Stack Overflow founder Joel Spolsky, previously an early Microsoft employee, once told this story in a blog post:
"In those days we used to have these things called BillG reviews. Basically every major important feature got reviewed by Bill Gates. ....
In my BillG review meeting ... a person who came along from my team whose whole job during the meeting was to keep an accurate count of how many times Bill said the F word. The lower the f***-count, the better.
"Four," announced the f*** counter, and everyone said, "wow, that's the lowest I can remember. Bill is getting mellow in his old age." He was, you know, 36.
Later I had it explained to me. "Bill doesn't really want to review your spec, he just wants to make sure you've got it under control. His standard M.O. is to ask harder and harder questions until you admit that you don't know, and then he can yell at you for being unprepared. Nobody was really sure what happens if you answer the hardest question he can come up with because it's never happened before.
... It was a good point. Bill Gates was amazingly technical. ... He didn't meddle in software if he trusted the people who were working on it, but you couldn't bullsh** him for a minute because he was a programmer. A real, actual, programmer.