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Bill Gates talked about the Surface Book, his thoughts on VR, and more in his latest Reddit AMA

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held his fourth Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session earlier today, and he answered a bunch of community questions on a wide variety of topics.

Here's just a few things he discussed. One person asked him about his own personal computer specs. Gates replied:

"I just recently switched to the Surface Book. I only detach the screen a few times a week and I like the keyboard better than my previous Surface."

Another person asked him about his opinions on the current virtual reality trend. Gates stated:

"VR is the extreme case of AR when nothing from the real world gets mixed in. It can be tricky if you are walking around that you might run into things. Mixed systems which seems like VR but when you might hit something it shows you that seem better than pure VR. So I don't think these two things will stay as separate as they are now."

One person asked Gates about his famous goal of seeing a computer in every home, which the Reddit member called an "easy goal". This person asked Gates what kind of new goal would he have if he was to start over. Gates wrote:

"I think it looks easier in retrospect than it did at the time. People thought we were a bit crazy - even leaders in the industry like Ken Olsen said they didn't need a computer at home. Being young allowed us to think about computers in a different way. Today the challenge is to make computers more intelligent. Software still doesn't understand what thing I should pay attention to next - in fact the proliferation of various tools like texting and email and notifications mean the user has a lot of complexity to deal with. Eventually the software will understand what you should pay attention to by knowing the context and learning about your preferences."

One person asked, "Mr. Gates, can we please have another Age of Empires?". He replied at first with:

"I will look into this. How many empires do you need?"

When this question rose to the top, Gates stated:

"I think you did - sorry I can't deliver an Empire (or an Age) easily."

Check out Bill Gates' Reddit AMA

45 Comments
  • I want a new Age of Empires too Mr. Bill Gates! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Haha would be nice! I still play AoE 2 HD, my favorite. Not played 3 much, is it any good? Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • It's nice but AOEII is still the best. Age of Mythology is also worth checking ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Lot of mechanics of gameplay has been altered in AOE3. Much better graphics. But i can't play longer than 1-2 hours. I get bored soon. AoE2 HD is better, imho.
  • 3 had its moments, but there were far fewer units available - and no walls! It was fun to mod though - there was a plain text file you could just open to tweak unit specifications and even their appearance. It didn't take long for me to make flying bombards that shot exploding plant pots :D    
  • Would Microsoft be better or worse off with Bill Gates still in charge?
  • It depends on how you interpret that occurrence. If you mean he never stepped down, I think they'd be better, as Ballmer's reign had a lot of missteps. However, if you mean he was Ballmer's replacement, I think they'd be worse-off. He kind of said it himself: "Being young allowed us to think about computers in a different way." Young people drive technology forward, I think. When you're 2-3 generations removed from those people, I think you become short-sighted. You likely don't communicate as well with the younger people to see cultural trends. There's some real benefit in having younger people at the top, or at least people willing to listen to the young. I'm not saying Gates can't be someone like that, just that I think the company's doing a decent-enough job pushing forward tech, and it's hard to say how he'd be better at it when he himself kind of says that age is an enemy to advancement.
  • Well said..
  • That all depends on the person. There are older people who have always interacted with younger people, and because of that they are aware of cultural; trends. I'm a high school techjnology teacher. If you're going to teach and be effective, you have to keep those connections. That said, I don't thi9nk MS would be better with Gates, but not for that reason. I think he was ready for new and different challenges in his life that would not have been found at Microsoft.
  • Better. Which is why it's doing better under Nadella than it was under Ballmer. Gates is no longer CEO or President... But he is "tech advisor" to Nadella which is basically another way of saying he's behind every major decision Nadella takes but can skip all the boring corporate stuff. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree with you DJCBS!
  • +1520
  • Worse, because it needed a different passion. His passion went very very far, but the company needed a new direction and so did Bill. Seems like it was the right move for everyone. Ballmer took over at a time of introspection in the technical world. The down side for Microsoft was that that period saw the graduation of a lot of people who were brought up on computers at home. If was the first time and only time that will ever happen, and innovation was leaking out of everything. MS just wasn't ready for that competition.
  • Wow, thats a lot of outfits. Where does he get the money for all that?
  • Lol
  • I would like Flight Simulator successor.... Sent from my Lumia 950
  • That would be great! Sent from Windows 95
  • I agree.
    Sent from my Macinto...I mean Xbox One.
  • It's funny how he always gets lots of reddit gold for his AMAs.
  • It's also not common for the richest man on Earth to spend his time answering random people on the Internet lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • any word on mobile and which one he uses? yeah.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Old Nokia flip phone +640/Win10
  • He uses a Motorola MPx200​ running Windows Mobile 2003 SE. Only the latest for Mr. Bill.
  • Really? Lol +640/Win10
  • No he uses an iPhone
  • Does he have to buy the surface book, or can he just get some of everything because well... You know. +640/Win10
  • He gets everything for free whenever he wants it. Not that he needs it but you know... Perks of being Founder ;P Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Would be nice
  • He's an insider, but is he an Insider?
  • The answer lies inside the gates. XD
  • I would ask him this...Mr. Gates....You as Microsoft and Starbucks are from the great state of Washington and you and Schultz are probably friends and meet once in a blue moon...How in the hell is that there is no Starbucks official app in the windows store.
  • You're assuming he uses a windows phone... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Flight simulator using HoloLens!
  • I would have asked " Mr. Gates, how do you feel about people talking dirty to your daughter Cortana? "
  • He's still using IE.
  • He's waiting for Edge to get extensions. -- Lumia 640 (Windows 10)
  • He's specially waiting to get adblock.
  • You get an Empire! You get an Empire! Everybody gets an Empire!
  • I would like to know if he gets upset using his Surface Book and it has issues with power management; or when he is using Win 10 and apps crash randomly. Does he call and complain? Is he pleased with the state of things? Just curious...
  • Most of that stuff was fixed in the past few months. Probably why he only just got it - he was waiting for it to be ready :)
  • That sounds like it. He stated he just recently got Surface Book, which got more bug fixes that before it was launched. Reliability is the foremost important especially for guy like him doing really important stuff to his computer. Sent from Windows 95
  • Should've asked him what phone he uses, so he could hide his iPhone.
  • I wonder if he would use Surface more as a tablet if not W10.
  • Haha, his initial response to the question was pretty funny imo. The video was pretty hilarious too.
  • Good Windows Central app!