For a highly motivated learner, it's not like knowledge is secret and somehow the Internet made it not secret. It just made knowledge easy to find. If you're a motivated enough learner, books are pretty good.
We all sort of do want incentives for creative people to still exist at a certain level. You know, maybe rock stars shouldn't make as much; who knows? But you want as much creativity to take place in the future as took place in the past.
In almost every area of human endeavor, the practice improves over time. That hasn't been the case for teaching.
When a country has the skill and self-confidence to take action against its biggest problems, it makes outsiders eager to be a part of it.
People are always coming up to me and saying, 'I heard your dad's speech, and it's really great.' And they'll mention some place I didn't even know my dad was going to.
What's amazing is, if young people understood how doing well in school makes the rest of their life so much interesting, they would be more motivated. It's so far away in time that they can't appreciate what it means for their whole life.
Everyone needs a coach. It doesn't matter whether you're a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.
I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm - not all - that religion used to fill.
The common thread for everything I do is this idea of a Web-services architecture. What does that mean? It means taking components of software and systems and having them be self-describing, so that you can aim them, ask them what their capabilities are, and communicate with them using a standard protocol.
According to Ethiopian custom, parents wait to name a baby because children often die in the first weeks of life.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't spend a whole lot of time following soccer. But as I have traveled around the world to better understand global development and health, I've learned that soccer is truly universal. No matter where I go, that's what kids are playing. That's what people are talking about.
Nigeria has moved into low-middle-income, but their north is very poor, and the health care systems there have broken down.
In terms of mathematics textbooks, why can't you have the scale of a national market? Right now, we have a Texas textbook that's different from a California textbook that's different from a Massachusetts textbook. That's very expensive.
Until we're educating every kid in a fantastic way, until every inner city is cleaned up, there is no shortage of things to do.
The outpouring of support from millions of people in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti has been impressive.
Historically, privacy was almost implicit, because it was hard to find and gather information. But in the digital world, whether it's digital cameras or satellites or just what you click on, we need to have more explicit rules - not just for governments but for private companies.
A first-generation fortune is the most likely to be given away, but once a fortune is inherited it's less likely that a very high percentage will go back to society.
You can always think of something like the Xbox 360 as a super set-top box that can do everything the set-top box does, but then have the graphics to do the games as well.
Whether it's Google or Apple or free software, we've got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.
You know capitalism is this wonderful thing that motivates people, it causes wonderful inventions to be done. But in this area of diseases of the world at large, it's really let us down.
People want to watch whatever video they want to watch whenever they want to watch. If you provision your Internet infrastructure adequately, you can do that.
Certainly I'll never be able to put myself in the situation that people growing up in the less developed countries are in. I've gotten a bit of a sense of it by being out there and meeting people and talking with them.
One thing I've always loved about the culture at Microsoft is there is nobody who is tougher on us, in terms of what we need to learn and do better, than the people in the company itself. You can walk down these halls, and they'll tell you, 'We need to do usability better, push this or that frontier.'
It's OK for China to invent cancer drugs that cure patients in the United States. We want them to catch up. But as the leader, we want to keep setting a very, very high standard. We don't want them to catch up because we're slowing down or, even worse, going into reverse.
In almost every job now, people use software and work with information to enable their organisation to operate more effectively.
There are people who don't like capitalism, and people who don't like PCs. But there's no-one who likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft.
The misconception that aid falls straight into the hands of dictators largely stems from the Cold War era.
I was lucky to be involved and get to contribute to something that was important, which is empowering people with software.
A lot of the things that will really improve the world fortunately aren't dependent on Washington doing something different.
Any version of Windows is going to have lots of great new things that people use and things that are tough.
Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you because bad news is a headline, and gradual improvement is not.
Whether I'm at the office, at home, or on the road, I always have a stack of books I'm looking forward to reading.
The world has been very careful to pick very few diseases for eradication, because it is very tough.
The spread of online information isn't just good for charities. It's also good for donors. You can go to a site like Charity Navigator, which evaluates nonprofits on their financial health as well as the amount of information they share about their work.
I believe the returns on investment in the poor are just as exciting as successes achieved in the business arena, and they are even more meaningful!
If you have 50 different plug types, appliances wouldn't be available and would be very expensive. But once an electric outlet becomes standardized, many companies can design appliances, and competition ensues, creating variety and better prices for consumers.
Digital reading will completely take over. It's lightweight and it's fantastic for sharing. Over time it will take over.
If all my bridge coach ever told me was that I was 'satisfactory,' I would have no hope of ever getting better. How would I know who was the best? How would I know what I was doing differently?
What destroys more self-confidence than any other educational thing in America is being assigned to some remedial math when you get into some college, and then it's not taught very well and you end up with this sense of, 'Hey, I can't really figure those things out.'
Although I don't have a prescription for what others should do, I know I have been very fortunate and feel a responsibility to give back to society in a very significant way.
Security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit; your machine can be taken over totally.
Innovation is a good thing. The human condition - put aside bioterrorism and a few footnotes - is improving because of innovation.
Like my friend Warren Buffett, I feel particularly lucky to do something every day that I love to do. He calls it 'tap-dancing to work.'
Bitcoin is mostly about anonymous transactions, and I don't think over time that's a good way to go. I'm a huge believe in digital currency... but doing it on an anonymous basis I think that leads to some abuses, so I'm not involved in Bitcoin.
I would counsel people to go to college, because it's one of the best times in your life in terms of who you meet and develop a broad set of intellectual skills.
In energy, you have to plan and do research way in advance, sometimes decades in advance to get a new system that's safer, doesn't require us to go around the world to get all our oil.
I've been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that's kind of a religious belief. I mean, it's at least a moral belief.
The nuclear industry has this amazing record, even equipment from generations one and two. But nuclear mishaps tend to come in these big events - Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Fukushima - so it's more visible.
Governments will always play a huge part in solving big problems. They set public policy and are uniquely able to provide the resources to make sure solutions reach everyone who needs them. They also fund basic research, which is a crucial component of the innovation that improves life for everyone.
The difference between a stranger sending you a message that you might be interested in at a very low volume level, no repetition, just sending it to very few people, and that being done as spam - those things get close enough that you want to be careful never to filter out something that's legitimate.
At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top - I'm afraid that's not quite right.
The way to be successful in the software world is to come up with breakthrough software, and so whether it's Microsoft Office or Windows, its pushing that forward. New ideas, surprising the marketplace, so good engineering and good business are one in the same.
The truth of Moore's law has made remarkable things possible. On the software side, I think natural user interfaces in all their forms are equally significant.
I think it's fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we've ever created. They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.
My son likes to go see mines and electric plants, or the Large Hadron Collider, and we've had a chance to see a lot of interesting stuff.
Teaching's hard! You need different skills: positive reinforcement, keeping students from getting bored, commanding their attention in a certain way.
China and the U.S. need each other very badly. Yes, we should argue about some things, but it's not an 'us versus them,' it's an 'us and them' type scenario.
Polio's pretty special because once you get an eradication, you no longer have to spend money on it; it's just there as a gift for the rest of time.
I'm an investor in a number of biotech companies, partly because of my incredible enthusiasm for the great innovations they will bring.
There's always been a lot of information about your activities. Every phone number you dial, every credit-card charge you make. It's long since passed that a typical person doesn't leave footprints.
The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.
The part of uranium that's fissile - when you hit it with a neutron, it splits in two - is about 0.7%. The reactors we have today are burning that 0.7%.
Software substitution, whether it's for drivers or waiters or nurses - it's progressing. Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set.
Security is, I would say, our top priority because for all the exciting things you will be able to do with computers - organizing your lives, staying in touch with people, being creative - if we don't solve these security problems, then people will hold back.
Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.
Certainly there's a phenomenon around open source. You know free software will be a vibrant area. There will be a lot of neat things that get done there.
Apple has always leveraged technologies that the PC industry has driven to critical mass - the bus structures, the graphics cards, the peripherals, the connection networks, things like that - so they're kind of in the PC ecosystem and kind of not.
Personally, I'd like to see more of our leaders take a technocratic approach to solving our biggest problems.
Even with cameras being very cheap, one thing that researchers noticed was that you look really bad in a videoconference image because the lighting is bad and you get shadows and things.
You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity.
Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.
The malaria parasite has been killing children and sapping the strength of whole populations for tens of thousands of years. It is impossible to calculate the harm malaria has done to the world.
China has many successful entrepreneurs and business people. I hope that more people of insight will put their talents to work to improve the lives of poor people in China and around the world, and seek solutions for them.
3D is a way of organizing things, particularly as we're getting much more media information on the computer, a lot more choices, a lot more navigation than we've ever had before.
If people want capital gains taxed more like the highest rate on income, that's a good discussion. Maybe that's the way to help close the deficit.
You're never going to get the amount of CO2 emitted to go down unless you deal with the one magic metric, which is CO2 per kilowatt-hour.
It's the poorer people in tropical zones who will get really hit by climate change - as well as some ecosystems, which nobody wants to see disappear.
Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.
If you're low-income in the United States, you have a higher chance of going to jail than you do of getting a four-year degree. And that doesn't seem entirely fair.
Philanthropy should be taking much bigger risks that business. If these are easy problems, business and government can come in and solve them.
The ideal thing would be to have a 100 percent effective AIDS vaccine. And to have broad usage of that vaccine. That would literally break the epidemic.
I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.
The world at large is less inequitable today than at any time in history. Number of people in abject poverty, as a percentage, is at all-time low.
The potential financial reward for building the 'next Windows' is so great that there will never be a shortage of new technologies seeking to challenge it.
I'm sorry that we have to have a Washington presence. We thrived during our first 16 years without any of this. I never made a political visit to Washington and we had no people here. It wasn't on our radar screen. We were just making great software.
SPAM is taking e-mail, which is a wonderful tool, and exploiting the idea that it's very inexpensive to send mail.
Over time, yes, countries will need to look at specific GMO products like they look at drugs today, where they don't approve them all. They look hard at the safety and the testing. And they make sure that the benefits far outweigh any of the downsides.
We are in the throes of a transition where every publication has to think of their digital strategy.
The Green Revolution focused on the big three - maize, rice and wheat - and the Green Revolution did not adapt the big three to African conditions, other than South Africa, as much as they should have.
When you revolutionize education, you're taking the very mechanism of how people be smarter and do new things, and you're priming the pump for so many incredible things.
I'm not big on to-do lists. Instead, I use e-mail and desktop folders and my online calendar. So when I walk up to my desk, I can focus on the e-mails I've flagged and check the folders that are monitoring particular projects and particular blogs.
In ninth grade, I came up with a new form of rebellion. I hadn't been getting good grades, but I decided to get all A's without taking a book home. I didn't go to math class, because I knew enough and had read ahead, and I placed within the top 10 people in the nation on an aptitude exam.
Oh, I think there are a lot of people who would be buying and selling online today that go up there and they get the information, but then when it comes time to type in their credit card they think twice because they're not sure about how that might get out and what that might mean for them.
I actually thought that it would be a little confusing during the same period of your life to be in one meeting when you're trying to make money, and then go to another meeting where you're giving it away. I mean is it gonna erode your ability, you know, to make money? Are you gonna somehow get confused about what you're trying to do?
Innovations that are guided by smallholder farmers, adapted to local circumstances, and sustainable for the economy and environment will be necessary to ensure food security in the future.
I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars; there's a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that.
My experience of malaria was just taking anti-malarials, which give you strange dreams, because I don't want to get malaria.
In inner-city, low-income communities of color, there's such a high correlation in terms of educational quality and success.
The Global Fund is a central player in the progress being achieved on HIV, TB and malaria. It channels resources to help countries fight these diseases. I believe in its impact because I have seen it firsthand.
If you go back to 1800, everybody was poor. I mean everybody. The Industrial Revolution kicked in, and a lot of countries benefited, but by no means everyone.
Outlook 2003 did create the idea of search folders and the whole Longhorn philosophy. You can see it at work in search folders, where instead of having to drop things into individual folders, and things exist only in one folder, you create these search folders and you have the criteria for the search folder.
People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn't they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines... There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.
By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer.
In the long run, your human capital is your main base of competition. Your leading indicator of where you're going to be 20 years from now is how well you're doing in your education system.
On my desk I have three screens, synchronized to form a single desktop. I can drag items from one screen to the next. Once you have that large display area, you'll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity.
Measles will always show you if someone isn't doing a good job on vaccinations. Kids will start dying of measles.
I remember thinking quite logically that I didn't want to spoil my children with wealth and so that I would create a foundation, but not knowing exactly what it would focus on.
I have a particular relationship with Vinod Khosla because he's got a lot of very interesting science-based energy startups.
I meet people overseas that know five languages - that the only language I'm comfortable in is English.
Steve Jobs' ability to focus in on a few things that count, get people who get user interface right, and market things as revolutionary are amazing things.
Well I think any author or musician is anxious to have legitimate sales of their products, partly so they're rewarded for their success, partly so they can go on and do new things.
I have seen firsthand that agricultural science has enormous potential to increase the yields of small farmers and lift them out of hunger and poverty.
Now, we put out a lot of carbon dioxide every year, over 26 billion tons. For each American, it's about 20 tons. For people in poor countries, it's less than one ton. It's an average of about five tons for everyone on the planet. And, somehow, we have to make changes that will bring that down to zero.
We all know that there are these exemplars who can take the toughest students, and they'll teach them two-and-a-half years of math in a single year.
My mom was on the United Way group that decides how to allocate the money and looks at all the different charities and makes the very hard decisions about where that pool of funds is going to go.
I've always been amazed by Da Vinci, because he worked out science on his own. He would work by drawing things and writing down his ideas. Of course, he designed all sorts of flying machines way before you could actually build something like that.
This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.
I've always been interested in science - one of my favourite books is James Watson's 'Molecular Biology of the Gene.'
In 80% of the world, energy will be bought where it is economic. You have to help the rest of the world get energy at a reasonable price.
Employers have decided that having the breadth of knowledge that's associated with a four-year degree is often something they want to see in the people they give that job to.
By 2018, an estimated 63 percent of all new U.S. jobs will require workers with an education beyond high school. For our young people to get those jobs, they first need to graduate from high school ready to start a postsecondary education.
I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.
Research shows that there is only half as much variation in student achievement between schools as there is among classrooms in the same school. If you want your child to get the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.
I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one. And I'm still fanatical, but now I'm a little less fanatical.
Now everyone takes it for granted that you can look up movie reviews, track locations, and order stuff online. I wish there was a way we could take it away from people for a day so they could remember what it was like without it.
By the time we see that climate change is really bad, your ability to fix it is extremely limited... The carbon gets up there, but the heating effect is delayed. And then the effect of that heat on the species and ecosystem is delayed. That means that even when you turn virtuous, things are actually going to get worse for quite a while.
When Ford sells a car, a dealer isn't allowed to take out the engine and put a different one in. When a newsstand sells the Washington Post, no one can go to the newsstand and pay them to rip out the classified section and put their own classified section in - if they could, they would do so.
Money has always been in politics. And I'm not sure you'd want money to be completely out of politics.
The U.S. couldn't even get rid of Saddam Hussein. And we all know that the EU is just a passing fad. They'll be killing each other again in less than a year. I'm sick to death of all these fascist lawsuits.
The most interesting biofuel efforts avoid using land that's expensive and has high opportunity costs. They do this by getting onto other types of land, or taking advantage of byproducts that aren't used in the food chain today, or by intercropping.
There's 20 companies that I have investments in - some batteries, some solar-thermal, one big nuclear thing. We need hundreds and hundreds of companies like that, so that in a 20-year time frame we really are starting to change the energy infrastructure.
You have to have a certain realism that government is a pretty blunt instrument, and without the constant attention of highly qualified people with the right metrics, it will fall into not doing things very well.
Today, we're very dependent on cheap energy. We just take it for granted - all the things you have in the house, the way industry works.
Whenever you have multiple devices including multiple PCs that you want to share information with, it's always been a bit complicated.
Living on $6 a day means you have a refrigerator, a TV, a cell phone, your children can go to school. That's not possible on $1 a day.
Antitrust is the way that the government promotes markets when there are market failures. It has nothing to do with the idea of free information.
When you want to do your homework, fill out your tax return, or see all the choices for a trip you want to take, you need a full-size screen.
Two out of every five people on Earth today owe their lives to the higher crop outputs that fertilizer has made possible.
If African farmers can use improved seeds and better practices to grow more crops and get them to market, then millions of families can earn themselves a better living and a better life.
The fight against AIDS in China is already well underway. The Chinese government and other funders are providing major support, and they'll continue to bear primary responsibility for delivering prevention and treatment.
With tech companies, whoever's the leader is always questioned, you know. They say, 'Is this the end of them?' And - there's more - more times people think that's the case than it really is the case.
If you've found some way to educate yourself about engineering, stocks, or whatever it is, good employers will have some type of exam or interview and see a sample of your work.
Eventually we'll be able to sequence the human genome and replicate how nature did intelligence in a carbon-based system.
Maintaining a consistent platform also helps improve product support - a significant problem in the software industry.
To create a new standard, it takes something that's not just a little bit different; it takes something that's really new and really captures people's imagination, and the Macintosh, of all the machines I've ever seen, is the only one that meets that standard.
Globalization has made copper and other minerals more valuable, and Ghana and Kenya have recently discovered mineral resources.
I think the thing we see is that as people are using video games more, they tend to watch passive TV a bit less. And so using the PC for the Internet, playing video games, is starting to cut into the rather unbelievable amount of time people spend watching TV.
I think the positive competition between states in India is one of the most positive dynamics that the country has.
I think that society has to be careful not to shift all of its resources to the elderly versus the young.
The next time someone tells you we can trim the budget by cutting aid, I hope you will ask whether it will come at the cost of more people dying.
There's no such thing as going to a soapbox and saying, 'The government's corrupt,' and not having the intelligence service see your face. In the digital world, that can be done.
The idea that you encourage companies to take their innovative thinkers and think about the most needy - even beyond the market opportunities - that's something that appropriately ought to be done.
The belief that the world is getting worse, that we can't solve extreme poverty and disease, isn't just mistaken. It is harmful.
Like any well designed software product, Windows is designed, developed and tested as an integrated whole.
In poor countries, we still need better ways to measure the effectiveness of the many government workers providing health services. They are the crucial link bringing tools such as vaccines and education to the people who need them most. How well trained are they? Are they showing up to work?
Harnessing steam power required many innovations, as William Rosen chronicles in the book 'The Most Powerful Idea in the World.'
We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.
I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know.
If you're a person struggling to eat and stay healthy, you might have heard about Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali, but you'll never have heard of Bill Gates.
Well the protester I think is a very powerful thing. It's basically a mechanism of democracy that, along with capitalism, scientific innovation, those things have built the modern world. And it's wonderful that the new tools have empowered that protestor so that state secrets, bad developments are not hidden anymore.
It's possible - you can never know - that the universe exists only for me. If so, it's sure going well for me, I must admit.
Countries which receive aid do graduate. Within a generation, Korea went from being a big recipient to being a big aid donor. China used to get quite a bit of aid; now it's aid-neutral.
In American math classes, we teach a lot of concepts poorly over many years. In the Asian systems they teach you very few concepts very well over a few years.
I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.
The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of. Amazing developments in communications, collaboration and efficiencies. New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice people who would never have been heard.
The only thing I understand deeply, because in my teens I was thinking about it, and every year of my life, is software. So I'll never be hands-on on anything except software.
Helping convene global stakeholders to establish a set of measurable, actionable and consensus-built goals focused on extreme poverty is invaluable.
Eventually you won't think of 'the Internet business.' You'll think of it more like news, weather, sports, but even that taxonomy isn't clear.
The year I was born, 1955, the first big disease-eradication program in the world was declared for malaria. After about a decade of work, they realized that, at least in the tropical areas, they did not have the tools to get it done.
The Gates Foundation has learned that two questions can predict how much kids learn: 'Does your teacher use class time well?' and, 'When you're confused, does your teacher help you get straightened out?'
One of the statistics that always amazes me is the approval of the Chinese government, not elected, is over 80 percent. The approval of the U.S. government, fully elected, is 19 percent. Well, we elected these people and they didn't elect those people. Isn't it supposed to be different? Aren't we supposed to like the people that we elected?
There is a difference between what technology enables and what historical business practices enable.
In a budget, how important is art versus music versus athletics versus computer programming? At the end of the day, some of those trade-offs will be made politically.
Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren't so exciting.
The typical project design time for a large company like IBM - and they keep track of this - is a little over four years.
China is certainly an important player in the global economy, and a widespread AIDS epidemic would threaten that growth.
Given how few young people actually read the newspaper, it's a good thing they'll be reading a newspaper on a screen.
Windows is probably the most important product in the entire PC industry. Everything we do in terms of supporting touch, new hardware, accessibility has incredible impact.
Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe ten percent to business thinking. Business isn't that complicated. I wouldn't want to put it on my business card.
The trouble with energy farming is that the energy isn't always where you want to use it, and it isn't always when you want to use it.
People are going to buy cheap fertilizer so they can grow enough crops to feed themselves, which will be increasingly difficult with climate change.
OK, I have a nickname. My family calls me 'Trey' because I'm William the third. My dad has the same name, which is always confusing because my dad is well known, and I'm also known.
Should there be cameras everywhere in outdoor streets? My personal view is having cameras in inner cities is a very good thing. In the case of London, petty crime has gone down. They catch terrorists because of it. And if something really bad happens, most of the time you can figure out who did it.
If you're using first-class land for biofuels, then you're competing with the growing of food. And so you're actually spiking food prices by moving energy production into agriculture.
Drones overall will be more impactful than I think people recognize, in positive ways to help society.
Microsoft Research has a thing called the Sense Cam that, as you walk around, it's taking photos all the time. And the software will filter and find the ones that are interesting without having to think, 'Let's get out the camera and get that shot.' You just have that, and software helps you pick what you want.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
The Center for Disease Control started out as the malaria war control board based in Atlanta. Partly because the head of Coke had some people out to his plantation, and they got infected with malaria, and partly 'cause all the military recruits were coming down and having a higher fatality rate from malaria while training than in the field.
Internet TV and the move to the digital approach is quite revolutionary. TV has historically has been a broadcast medium with everybody picking from a very finite number of channels.
We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well.
No one person controls Microsoft. The board and the shareholders decide whether they want to have me as CEO.
In K-12, almost everybody goes to local schools. Universities are a bit different because kids actually do pick the university. The bizarre thing, though, is that the merit of university is actually how good the students going in are: the SAT scores of the kids going in.
It is hard to overstate how valuable it is to have all the incredible tools that are used for human disease to study plants.
There is no doubt that as an economy grows in a great way like India has, that you have to step back and change your tax systems, because you start to get more disparities of wealth.
There's no magic line between an application and an operating system that some bureaucrat in Washington should draw.
In order for the United States to do the right things for the long term, it appears to be helpful for us to have the prospect of humiliation. Sputnik helped us fund good science - really good science: the semiconductor came out of it.
The main thing that's missing in energy is an incentive to create things that are zero-CO2-emitting and that have the right scale and reliability characteristics.
The worst pandemic in modern history was the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed tens of millions of people. Today, with how interconnected the world is, it would spread faster.
When Paul Allen and I started Microsoft over 30 years ago, we had big dreams about software. We had dreams about the impact it could have.
Being flooded with information doesn't mean we have the right information or that we're in touch with the right people.
There are websites that any government wants to block. The truth about the Internet is that it's extremely hard to block anything - extremely hard. You'll never get perfect blocking.
I'm a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they're interested in.
The nuclear approach I'm involved in is called a traveling-wave reactor, which uses waste uranium for fuel. There's a lot of things that have to go right for that dream to come true - many decades of building demo plants, proving the economics are right. But if it does, you could have cheaper energy with no CO2 emissions.
I have a nice office. I have a nice house... So I'm not denying myself some great things. I just don't happen to have expensive hobbies.
Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity - the same kind of focus and skills that building a business requires.
Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year, and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year.
I understand how every healthy child, every new road, puts a country on a better path, but instability and war will arise from time to time, and I'm not an expert on how you get out of those things.