BILL GATES: Software Strongman

BILL GATES He controls something the world's PCs can't live without. But he's neither as good nor bad as the hype

If we are talking creativity and ideas, Bill Gates is an American unoriginal. He is Microsoft's chief and co-founder, he is the world's richest man, and his career delivers this message: It can be wiser to follow than to lead. Let the innovators hit the beaches and take the losses; if you hold back and follow, you can clean up in peace and quiet.

Gates is the Bing Crosby of American technology, borrowing a tune here and a tune there and turning them all into great boffo hits--by dint of heroic feats of repackaging and sheer Herculean blandness. Granted he...

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