Gates Speaks to Business and Information Technology Leaders in Paris

PARIS, February 3, 1999 — Yesterday in Paris, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates spoke at a number of industry events and met with a range of customers and partners. The highlight of the day was Gates’ keynote speech at a trade show sponsored by the International Federation for Higher Technology (FIHT). In his remarks to more than 1,500 members of the information technology and business communities, Gates focused on the “Promise of the Information Age,” detailing Microsoft’s priorities for the future: simplicity and continued R & D investment.

Gates also addressed the state of the information technology (IT) industry in Europe, noting that the region has come a long way and has started to benefit from increased political attention to technology issues and challenges. He singled out the French government’s relaxation of encryption controls as an example of how government can promote innovation. In addition, he noted the Swedish Home PC initiative, a program that provides incentives for employees to purchase home PCs from their employers, as an interesting program that is making technology more accessible to a broader range of people.

Gates closed his remarks by reiterating his belief in the future of the PC, noting the continued benefit to consumers of making PCs more powerful and easier to use. Following his address, Gates took questions from the audience about the importance of research investments, competition and innovation in the high-tech industry, and his personal dedication to product development.

Later this week, Gates will travel to several other countries in Europe to meet with leaders in business and government. Throughout the week, PressPass will provide coverage of Gates’ activities. Check back daily for further news and updates.

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