Bill Gates knows that when it comes to the Zune, Microsoft has some catching up to do.
The success of the iPod has been described as "phenomenal, unbelievable, fantastic." And that was just Gates talking about it on Wednesday.
But despite coming from behind, Gates thinks that Microsoft can win some pocket share for its own media player, over time. While today's music players are largely islands, the Microsoft chairman paints a picture of a future in which all manner of devices--from cars to music players to digital cameras--all share data.
And as Gates told a crowd at Stanford University this week, Microsoft has no intention of being No. 2 at anything for too long.
"We want to either be No. 1 or on our way to being No. 1," he told the crowd.
In the first part of a two-part interview, Gates talks about the Zune and some of the things that its wireless connection makes possible, as well as about the sweeping changes Microsoft is making with Office 2007, the revamp of the ubiquitous software package. In the second part of the interview, published Friday, Gates talks about Windows Vista and more.