Microsoft shares technology vision with today and tomorrow’s leaders, to help shape Britain’s future

Cambridge, October 7, 1997 — Today, Bill Gates, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corporation is meeting with UK government ministers, business leaders and students at the University of Cambridge, to share Microsoft’s vision of how personal computing can help Britain become a leading player on the world technology stage today and into the 21 st century.

Gates’ visit is particularly poignant following Rt Hon Tony Blair The Prime Minister’s party conference speech last week during which he urged Britain to create a model 21st century nation which embraces change and modernisation.

“This really is a crucial time for Britain, with a more vibrant economy and palpable sense of commitment towards bringing the information revolution into every aspect of British life,”
Gates commented..
“There is an opportunity for Britain to become a highly competitive contributor to the worldwide IT industry, as well as to use the power of personal computers to improve crucial aspects of the country’s infrastructure. Executing well on this will prepare Britain for success in the next millennium.”

Private meetings

  • The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair, MP

  • Senior Cabinet ministers including Chancellor Gordon Brown, Education Secretary David Blunkett, the President of the Board of Trade and the Prime Minister

Microsoft UK requested a meeting between Bill Gates and the Prime Minister in order to discuss technology related issues facing Britain directly with him. The meeting builds on a long standing relationship which Microsoft in the UK has established both with this government and the previous administration, where the company has acted in an advisory capacity on a broad range of technology related policy and strategy decisions.

Mr Gates will also be participating in a separate private meeting with senior Cabinet members including Chancellor Gordon Brown, Education Secretary David Blunkett, the President of the Board of Trade Margaret Beckett, and the Prime Minister, to discuss more specific education initiatives currently under consideration by the government.

Microsoft and partners support National Grid for Learning

Microsoft, together with key industry partners BT and RM, are announcing today an agreement to work together to develop a public online Teacher Resource Centre. Designed to support the Government’s National Grid for Learning initiative, the goal is to develop the most valuable resource for teachers in their daily work and help them in their own continuing professional development in IT. The announcement underpins Microsoft, BT and RM’s pledge to embrace the Government’s drive for a public-private partnership in Britain.

Lecture at St John’s College, Cambridge

Mr Gates has also been invited to address 250 computer science undergraduates and faculty members at St John’s College, Cambridge today. He is expected to talk to the students about the recent investment in the Microsoft Research Laboratory in Cambridge announced earlier this year, and also outline his hopes for the venture capital fund Microsoft established at that time. Gates is also expected to urge British students to take advantage of the enormous opportunities which Britain offers them both in terms of their education and ensuing careers in the UK technology industry.

Mr Gates will outline some of the major technology trends he believes will be the central focus of research at the lab in the next few years, as well as the specific PC and software developments he sees as crucial to the future. Finally, Gates will go on to summarise his vision for a new kind of ‘web lifestyle’ which Microsoft believes will emerge in the coming years as the Internet becomes an integral and natural part of every day life.

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.

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