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Bill Gates says farewell to his industry

Hydrogen

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Like him or not, he and his company have helped define an entire branch of technology.
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Bill Gates says farewell to his industry
MATT HARTLEY
Globe and Mail Update
January 6, 2008 at 10:40 PM EST

LAS VEGAS — Bill Gates marked the beginning of an end Sunday night in his first farewells at the Olympics of his industry, offering a bold prognosis for its future.

For more than a decade, Mr. Gates has delivered his annual state of the industry address at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the world's largest technology event held every year in Las Vegas.

But Sunday night was the last CES keynote address he will make as chairman of Microsoft Corp., the company he built into an international powerhouse and helped change the way humans interact with technology.

“Since I first started talking about the Digital Decade in 2001, the speed with which digital technology has become central to the way we work, learn, and play has been amazing. In many ways, we are at the very beginning of the transformation that software will enable. During the next Digital Decade, technology will make our lives richer, more connected, more productive, and more fulfilling in profound and exciting ways.”

Mr. Gates spoke of the way consumers interact with computers, saying that touch response as well as voice-and-movement recognition technology will become increasingly prevalent.

He also announced a new partnership between Microsoft and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal to make 3,600 hours of both live and on-demand content available during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And he revealed the culmination of a landmark deal with BT Group PLC (formerly British Telecom) which will see Microsoft's Xbox video game console given the capabilities of a set-top digital television box, something Microsoft announced it was experimenting with at last year's CES.

Mr. Gates has often used the event to announce new moves from Microsoft as well as predict the future of technology.

In 2000, his speech centred on the increasing importance of networked mobile devices, forecasting the dawn of the smart-phone era even as many families were still buying their first PCs. The following year he announced the Xbox video game system, which has become the foundation of Microsoft's expanding entertainment and devices division.

Although Mr. Gates has not always been correct when it comes to his prognostications, including his assertion in 1995 that the much-maligned “Bob” interface would change the way people interact with computers, when he speaks, the industry still listens.

Microsoft posted profit of nearly $6-billion (U.S.) on revenue of $13.76-billion in its latest quarter, up 27 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

In its annual report for fiscal 2007, Microsoft reported profit of $14.1-billion on revenue of $51.1-billion.
 

syn

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Microsoft has some very interesting technology in the pipeline.

I hope his full-time career in philanthropy works out well for everyone.
 

Brandon716

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Microsoft Bob? I never used it, but the name certainly has a "not going to work" aura behind it. ;)
 

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