Some of the most famous quotes supposedly attributed to Microsoft's CEO are in fact urban legends and were never uttered by the great man himself. For example, Gates is supposed to have said "640K ought to be enough for anybody", in 1981 regarding the 640KB memory in IBM's PC.
Gates himself has even rubbished claims he uttered the immortal words, saying in an interview: "I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time."
We've rounded up the CEO's best comments and quotes and checked them with archives to make sure they're not just urban legends.
Playboy magazine interview, 1994
"If I were a guy who just wanted to win, I would have already moved on to another arena. If I'd had some set idea of a finish line, don't you think I would have crossed it years ago?"
From his book The Road Ahead, 1996
"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."
Speaking in San Diego, Sep 26 1997
"I wish I got a chance to write more code. I do mess around. They don't let my code go in shipping products. They haven't done that for about eight years now. And when I say I'm going to come in and write this over the weekend, they don't really believe me quite as much as they used to."
Playboy interview, 1994
"Well, remember, I don't own dollars. I own Microsoft stock. So it's only through multiplication that you convert what I own into some scary number."
Speaking in Seattle, 2006
"I wish I wasn't [the world's richest man]. There is nothing good that comes out of that."
Speaking at advance08 - the Future of Media, Redmond, Washington, May 21 2008
"I have to say, it's kind of fun to be the underdog (when it comes to search)... We've done more on this to build a great team then on any effort I can remember.”
Harvard Conference on Internet Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 29 1996
"And so it's fair to say what's going on today is like the arrival of the printing press, or the telephone or the radio. And these communications tools did have pervasive effects. They made the world a smaller place. They allowed science to be done more efficiently. They allowed politics to be done a new way. They had a modest impact on how people were educated, but people were optimistic that they would make a very big change. Now, the personal computer connected to the internet is far more powerful in many ways than any of these other communications devices."
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