Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Arise Sir Bill

Bill Gates is to receive an honourary knighthood by the Queen. At risk of opening a huge can of worms, I have to say that I think this is a good thing.
Think about it. Bill Gates isn’t the most popular man around, nor is Microsoft the most popular company around. We all deride Windows, but if it really was as rubbish as some people make it out to be Microsoft wouldn’t command so much of the market. MS got to where it was today largely by having a good product at a good price. It wasn’t the best product, but it worked for most people and was cheaper than other alternatives. Sure, some of MS’s business practices haven’t been entirely kosher but even if it had played by the rules I still think it would be a major driving force in the world of IT today.
What Bill Gates has achieved with Microsoft in such a short space of time is pretty amazing. Think where computers would be today if it weren’t for Microsoft. Think how many times you use a Microsoft product in your day – for some, that might be 0 but for many that will be several times.
I’m not a member of the Microsoft fan club by any means, and I’m glad to see that better alternatives are becoming more and more available, in the form of cheaper Macs and easier-to-use Linux distros. But I don’t think you can deny that Gates is deserving of this kind of recognition. He’s also donated huge sums of money to charity, including $750million to providing vaccines for children in developing countries.
Note: Although Gates will be receiving an honourary knighthood, as he is not a citizen of a British Commonwealth country he won’t be able to call himself Sir Bill Gates. So the title of this post is probably innacurate, but, heh.

6 Comments

  1. I’m staying out of this one. My immediate thoughts are of a negative nature as regards Mr Gates and his company, but then we are talking about a Knighthood, the relevance and meaning of which doesn’t stand up to any arguments.

  2. right.
    The only reason this is happening (I believe) is because Microsoft essentially support the Irish economy, as Ireland offers M. a tax haven. If you add to that the efforts that microsoft are putting into strong arming and otherwise co-ercing European Commission officials into passing software patent laws for Europe, I simply don’t see how you can view Gates ‘Knighthood’ as anything other than fawning obsequiance.

  3. It’s ‘honorary’ btw.
    And does anyone else have Bill & Ted flashbacks when they hear the full title he’s receiving?

  4. Bill Gate to be Knighted

    Neil Turner points out an article about Bill Gates receiving an honorary knighthood in a private ceremony from the Queen. Since Mr. Gates is not a citizen of the British Empire, he will not retain the right to add the prefix “Sir” to his name. Also…

  5. Alfie, what does Ireland have to do with anything. BTW there are Irish citizens who prefix their name with ‘Sir’ so I wouldn’t be so sure about the Commonwealth thing.

  6. > Sure, some of MS’s business practices haven’t been entirely kosher but even if it had played by the rules I still think it would be a major driving force in the world of IT today.
    Congratulations on being part of the sicko American way of life.