The Microsoft co-founder and full-time philanthropist took to Reddit this week to take part in his first-ever Ask Me Anything (AMA) with the site's members and in the course of doing so revealed his biggest technology regrets, the next big thing in computing and that he has a keen sense of humour.
Although he indicated before the questions started coming thick and fast, that while he is still Microsoft's chairman, his life is now devoted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and wanted to focus on its activities, he still proved happy to talk about the company he helped to create, and his thoughts about the next big thing in technology.
As well as claiming to use a Surface Pro as his personal computer, he revealed that his was set up a little differently from most. "I am using a Perceptive Pixel display right now - huge Windows 8 touch whiteboard," he wrote. "These will come down in price over time and be pervasive." A Perceptive Pixel Display has an 82in screen and currently retails for US$80,000 (RM240,000).
Gates also claimed that Windows 8 is better than Windows 7, by saying: "Higher is better" and explaining that the advantages the new operating system offers won't be fully realised until hardware and apps can really exploit it.
When asked about software regrets, he revealed that the company had tried to build cloud features into Windows Vista (something he "wishes" had made it to market), and said that new forms of interaction with computers would lead the next technological trend.
"Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at 'computers,'" he wrote. An early champion of voice recognition and voice command, Gates firmly believes that once computing devices can see, hear and read what we want (this includes handwriting recognition) the way we interact with technology will change again and this change could have the same level of impact on our lives as the original PC did.
He also demonstrated a good sense of humor. When asked: "What do people give you for your birthday, given that you can buy anything you want?", he answered "Free software..." before adding "Just kidding. Books, actually." - Relaxnews 2013