updated 11:55 am EST, Fri February 2, 2007
Gates slams Mac ads
Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates has openly criticized Apple's 'Get a Mac' ads, called the company a liar, and questioned the security of Apple's Mac OS X operating system. In a recent interview with Newsweek, Gates compared Microsoft's recently released security-oriented Windows Vista to Apple's Mac OS X: "We made it way harder for guys to do exploits," Gates said, referring to Windows Vista. "The number [of violations] will be way less because we've done some dramatic things [to improve security] in the code base. Apple hasn't done any of those things." The executive also referenced the frequent discovery of flaws in Mac OS X. "Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." Gates was likely referring to the 'Month of Apple Bugs' project -- which came under intense criticism this week for exploiting Safari users attempting to view a freshly-discovered bug.
When asked about a recent 'Get a Mac' advertisement implying that PC users need surgery to upgrade to Windows Vista, Gates called Apple a liar.
"I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it's superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it."
Many industry watchers have pointed to several Windows Vista features, claiming that the operating system's latest additions are glaring copies of Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger implementations. Gates hinted that Apple is not in fact the original designer of many of those features, and encouraged all curious users to speak to Microsoft's Windows Vista development chief.
"Jim Allchin will be glad to educate you feature by feature what the truth is," Gates said. "I mean, it's fascinating, maybe we shouldn't have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done."
The executive also promised his full involvement in Microsoft affairs, despite the planned official departure of his full-time role at the company in July of 2008. Gates also hinted that future versions of Windows will be more "user-centric," hinting toward remote access to documents and applications from any kiosk or PC.