Bill Gates Visits Reddit, Talks About Windows 8, Steve Jobs and More

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2013 10:53 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Bill Gates made a virtual visit to the social news site Reddit Monday to host an "Ask Me Anything" chat, allowing users to get the inside scoop on everything from the Microsoft co-founder's philanthropic work to his bucket list.


Gates answered questions live as Reddit users flooded the thread with more than 10,000 comments seeking answers to questions ranging from world poverty related to his charitable foundation to his preference for tacos or burritos.

Gates runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in which the mission is to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally.

Interesting tidbits from the "AMA" thread include:

• He likes to listen to Weezer, U2, and Spinal Tap.

• His favorite book of the last decade is Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature," which Gates calls "a long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time."

• He loves playing tennis and the card game bridge.

• He also tours strange places. "I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona)," he wrote.

Gates also commented on Windows 8, said he doesn’t code as much as he’d like, and admitted his surprise that new languages haven't come along to make programming easier.

The last item on Gates' bucket list? "Don’t die."

Gates isn't the first high-profile person to do an AMA. Previous "AMA" hosts include President Barack Obama, Snoop Dogg, Roger Goodell and Dave Grohl. Here are other highlights.

On the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"Our goals are focused on helping the poorest (globally) and improving education (in the US). We spend half of our money on global health. One metric to look at is reducing the number of children (under 5) who die. My annual letter talks about the amazing progress that has been made on this. Amazingly as health improves families choose to have less kids so paradoxically population growth goes DOWN as you improve health helping with almost every issue—from stability to the environment."


On the cheapest thing that gives him the most pleasure

"Kids. Cheap cheeseburgers. Open Course Ware courses."


On his worst fear for the future of the world

"Hopefully we won't have terrorists using nuclear weapons or biological weapons. We should make sure that stays hard. I am disappointed more isn't being done to reduce carbon emissions. Governments need to spend more on basic energy R&D to make sure we get cheap non-CO2 emitting sources as soon as possible. Overall I am pretty optimistic. Things are a lot better than they were 200 years ago."


On what he would be doing if Microsoft hadn't taken off

"If the microprocessor had NOT come along I am not sure what I would have done. Maybe medicine or theoretical math but it is hard to say."


On Steve Jobs

"He and I respected each other. Our biggest joint project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications. I saw Steve regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away."

Related stories:

Bill Gates in Abu Dhabi: I'll Never Run for Office

Microsoft Retools Office for Touch Screens, Web Use 

Bill Gates Drops $600K on Florida Rental

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