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Bill Gates Founds New "Think Tank" Company

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the short-drive-from-the-house-on-the-lake dept.

Microsoft 134

Homncruse sends in news of Bill Gates's new adventure, adding "I was working just one or two floors under this new office when it was all coming together. I even unknowingly shared an elevator with him at one time on his way up to the office." The article notes that the name "bgC3" derives from Bill Gates, catalyst, and the "third thing," neither Microsoft or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Just months after his Microsoft farewell, Bill Gates is quietly creating a new company — complete with high-tech office space, a cryptic name and even its own trademark. Public documents describe the new Gates entity — bgC3 LLC — as a 'think tank.' It's housed within a Kirkland office that the Microsoft co-founder established on his own after leaving his day-to-day executive role at the company this summer ... However, bgC3 will also oversee Gates' personal pursuit of breakthrough ideas in science and technology. [An] insider said the goal isn't necessarily to create new companies, although ideas could be passed along to Microsoft, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — or others — as it makes sense ..."

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134 comments

Borg Cubed? (4, Funny)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 4 years ago | (#25500937)

Did the name 'bgc3' make anyone else think "Borg Cubed"?

Re:Borg Cubed? (2, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 4 years ago | (#25500967)

There were one or two projects left over from the Traf-O-Data days he wants to look into. Also it will be a training school for Bulldozer drivers.

LOL WUT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501039)

I wonder if Melinda Gates takes it in the ass.

Re:LOL WUT (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501189)

She has a relationship with Bill Gates, so I would have to say that it is pretty clear she does, even if she didn't intend to originally and was promised time and again that it wouldn't happen.

Re:Borg Cubed? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501411)

Bill Gates Company #3

Duh... just cause it is a think tank does not mean the name needs to be over thought!

Re:Borg Cubed? (1)

imaginasys (833700) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501485)

OK BG are his initials. But isn't C3 an explosive ? Terrorists in view ?

Re:Borg Cubed? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502469)

Did the name 'bgc3' make anyone else think "Borg Cubed"?

I was actually thinking "Bubblegum Crisis 3"...

Sharks (1, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501005)

With frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?

Ballmer: "Sea Bass"

Re:Sharks But, will it be.. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502899)

Sink Tank, or STINK Tank, or STINK, then TANK?

Hopefully he's learned enough of what people HATE in/of/about msoft to avoid those mistakes again..

Corbis? (3, Informative)

isaac (2852) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501019)

Corbis is Bill Gates' second company, not the Foundation.

-Isaac

Re:Corbis? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501723)

ugh, and what are your views on Windows 7?
shaddup already, the name is bgC3, unless you have a funny quip or something, quit being a complainer.

What to do? What to Do? (0, Flamebait)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504303)

Considering that BG bought the original dos, QDDOS, from an unsuspecting hacker, and he paid meat puppets to code all the garbage he marketed, I'll bet he didn't start a new company for innovation purposes. He is nothing more than a successful scam artist.

Probably brain storming now how to buy Linux and then destroy it.

640GB should be enough for anyone... (0, Troll)

olddotter (638430) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501049)

Given the MS record on REAL innovation, I hope he employees some new and better "thinkers." I'm just not to impressed with the last 30 years....

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

Warll (1211492) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501163)

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (0, Flamebait)

olddotter (638430) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501365)

Seriously lets look at the record... They totally missed the web. Windows is fabulously successful commercially, but a total flop as a work of science. MS has taught everyone to accept poor quality in software. What is the software in your car, TV, DVD player, etc. were no more reliable than a Windows PC?

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (3, Informative)

Warll (1211492) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501497)

And what if the Space shuttle was as reliable as your car? Yeah its apples to oranges, integrated firmware is not the same as a full OS.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (3, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501545)

Only because you have come to accept poor quality. If people didn't spend 20 years with PC's that were unreliable, they wouldn't accept poor quality in other areas. Now I have to deal with a cell phone that reboots daily, because its "good enough."

There is no fundamental reason why a desk top PC is going to be unreliable. Poor design and quality control of the OS is the cause.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504121)

I don't know what kind of shitty phone you use but my Motorola A1200 Linux smart phone never needs rebooting.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504693)

The Symbian OS crashes like there's no tomorrow. I traded up from a Nokia N95 (Symbian) to an iPhone. Crashes are gone.

I don't doubt your A1200 is the same.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (2, Insightful)

UltraAyla (828879) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504569)

Blaming poor quality software written by other developers on Microsoft is pure blind hatred. Would you blame a defect in a pair of shoes on a competitor?

Bottom line, companies choose their own quality levels. Some are exceptional, some aren't and the median level is set from that. Your cell phone's company made its own choices about quality. There are plenty of phones out there that work just fine (mine included) - don't shift blame.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25502381)

And what if the Space shuttle was as reliable as your car?

that would be good, given that the shuttle exploded and killed its passengers on 2 of 120 trips.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (3, Informative)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501513)

Yeah, um, about that ... you really need to read this book [amazon.com] , paying special attention to who was at war with whom, and for how long. Also of note, is that Bill Gates does not claim that the Internet is just a fad, and never has claimed that the Internet is just a fad. Pay no attention to the fact that Gates said exactly that; so long as he denies it, it never happened!

Anyone who thinks Gates is a "visionary" clearly hasn't read Gates' The Road Behind [amazon.com] .

On a side note, Amazon says:
The Road Ahead (Penguin Readers, Level 3) (Paperback)

ROTFLMAO ... They said Penguin in a M$ context; those kidders!

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (2, Insightful)

Warll (1211492) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501987)

Just a quick question, what would the man have to do in order for you to accept that he is a visionary? Now don't for a second think that I'm calling him one, what I'm saying is that one should not have to invent every useful program/concept in order to qualify as a visionary.

So he missed the internet, big deal, it's not like he was the only one.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502895)

I've read his book. I've heard him on TV. I've read interviews with him. I know exactly how he stole^H^H^H^H^H created innovative products like Windows. His one claim to fame is he thought people would pay for software when everybody else thought it should free with the hardware. WOW!!!! I don't call that innovative so much as greedy. Pretty much every other word out of his mouth is revisionist history based horse$hit. If he said "when Microsoft popularized the Computer Virus ..." at least he would be approaching the truth.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502999)

At the time MS was trying to sell its MSN service as a walled garden as opposed to going straight to the internet. This was an attempt to compete with AOL, prodigy, etc. I wouldnt be surprised if Bill knew that the real fad was these walled garden services, but as always, business first. MSN now is just a website.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25503633)

Okay, I'll bite.

You convey a general impression that you think Bill Gates actually said "640K is enough for anyone". You don't actually say it, but you have this whole 1984 meme and you flame him about that Internet thing, so I think your implication is clear.

So: citation needed. If you think he actually did say it, please point us to a reference showing where he said it.

Yeah, in the days when Compuserve was the place to be, he thought that model was the one to use, and he missed the Internet. I agree. And, if we go back, I could dig up a quote where he said the 286 is a fabulous processor with untapped depths of performance waiting to be wrung out of it. In short, I've seen Bill Gates quotes that we can legitimately poke fun at him about.

But if you are going to go all 1984-We-Have-Always-Been-At-War-With-Oceania on us, pull out the proof, please.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502099)

Get me a link to his denial from sometime before 1983. Having him deny saying something stupid almost a decade after it became painfully obvious that what he said was stupid isn't really good evidence is it?

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

Warll (1211492) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502221)

Is it really that "painfully obvious"? So far my one like beats your zero links. Where did he say that? Why did he say that? Quite frankly I have never seen evidence to support that quote.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502375)

How about showing a link that he did? I mean actual proof, not just an "everyone knows" message board or wiki posting. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, and so far I haven't anyone produce one scrap of evidence backing this claim. In absence of evidence, Bill Gates' words are all we have to go on.

Re:640GB should be enough for anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25502401)

Get me a link to his denial from sometime before 1983. Having him deny saying something stupid almost a decade after it became painfully obvious that what he said was stupid isn't really good evidence is it?

How about the fact that the 640K limit was actually a limitation of the hardware. You may be surprised to learn this, but Bill Gates became famous for making software. He was never in any position to make any declaration about how much memory should or should not be enough for anyone.

If anyone ever did actually say that quote, it would most likely be someone at Intel.

Rich PPL (5, Funny)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501081)

GAWD! First Google with jet fighters... now Bill Gates with think TANKS. What's next?

Re:Rich PPL (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501185)

Hopefully Steve Jobs with a suicide vest [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Rich PPL (4, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 4 years ago | (#25503655)

Yeah but that would be one damn stylish vest I'll bet

Re:Rich PPL (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505327)

Yeah but that would be one damn stylish vest I'll bet

No mod points, but I have to tell you. This is one of the funniest comments I've seen on Slashdot in a LONG damn time ! !

Re:Rich PPL (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501193)

Amazon a-bombs, Ballmer bombers, Slashdot submarines?

Re:Rich PPL (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502553)

First Google with jet fighters... now Bill Gates with think TANKS. What's next?

Balmer's Guided Cruise Chairs[TM].
     

Re:Rich PPL (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502607)

GAWD! First Google with jet fighters... now Bill Gates with think TANKS. What's next?

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Those Fuchikomas are pretty dangerous if you are fighting one, but ordinarily they're too preoccupied with musing on the philosophical implications of their existence as A.I. and the meaning of humanity in an increasingly cybernetic world, or obsessing over data-linking with every intelligent machine they come across to give much thought to practical matters...

IT companies arm up! (-1, Redundant)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501267)

Google buys a fighter jet, Microsoft buys a tank... Is this a new cold war ?
In the meantime, IBM buys a new submarine dubbed "deep blue" while AMD buys an aircraft carrier from the near-bankrupt US Army and renames it "AlMighty Destroyer"
I need popcorn... or sleep...

"It's housed within a Kirkland office" (4, Funny)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501273)

Costco sells offices now?

Re:"It's housed within a Kirkland office" (1)

keytoe (91531) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504323)

Costco sells offices now?

Only if you buy them in cases of 6. It's hard to justify the upfront investment if there's a possibility you won't use them all before the expiration date.

WE MUST PROTECT ourselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501289)

ourselves from the greater evil Microsoft was unable to deliver

Seems sensible (4, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501359)

To be honest, it sounds like a nice retirement project... sit around, drink coffee, come up with a few whacky ideas, shoot the breeze with a few interesting people. If I had his money I'd probably do something similar. Except I'd have it located somewhere a little more interesting. Like Paris, Berlin, Singapore... or all three!

Re:Seems sensible (5, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501455)

An underground lair located in a volcano?

I bet he could afford real sharks.

Re:Seems sensible (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501521)

Sharks with lasers even!

Lets face it sharks without las....ahh forget it.

Re:Seems sensible (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505125)

The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.

Re:Seems sensible (1)

speed of lightx2 (1375759) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502441)

At the same time, it' s no ordinary office space. Visitors say it' s fully stocked with Microsoft technologies, including a Surface tabletop computer with a virtual guestbook application.

and it's very high tech! For some reason, the fact that it's "stocked with Microsoft technologies" makes it sound like a very ordinary office.

Re:Seems sensible (3, Informative)

IronChef (164482) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502693)

I bet it's on the "Kirkland Riviera," the part of downtown Kirkland that's right on the lake. There are even bikinis visible in the parks there during the three warm weeks of the year.

I live nearby. I should polish up my resume. ;)

Re:Seems sensible (1)

Binder (2829) | more than 4 years ago | (#25503747)

Now he will finally have time to perfect Microsoft BoB and that damn paperclip.

Re:Seems sensible (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505205)

damn... you used my paperclip joke.
Anyway, perhaps as a second project, Bill hopes to re-engineer Microsoft's current selection of chairs.

i'll say (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501405)

I for one welcome our new think tank overlords!

First idea from the thinktank will be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25501861)

Bob 2.0

Congrats Bill (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501899)

I hear Ballmer has already thrown in some chairs for his new office.

Re:Congrats Bill (1)

omkhar (167195) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501933)

I hear Ballmer has already thrown in some chairs for his new office.

that was his office warming present you insensitive clod!

no ordinary office... (1)

BattleApple (956701) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501945)

At the same time, it's no ordinary office space. Visitors say it's fully stocked with Microsoft technologies, including a Surface tabletop computer with a virtual guestbook application.

wow. fancy.

Design review to make MS products usable? (0)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501959)

I have about a million items
wrong with microsoft software products
that could use some design review.

Not sure why it didn't happen the
first time, but maybe Bill has some
time on his hands now.

Re:Design review to make MS products usable? (2, Funny)

navyjeff (900138) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502161)

I have about a million items
wrong with microsoft software products
that could use some design review.

Not sure why it didn't happen the
first time, but maybe Bill has some
time on his hands now.

Burma Shave.

nothing profitable outside of Windows, (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#25501967)

and the B&MGF just spends profits from MSFT and even has been said to require Microsoft-only software in computer donations. So no wonder Bill Gates is trying to get others to come up with an idea he can profit from. With Microsoft having been a one-trick pony for all these years, just maybe Bill can find someone else who can come up with a hit.

Knowing the history of Microsoft and Windows, it was not really the product which made the business, it was the business behind the product and that faithful deal with IBM.

So could Bill Gates really build a business around a product which has to stand the test of the market to be successful? Think how Steve Jobs did the iPod and iTunes even though the Mac was still less than 5% of the market. People loved it and when they finally came out with the MS Windows version of iTunes, it opened up a maket of 100s of millions to the product and they came. There was not tying or leveraging of the iPod to a monopoly positioned product.

Personally, I don't think he has it in him do make this work. Just they way he publicly talks about things like speech recognition as the next big thing shows he's not good at doing "the next big thing". And they, Microsoft, have always been followers in tech and only get where they do because they leverage 90% marketshare with Windows. We shall see and he sure does have the bucks to get anything off the ground. And hey, the Spruce Goose got off the ground too. ;-)

LoB

it is Bill Gates who doen't have

MSFT recent earnings report (1)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502889)

Take a look at the most recent MSFT earnings report (which came out yesterday I believe). You can find it on www.microsoft.com the Investor Relations section. Basically, in terms of income (not revenue): Client (aka Windows) made $3.2 billion, Server and Tools made $1.1 billion, MSFT Business Division (I'm assuming this includes Office) made $3.3 billion, and Entertainment (includes Xbox360) made $178 million. Online Services lost $480 million.

Re:nothing profitable outside of Windows, (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504053)

To be fair, it is most likely just the way any true computer nerd/geek will express themselves, when they can afford to do so. What better than their own private lab, to explore their own ideas, as well as investigate new ones. So a self indulgence, likely but, it is still far better than spending it of private jets and mega yachts or on other ostentatious extravagances.

Who knows perhaps they might even explore new ideas in free open source software.

Microsoft is no one-trick pony (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#25504751)

Microsoft has a slight case of the sniffles - its revenues and profits still rising. The one-trick-ponies are in the ICU with double pneumonia.

.
"The test of time?"

We are not so very far distant from the 30th year of MSDOS and Windows. Office 1 was released in 1990. The XBox in 2001.

MSDOS and Windows began as a client OS.

That Microsoft is strongly competitive in the server market leaves the geek with something more to explain.

IOW, "Organised Crime Sets Up in Kirkland" (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502111)

Go on, mod me. I don't care.

Re:IOW, "Organised Crime Sets Up in Kirkland" (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502825)

I'm impressed. Numerologically you user id adds up to 3.
It must be frustrating for Bill personally. Imagine having billions of dollars at your disposal with every toy you want and realise that it's not enough, that you want to sit down with a clean sheet of paper on a new desk with a sharpened pencil and start thinking creatively.
He's had a few years to do this and decided in the end that it's best to 'outsource' the creative aspect by forming a company and hiring creative people for his own personal thinktank.
But how original can he be? Isn't he lock-stepped into his own creation of MS?
Now he wants to develop hardware and software technologies for the future and to leave some kind of legacy for mankind!
With his philosophy of 'buy the competition', strict licensing and corporate kowtowing, what kind of things is he going to come up with? Philanthropic hardware/software?
I'm sort of vaguely interested.
And Bill, if you are reading this, then I need a grant to help develop my Reactionless Force Vector Engine (RFVE).

Think tank? (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502397)

Do they still call it a think tank if they steal all their ideas?
I guess if they sit around and think up better ways to rip people off.
Maybe it'll be like the foundation and he'll just be trying to buy back his twisted little soul with his stolen money.

All your idea are belong to us (1)

kmahan (80459) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502417)

I wonder if the employment contract BG signed with Microsoft had the usual clause of "everything you've previously thought of, are currently thinking of, or will think of belongs to us" ?

Third thing? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#25502731)

1. Start company
2. Spend lots of money
3. ???

Though, seriously, I shouldn't criticize. We would all be better off if the third thing in Bill's next company weren't 'profit'.

Re:Third thing? (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 4 years ago | (#25505031)

This is Gates we're talking about, it should go

1. Start a company
3. Profit
3. ...?
4 Spend massive amounts of money.

He should make a distro (1)

Xamusk (702162) | more than 4 years ago | (#25503893)

He could follow Mark Shuttleworth's adventure in the Linux world.
Maybe an MSbuntu?

Is it just me... (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505523)

Does anyone else think it's rather arrogant of Bill Gates to assume that he has been a catalyst twice?

Once I'll give him. Microsoft actually made the PC something that most people could use (and afford). I don't think IBM was going to go there; in fact, they tried to stop it with the PS/2.

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