Bill Gates, master of public relations

Here’s a guy who knows how to burnish his image. Microsoft is having some Russian school principal tossed in jail — he might get sent to the gulag archipelago in Siberia with Solzhenitsyn and Baryshnikov and Bobby Fischer — because the school bought PCs that had illegal copies of Microsoft software on them. See here. So Mikhail Gorbachev (who I totally know and who totally loves our new MacBook Pro, by the way) posts some open letter asking Mr. Bill to intervene. Says the principal didn’t pirate the software, he just bought machines and didn’t know the software wasn’t legal. Even Putin, who believe me sits at the other side of the devil from Gates, says the poor principal should be let off the hook. So what does Microsoft say? Frig him. Money quote from Microsoft: “We are sure the Russian courts will make a fair decision. We do respect the Russian government’s position on the importance of protecting intellectual property rights.”

And you guys at Microsoft still wonder why the entire world hates you? Man oh man. You’ve got more money than God and yet you’re gonna toss some poor broke-ass Russian in prison? Evil.

I’ve already instructed my guys to get on this like a hobo on a ham sandwich. We’re going to go in and remove all the Windows machines and give the Russkis an entire school full of Macs, gratis (which means “free” in Russian.) Our Central Asia regional director, Yuri Yobtvoyumat, is taking the lead on this.

Thanks, Mr. Bill, for yet another boneheaded move. You guys make it too easy, really.