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Return of the '70s Microsoft Weirdos

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the kodachrome-moments dept.

Microsoft 338

theodp writes "On the eve of the company's move from Albuquerque to Seattle in 1978, a famous photo was taken (in a shopping mall no less) of the original Microsoft team, looking mighty sharp in their '70s outfits. Almost 30 years later, as Bill Gates prepares to depart from Microsoft, the group (looking older, but better) reconvened for a retake."

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338 comments

Epitome (1, Redundant)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893373)

"Bob Greenberg (center of old photo, in red sweater), then a programmer and now a tech and financial consultant ... "

Re:Epitome (1, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893921)

Comparing the old photo [newsweek.com] and the new photo [newsweek.com] I can't help but notice there are three women in center on the left, and two on the right. Other than that they seem to match up, though the distance in years does make it a little muddy.

Does anyone have the list of names to go with the faces, for both?

Re:Epitome (5, Informative)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894031)

FTA:

Present for the reunion was office manager Miriam Lubow (center of new picture), who missed the original sitting due to a snowstorm. (When Lubow, now retired, first met Gates, she couldn't believe that disheveled kid was the president.) Absent for the reshoot was Bob Wallace (top center), who died in 2002; after leaving Microsoft in 1983, he pioneered the idea of shareware.

No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893377)

They should have dressed for the part.

Thank you (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893397)

For the photo that I need for when time travel is invented, so windows can be prevented from happening.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

Mauzl (1312177) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893469)

Although your post is obviously a joke, Windows did a fantastic job of getting the PC into the lives of average people. This is something that Linux is only beginning to do, IMO.

Re:Thank you (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893495)

Linux is only beginning to get the PC into the lives of average people? Well, yeah, considering that plenty of them already have it in their lives...

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893637)

While I'd grant you the fact that Linux is indeed powering many of the systems people interact with, it remains that Linux has failed time and again to fulfill it's Year Of Desktop boasts.

Windows, for all it's warts, allowed almost everyone access to the world of computers.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

flnca (1022891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893739)

Windows, for all it's warts, allowed almost everyone access to the world of computers.
Well, except those who cannot afford a license.

Re:Thank you (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893763)

Between 1980 and ~2000, the cost of a license was small compared to the cost of a computer.

Re:Thank you (3, Interesting)

flnca (1022891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893901)

True that, except in those years, DOS/Windows licenses could be moved between machines. Not so anymore, starting with XP activation and WGA later on. No more "one Windows license per company". This might hurt Windows sales in the long run. And besides, nothing can beat the $0 license tag of a Linux or BSD (plus optional donation). We all need money, but the exaggerated license fees for XP and Vista won't do anything good for their spreading. With WGA, pirating Windows is not really feasible anymore for those who would do that, but pirating played a major part in spreading Windows. Microsoft could have easily used dongles (or ISA/PCI cards with ROMs), for instance, but instead they put lame copy protection schemes (or none at all) in their older DOS/Windows variants.

Re:Thank you (1, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894025)

I'm not really sure the license fees are exaggerated (XP or Vista ships with the vast majority of PCs sold, the market doesn't seem to mind the price). Microsoft could charge less, but that doesn't mean that they would be better off doing so.

For businesses that are paying people $30,000 a year to work (this is an absurd low ball), $300 every 3 years (this is probably somewhat high) is not particularly onerous of a license fee (any business will still prefer $299 to $300, and so on). As long as Microsoft can maintain the perceived value of Windows, they will do fine (and the 'mainstream' take on Vista is that it could have been better and more exciting, not that it flopped).

Re:Thank you (4, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894123)

Microsoft does charge less, to OEMs that is.

The license that is sold for $250 in-store, costs $80 (or less) to the OEM - even mom & pop shops. That's one hell of an insult to the loyal customers who actually buy the new OS to update their existing PCs, and to the businesses that buy hundreds or thousands of licenses. They can negotiate a "preferred partner" deal, but it's still nowhere near the OEM pricing.

Re:Thank you (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893767)

Hm? I thought those who couldn't afford a license used pira*cough*cough*

Sorry, of course you're right ;)

Re:Thank you (0, Offtopic)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893781)

Oh, woe is me. I clicked the wrong reply button. I'm sorry. I'm extremely sick and drowsy from fever right now.

Re:Thank you (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893929)

With WGA in place, I guess pirating is not as easy any more as it used to be. It might hurt Windows sales and spread in the long run. Of course, OEM dealers still can get a Windows license for an apple and an egg, but those who build their own machines do already hesitate whether to shell out an additional couple hundred bucks for a license.

Re:Thank you (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894151)

Why do people assume WGA is the end of piracy ?

WGA, like any other protection scheme, is defeated with a small patch. I've seen one that loads some resident code at boot time, before handing control over to the Vista loader, and somehow convinces the activation check to always pass. Game over!

Re:Thank you (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893875)

Are you serious? Have you seen any recent version of Ubuntu? How can anyone say it's less user-friendly than Windows with a straight face?

Re:Thank you (1)

SMOKEING (1176111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893963)

Linux had been ready for the desktop since about Freetype got to display TTFs antialiased.

For all Ubuntu & friends' zeal, I would feel something has gone subtly wrong with the world if I find Linux--not some Win2K--on a counter in a supermarket, with a dolt whacking at the keypad.

Linux is NOT for everyone, not for your grandma or mine. Nightmares come, if it is forced to.

Plus free strings! (3, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894013)

"Windows, for all it's warts, allowed almost everyone access to the world of computers."

Plus free strings attached to it! viz.

Your 'access to the world of computers' must be acknowledged as a service that you license from a vendor, rather than a skill that you acquire and use for your own purposes.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894109)

Windows, for all it's warts, allowed almost everyone access to the world of computers.

What you fail to understand is that, without Windows, something else would have filled the void. Progress in personal computers would not have stopped if Windows weren't around. Indeed, Microsoft was so concerned about monopoly maintenance, that innovation in the PC industry suffered. Progress might have been faster without Bill Gates' presence.

Re:Thank you (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894169)

Windows, for all it's warts, allowed almost everyone access to the world of computers.

You say that like it is a good thing...
there is a possibility that without windows we might be free of lolcats and myspace..

Re:Thank you (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893591)

Windows did a fantastic job of getting the PC into the lives of average people.

Well, they did the job (I hesitate to use the word fantastic) by making sure that no one else had a chance. You have read some of the documents that came out during the government's litigation against their business practices, right?

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893619)

The alternatives would have filled the void. I can only dream what that timeline would have been like.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893641)

Can we get rid of that horrific myth once and for all? If there had been no Windows, we would have had something else, and chances are it would have been much better.

Re:Thank you (4, Insightful)

flnca (1022891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893749)

Like AmigaOS, for instance.

Re:Thank you (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893813)

Or DavrOS. Obey! Obey!
hmmmm... maybe that's too reminiscent of Vista.

Re:Thank you (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893881)

Probably... but maybe we'd be 5 years behind where we are now.

Re:Thank you (2, Insightful)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894051)

I've never met someone who originally owned an Amiga who still believes Microsoft advanced computing more then they hurt it.

Re:Thank you (4, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894071)

We are 5 or even 10 years behind in computing thanks to MS. Think about it. Who wasn't in 32bit computing except MS customers back in 1995? Did you see the Netscape 4 demos which seriously drove them into panic that time? Now we are beginning to talk about Web services in freaking 2008 and people still suffer when they try it with IE.
You better watch Archive.org "computer chronicles" videos and think what would happen if MS wasn't in scene with their business tactics and backwards products.
http://www.archive.org/details/computerchronicles [archive.org]
People were video editing on their Amigas back in 1991 for instance.

Re:Thank you (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894073)

or 5 years ahead.

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

DustCollector (903185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893947)

Unix, born in the 1960s, had a 20 year head start over Microsoft, but Unix geeks just weren't interested in bringing a desktop to the masses in the same way Microsoft was.

It's certainly true we could have had something better -- Amiga, Commodore, Apple, etc. -- but if any one of those alternatives succeeded like Microsoft, it would have most likely adopted the same evil practices Microsoft used, and we'd probably end up with a similarly crappy system. In the alternate universe, it could very well have been Commodore Doors.

Fortunately, Linux and Mac are both making headway in the current time line.

Re:Thank you (4, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894021)

There was something else already, Windows and PC was the clone of it and it wasn't cheaper at all. Compare the original IBM to Apple prices. I think people can't think that the community chose that Text based horrible junk over Apple GUI and they think Apple came later to scene. It is the IBM who missed the personal computing revolution and dealt with MS in panic while MS didn't even have a single line of code in their hands.

IBM didn't heroically open their platform, they were forced to it. There are still some old school small computer shops advertising or requiring 100% IBM compatible. People should look at the reasoning of that percentage number.

Perhaps people shouldn't ignore the "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and watch/read it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates_of_silicon_valley [wikipedia.org]

It so easy to think that (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894147)

but back in those days they were who we are now. I am quite certain that at the time they were coming out with various versions of DOS and when Windows landed that they felt the same. They were up against the big hardware guys fighting for respect that they didn't have. It took them a long time to get there and in the process. In the long run they grew out of the need to go in a new direction as we are doing again. It is a never ending process and we should be glad for it. I am sure somewhere down the road, say twenty years or so, there will be people posting on boards dismissing Linux or OS X as being special just as some write off Windows.

Take it in the context of its time. Yes there were other platforms I would have liked to see succeed but they didn't have the drive needed. Just like today there are some ideas out there I would think should be better positioned but they lack the support of the community. Just as many here have grabbed onto Linux there are still those who prefer another way and they pursue it. Are they wrong? I am certain that back then Amiga and Atari people didn't think they were but they failed to form a large enough presence and community at the time to stay. With the internet it should be much easier for good systems to come along and get their day in the sun but at the same time it is also like a choir where you try to pick out that one voice but can't.

I grew up in those days and remember thinking how cool it was. I played with desqtop (sp?) and other windowing platforms. Yet I also remember how we were still pulling away from IBM PC brands at that time too, I remember stores filled with PS/2s and if anything Windows and various versions of DOS got us out of the control of platform vendors. It certainly helped to bring costs down to where most people could participate and perhaps that alone leads to where we are today?

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

Bertie (87778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893803)

I'd say it held it back if anything.

I personally got into 16-bit, GUI computing in 1987 when my parents gave in to ten-year-old me and spent what for them was a load of money on an Atari ST. Over the next couple of years a lot of other kids my age followed suit and bought STs or Amigas. We were introduced to Windows (Version 2, y'know) at school and it just seemed hopelessly antiquated. We couldn't get our heads round why anybody would buy a system running this crap when they could get about five STs for the same price, all of which would run rings round the PC clone.

Of course, time passed and Atari, Commodore et al proved themselves much less proficient at running businesses than they were at designing computers, support waned and we found ourselves with no realistic option other than Windows (95 by this point). It still felt like a backward step and they'd had years to catch up.

So I reckon that if things had worked out a bit differently and, say, Commodore had been as ruthless in business as Microsoft, we'd be far ahead of where we are now. Or at least we'd have got to where we are now years ago. Windows never put a computer into my house, and it did a good job of killing off the better, cheaper alternatives that myself and millions liked me had plumped for.

Re:Thank you (2, Interesting)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893893)

It was when marketing started to destroy the world. I know it's an exaggeration but not by far.

Re:Thank you (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893905)

A few days ago when I replied to a post it would show my post in the right place. Now it shows it as its parent's reply. Does anyone else has that problem?

Re:Thank you (5, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893931)

I had 32bit Amiga 1200 back in 1992 or something. I turned it on, said "Wow it is fast", liked new workbench and there is that "32 bit" thing. Basically every program was already in 32bit.

Amiga crashed very bad financially so I moved to x86/PC in Win 3.1/95 Schizophrenia age (my worst mistake, should be Apple).

It was like surreal people were still in 16/32 bit age, being amazed to Windows 95. It is still same way to me, even running OS X Leopard. E.g. I had 64bit command line/linux back in 2003 with my first G5 1600 switched from PC at last, so it was 64bit processor, I could install 8 gig of RAM. Now imagine I switch back to Vista 64 bit and watch people saying how cool 64bit is after 5 years.

We shouldn't have Atari ST or Amiga so we could really get impressed by these things :) It is still effecting, e.g. after the magnificent Word Processing tools in Amiga, I can't get so much excited about the Apple Pages 08. I had much of the functionality back in Amiga 1200.

Re:Thank you (1)

Anders (395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893877)

[...] Windows did a fantastic job of getting the PC into the lives of average people.

That is not because of Windows. People do not get a computer to use Windows. Windows was just there when the hardware evolution made computers useful to average people (i.e. the Internet, digital music, digital photos).

Re:Thank you (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894061)

Windows did a fantastic job of getting the PC into the lives of average people.

Windows did a fantastic job of stifling innovation in the PC industry. Imagine how much more reliable and diverse computers would have been if Microsoft had not prevented innovation from occuring? Microsoft was more concerned about monopoly maintenance than innovation.

Re:Thank you (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894095)

Now the Java platform is something you can really produce even great desktop software (even with Sun!), they are with .NET in scene playing games.

Hitting it back in 2000s wasn't enough, now it needs another hit. They can't handle competition at all.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23894099)

Gimme a break. Microsoft Windows is not responsible for getting computers into average peoples lives. They won a competition for corporate interest - and this preceded windows - remember MS DOS!

When I think of computers that got computers into peoples' lives, I think of the Apple II/II+.

Lets not forget that the original Mac (and X Windows/Unix) had windowing systems before Microsoft and that the original Windows was a late and clumsy graphical interface bloomer that was patched on top of MS DOS. The only thing that kept Microsoft dominant with the original windows was the entrenchment of MS DOS, perhaps some questionable business practices and Apple not being able to capture market with their proprietary software/hardware packaging.

One thing Microsoft is possibly responsible for is unlinking operating system from hardware manufacturer and making it work. This is a really great thing... as much as I hate to admit it.

Re:Thank you (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894131)

I (grudgingy to some extent) have to agree. If it wasn't for Microsoft we wouldn't have the PC as such a ubiquitous part of the modern western home. As much as Apple is now billed to be as the computer for the average, non computer literate person, back in the day Macs were unaffordable compared to say a Gateway or an Osborne running Win 95.

Thanks to Microsoft we now have your grandma planning her round the world trip on Google Earth and poking you on Facebook, for better or for worse.

Having said all that, I'm dying to see what will happen in the next couple of years with the advent with AUS$ 1600 iMacs and Dell selling cheap as chips Ubuntu comps (both easier to run, and don't require a pound of flesh to Symantec or McAffee).

Exciting times ahead!

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893549)

Who will start fading away when you do your mother?

Time travel (5, Funny)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893629)

Dude, please send the second terminator. I am still typing this on Windows, so apparently, the mission failed.

Re:Thank you (1)

Evil_Ether (1200695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893703)

Did Red Alert teach you nothing? Kill one evil and another will rise to take its place.

Re:Thank you (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893787)

It is not so much Windows that should be stopped as Microsoft that should be stopped. So when you are there, take a copy of the GPL with you and convince the players to GPL the code that MS will steal and work on (Altair Basic)

The date should be before February 3, 1976 and the company is the called Micro-Soft

The reason: http://www.blinkenlights.com/classiccmp/gateswhine.html [blinkenlights.com]

That way we can sue them to hell and back when they come out with Win98 and put all that money to good use for OSS.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893857)

Gates, et al may have used some shady business practices to get the original DOS (though they legitimately bought it, before signing a contract, get a lawyer to read it), but BASIC for the Altair was their work (mostly GATES if not msitaken)

Re:Thank you (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894053)

For the photo that I need for when time travel is invented, so windows can be prevented from happening.
All we really have to do is send an Richard Stallman-shaped terminator back through time to 1978 to deal with the Microsoft people.

So... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893401)

which guy had a sex change?

Re:So... (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893483)

Steve Ballmer's bitch

Re:So... (1)

SwiftWing2002 (921311) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893485)

That's what I thought before reading the article. I know. I know. We never RTFA. But I just had to know which guy had a sex change. The answer was quite disappointing.

Re:So... (4, Informative)

Brain_Recall (868040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893831)

I had to take a second look for that. A little reading does the trick:

Present for the reunion was office manager Miriam Lubow (center of new picture), who missed the original sitting due to a snowstorm. (When Lubow, now retired, first met Gates, she couldn't believe that disheveled kid was the president.) Absent for the reshoot was Bob Wallace (top center), who died in 2002; after leaving Microsoft in 1983, he pioneered the idea of shareware.

11/12 (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893405)

When I counted the people in each photo I thought 'wow! what are the chances of 11 people alive in 1978 still being alive now?'. Having read the article I find that there were actually 12 people supposed to be at the shoot but one was absent, and one had passed away in the intervening 30 years so it's actually 11/12 people are still alive 30 years later, but still, not a bad effort!

Re:11/12 (2, Informative)

mutende (13564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893431)

Come on. The average age seems to be less than 30 years on the 1978, hence the average would be less than 60 today. I'd say the chances that all the people still being alive are pretty good. Cheers.

Re:11/12 (3, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893461)

well working making a new company having it grow to such a large level tends to put extra age on some people. Heck look at the guy in the middle in the before and after pic. Before he was a young guy and the other picture he is a older lady, that looks more like a traditional grandmother image.

Re:11/12 (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893797)

All we need is an actuary, they would have more than a hunch, they would have a hunch backed by tables and formulas.

are all the people gates and jobs backstabbed (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893409)

through the early years of microsoft gonna be in the picture too ?

Re:are all the people gates and jobs backstabbed (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893863)

Sorry, can't do, I didn't bring the panorama lens.

It pays to RTFA, not just see the photos (1)

wesley96 (934306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893411)

There are 11 persons in both pictures, and since it's supposed to be a retake of the same people 30 years later, it completely baffled me as to why the first photo had 2 women, while the second one had 3.

I mean, like, "WTF? did someone have a sex change?"

Then I read the article and went, "OOH."

Re:It pays to RTFA, not just see the photos (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893475)

I must have missed that. I read TFA and didn't see anything about a sex change, but I did see that Miriam wasn't present in the first due to a snow storm but was present in the second one. That seems to account for there being 2 in the first, and 3 in the second, but like I said maybe I missed something.

Re:It pays to RTFA, not just see the photos (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893973)

Well, MS guy changed sex so what? Unix scene has much more interesting people, even the authors of current de-facto standard Unix software.

Photos are too small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893419)

Anyone have normal sized versions of the photos?

Re:Photos are too small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893523)

You don't like the abnormal sized ones? Actually I wish they included some pies and eggs in the photo just to show they are good sports.

For those in the UK or with a proxy (2, Informative)

eddy_crim (216272) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893429)

The BBC has some footage of the new photo being take on the iplayer
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/b00c6sdc.shtml?src=ip_mp [bbc.co.uk]

Its part of a documentary about bill gates for the money programme. Bit dumbed down for non geek audiences but interesting none the less if only to laugh at all the 70's gates footage and Ballmers big shiney head. Oh and I cant find where but at some point bill gates jumps over a chair... there has to be some jokes in there!

ahem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893447)

Albuquerque is a stupid name. /waits for +5 Insightful

Should have left it as is (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893459)

The 70s photo is of of a bright eyed bushy tailed group ready to take on the world. It tells a story, smacks of potential and is a slice of history.

The current photo is a happy snap without a story. It begs the question "Why?" It adds an ending to the 1970s photo that would have best been left unwritten, allowing each viewer of the 1970's photo to make their own judgement of history. The photo is like a cliched ending to a stereotypical Hollywood morality tale.

Re:Should have left it as is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893509)

You could say that about music groups from the sixties and eighties (Strawberry Alarm Clock, Peter Gabriel), but they are still going strong today.

Re:Should have left it as is (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893575)

The photo is like a cliched ending to a stereotypical Hollywood morality tale.

For what some people paid they could have at least given out free popcorn and soda.

Re:Should have left it as is (1, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893623)

The current photo is a happy snap without a story. It begs the question "Why?"

The only question that comes to mind when looking at this before-after photo exercise is : is it better to be bright, young and wearing atrocious 70s clothes, or be a fat middle-aged ex-computer wizz-kid ?

Re:Should have left it as is (5, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893907)

It adds an ending to the 1970s photo that would have best been left unwritten, allowing each viewer of the 1970's photo to make their own judgement of history.
Rubbish. History has been written, photo or no photo. The facts of the past 38 years haven't been altered by taking this photo in any way, nor will this photo change anyone's judgement of history.

You can argue that the photo's pointless, but suggesting that people would be better served by not having this information is ridiculous. This isn't some pretentious open-ended novel we're talking about.

My IT Dept (3, Funny)

Twide (1142927) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893473)

That's odd.. my very own IT department looks much more like that 70's photo than the current one..

Re:My IT Dept (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893871)

In other words, you're working in an aspiring, upstart, bring-on-the-world IT department rather than a bureaucratic, overbloated and overfed-satisfied IT department.

I wouldn't consider that's a bad thing.

Re:My IT Dept (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894153)

I thought it meant he's working for shit money because clearly none of his coworkers can afford decent clothing.

Microsofts heritage (4, Insightful)

^Case^ (135042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893521)

This picture got me thinking.

For all the things people dislike about Microsoft, even the stuff people sees as evil one should still acknowledge the contribution made by Bill Gates and Microsoft to the world as it is today. I am by no means a fan of Microsoft, yet had it not been for the visions of Bill Gates I sincerely doubt that computers would have gained the same traction in society as they have today.

I often seem to forget this when shouting my mouth off about how bad Microsofts software is or how evil Microsoft is. I will try to remember this the next time I get into a "how I hate Microsoft" frenzy.

Re:Microsofts heritage (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893603)

Nobody doubts Bill Gates' vision helped bring computers to the masses a great deal, nor that OS and PC uniformising, sad as it is, is what brought down the cost of computing. The beef most people have with Microsoft is (1) how they got there, and (2) software quality : they copied, bought, monopolized, bribed and ransomed their way to the top, and they couldn't come up with one truly good software product if they lives depended on it.

Other than that, they're great guys.

Re:Microsofts heritage (5, Interesting)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893621)

If Microsoft hadn't been the ones, someone else, or more likely several someone elses, would have. And frankly, chances are good that the state of computing in general would be ahead of where we are without Microsoft, because their monopolistic approach has stifled innovation and competition.

In the early 80s there were plenty of smaller players in the marketplace all with interesting products and different ideas. A more natural outgrowth of that which maintained that balance would have been much healthier. And while that probably would have led to a period of incompatibility and lack of standards, the lack of strong defacto standards may well have created a push for more industry standards earlier. By now many of those things that are still needed (standards for document, and multimedia interchange) would have long been settled.

For all the advantages that computers confer on society, don't forget the huge losses in both time and money that the poor quality of Windows and its apps have caused.

Re:Microsofts heritage (1)

Dave Klecha (1312201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893909)

Maybe. One of the things Microsoft brought to the table was the marketing and the push to bring desktop computing into enterprise. I don't think we're where we are if that doesn't happen, and lots of others had the opportunity to go there, but balked for whatever reason.

The other question, the old time-travel question, is how different do things have to be before we're not recognizably in the same place. One could almost argue that there's the David-Goliath thing going on, motivating people. Without that, not as many are as invested in bringing their A game or getting into the game in the first place.

And then again, in the absence of a big evil like Microsoft, someone else could very well have taken its place entirely and we could be indistinguishably in the same place, complete with big, cumbersome, monopolistic software giant that stifles innovation, etc. Jobs thought it would be IBM; but for Microsoft it might have been.

Re:Microsofts heritage (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893941)

Apparently none of those other companies had a CEO with the business sense to take them towards the top. You're talking about a time when engineers were just engineers and not meant to be personable at the same time. I doubt most of those companies had a business minded person running the show.

Bill Gates had a business mind AND he could program. That is why Microsoft came out on top.

Re:Microsofts heritage (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894005)

Bill Gates had a business mind AND he could program. That is why Microsoft came out on top.

No, not really. Bill Gates had a business mind AND a ruthlessness, and was in the software industry at the right time with rich parents. That's why Microsoft came out on top. Bill Gates' ability to program (such as it was) had virtually no effect on Microsoft's success that I can see.

Re:Microsofts heritage (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893993)

Your "what if" is just as good as my "what if". The reality is, Microsoft was the player who did what it did. You could sit here and go "what if that had not happened" all you want but it's not going to change the fact that it was Microsoft who was at the top of this game.

The reality is, the reason why there were so many smaller players is because, guess what? Everyone wants to be on top or everyone thinks they can do something better than the other guy.

Not everyone cares, obviously, because great ideas and smart people tend to fizzle out all of the time even if it was "years ahead" of its time.

Even now, we have this problem of early computing but in the linux world. Things Microsoft worked hard at changing are STILL prevalent in the Linux software industry.

Re:Microsofts heritage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893663)

Come on people, were it not for them we could be using better products. OS/2... BeOS...
Saying what you are saying is like a slave saying in the 1880's, "I am so grateful at my kind owners for after beating me and making me work all day, they actually feed me leftovers and don't wake me up in the middle of the night." Sheez.

Re:Microsofts heritage (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893723)


yet had it not been for the visions of Bill Gates I sincerely doubt that computers would have gained the same traction in society as they have today.

Ridiculous. Computers gained the traction they did in society because they greatly increased productivity, and we'd already developed the technology (the silicon chip) to make them cheaply. Bill Gates just was able to capitalize on those two circumstances.

If Gates hadn't have done it, someone else would have. Jobs and Apple? IBM? Hell, maybe even Commodore.

The path taken would have been different for sure, but the entry of computers into society at the level they exist was invevidible. Maybe cross-platform applications would have become far more prevalent than they are now without Gates and Company trying to stifle any such products, and the OS would become largely irrelevant. Really, the OS IS irrelevant to the end-user. The only thing that provides any value are the applications.

How Come? (1, Flamebait)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893793)

Every Slashdot post that is an obvious M$ fanboy rant includes, "I am by no means a fan of Microsoft"

This is getting to be a clue, like "Think of the children".

Google this code phrase and see, http://tinyurl.com/4wxy6y [tinyurl.com]

M$ fanboy code.

Cheers

Re:How Come? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894175)

Because I don't have Karma I will say +1 Informative.

sex change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23893579)

I count 2 women in the before photo and 3 in the after photo?

sex change? (0, Redundant)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893609)


how come i see THREE women in the later photo, but only TWO in the first!?!?

Re:sex change? (1)

chiph (523845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893631)

Go back and RTFA.

Chip H.

RTFA (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893649)

Yes... it is an old and basic skill but often useful.

Re:sex change? (1)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893655)


| Present for the reunion was office manager Miriam Lubow (centre of
| new picture), who missed the original sitting due to a snowstorm.
| Absent for the reshoot was Bob Wallace (top center), who died in 2002;
| after leaving Microsoft in 1983

Re:sex change? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893673)

If you'd RTFA, you'd know that one of the guys in the first photo died, and one of women in the second photo had been supposed to be in the first photo but hadn't been able to attend the shoot.

Re:sex change? (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893801)

Because there ARE THREE women in the later photo, and only TWO in the first!!!!eleventy

goddamn n00bs.

THE GOGGLES (3, Funny)

dwalsh (87765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893633)

etc.

Gates on the desk (4, Funny)

tobiasly (524456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893735)

They were also gonna go back and recapture that famous 1983 photo of Gates laying across the desk [neowin.net] all sultry-like, but he broke a hip trying to strike his pose...

Re:Gates on the desk (1)

MeepMeep (111932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23894033)

They were also gonna go back and recapture that famous 1983 photo of Gates laying across the desk all sultry-like, but he broke a hip trying to strike his pose...

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

Someone will come back from retirement? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893867)

It looks like media, especially the ones known to be very close to MSFT started re-polishing BillG. This happens after someone took his job joked with companies prestige with 40+ billion dollars in hand.
Lets watch... Especially check CNET News.com lately, you will figure what I mean.

How many are still at MS? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23893885)

Skimming the article, I noticed that a lot of the original cast quitted. Now, what could possibly make a "first day" employee quit at the biggest software company in the world? Usually, such people tend to be up in the lofty top floor offices with paychecks large enough to use as a convenient blanket at night.

How the hell do working conditions have to be to quit that?

Nice old photo there, but .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23894001)

which one is bill gates?

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