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April 11, 2021

Did You Know? The Default Profile Image on Microsoft Outlook in 2010 Was Actually Bill Gates’ 1977 Mug Shot

Bill Gates is staring at users every time they launch Outlook 2010.

The People Pane was more of a contact hub that included all the information about users sending your emails, and everything was grouped in a single UI. For example, clicking on a contact displayed the emails that you received, as well as appointments, contact data, social network details and much more.

Basically, the People Pane was supposed to make contact management a smoother process, as it brought all the information on a specific person in just one place.

Outlook 2010 People Pane

In Outlook 2010, it was actually Microsoft founder Bill Gates the one whose silhouette was used for the generic photo. And it’s not just a typical photo of Bill Gates, but the mug shot that he got after being arrested back in 1977.

As weird as it may sound, yes, Bill Gates was arrested for reckless driving in New Mexico in 1977, so the police took his mug shot for their records. The young Gates was caught not only speeding in his Porsche but also running a stop sign and - drum roll - driving without a license. He was eventually arrested, but released shortly after that, though very little details are known about this.

Bill Gates was photographed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico police in 1977 after a traffic violation (details of which have been lost over time).

No confirmation from Microsoft has ever been offered on this, despite the obvious evidence that seems to indicate this is the case. Since then, Microsoft has switched to other generic photos for its apps, so Outlook 2010 was the only version that featured Bill Gates’ mug shot for the People Pane.


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