Gates Grilled by NPR About Vista & Mac OS X [Update]

NPRis Day to Day segment asked Bill Gates some tough questions about Vista on Tuesday in a radio interview, including some questions about the Mac and Apple. In an interview ostensibly about the release of Vista, Alex Chadwick asked Mr. Gates about comparisons of Vista to Mac OS X, and whether or not he was bothered by those comparisons.

More specifically, Mr. Gates was played a soundbite of a Windows user saying that Microsoftis Windows was playing catchup to Mac OS X, a concept Mr. Gates shrugged off. He noted that Windows (as a platform) is used by some 90% of the computing world, while others chose the Mac. He added that even Microsoft makes Mac software -- Microsoft Office for Mac -- which Mr. Gates noted was one of the most popular pieces of software on the Mac platform.

Also of interest was what appears to be a misunderstanding by Mr. Gates of Appleis Get a Mac campaign:

Alex Chadwick: "But there is some sense that the Mac is cool, and that Windows is not."

Mr. Gates: "No, actually, Apple thinks that Windows users are not cool, and that Apple users are cool."

Interpretation of Appleis commercials is, obviously, a subjective one, but most coverage on this topic has taken the angle that the Get a Mac campaign is intended to show the computers in a certain light, as opposed to the users. Be that as it may, Mr. Gates directly addressing the issue shows a candidness not often seen in the corporate PR business.

Other topics included in the interview are Mr. Gatesi philanthropic work, and other aspects of Vista. While you will need either Real Player or Windows Media Player (or Flip4Mac plug-in for Safari) to listen to the interview.

Bryan Chaffin contributed to this article.

[Update: The article was updated for clarity and depth. - Editor]