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Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Gates Vs Edison

3. Page 3

Most filmmakers gave in to Edison’s demands. The rest were exposed to… “a healthy business conduct” by hired bouncers. All protest derived from practices like the one mentioned above, was answered by Edison himself and by his hired pens, who focused on: “the Motion Picture Patent Company has brought on stability in a shattered market bringing all this unjust as well as unfair war to an end and has set forth a model on which everybody works”. These are the very same words used by the Microsoft public relations people when they are called up to defend the Windows monopoly. In spite of all these, the Motion Picture Patent Company was dissolved after a complaint lodged by William Fox (the person who founded the 20 th Century Fox company).

It goes without saying that all these efforts made by Thomas Ava Edison are buried deep in history books. What we all have learnt at school has to do with the fervent, eccentric inventor who contributed so much to humanity. This is partly due to the big campaign the astute businessman had subtly launched to provide for his posthumous fame. Dozens of articles had been fabricated to show off the personality of this “great technologist” and then were carefully planted in the press at the time. Edison handled his public image in such a masterly manner that one of his biographers later wrote: “ the personality he presented the public with was his greatest invention ”.

Bill Gates is deservedly following his predecessor’s footsteps. The biographical profiles of his, composed by Barbara Walters, the book under the title The Patway to the Future written by Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson, not to mention his column providing answers to readers which is published in dozens of newspapers all over the world, are nothing but a head start exposing a genius of Gates, accessible to the common folk. Gallup polls seem to justify this communication strategy of his. In a survey conducted by the Forbes magazine, 73% of the Americans believe that the Microsoft is “one of the best enterprises in the United States”, they hold its managing director in great estimation and finally they are convinced that the business promotes innovation.

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