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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 @02:10AM (#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.
  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:39AM (#19740555) Homepage
    :D Feels glad to be mexican.... *sigh* :)

    Why? Are you sharing in his success?
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:01AM (#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:You sure? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:10AM (#19740727)
    "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 than competitors could provide?
  • by Aliriza (1094599) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:11AM (#19740731) Homepage
    Well maybe it is because he never gives up , if most of us were as rich as him we'll not work :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:11AM (#19740735)
    "We envy him because he is rich."
    I don't, so please don't use "we", OK? Speak for yourself, please?

    "We hate him because he produces crappy software and uses unethical techniques to promote it."
    Nor do I hate him. Again, speak for yourself.

  • by phalse phace (454635) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:15AM (#19740753)
    But isn't part of the reason why Bill Gates isn't so rich anymore because he's giving his money away []? 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.
  • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:16AM (#19740757)
    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 TheGreatHegemon (956058) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:16AM (#19740761)
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @03:38AM (#19740867)
    No. His corporation does this.

    Bill Gates donates massive amounts of his own money to charity.

    Microsoft = evil.
    Bill Gates = good.
  • by garbletext (669861) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:06AM (#19740991)

    I envy him a little less.
    But his wealth didn't change; it grows every day. All that's changed is a meaningless position relative to other rich men.
  • by Mikachu (972457) <jjburke&hunter,cuny,edu> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:25AM (#19741077) Homepage
    I don't understand why this was modded funny. Mod parent up, insightful.
  • Give it Away (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoyChemist (1015349) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:28AM (#19741089) Homepage
    Carlos Slim should use his money to build schools in Mexico and pay adults as well as children to attend.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @04:45AM (#19741155) Homepage
    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 Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @05:00AM (#19741215)
    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 related issues. Either you're suffering from incompatibilities, or you might even have to work together with MS infected systems because your business partner insists in using them.

    What geeks loathe about MS and Gates isn't that it's a big company that makes tons of money. Hey, if their software was good, I'd be happy that they make a lot of money, that keeps them in business and ensures that I will be able to use it for a long, long time. Actually that would be a good thing!

    What ruffles our feathers is the way this money is being made, and the product this money makes. The money itself doesn't bother me.
  • Why Virtual PC? It beats VMWare Player and is the same price, i.e. free.

    I'll forgive you. You must not read Slashdot, or you would have seen this article.


    "IT managers gathered in New York City earlier this week to get advice from experts on when, why, and how to virtualize their server environments. The takeaway from the conference: if you want to run an enterprise-class virtualization platform in production today, stick with VMware."

    And in the Linux world, you're seeing all kinds of nifty new virtualization technologies as well. Don't count out Xen.

    And some of us prefer IE to other browsers.

    You are entitled to your opinion sir, but I'm guessing the vast majority of the Slashdot crowd will disagree with you. In fact, I think most web designers will disagree with you. You don't see tons of websites dedicated to saying exactly how much Firefox is the worst piece of software ever created, but there and tons, and tons of such sites dedicated to explaining exactly how horrible IE is. The moment you attempt to tell me that IE is a good piece of software, you lose all credibility with me and come across as a troll. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and we'll continue.

    Lastly if XP and 2000 sucked at one point, but they were fixed, for free, then they shouldn't be included. OS X sucked and then you got charged for 10.1, bitch about that.

    Well, the parent asked for a list of Microsoft products, so mentioning OS X really has no place in the discussion. I specified 2000 pre-SP2 and XP pre-SP1 because I am not this huge hater. I dislike Microsoft as a company, and most of their products. But often I defend XP as being a pretty good OS in the end. I prefer XP with SP1, and not SP2 personally. SP2 added nag screens and bloat without really fixing security problems so much. However, when XP first launched, it broke apps, broke drivers, ran slow, and was extremely buggy. SP1 improved the OS in all those areas.

    Also how do you knock a free email service? What did any other free service do that was so much better.

    Because Hotmail is absolutely horrid. Slow, insecure, and they sell your email address out so you get spam. They try to sign you up for various newsletters, tons of people have complained about entire accounts and all their email magically vanishing, slow service, and not very feature rich. GMail destroys Hotmail. The new Yahoo-beta destroys Hotmail. Hell, SquirrelMail destroys Hotmail. Note, defending IE and now Hotmail? You have to be kidding me, right?

    Same with Messenger, what does anyone else do that takes it out back behind the shed and beats it with a stick?

    I would urge you to look at Gaim/Pidgin, Kopete, Trillian, etc. How about the fact that Messenger would put itself back in the startup group repeatedly when it was removed? That alone makes it crappy and annoying software. What about the fact that you could be blasted with unsolicited spam via Messenger, and many people had no way or clue to get rid of it? So you're defending IE, Hotmail, and Messenger, three of the most hated things on the planet. Are you sure you're not trolling.

    Works may suck but how many options were there for you if you didn't want to spend a ton of money on an office suite 10 years ago? Or even 5? Works and...? And oo.o wasn't really an option unless you had high speed, or wanted to spend $40 on a cd version of free software. Plus you had to go to compusa or some other store full of untrained morons who either don't know what you're looking for or spend the whole time trying to talk you into ms office (quick rant, I went into a compusa to buy a tv, pre massive shutdown, and I had to tell the guy 5 times I didn't want the extended warranty, I finally had to tell him that if he didn't shut the fuck up I was going

  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kahei (466208) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @05:30AM (#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 @06:57AM (#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: []
  • by Bandman (86149) <> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @08:18AM (#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.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @11:48AM (#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.

  • by hobo sapiens (893427) <ELIOT minus poet> on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:18PM (#19744999) Journal
    MSFT has made some stupid software. One need only point to IE6 and Frontpage, and playsforsure nails it.

    Putting SQL Server on your list is stupid, and I call you on that. I use MS SQL every day, as well as Oracle. I prefer Oracle (Oracle kicks everyones' butt, including MySQL's), but MSSQL isn't bad. A lot of it has to do with your configuration, and your database design. I have developed many websites and applications that use MSSQL, and every performance problem I have had has been due to bad indexing, design flaws caused by cruft, etc. That said, a site running on a well design Oracle database is noticeably faster than one running on a well design MSSQL database.

    Yes, I see your benchmarks. I hate benchmarks. Virtually any Vendor can point to a benchmark in which his product excels. Software benchmarks are a bit like EPA mileage on your car; highly theoretical and totally unrelated to the real world. Come on now.

    Not trying to create a flamewar over databases here. Which database you prefer is highly subjective. If I were to set up my own web server, though, I would use MySQL ONLY because it's free. From my *real world* experience, MySQL and MS SQL are quite similar in terms of performance. No benchmarks, just real world experience. And there is nothing like real world experience to tell you how something performs in the real world.

    Saying MySQL is leaps and bound better than MSSQL is subjective at best. Putting MSSQL on a list of crappy software is a bit irresponsible.
  • by 808140 (808140) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @01:39PM (#19745185)
    This is bullshit. People who make the loose/lose mistake are overwhelmingly native speakers. As someone who has spent most of his life living in countries where English was not the local language, I can attest that I have never seen this mistake made by second language learners. It is, however, disturbingly common among Americans in particular.

    Your etymology lesson is also completely irrelevant; while los may be the root for both words, that in no way implies that people should make the mistake. First of all, in German, the word for lose is verlieren, which sounds nothing like lose; second of all, words that come from the same root but developed into different words abound, but this has little effect on current speakers, because we don't learn words based on their etymologies: consider that "cipher" and "zero" both have the same root, the Italian word "zefiro" (the latter coming to us via French). You don't randomly mix up cipher and zero, do you?

    No, the only reason people mix up loose and lose is because they are spelled similarly and people are bad spellers. It isn't because they are pronounced similarly, because you never here people say "He always looses that game", you only see morons on the internet type it out.

    In general, second language learners are much more anal about things like spelling than native speakers, who typically were taught spelling young and stopped having any feedback from teachers on it by the time they were 12 or 13. To someone learning English as a second language, though, English's weird and inconsistent spelling conventions are considered one of the truly difficult aspects of the language, and so, predictably, a great deal of time and effort is expended mastering them.

    And even if non-native speakers were prone to making this mistake, what makes you think that we shouldn't correct them? They'll look like idiots if they ever write anything important in English and make that mistake, and it's not the sort of thing that spell check can help them with. In fact, we're doing them a great service. We're doing anyone who makes that mistake a great service.

    If you're one of these people that gets annoyed when you get corrected, you're being awfully short-sighted. Despite what you may think, people judge you on things like spelling. Sending in a cover letter? A job application? Hey, let me tell you, if your resume has a spelling mistake on it, it goes straight into the trash at my firm, you can count on it.

    Don't deliberately mislead yourself: spelling and grammar are important. Lose vs loose is an easy distinction, and there is no reason whatsoever to fail to make it, native speaker or not.
  • by db32 (862117) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @02:33PM (#19745701) Journal
    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 to move their operations outside of the reach of the US regulations so they can spew shit into the air and water and not have to worry about it. So yes they are absolutely fantastic, they give a bunch of african kids diseases and disabilities and then get super happy PR when they show up to "help out". For even more fun go look up the rural isp/computer in africa thing that MS got asked for help from and saw it as a way to sticker their name all over a big PR hype thing and still charge the poor guy thousands of dollars. (Nambia net or something to that effect, it was some years ago, and the guy doing it basically posted all the letters online on the 'deals' MS offered and he told them to go stuff it). So you are right, he is just a businessman that understands how incredibly important it is to look the part of good ol traditional american family values and how to milk the PR machine.

    The man is a megalomaniacal scumbag willing to lie cheat and steal his way to the top. Now you are right, there are far more serious issues in the world than his little "I will rule the world" "One Microsoft Way" nonsense...but he is in no way a good guy. I would encourage you to not give a dime to that scumsuckers charity, go find a real charity that is more responsible with their investments and expenditures and not focused on getting a convicted monopolist "Man of the Year".
  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday July 04, 2007 @05:53PM (#19747751) Homepage Journal
    Because the tax system is not as simple as that.

    For example, giving away x would "reduce" my taxable income. If that means it goes below a certain value, the tax percentage on my total income goes down. I might very well end up with a net profit. e.g. if I earn 101k, and pay 40% taxes on that, but earning 99k would put me in a 38% tax bracket, I'd pay 99k*0.38=38.61k and get to keep 61.38k. If I had paid 40% on 101k, I'd be left with just 60.6k.

    Actual tax laws are a ton more complicated then that and allow you a lot more loopholes. Especially if you don't so much "give away" the money than invest it in a foundation under your own control. That's more a redistribution than a loss.

    Don't get me wrong, his philantropy is possibly the only redeeming feature of Bill Gates. I just find it important to point out that there are a lot of tax incentives for these donations, and a lot of them wouldn't happen without.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"