Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was no stranger to legal battles involving the patent system. Apple is currently waging war on a number of Android vendors and the company’s former CEO vowed to crush Google’s mobile platform before his untimely passing last year. “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple boss. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” But more than a decade before the iPhone even existed, Apple was locked in patent battles with Microsoft that would end up saving the company from the brink of bankruptcy. Read on for more. More →
Owners of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch can now enjoy a remake of the first-ever PC game, co-written by Bill Gates himself, which came pre-installed on several IBM computers in 1981. First released late last month, XVision’s DONKEY.BAS is a terrific recreation of the PC game by the same name. Players control a race car as it advances up the screen. Donkeys repeatedly come into view, and the simple goal is to switch lanes before colliding with any curious creatures. “We did this game as a tribute to the original,” XVision founder Johnny Ixe told BGR, noting that the firm added a number of new features to the game in order to distinguish it from the original. The spirit of the game remains, however, and gamers looking for a bit of nostalgia would be hard-pressed to find a better blast from the past. DONKEY.BAS is available now in the App Store for $0.99. More →
Former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, recently testified in an antitrust suit brought against the company by Novell in 2004. According to the Associated Press, Novell is arguing that Microsoft originally said it would sell Novell’s WordPerfect software as a feature of Windows 95, but then turned around and launched the operating system without WordPerfect built-in. As a result, Novell had to sell the word processor alone, taking a $1.2 billion loss on the deal. Reportedly, Microsoft’s Windows 95 software engineers warned Gates that WordPerfect would crash the OS and that Novell could not provide software that was better than Microsoft’s own Word application in time. As we all know, Word took off and WordPerfect slowly disappeared. “We worked super hard. It was the most challenging, trying project we had ever done,” Gates said, speaking of Windows 95 and his goal to be the first to put a PC on every desk in every home. “It was a ground-breaking piece of work, and it was very well received when we got it done.” The Redmond-based company has asked U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz to toss the suit but, despite Novell’s “thin” claims, Motz said he will leave the verdict up to a jury. More →
When Forbes publishes its 2011 list of billionaires on Wednesday, William Henry Gates III will not be at the top. This is by design, however — the world’s richest man title may have been lost after, but a far more important title remains: the world’s top philanthropist. Gates is not new to this title according to the Global Philanthropy Group, and it finally cost him his spot as the world’s wealthiest man last year. Gates has reportedly given away a third of his wealth at this point, and the majority of this astonishing sum has gone to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When Forbes’ list is published on Wednesday, Carlos Slim will sit at the top again with approximately $60 billion, up from his 2010 sum of $53.5 billion. Gates will occupy the No.2 spot with $49 billion followed by Warren Buffet, another renowned philanthropist, who is now worth roughly $47 billion. According to David Lincoln, director of global valuations at wealth research firm Wealth-X, Gates would currently be worth $88 billion had he not given away any money. More →
It’s hard to fault a man who dedicates so much time and money to charity work, but it would also be hard to say Bill’s bgC3 digs aren’t a bit overboard. According to rumors from earlier today, Gates is spending some serious dough to ensure whatever it is he’ll be doing behind closed doors at bgC3 is done in style. Sir William has reportedly spent $2.5 million on office furniture from high-end furniture designer B&B Italia alone. Damn! Add to that another $75,000 just for a coffee bar, and you can get a pretty good idea of the kind of office space bgC3 will end up with when all is said and done. Hey, Bill worked hard for all that money and he can spend it however he wants. Suffice it to say whoever Gates chooses to work along side him at his new endeavor is not only going to have access to state of the art gear, but also what should end up being ultra-suave amenities and comfort. Soooooo… Where do we send our resumes?
You didn’t think Willy G would be content fading away into the background after stepping down as the head of Microsoft, did you? Not a chance. Of course the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a place where Bill can still play boss but Gates never was a one-horse town kind of guy. Enter “bgC3 LLC”. Details regarding Gates’ latest venture are still scarce and much of the detail we have is unconfirmed but rest assured, bgC3 is likely a name we’ll be seeing plenty of in the coming months and years. Firstly, what does the name mean? “bg” obviously represents initials and is short for “Boy Genius”, err, “Bill Gates”. The meaning of “C3″ is still a bit up in the air. The “3” is thought to indicate that this is Big Bill’s third major venture, after Microsoft and his foundation. The “C” however, is a bit of a mystery. The first possibility is “Carillon”, as the company was initially called Carillon Holdings before formally shifting to bgC3 shortly after Gates left his full time role at Microsoft. Next up is “Company” as in, this is Bill’s third company. Lastly, reportedly from a Gates insider, is “Catylist”. Mmm, interesting. Public documents don’t offer many specifics but they do describe the company as a “Think Tank”. These days, think tank could mean a million different things. It could be anything from a big office where Bill and his friends sit around talking about yachts, perhaps to a larger scale of an idea incubator a la New York’s betaworks or even something more involved like Mountain View’s Y Combinator. Or perhaps Bill has made enough money for this lifetime and he’s assembling a crack team of brains to combat large-scale issues such as energy, the economy or the Yankees payroll. Whatever the case may be, Gates has a tendency to do things big and we expect bgC3 to be no different.
In continuing with its new and “clever” line of advertising, Microsoft has temporarily ditched the Gates/Seinfeld ads in favor of reclaiming their image from Apple. As you can see in the image above, it doesn’t seem like they’re really doing themselves a huge favor by taking one of their very own employees and dressing him to resemble John Hodgman, who plays the PC character in Apple’s Mac vs. PC ads. We say all they’re doing is reinforcing or reminding us of that persona: boring, inadequate, and so easy to poke fun at. The character will even reiterate the line, “Hello, I’m a PC…” What’s odd is all the commotion about Seinfeld giving Microsoft a little boost and now they’re taking a detour for these ads which are said to have cameos of celebrities like Eva Longoria and Pharrell Williams. But apparently, the real stars of these ads are going to be everyday folks whose jobs and lives are aided by the use of MS Windows. What do you all think? Does it seem a little over-the-top or is this just what they need to take their image back – the caricature of PC created by Apple? One would be tempted to pat Microsoft condescendingly on the head saying, “Aww, how nice. You’re trying and it’s the effort that counts!”
As expected, the new Windows Vista commercial with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates debuted on Sept 4th as part of Microsoft’s $300 million advertising campaign to restore Vista’s public perception problem. A perception problem that has mushroomed into everybody and their brother pouring hate upon Vista without ever having used it and one that persists despite Vista users relatively positive experience with the OS. Will this new commercial do what “The Mojave Experiment” advertisements failed to do? Umm, No. Sorry Microsoft but you have to do better than two old guys talking about shoes. Seinfeld’s whole “show about nothing” comedic approach is just so “90’s” and doesn’t carry over well to a commercial about computers. Suffice it say, Gates & Seinfeld are no Hodgman & Long. Apple can rest easy.