Bill Gates Addresses Leading Computer Scientists On Future Role of PC Technology in Managing Information

Bill Gates Addresses Leading Computer Scientists On Future Role of PC Technology in Managing Information

SEATTLE, June 2, 1998 — Addressing a group of the world’s leading computer and database management experts, Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corp., today discussed the role of PC technology in helping individuals and organizations manage the vast amount of information surrounding them. Gates made his remarks during a keynote address to the SIGMOD ’98 International Conference on Management of Data, the world’s leading conference on computer database technologies.

Microsoft, which over the past three years has built one of the world’s premier database research and development efforts, has, as part of Microsoft Research, presented four of the 45 research papers accepted by SIGMOD ’98, one of which earned the Best Paper award.

“Thanks to technologies such as the PC and the Internet, never before in history has such a vast amount of information been so available to so many people,”
Gates said.
“The challenge for computer scientists and database researchers is to develop the best ways in which individuals and businesses can access their data efficiently and easily. More than any other technology, perhaps, database research will lead us to the goal of information at your fingertips.”

As part of his address, Gates demonstrated several technologies developed in part by Microsoft Research. One demo focused on technology that decreases the cost and complexity of managing large databases. The Index Tuning Wizard helps IT professionals automatically optimize the performance of their Microsoft® SQL Server
™
databases. The wizard analyzes queries and indices, and makes tuning recommendations. The Index Tuning Wizard is a feature of SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft’s next-generation database product.

“The technology surrounding the Index Tuning Wizard and Auto Administration is a great example of how we’re taking the first steps toward easing the burden of administering large-scale databases,”
noted Gates.
“Similar in concept to a self-adjusting, autofocus lens on a camera, such features in SQL Server 7.0 will offer database managers an effective tool for managing their operations.”

Another demo highlighted TerraServer, a technology preview that is the result of collaboration between Microsoft, Aerial Images Inc., Digital Equipment Corp. and the U.S. Geological Survey.

TerraServer allows users to pick a spot on the globe and, when the location is entered into the TerraServer database, produces the overhead satellite image of the location. For instance, in his demo, Gates chose the Seattle Center, the venue for today’s SIGMOD ’98 conference, and TerraServer displayed an overhead shot of the building taken by a satellite several years ago and stored in the SQL Server database that supports TerraServer.

“TerraServer is a great example of how database technologies can transform vast amounts of geographical data into a useful form for users as the world’s largest atlas,”
said Gates.
“By continuing to push the technology envelope, the entire database research community is enabling much more efficient storage and exploration of data for businesses and individuals around the globe.”

Research Collaboration

Gates also praised the collaborative efforts of Microsoft researchers with those of other research organizations and universities around the world.
“Since its inception, a clear goal for Microsoft Research has been to work collaboratively with the larger research community,”
Gates said.
“As evidenced by our participation at SIGMOD ’98 and the research papers submitted by Microsoft Research, we continue to make this a priority.”

“SIGMOD provides a great opportunity for all of us in the database management community to continue the exchange of ideas and research findings that occurs throughout the year,”
said Jim Gray, senior researcher at Microsoft Research.
“We are particularly proud of Microsoft Research’s contribution to this year’s conference.”

Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. The goal is to develop new technologies to simplify and enhance the user’s PC experience, reduce the cost of writing and maintaining software, and facilitate the creation of new types of software. Microsoft Research started with a handful of researchers and has grown steadily to include nearly 300 computer scientists and engineers in a wide variety of areas ranging from speech technology to database and data mining to 3-D graphics, to name a few.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when first commercially released. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Darrin Swaim, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, darrins@wagged.com

Tom Pilla, Microsoft, (425) 936-0756, tpilla@microsoft.com

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. For information about the SIGMOD conference, visit (http://www.acm.org/sigmod/) .

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