Microsoft’s top brass took some heat in the GeekWire comment threads this past week, with readers complaining about everything from the slumping stock price to the company’s lack of focus in mobile. But it wasn’t all negativity. Bill & Melinda Gates were honored with a portrait in Washington D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery, a true honor though readers were a bit mixed on whether the portrait did the power couple justice.

Here’s a look back at some of the top comments from the past week. Thanks to everyone for the great discussions.


Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hughes wonderfully described why entrepreneurs should commit 100 percent to their startup dreams, rather than splitting efforts with a job that pays the bills. The guest column resonated with reader Darren G. Austin who wrote:

I’m not sure that taking the leap is the right thing all the time, but it puts the challenge into perspective and I can’t argue the difficultly (maybe impossibility) of dividing oneself psychologically.

Full story and discussion: Don’t get stuck on the entrepreneurial fence


Bill Gates told a BBC reporter that stock prices aren’t the “best gauge” in valuing companies, which led some readers to say that the Microsoft chairman was out of touch. One reader noted that Microsoft now lags Apple in “virtually every other hard measure one would use to evaluate a business.”

There are some things MS is doing well, but those are few compared to the significant failures. It’s alarming that MS’s Chairman is apparently so satisfied with the lack of progress and the increasingly precarious position it is putting the company in.

Full story and discussion: Excerpt: BBC host grills Bill Gates on Microsoft’s prospects


Bill Gates wasn’t the only Microsoftie taking some heat his week on GeekWire. Steve Ballmer also got ripped after he dropped several Microsoft product placements in his commencement speech at USC. But one reader liked Ballmer’s take on things, even though the product placements didn’t seem to resonate with the crowd.

His speech was a lot of fun, a lot better than the generic “you can do whatever you want if you try, here’s how i did it” speech. it was a real fun way to end the year. he’s so animated, full of passion, and really brought energy to the audience! His product placements were funny too… especially because everyone in the audience was on their iphones, android or blackberries during most of commencement anyways.

Full story and discussion: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s advice to USC grads


The new portait of Bill & Melinda Gates — which was hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. last week — received a relatively warm reception. But one reader noted that the artist failed to capture one key attribute of the billionaire philanthropist.

Totally inaccurate as Bill is not rocking back and forth.

Full story and discussion: What do you think of the Smithsonian’s new Bill & Melinda Gates portrait?

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