At the End of the Day


Microsoft is the Tetrapak of software

“We’ve delivered your order,” Skype told me last  night. I hadn’t ‘ordered’ anything and so – in the spirit of all those of us who long ago realised that every ISP is full of old cock – I ignored it.

“We’ve cancelled your order,” Skype said this morning. Right, I thought, they cancelled something I never bought in the first place. So we were even.

But I couldn’t help notice the bright, bold blue type below this news saying, “To find out why we have been unable to maintain your Skype account, please follow this link”.

So: my non-existent, cancelled order had morphed into me being excluded from Skype. Who had I offended this time?

The answer was “nobody”. Well, that is, I had offended someone (obviously) because I offend a roughly equal number of socialists, neoliberals, Islamics, globalists, politicians, civil servants, weather forecasters and pc morons every day. But none  of them had requested I be put in the Skype sin-bin.

“The credit card you’ve been using is no longer active,” the pinched goblins at Skype asserted. So I took out the card, and used it manually to refill my Skype allowance which, up until then, had been happening automatically.

It worked first time.

On May 10th 2011 – a date that will live in infamy – Skype was acquired by Microsoft for an eye-popping $8.5 billion. The founders of Skype – for whom I have nothing but admiration – scooped up the cash and went off to work with great success in other sectors.

Microsoft, by contrast, stayed on board to turn Skype into a pile of steaming excrement – a development that was entirely predictable given this truly abysmal company’s inability to separate arse from elbow, up from down, or even completion from cancellation. By the time BillGateshe left the organisation, Bill Gates (left) had trousered sixty-four billion bucks: this was his obscene reward for creating head injuries to millions of desperate pc users, those sad victims of his risible software who’d bashed their fragile craniums against very hard screens in frustration.  Poor souls, they could no longer cope with screen panels that observed, ‘A major error has occurred’, ‘Something is not right’, and even ‘Microsoft Word has had to close’ – as if it might be a bloody bank holiday rather than software unfit for purpose.

rausingBefore Microsoft, I always thought that the inventor of the Tetra Pak, Ruben Rausing (left) held the undisputed heavyweight title for Most Riches from Least Functionality. Rausing – a neutral Swede who registered his patent in 1944 as the Allies and the Nazis were knocking seven bells out of each other on the Western Front – eventually went on to amass a fortune worth £5.4billion – far more in present-day terms than Gates.

Ruben’s invention replaced the non-spill and recyclable glass bottle of liquid with a 3,000 year degrading-period format of plastic-coated paper that spilled all liquids everywhere within seconds of being opened and poured.

The nature of the liquid was of no consequence: milk, orange juice, strawberry smoothie or yoghurt, a Tetrapak required only the separation of the membranes at the top to produce a pouring experience inseparable from multi-directional incontinence. An entire industry of kitchen towels was born on the back of the Tetrapak’s ability to miss any receptacle at which it was aimed.

Eventually, the denial ended….and the whole point of this “convenience” pack was held up to the light of examination by the insertion of a plastic neck where the origami puzzle had been. Since when, glass bottles have – despite this improvement – continued to go from strength to strength.

But somebody up there decided to equalise the scales of good fortune, because the Rausing dynasty became ever after cursed. Death and disaster culminated in the billionaire’s son Hans Christian and his wife being arrested for possessing crack cocaine and heroin. Even worse, Prince Charles described him as “one very special philanthropist”. That was, surely, the ultimate  kiss of death.

But Bill Gates shows no sign at all of being similarly disadvantaged. On the contrary, he has a net worth of approximately $79.4 billion. Yup, today Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in the world.

I could say that Mr Gates’s experience is exemplary; but that word suggests something to aspire to, whereas Billy the Kid is really an example of how one really can fool all the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln was just as mistaken about that as he was in his decision to attend a second-rate play and get assassinated.

Just think of it like this: Gates became the richest man in the world by inventing a software operating system whose flaws drove most of the rest of the human race mad, helped bankrupt the NHS, perhaps caused a million strokes….and helped give the Russians a massive lead in cyber warfare.

I truly do not see Bill Gates as an evil man: he has a nice wife and three kids, and even if they do live on an estate where you need an internet phone to call everyone in for dinner, it is perfectly obvious that he does not bear the human race any ill-will. He’s just a bit of a pillock. How else can one explain this, one of his favourite mantras:

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”

Yesterday at The Slog: Partying like it was 1929

13 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. I quit Microsod 10 years ago and I’ve nver felt healthier…………..

    “Gate’s in the cream jar, what’ll I do?
    Gate’s in the cream jar, what’ll I do?
    Gate’s in the cream jar, what’ll I do?
    Skype to the Loo, my darling……


  2. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”

    .. ”a bit of a pillock” ..LOL ROFLMHO

    You really haven’t lived. This ‘mantra’ has been essential learning on most sales /marketing courses since the 1960’s. I was there. I learnt it too. It works like nothing ever else did.! You’re just a bit out of necessary calibre my friend in most of your philosophical meanderings..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know next to nothing about Microsoft. I’m still using Word97. However, as far as I’m concerned Gates has put his money to use productively through the Gates Foundation unlike to rest of the useless billionaire class.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Utterly brilliant, witty and funny. I remember my prof of cybernetics in the early 70s saying that in the early days of computers the worst thing was that commercial development was too influenced by accountants who could type and only wanted number crunching machines. Thus the opportunity to develop an interface – and operating system – that was sympathetic to humans was missed.


  5. “it is perfectly obvious that he does not bear the human race any ill-will. He’s just a bit of a pillock.”

    I’m not sure one can be so categorical about his philanthropic aims after reading about the millions he’s invested in the companies making vaccines and GM, such as Monsanto and GSK. His philanthropy came under scrutiny back in August 2010, when it was discovered that The Gates Foundation had purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock; greatly increasing its previous holdings—and hence its financial conflicts of interest. Some feel Gates is one of the most destructive “do-gooders” on the planet… His views on what is required to make a difference in poverty and disease-stricken third world nations are short-sighted and misinformed. GM crops leads to diminished biodiversity, which is the direct opposite of what the world needs.
    They are more vulnerable to disease and so need lashings of expensive petrochemical pesticides, insecticides and fungicides which not only kill bees but poison the soil. Additionally, research published last June shows that glyphosate/Roundup may be an important factor in the development of a wide variety of chronic diseases.

    A team of 900 scientists funded by the World Bank and United Nations, investigated the issue over the course of three years, and determined that the use of GM crops is based on unsound science and is simply NOT a meaningful solution to the complex situation of world hunger. Seeds have always been sold and swapped freely between farmers, preserving biodiversity. The use of GM monocrops has resulted in over 1 million ruined Indian farmers committing suicide because the patented GM seeds are intentionally designed to be sterile. Did Gates not know or hear about this, or even bother to inquire about the repercussions of this policy he’s promoting?

    As for his involvement with polio and malaria vaccines, it seems there too his ‘benevolent’ actions are based on unsound information. “Back in 2001, when polio was disappearing on its own from improved nutrition and availability of clean water, and fewer than 500 cases remained in the entire world, the Gates Foundation launched a multi-billion dollar polio eradication project. Now that more than $8 billion have been spent on this project, in India in 2011 alone, there were over 47,500 cases of an infectious disease with polio’s symptoms but twice the lethality”.



  6. I’m afraid OAH, you need a reality check. The Gates Foundation is one of the most evil entities on planet earth running closely & working with IMF & the UN to cause as much death & poverty as it can. Check out how many lawsuits it has pending from governments ( India for one ) for the deaths & maiming it caused testing untried , dangerous vaccines. Ask the victims of his ‘benevolence’ that we’re tricked and dumped in remote areas without medical aid .
    The man & his organisation are monstrous.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I hope Microsoft aren’t working on a driverless car! It will probably keeping crashing and need rebooting. Mr Paperclip will probably appear when your wrapped around a tree to offer “help”.

    Best leave the serious stuff to the Guiccifer 2, Wilkileaks and the Russian FSB.


  8. Why does everybody give Bill Gates the ooooh nice person syndrome? … not so sure that is apt.

    Now go and look at who, what, where monsanto came from and it has evolved but its inception and form very old.

    Gates Foundation is experimenting with GM mosquitoes … like everything humans touch it often turns to something else a bit like politicial legislation supposedly good ends up being terrible for population. So a question if you mutate a mosquito does it make it easier or harder to carry the Zika virus?

    As for Zika found by Rothschilds in 1947 so it is an old virus but it has flared recently from some cause.

    Gates though his father was in the UN so he may be bright or lucky but started to have a feeling of anymosity towards the UN, NATO and the IMF as elite clubs for the most wealthy to wield political, military and monetary clout to do what they want, when they want.


  9. Gincat
    I’m sorry you’re a mere moggie who’s imbibed too much Gordon’s for too long, but let me try to explain the gag that went about 400 light years over your small, furry bonce.
    The mantra is right, of course it is. But Gates making so much money BY NEVER LIVING UP TO IT is irony of hysterical proportions.
    Sadly, I am opposed to the banning of threaders on the grounds of arrogant stupidity. So think yourself lucky, Tibbles.


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