Bill Gates Says IT Will Take Society Forward

Mumbai, 5, March, 1997 — Addressing the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB) at the Tata Memorial Hall in Mumbai, Mr Bill Gates, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, in the presence of the Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, business leaders and senior government officials, described the positive role that computer technology can play in society. He also announced a donation of software valued at INR 5 million to the BVB computer education centre, on behalf of Microsoft Corporation, to further the success of BVB’s efforts to equip unemployed people with the skills needed to find jobs.

During his speech, Mr Gates spoke about the ways in which IT has made a positive impact on the basic quality of life and how computers can add to the fabric of society. Mr Gates said that the Internet and the personal computer are tools which can be used to bring a wide variety of information, on subjects ranging from advanced education techniques, to precise weather patterns, to improved medical information enabling healthcare for the masses.
“Far from alienating people, computer technology is becoming an efficient mechanism for bringing communities around the world closer together by allowing people to share intellectual resources.”
Mr Gates added.

Mr Gates stressed that from the standpoint of social services, IT makes it possible to provide services more quickly and easily and at lower cost. It allows the same number of people to provide more services. This is important to government, since most public institutions worldwide are expected to deliver more services and governments will be among the leaders in deploying Internet-based solutions to provide better
“customer”
(citizen) services. This was a prime topic at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, attended by India’s Prime Minister as well as 100 other top leaders in the world.

Mr Gates emphasised that private industry and government both have a role to play in ensuring that the social benefits of personal computers reach the most needy sections of society and urged industry to take the lead in ensuring that IT is used to create new job opportunities for India.

Microsoft Corporation India Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation USA. It has had a presence in India since 1987 and currently has offices in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the world-wide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

For further press information please contact :

Microsoft India Press Office

Text 100 India

Tel: 011 336 6880, 011 336 7080, 011 336 7088

Email: textind@giasdl01.vsnl.net.in

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