Feeds

Microsoft was 'willing' to buy WhatsApp says Bill Gates

Founder also feels core Microsoft products need 'more than a tuneup' for the cloud

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Microsoft was “willing” to buy WhatsApp, Bill Gates has told Rolling Stone.

The magazine's interview with Gates ranges widely, revealing his recent dinner with Charles Koch and their discussion about climate change (the problem is urgent, action is needed but the US can't be expected to lead and renewable energy has big problems) the wisdom of spending on development aid (not every investment pays off, just ask venture capitalists, but we can't not try) and even God (Science makes it harder to believe, but there are no explanations for many things).

The Reg is a technology publication, so we'll let you read the whole interview for those thoughts. In our, and Gates, home patch, his observations start with Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, which Gates lauds as Mark Zuckerberg's “aggressiveness is wise” although he thinks “the price is higher than I would have expected”.

“It shows that user bases are extremely valuable.”

“Microsoft was willing to buy it, too,” Gates added. “I don't know if it was for $19 billion, but the company's extremely valuable.”

On Google, Gates says feels it is at a phase in its life when it can afford to spend money on long shots. “When you have a lot of money, it allows you to go down a lot of dead ends,” he said. “We had that luxury at Microsoft in the Nineties. You can pursue things that are way out there. We did massive interactive­TV stuff, we did digital-wallet stuff. A lot of it was ahead of its time, but we could afford it.”

Microsoft, he said, may need to be a little more like Google as it contemplates cloudy success. “Office and the other Microsoft assets that we built in the Nineties and kept tuning up have lasted a long time. Now, they need more than a tuneup. But that's pretty exciting for the people inside [Microsoft] who say, 'We need to take a little risk and do some new stuff' – like Google.”

Asked about Edward Snowden, Gates said “I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero” but welcomes the debate he has sparked “about the general notion of under what circumstances should they [government] be allowed to do things.” ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.