The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to get the most feathers with the least hissing - Jeane Baptiste Colbert
SOFTWARE MULTI-BILLIONAIRE Bill Gates is the latest public figure to have engaged in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA).
In a wide-ranging discussion, Gates entered into the spirit of the occasion, waxing lyrical about a variety of topics, from his involvement in designing Windows to his extensive philanthropy.
He confirmed that his new Microsoft role will take up a third of his time, but when asked to explain it he mysteriously responded, "I make sure we pick ambitious scenarios and that we have a strong architecture to deliver on them. I encourage good work (hopefully)."
While confirming that his role is going to be largely based around product work, and extolling the virtues of his time working on Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, he suggested that the work isn't over and cloud integration is the future.
"The Windows project which required a lot of patience was great. Office was also great. Together they defined the big success of the 1990s for Microsoft. Office connected to the cloud has a LOT of potential and we are off to a good start. Cloud Storage needs to be a lot richer though."
Expanding on cloud storage, he explained, "I am excited about how the cloud and new devices can help us communicate and collaborate in new ways. The OS won't just be on one device and the information won't just be files - it will be your history including being able to review memories of things like kids growing up.
"I was thrilled Satya asked me to pitch in to make sure Microsoft is ambitious with its innovation. Even in Office there is a lot more than can be done."
When asked what he would study were he a computer science student today, his response was emphatic. He said, "The ultimate is computers that learn. So called deep learning which started at Microsoft and is now being used by many researchers looks like a real advance that may finally learn. It has already made a big difference in video and audio recognition - [there's been] more progress in the last [three] years than ever before."
Gates seemed to be very clear on his path going forward, and he said he looked forward to the next version of Microsoft Office, which will be 100 percent cloud based and intelligent.
We doubt that it will be intelligent enough to do the writing for you, though.
Other revelations from the AMA included that his number one guilty pleasure purchase was his private plane, that he can no longer jump over chairs, and the fact that he likes doing the dishes himself, as no one else does them the way he likes them.
Yes, he does use a Microsoft Surface Pro 2. Most important of all, his choice to play him in the inevitable biopic is Samuel L. Jackson. µ
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