Todd Bishop of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an interesting Q&A with the world's richest man in today's paper. One thing that jumps out of the piece, for me anyway, is how completely changed Microsoft's competitive set is today versus 10 or 15 years ago. Where once the company competed with Lotus and WordPerfect, now Gates cites rivals such as Nokia in the phone business (!) and Apple in the music business (!!).

Gates's take on outsourcing is also pretty fascinating. "[T]he economy is a very complex thing," he tells Bishop. "We sell way more of our software overseas than we sell internally. That is, the U.S. disproportionately gets our R&D activity relative to the amount of software we sell in the U.S. And so, why has Microsoft ever been able to hire people? Because of world trade."

To read on, click on this link.