Bill Gates returned to "The Daily Show" on Monday night, trading barbs with Jon Stewart while highlighting his philanthropic work.
Gates, who last appeared on the show three years ago to tout the launch of Windows Vista, showed up this time to coincide with the release of his annual foundation letter (also the subject of this CNET interview I did with Gates).
On the Daily Show, Gates caught Stewart up on recent history, pointing out that it has been 18 months since he left Microsoft's full-time employ.
Stewart quickly recovered. "Do you feel unburdened now not having to deal with Microsoft?" Stewart asked. "Now you can have an iPhone--all the things you couldn't do before."
"I'm a very loyal Microsoft user," Gates said. "Thanks for mentioning Zune earlier."
Before Gates came on stage, Stewart had remarked in response to another topic that the person should just get an iPod like everyone else. Then, Stewart corrected himself, saying he meant to Zune.
Stewart also quizzed Gates about his move last week to start posting on Twitter.
"When you Twitter do you have to type or can you just think it and have it just appear on computers," Stewart asked. Gates admitted he had to type.
Stewart then asked Gates how many followers he had. "How many do you have?" Gates replied.
"I don't twitter," Stewart replied. "I'm busy."
Gates insisted he was twittering things he would normally send e-mail about, only now reaching a broader audience. "We'll see if it works," Gates said. "So far so good."
There was also some serious talk, where Gates and Stewart talked about the depth of the problems in the U.S. education system. "There's days I think coming up with new vaccines for things like malaria is, in some ways, more straightforward."
As the interview wrapped up, Stewart asked Gates to remain seated when the interview was done. In his first appearance, Gates walked off stage after shaking hands with Stewart, leaving the host in an awkward position.
Gates apologized, "I feel bad about that," he said adding, "I was headed toward the Colbert show."
Update, 1/26/2010 8:55 a.m.:
Here's a clip from the show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
And, though it's far less funny, here's a clip from our video interview with Gates: