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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Bill Gates on Natal, research and Chrome OS

Bill Gates surfaced to give an interview with CNET, where he shrugged at Google’s nebulous operating system project, talked up the Richard Feynman lectures he’s sharing online through Microsoft Research, and chatted about his new role.

Gates also reiterated Microsoft’s intentions to bring the Project Natal technology to the PC, as Xbox executives disclosed last month at the E3 conference.

Some tidbits, including Gates on the Feynman lectures:

Well, I didn’t get to see these until I was about 30, and so I would love it if lots of young people saw them, and got a sense of the fun, and how science works, and what’s complicated, and what’s not. I hope some people who teach science are inspired by the way that Feynman managed to make it interesting without giving up the depth of how it works.

With super-high-quality material like this up there for free, I hope people see the potential, and that they’d benefit from this one in particular, and then it starts to push forward the idea if someone is great lecturer, then their work should be out there and available.

On Chrome OS:

Well … there’s many, many forms of Linux operating systems out there, and packaged in different ways, and booted in different ways. So I don’t know anything in particular about what Google is doing. But, in some ways I’m surprised people are acting like there’s something new. I mean, you’ve got Android running on Netbooks; it’s got a browser in it. In any case, you should make them be concrete about what they’re doing. It is kind of a typical thing. When Google is doing anything it gets this — the more vague they are, the more interesting it is.

On his new role:

Well, the foundation work is very rewarding, and there’s a lot of interesting complexity that comes with it. I’m pretty much doing what I expected to be doing, which is very different than what I was doing before my job changed. I do have about 20 percent involvement with Microsoft, where topics like their future of Office, of search, or various things that Steve [Ballmer] asked me to look into and help out with come along. So that’s developed pretty much like I would expect.

Comments | Topics: Bill Gates

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