Anybody who has attempted to interact with the Microsoft mogul over the past few weeks has the same thing to say: Gates just isn’t himself lately. Reports have surfaced that the world’s richest man takes a solid thirty seconds to answer even the simplest questions such as “Is it raining?” or “Where are your mittens?”—seconds that clearly cannot be blamed on Gates’ underlying algorithms, which by all industry accounts are solid.
Microsoft has refused to release official data pertaining to the topic, but speculation has run rampant. Analysts are fairly confident that Gates’ boot time is through the roof, and most predict that he sits on the edge of his bed for thirty minutes upon waking up, desperately trying to marshal his thoughts.
While Microsoft has kept silent, Gates’ own wife Melinda has been surprisingly candid about the whole affair, opening up to the Stanford Flipside. “It’s just the little things… we’ll be sitting down at the dinner table, and I ask him how his day was and he just gets this empty look in his eyes for a second, like a deer in the headlights. But of course it’s Bill, so there’s this machine-like blankness instead of the animal bewilderment that deer have before you plow into them and spill their guts all over the highway.” She swallowed violently. “But usually he comes up with some answer eventually, even if it’s an unsatisfactory one, like ‘good.’”
But it is when Gates is actually unable to come up with an answer that she senses trouble. “That’s when you know that he’s not responding, and at this point, there’s not a whole lot you can do. It’s just so frustrating. You just wanna slap his side and yell at him, but of course that doesn’t do anything. He just sits there motionless, staring straight ahead, completely silent, and then you have to do a reboot, usually.”
Her candor reveals a deep-seated vexation with the situation, but she wants to be clear that this road block is merely temporary. “Look, I love Bill 6.0. He’s been a dutiful husband and has done the world a great deal of favors through the philanthropy of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. But it’s just time for an upgrade. Not some small scale cleanup and defragmentation. The real thing. A whole new operating system. Bill 7.0.”