Warren Buffett gives away his fortune, mostly to the Gates Foundation

“Buffett, 75, has for decades said his wealth would go to philanthropy but has just as steadily indicated the handoff would be made at his death. Now he was revising the timetable…

“Buffett has pledged to gradually give 85% of his Berkshire stock to five foundations. A dominant five-sixths of the shares will go to the world’s largest philanthropic organization, the $30 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose principals are close friends of Buffett’s (a connection that began in 1991, when a mutual friend introduced Buffett and Bill Gates).

“The Gateses credit Buffett, says Bill, with having ‘inspired’ their thinking about giving money back to society. Their foundation’s activities, internationally famous, are focused on world health — fighting such diseases as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis — and on improving U.S. libraries and high schools.”

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Dealing with Microsoft haters

“When it comes to Microsoft bashing, partners have heard it all.

“They’ve heard prospects gripe that Microsoft products cost too much. They’ve heard customers complain about frequent bug and security patches. They’ve heard tirades denouncing the company as Byzantine or a behemoth, difficult to navigate and glacially slow to respond to complaints and calls for help. They’re well aware that some people view Microsoft as the biggest monopoly since Standard Oil. And they occasionally still hear snide remarks about Microsoft’s founder, who, despite his generous donations to charity, remains the world’s wealthiest individual.

“Of course, some of those sentiments are unfounded, unfair or outdated, and channel partners whose companies depend upon Microsoft’s success do their best to counter them. At the same time, even executives whose companies deal solely in Microsoft solutions understand what’s behind the negativity. As one veteran partner puts it: ‘Sometimes I hate Microsoft myself.’ … Therein lies one of the biggest challenges of representing the world’s most famous corporate name”.

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