Bill Gates Took A Huge (And Seemingly Unprovoked) Shot At Google Over Its Internet Balloons

Bill GatesAPBill Gates

Bill Gates must have been in a feisty mood when he did
this interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.

We already mentioned that he took a little jab at tech people spending their money on space rockets.

He took an even bigger shot at Google.

Here’s the full question and answer:

One of Google’s convictions is that bringing Internet connectivity to less-developed countries can lead to all sorts of secondary benefits. It has a project to float broadband transmitters on balloons. Can bringing Internet access to parts of the world that don’t have it help solve problems?

When you’re dying of malaria, I suppose you’ll look up and see that balloon, and I’m not sure how it’ll help you. When a kid gets diarrhoea, no, there’s no website that relieves that. Certainly I’m a huge believer in the digital revolution. And connecting up primary-health-care centres, connecting up schools, those are good things. But no, those are not, for the really low-income countries, unless you directly say we’re going to do something about malaria. Google started out saying they were going to do a broad set of things. They hired Larry Brilliant, and they got fantastic publicity. And then they shut it all down. Now they’re just doing their core thing. Fine. But the actors who just do their core thing are not going to uplift the poor.

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