Bill Gates Speaks at World’s Largest Hardware Developers Conference

SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 1997 — The largest number of hardware companies and industry executives from the broadest range of personal computer companies, from chip and device manufacturers to system designers, gathered at Moscone Center today for the sixth annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC 97). Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corp., began the day with a keynote speech, to a sold-out audience of more than 4,000 attendees, highlighting opportunities for growth in the PC industry and the latest innovations in the Microsoft® Windows® operating system. Gates emphasized the ongoing efforts to make PCs easier to use, to reduce total cost of ownership through the Zero Administration for Windows initiatives, and to continue making Windows a forward-looking, innovative platform. These new initiatives continue to transform PCs in the following ways:

  • PCs will become simpler to use, providing the ability to turn on instantly, a sealed case with the extensibility of new, easy-to-use expansion ports, and the level of convenience of a consumer appliance.

  • PCs will be more interactive, delivering a digital TV experience and high-speed Internet “push” technologies, and enabling new forms of video and Web-based content and services.

  • PCs will cost less to operate by automating tasks such as operating system updates and application installation and providing new levels of control and manageability with tools for central administration and desktop system lockdown.

These new systems are all part of Microsoft’s scalable Windows architecture strategy to offer a complete range of client solutions, from Handheld PCs to Windows-compatible terminals, NetPCs, portable devices, desktops and high-end workstations that offer a range of flexibility and functionality.

During his speech, Gates outlined his enthusiasm for the PC. Last year was a phenomenal year for the PC industry, Gates said. There were nearly 60 million Windows-based PCs sold worldwide and a 20 percent growth-rate over the past two years. Windows is the platform of choice, with more than 2,880 models of Windows-compatible systems shipping from more than 10,000 independent hardware vendors, 1,054 new Windows-based applications introduced, and 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the United States now using Windows 95 or the Windows NT® Workstation operating system.

The innovations and initiatives launched at WinHEC signal future hardware enhancements for PC users. Microsoft will announce the following additional enabling technologies:

  • Three new draft specifications that will enable hardware vendors to build a new generation of IEEE 1394-compliant devices that integrate PCs and consumer electronics

  • The remainder of the OnNow specifications, in place to build OnNow-enabled PCs. This initiative, supported by leading hardware vendors, will benefit consumers and corporate users by providing computers that turn on instantly – like TVs or VCRs – without rebooting. OnNow-enabled PCs will be shown for the first time at WinHEC.

  • Win32® Driver Model Device Driver kit support for DVD, cameras, audio and game devices. These Win32 Driver Model class drivers will make it easier for hardware developers to create exciting new PC hardware at a lower cost for future versions of Windows.

These innovations are outlined in the PC 98 Design Guide given to attendees for their input.

Those at WinHEC can attend sessions on a wide variety of topics, from traditional PCs to Windows CE operating system-based devices. Breakout sessions include OnNow power

management, PC 98 Design Guide, Building the NetPC, the Internet’s rapid change and its effects on the PC hardware industry, Windows CE-based devices and broadcast services for Windows. For more information, visit the Windows Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide 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.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and Win32 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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