Want to see a t-ball or slo-pitch interview with Bill Gates ? Check out eWeeks Peter Galli and the masterfull arcing lobs sent Bills way at WintheHec are you going to answer the real questions. No offense intended for Peter, but to get any interview at all means having to submit to the controlled presidential audiences granted to reporters during the past election.

There is a danger to Bill and George that they become so out of touch with reality that none of the polls, surveys and rude harsh facts will get through. In the case of George W., there is a question of why he is expending so much political capital on Social Security and problems down the road at 2017, 2042, or 2052 depending on who you want to believe. The Energy Crisis and Global Warming are here and now. Medical Insurance problems now effect 25-35% of the American population and eat close to 20% of the GDP while medical costs continue to spiral out of control. Balance of Payments also remain out of control as the US steadily loses not just manufacturing jobs but its pre-eminent economic position to Asia which is the base for the Cheap Revolution which will surely unseat the US as a major economic power within a decade. You simply cannot have a thriving economy when economic disparity plus prolonged and profound indebtedness slowly but inexorably works its way up through the middle and upper-middle classes.

But by George, George W. has sunk his teeth into a problem at least 12 years away.

Ditto for Bill. The Road-ahead Man is hosing us with platitudes while a)college students to the tune of 60% enrollment declines are following the theVenture Capital exodus out of software and computing and b)all over the CPU world teeters on the brink of a William-Gibson neuoromantic security/malaware meltdown. The problems, as Gibson saw, are cooperation and extra-territorial so that phishers, hackers, spyware artists in France, Egypt and Sri-Lanka know they can pour forth their fraudulent filth with relative impunity. Co-operation to at least address the security problem is challenged by the “Non-zero-sum” game Microsoft has chosen to play in market after market. Look what Microsoft is doing to its erstwhile ISV partners in the BI arena – giving away for free a complete BI stack on both the server and desktop. See what Microsoft did in the OS utilities market place-left a scorched earth of that has to be a part of the operating system with no major players left except in the security arena – and Microsoft has its gunsights set on them. See what Microsoft has in store for the accounting, ERP, CRM, SCM, …..

Now imagine you are the head of a medium to large Software firm and you have to co-operate, exchange APIs, or transfer confidential development material with Redmond as part of security and/or interoperability initiatives. Yeahh – right. In sum the largest software player has also become the cooperation and partnering pariah.

Say Peter, pitch Bill a high looping platitudinal goof ball.

(c)JBSurveyer 2005