Bill Gates and Bob Carr Deliver the Future for Small Business

Sydney, September 11, 2000 — Microsoft Australia and the New South Wales government is pleased to announce that Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft Corporation, and the Hon. Bob Carr, Premier of New South Wales have today shared their respective visions for the future of Australian small businesses at Sydney’s Star City Casino.

The event titled,
“2020 Vision – The future for small business”
, was hosted by Channel 9s Small Business Show’s, Janine Perrett, and was sponsored by Microsoft Australia and the NSW Department of State and Regional Development. The event was opened to 600 members of Australia’s small business community, satellite broadcast to 2500 regional small businesses across NSW and web-cast nationally and internationally.

“Events such as this give us the perfect opportunity to share best practices with Australian small businesses,”
said Kevin Burke, Director of the Small Business Division at Microsoft Australia.

“We are excited by the opportunity of empowering Australian small businesses to take full advantage of the Internet through Microsoft’s.NET strategy and business to business and business to consumer e-commerce tools such as bCentral.”

Microsoft bCentral is a new Web-based portal created specifically to meet the needs of small and growing companies. bCentral provides a comprehensive, affordable and integrated suite of services to help companies move their businesses forward on the Web. The service is expected to launch in Australia in 2001.

A business-to-business e-commerce future

At the 2020 Vision event, Microsoft’s Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates spoke about the future of technology for small business. In particular, Gates spoke in detail about the benefits of Australian small businesses adopting business-to-business e-commerce.

“Today there is an incredible opportunity for small business to adopt business-to-business e-commerce functionality such as trading hubs,”
said Mr Gates.
“The tools exist to take advantage of the Internet to save time and money when purchasing office supplies, booking travel, checking credit references, and handling a variety of daily management tasks.”

Gates continued to state that business-to-business e-commerce would see the cost of running business fall by 10-20% and referenced a recent study conducted by Australia’s National Office for Information Economy (NOIE).

“The Internet represents limitless possibilities for small businesses,”
said Gates.
“Through support from government bodies like the NSW Department of State and Regional Development and continued innovation from Microsoft, small businesses today are poised at the edge of a revolutionary change to the way they do business.”

IT and small business, playing key roles in NSW’s developments

NSW is now at the forefront of the information economy with nearly 70 per cent of Australia’s top 250 information and communications technology head offices located in NSW.

It is also the world’s 17 th largest in terms of total revenue. It is larger than Taiwan and Hong Kong and twice the size of Singapore, Israel and India. The information communications technology industry generates nearly $22 billion in revenue each year for NSW,”
Mr Carr said.

Mr Carr also went on to emphasise the important role that small business plays in the NSW economy, stating that NSW small business account for a third of all Australian small businesses.

“There are 317,000 small businesses in NSW and last year they created 67 per cent of all new jobs in the State,
“said Mr Carr.”
These businesses employ more than 1.1 million people in this state alone.

“Small businesses underpin the growth of the entire state as they are often the people who take the biggest risks to follow their dreams.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

For further information contact:

Nathan Williams (02) 9955 1866, [email protected] , AUGUST.ONE COMMUNICATIONS

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