Going through all kinds of conflicting feelings about Gates’ philanthropy vs. his legacy as a business predator. MS hater David Pogue sums up the internal conflict many of us are feeling in his NY Times blog:
It’d be one thing if he were retiring to enjoy his fortune, or if he were using it to buy football teams or political candidates. But he’s not. He’s channeling those billions to the places in the world where that money can do the most good. And not just throwing money at the problems, either — he’s also dedicating the second act of his life to making sure it’s done right…
At pseudorandom, Frank Boosman puts the conflict many of us are going through eloquently:
I, too, have found it hard to reconcile the contradiction between Gates the businessperson (whom my friend Mike Backes was, I believe, the first to call “a wolf in nerd’s clothing”) and Gates the humanitarian. Given his company’s poor track record of innovation (quick, name something Microsoft invented), and its predatory behavior, it would be all too easy at this point to dismiss as posturing (or worse) anything Gates does. But what he’s doing can’t be dismissed. Everything I’ve read about his charitable efforts — every single thing — suggests that he’s doing great works, using his money to address big problems, and involving himself deeply in the process. It’s a profound transformation, and if he keeps it up, he will leave a staggering legacy.
Keep in mind that Boosman was a suit and brain trust at Be, Inc. — a company hit hard (some might say killed) by MS’ predations (cf: He Who Controls the Bootloader).