CEO Summit: Driving Innovation and Value

REDMOND, Wash., May 23, 2001 — This week at Microsoft corporate headquarters, over 160 Fortune Global 1000 chief executive officers have gathered for the fifth annual Microsoft CEO Summit, a forum for discussing business issues that are
“top of mind”
for enterprise CEOs — creating long-term business value, improving competitiveness, adapting to change and taking advantage of new technologies.

The summit commenced today with a keynote address from Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, in which he voiced optimism over the coming market opportunities for intellectual property in what he termed “the Digital Decade.”

Gates told his visitors that the current state of technology adoption reminds him of Winston Churchill’s oft-quoted comment in 1942, following a crucial Allied victory in World War Two, “Now, this is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”

Said Gates, “What I mean by that is that these digital approaches, as much as theyve been talked about, arent all that pervasive, and yet this is the decade that they will become that way.”

Gates also provided the visiting executives with a demonstration of how the integration of XML technology into familiar software products can quickly and simply automate business-to-business commerce.

Microsoft established the CEO Summit five years ago in response to growing interest in technology issues among business leaders. As technology grows increasingly strategic to the mission of any business, CEOs around the world seek a deeper understanding of how it can help them stay competitive. At the summit, they learn about leading-edge uses of technology from their peers as well as experts from Microsoft, get a glimpse of emerging technologies that will shape the competitive landscape, and benchmark their technology strategies against those of other leading companies.

This year, executives learned from Microsoft and industry experts about business strategies and a variety of emerging technologies, including the Tablet PC and the Microsoft .NET platform. In addition, each attendee at this years summit received a Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC connected to a wireless network, offering access to event schedules, information about other participants, instant messaging capabilities and a video welcome from Bill Gates.

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