LAS VEGAS--Microsoft (MSFT) has been under fire of late. But tonight, chief executive Bill Gates opened Comdex '97 with a speech that found him facing a friendly audience. With top-ten gags and parody video clips, he tried to make light of Microsoft's recent run-ins with competitors, as well as state and federal regulators, and perhaps show a more human side of a company whose critics often label it an evil empire.
Gates opened his keynote here, which played like an infomercial, with a top-ten list that had audience members chuckling and cheering him on, especially with his barb aimed at consumer activist and Microsoft critic Ralph Nader. No doubt the applause was music to Gates's ears.
Gates's PC top ten list
|10.||I love using Barney software with my 18-month-old daughter. Now I constantly find myself humming Barney songs.|
|9.||Every function in my new house is managed by the PC (and sometimes it works).|
|8.||What other machine allows you to "plug and play," "embrace and extend," and "link and embed?"|
|7.||With electronic mail, people can send me their thoughts with the click of a button.|
|6.||I can program in any language I want.|
|5.||In just one weekend, I can sit at my PC, collaborate with attorneys all over the world, comment on a 48-page legal brief, and email it to the Justice Department.|
|4.||I can gather information on the Internet so I make sure never to repeat myself in speeches.|
|3.||I do my best work using my laptop on the airplane, and I don't have to store a server under the seat in front of me.|
|2.||The PC empowers everyone in the world to publish their ideas, opinions, and dreams of changing the world.|
|1.||I can use Microsoft CarPoint to show Ralph Nader my Corvair collection.|