NEW YORK – Bill Gates took some ribbing from "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, who opened the interview by noting the last major release of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows operating system came in 2001.
"In the computer world, five years ago, people were using abacuses," Stewart cracked.
Gates, the Microsoft chairman, appeared on Stewart's show Monday as part of a series of events to promote Tuesday's launch of the new Windows Vista.
Stewart asked Gates if he used the iconic "Flying Toasters" screen saver (originally made for Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) Macintosh computers) and prodded him for his computer password.
"Is it Gates?" Stewart asked. "Hey, do you have pets? ... Did you ever have a pet when you were younger?"
As the audience giggled, Gates started to answer honestly before realizing what Stewart was up to.
Gates got in a dig of his own when he implied Stewart's parents might want to set up parental controls on his PC, a Vista feature Microsoft is heavily promoting.
At the end of the segment, Gates grinned and walked offstage — apparently sooner than Stewart expected.
"Uh, he's leaving, he can't just leave," the Comedy Central host said.
Following a morning of interviews and an afternoon launch party in Times Square, Gates headed to London Monday evening to start a four-country European tour.
In London's British Library on Tuesday, Gates used a collection of Leonardo da Vinci's notes to show off Vista's graphics and photo display capabilities. Gates bought the 72-page collection, known as the Leicester Codex, for $31 million in 1994.
"This is an innovative way to bring treasures — including mine — to a new audience," Gates said, as textured pages from the handwritten notebook flipped back and forth on two giant screens behind him.