Leading the Information Society

SEATTLE, Wash., April 4, 2000 — In a keynote address at the third annual Government Leaders Conference, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates stressed the need for governments to embrace technology and outlined the company’s commitments to helping government officials become and remain effective leaders in the information age.

“In the government area, the move towards digital approaches has been slower than in the business sector,” Gates said. “In the business sector, companies are faced with lower profits — or even being put out of business — if they don’t rise to the standards that are being set by the very best companies. The goal of this conference is to share ideas, talk about some of the challenges, and really stimulate government to move faster in all key government functions.”

The theme of this year’s conference, “Leading the Information Society,” reflects one of the company’s key goals: to promote the use of technology to help nations remain competitive and successful in the digital economy. This event provides a technologically geared forum suitable for dialogue and discussion with fellow dignitaries, and empowers government leaders with peer discussion and valuable knowledge for the digital age. In addition, the conference highlights government technology solutions from around the world, demonstrating tremendous strides in citizen outreach and government efficiency.

At this year’s conference, the company reiterated its commitment to the worldwide understanding of — and success in — living in the digital age. Microsoft is working with these governments in an effort to enable them to better serve the public, and to make technology more accessible to all. Governments can use technology to educate, empower and improve the lives of their citizens, and Microsoft recognizes and embraces its role to help achieve that goal.

Representatives from over 60 nations are scheduled to attend. The conference includes keynote addresses from: William M. Daley, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Gary Locke, Governor, Washington State; George E. Pataki, Governor, New York State; Cesar Paredes, Vice President, Peru, Avraham Burg, head of the Israeli Parliament, Israel, and Alberto Cardenas Jimenez, Governor, Jalisco, Mexico. Microsoft executives Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect, and Bob Herbold, executive vice president, COO, and Jeff Raikes, group vice president, worldwide sales and support, will also present.

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