Gates Calls Latin America One of World’s Most Promising Markets

MIAMI, March 21, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates today predicted that Latin American spending on Web commerce would reach nearly $11 billion annually by 2003, driven by an Internet market that will have grown to approximately 30 million Latin American users during the same period. Microsoft technologies and services will play a fundamental role in helping the region’s businesses achieve that success, Gates said.

Speaking to a capacity crowd at Microsoft’s seventh annual Latin America Enterprise Solutions Conference today, Gates said that Microsoft considers Latin America one of the world’s most promising markets. Second only to Asia in the growth of information technology spending, Latin America sustained a five-year annual growth rate of 42 percent in Internet services business and is expected to spend $1.6 billion for online advertising this year.

“We are incredibly optimistic about the future of Latin America, because its countries are rapidly increasing their investment in the technologies and infrastructure needed to connect businesses, governments and educational systems,”
Gates said.
“Microsoft’s vision is to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device. Nowhere is the power and promise of that vision more evident than in Latin America.”

Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Microsoft’s latest operating system, is designed to help businesses of all sizes increase their productivity and profitability by taking full advantage of opportunities provided by the Internet, Gates said. Customers are finding Windows 2000 easy to deploy and manage, extraordinarily reliable, and to have outstanding interoperability.

The Windows 2000 platform is the foundation of The Business Internet, Microsoft’s initiative to help businesses make the Internet a part of their everyday operations with a combination of software, services and the help of Microsoft industry partners, Gates said. By deploying Windows 2000 and The Business Internet, companies throughout Latin America will be able to move many processes online, better understand and respond to their customers’ needs, empower their employees through the quick delivery of critical information, and streamline connections to their suppliers and partners.

“From e-commerce to increased productivity, the Internet is redefining the way business is conducted throughout the world — and Windows 2000 makes it possible for companies of every size to realize that potential,”
Gates said.
“As the Latin American economy grows and evolves, Microsoft will be an increasingly valuable partner to businesses throughout the region.”

Gates also showed how several customers in Latin America are using Microsoft technology to improve their businesses in knowledge management, e-commerce and IT infrastructure:

  • In the area of knowledge management, the Bansud bank in Argentina is using an implementation of Digital Dashboard with Microsoft Office 2000 to track key business indicators for collaboration and business analysis.

  • DeRemate.com, the leading Latin-American auction Web site, chose Windows 2000 to meet its infrastructure requirements of high availability and high performance for e-business. Operating entirely on Windows 2000, the site offers 24×7 availability, with 280,000 registered users and over 30,000 page views per month.

  • In e-commerce, Brazil’s largest bank, Banco Bradesco, recently implemented Shopinvest, an online shopping service for its customers. Shopinvest has become a major success in delivering integrated purchasing and financial services to the bank’s customers and recently won the Computerworld Smithsonian Award for innovation.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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