But our problems are small compared with Microsoft's. A typical Microsoft product has about a jillion features. If point one percent of them have Y2K bugs, that's a lot of bugs.

Microsoft needs to learn that sometimes, more is less. Let me give you an analogy: to get more room, I bought a king-size bed. But the very first night, my wife Margie's hand stretched out into the new territory in a kind of exploratory way, and then suddenly, BOING! she stretched out on a diagonal and occupied almost the entire surface. I swear, if she had lived on the German border, she would have annexed Poland. This restricted me to a narrow strip along the edge, and it kicked my dog Bowser off the bed entirely. It was sort of like installing Office 97 on an old computer, and watching it eat the hard drive. And Bill Gates thinks we need even more of this stuff.

I recently met Bill at the 35th anniversary celebration of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science. After his speech, I shook his hand. Obviously, I was hoping that, say, point one percent of his wealth would somehow rub off on me, which would instantly have made me a multi-millionaire. But I checked my bank account afterward, and now that I think about it, the balance seemed to have gone down a bit. Hmm. So I guess nothing positive rubbed off on me from Bill. Except... it was that very night that it occurred to me that by bundling my Bowser with my blankets, I could monopolize the entire king-size bed!

It worked, but it's kinda lonely now.

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