Bill Gates puts up with us, having granted us three interviews in the past three and a half years. It's an intense experience: Bill isn't always fond of making eye contact, and is known to snap at reporters who ask dumb questions. After all, he's not just the Andrew Carnegie—or Emperor Palpatine—of his time. He's also a guy who gets interviewed a hell of a lot, and doesn't stand for bush-league Q&A. But we have always enjoyed the guys company and even have had the opportunity to make him laugh a few times. Here's a quick look back at our three Bill interviews, in a Retromodo re-run fashion:
Joel Johnson at CES 2005:
I didn't quite know what to think of it, but I wasn't going to turn it down. I would ask the hard questions: Does Ballmer really eat children? Can I swim in your Money Bin? I didn't quite muster the balls to ask those, though, and instead acted like I had real questions or something.
Blam at CES 2007:
I'd asked him about the mug shot [from his Albuquerque arrest]and at first he looked a bit apprehensive, but answered. Apparently, Bill loves fast cars. In 1978, he told us, he'd gotten 3 speeding tickets on his drive to move up to Seattle. Two from the same cop. It was a Porsche 911 from that era.
Wilson at CES 2008:
When it came to be my turn, I had the warnings and admonitions of Blam to guide me. And sure enough, he didn't look me in the eye at first, and though he was accommodating with my nervous stuttering, I could tell he was judging the substance of my questions. Mercifully, he little by little began looking more directly at me, and he lit up with answers, even letting his guard down enough to comment frankly about Windows, and the difference between Apple and Microsoft.
Here's the vid itself, plus various excerpts, shot and digitally mastered by our own Chris Mascari:
Part 2 - On his changing public image
Part 3 - What he worries about most