number two".

    I though "man, is this a slow news day or what?!" and "Did he flush?"

    I guess it's time to get some sleep. Or stop smoking crack. Either way.
  • The real point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:59AM (#19740663)
    Either one of them could take every breathing person to MacDonalds. The only difference is one could super size it and still have money left over. Both would actually still be billionaires.
    • Either one of them could take every breathing person to MacDonalds.

      I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen. You don't get rich by spending money trivially.
  • by phalse phace (454635) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:15AM (#19740753)
    But isn't part of the reason why Bill Gates isn't so rich anymore because he's giving his money away [go.com]? He's given away more money than anyone I can think of.

    How much has Carlos Slim given away to help fight AIDS? How much has he given away for education?

    It's not how much money you have that's important, but what you do with it and the impact it has on others.
  • QUICK ! (Score:5, Funny)

    by polar red (215081) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:18AM (#19740767)
    Quick, let's all buy an overpriced vista ... we can still push him to #1
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eclectro (227083)
      Luckily he does not need to rely on Vista sales. He just needs to dig the loose change out of the couch and he would be #1 again.
  • ...donate? Come on, a few bucks each to help Bill through this difficult patch.
  • How much cash... ? (Score:4, Informative)

    by funkdancer (582069) <funkyNO@SPAMfunkdancer.com> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:56AM (#19740945)
    has Slim put into philanthropy? To anyone who found this question relevant (I was almost expecting "none" - and thus making the Gates foundation a very easy explanation on the #1 move), Forbes says the following [forbes.com] (plus a lot of other interesting stuff) of the man's new project:

    "Lately Carlos Slim has taken up a particular interest in philanthropy, a pursuit he had neglected for most of the years he was building his businesses. He formed a foundation 23 years ago and funded it with a few million, and it has done little since then. A year ago Slim infused it with $1.8 billion; in the fall he pledged to donate up to $10 billion to the foundation in the next four years to fund health and education programs."

    It is somehow good to see the world's richest doing this kind of stuff. Of course, it's not like they couldn't afford it, but still.
  • Give it Away (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoyChemist (1015349) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:28AM (#19741089) Homepage
    Carlos Slim should use his money to build schools in Mexico and pay adults as well as children to attend.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:20AM (#19741337)
    Basically, why bother trying? Imagine you're rich. Not just rich, but super-duper rich. More money than you can sensibly spend in a lifetime. Would you care if there was someone richer by a few billion bucks? I wouldn't.

    At some point, money ceases to matter. When you have more than you can spend, there's a dividing point for people. Either they stop caring, and I think Bill did. Why else would he start a charity fund? Or they get even greedier and want MOAAAAAAR, with "getting money" becoming a reason to exist all by itself. Which is kinda sad (I've seen it in a few friends in the dot.com time).

    I doubt Bill falls in the latter category. I'm fairly sure he read it, shrugged and went on with his life. Being rich is not a matter of having more than the other rich guy. Just more than most others, so your money actually has some value. If everyone was rich, money would be useless.
    • If you discovered you were one of the successful people in the world at something, would you be satisfied and give up? Or would you keep going, and try to beat everyone else, if there was an easy and convenient way to "keep score"? Guess what--the type of people who are competitive enough to become billionaires are going to choose the second option more often than the first.
      • by JFMulder (59706)
        Guess what--the type of people who are competitive enough to become billionaires are going to choose the second option more often than the first.
        I suppose you're basing that assumption on the many billionnaires you know in real life and not on what you read about them in rags. I doubt that if Bill really cared about the total amount of money he had and wanted to stay on top he would give it away so much.
        • I'm not saying there aren't exceptions--that's why I said "more often" instead of "exclusively". Bill Gates might even be one of these exceptions, but considering he "won" on a continuous basis for more than a decade, I think philanthropy is his way of trying to gracefully leave the game more than it is an indication that he never played it to begin with.
  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @05:12AM (#19741579) Homepage
    But, he could be destroyed. The 31st richest person has done it before, and he will do it again.
  • Not really rich (Score:3, Interesting)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @09:02AM (#19743159)
    People who can count their money are not really rich. There are several people in Europe who cannot realistically count their wealth. The British Queen for example owns enormous tracts of land, the value of which can only be guessed.
  • by msouth (10321) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @12:03PM (#19744817) Homepage Journal
    ... have always considered him number 2.

    *bows*

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