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Microsoft, Amazon and the Drugstore connection

Pin money for Melinda Gates

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It was not surprising that Jeff Bezos should be casting around to turn what the Daily Telegraph magazine on Saturday called whiteknuckleride@amazon.com into a "shop-the-Web" service. From Sonys to Viagra it says, so whatever next? Profits, you may cry. Well, not exactly. Amazon founder Bezos recently acquired a 46 per cent controlling interest in drugstore.com and promptly put Melinda French Gates on the board. Does this point to closer ties between Microsoft and Amazon.com? Or perhaps, Ma Gates wants some pin money as Bill's been giving away rather a lot recently. Drugstore.com is Ma Gates's first directorship. It is also her first job since she resigned as general manager of information products ( responsibilities there included responsibility for MS Bob, copies of which are now collectors' items) Ma Gates, wife of Bill and mother of two small children, will certainly have her hands full: according to Newsweek, on the night shift she feeds baby Rory while Bill tends to Rory's sister. ®

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