World Leaders Convene at Microsoft Government Leaders’ Conference

SEATTLE, April 16, 2002 — As more than 400 hundred government officials from 70 countries and regions gathered for the annual Microsoft Government Leaders Conference today, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of a new study underscoring the significant and growing role information technology (IT) plays in the global economy.

The IT Economic Impact Study, an independent analysis of international IT spending and employment, projected that the worldwide market for computer and networking hardware, software and services will exceed $1 trillion (U.S.) for the first time this year, and will exceed $1.4 trillion (U.S.) in 2005. The study, conducted for Microsoft by IDC, an international market research firm, found that worldwide IT spending grew by more than 10 percent annually during much of the past decade, much faster than the global economy overall.

“Innovations in technology, including important advances such as XML Web services, are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs and helping drive economic growth around the world,”
said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“By enabling businesses and governments to be more productive, efficient and agile, and by allowing people around the world to communicate seamlessly across a range of devices, information technology is helping us all realize our true potential. Working with more than 750,000 partners around the world, Microsoft is committed to providing industry leadership in the exciting Digital Decade ahead.”

Ballmer will deliver the opening keynote address at the fifth annual Government Leaders Conference, where officials will share their experiences in using technology to empower citizens and improve services as well as to stimulate economic development. The three-day conference will include presentations by government visionaries who understand the urgent and vital role technology plays in driving global competition, as well as forums for dialogue on various public policy issues.

Jose Maria Figueres, the U.N. secretary-generals special representative on information and communications technology, will deliver an address to the conference live from Geneva. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Aleksander II of Yugoslavia and Mark Forman, associate director for IT and e-government in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, also will deliver keynote speeches at the three-day event.

Among the many speakers discussing the power of e-government in their countries and regions, Mexicos representative will deliver a presentation on that countrys e-government plan and will be joined live via video uplink by Mexican President Vicente Fox. Italys representative will unveil his countrys e-government action plan, and the Republic of Croatias representative will highlight his countrys e-government portal project. Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, will deliver the closing keynote address.

IT Spending and Jobs on the Rise

Microsoft commissioned IDC to conduct in-depth examinations of the IT industries in 28 countries and regions. Findings revealed that the growth of IT is widely dispersed and especially intense in some developing countries. From 1995 to 2001, IT spending grew in each of the 28 countries and regions at compound annual rates ranging from 4.1 percent in Japan to 43.7 percent in Venezuela. Latin Americas IT spending was particularly significant: In addition to Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica were among the top five countries with the highest percentage growth. The fifth country in that group is China.

Millions of high-skill IT jobs were created around the world during the second half of the 1990s. Of the 28 countries and regions studied, 18 saw growth in IT employment of 50 percent or more, according to IDC estimates. The IT sector in China alone added more than 1,160,000 jobs. Most of these jobs are in indigenous companies, many of which were created in just the past five years. IDC estimated that in the 28 countries and regions, 200,000 new IT companies have been created since 1995.

IDC projected that between now and 2005, half of the 28 profiled countries and regions will see their IT spending grow at a compound annual rate of 10 percent or more. Asia is expected to lead, with IT spending in China projected to experience the fastest growth, at a compound annual rate of 26.8 percent, followed by India, Malaysia, Korea and Singapore. Software and IT services are seen as the key drivers of future growth. By 2005, services will make up the largest portion of IT spending in most of the profiled countries, increasing by an average of 11.1 percent annually over the next four years to $650 billion (U.S.). IDC also expects that software will be the highest growth segment of the IT industry, growing an average of 15 percent annually over the next four years to exceed $335 billion (U.S.) in global spending in 2005.

Multiplier Effect of Microsoft and Partners

Microsoft has been a key contributor to IT industry growth. The company currently partners with more than 750,000 hardware manufacturers, software developers and service providers located on every continent. IDC estimated that every $1 of Microsoft revenue generates $8 in purchases from Microsofts partners. By this calculation, Microsoft® products accounted for more than $200 billion (U.S.) in revenues in 2001.

IT industry growth also is aided by Microsofts commitment to open software standards, which create opportunities for IT firms around the world to build interoperable devices and software. Microsofts commitment to a new set of technologies based on a standard known as XML (Extensible Markup Language) promises to unleash even stronger growth from a new generation of XML-based Web services. Over the next decade, Web services are expected to grow into a multibillion-dollar industry. Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers and other .NET technologies are the most advanced platform for creating, delivering and using XML Web services.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software any time, any place and on any device.

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