Everybody has an opinion about whether Gates is a good guy or a bad guy. But there is no doubting that his image is a lot different than in 2000, when Ken Auletta painted an unflattering portrait of Gates in his book, "World War 3.0," about the Microsoft antitrust trial.
With Xbox, Gates had a chance to play the white knight. When Sony started dropping hints about the PlayStation 2 in 1998, Microsoft went into a panic. Sony's executives were boastful. Soon, they were saying it was going to be the comet to wipe out the dinosaurs and was "more than a PC." Microsoft had to defend the living room, and Gates' attempts to partner with Sony fell flat.