First of all, let’s think for a second why people actually say they hate Bill Gates? Hmm? I’ll tell you why – because he’s a rich bastard! People hate rich people because of their wealth, they just envy them, simple as that. And unless you’re some Royal highness that shares his wealth with his people and does something for the people, like the Sultan of Brunei (who used to be the richest man on earth once) or like Sheikh Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai – people will most probably hate your guts. But people will usually say they hate Gates because of the crappy Microsoft products and every time something doesn’t work they will just express their feelings for the man behind it all, sort of speaking.
I didn’t hate Gates, I just imagined him as a selfish person (from the stories I’ve heard) and adding the fact that I really dislike most of the Microsoft products (the MSN/Windows messenger is the first thing to be deleted from any Microsoft OS, pity you cannot do the same with Internet Explorer, but you sometimes need it, I haven’t used Microsoft Office for years already and advise all my friends to close their accounts with Hotmail), Bill Gates is really not the person you would enjoy a cup of tea with.
But last month I was looking through the November edition of Forbes (Russian edition) and I found a list of richest people and donations they’ve made. I was surprised! Some folks like Gordon Moore donated as much as 64% of their wealth (out of 12,2 billion USD he had, that’s quite a lot), but if you come to think of it – at the age of 79 you will start sharing your wealth and I bet he will continue to do so and I admire people like him. George Soros, who’s name is associated with philanthropy, actually donated about the same share of his wealth (39%) as Bill Gates (38%). But money-wise nobody can beat the donations Bill Gates made – 35 billion USD, the closest philanthropist to him will be Gordon Moore with 7,8 billion USD in donations, but even if I would sum the donations of all the rich persons on that list published by Forbes it will not beat the donations Bill Gates made by himself! Warren Buffett who according to some sources is the richest person today, donated a mere 6 billion USD. Michael Dell donated only 7% of his wealth which is about 1,4 billion USD and Steve Jobs haven’t donated a dime (or at least nobody knows about any donations coming from him).
So, I think even though Microsoft products sucks, Bill Gates has earned some respect comparing to other rich guys out there, some of them you haven’t even heard of and which most likely will not donate at all.
P.S.: Regarding Forbes Magazine: I hate those fat pages with advertising in magazines, I can understand one or mostly two per magazine in the beginning or the end of it, but when the whole magazine is filled with them I just want to rip them off! (8 of them in the last issue, not to mention that half of the pages in the magazine itself is advertising)