CEOs Gather at Microsoft to Discuss How Global Enterprises Use Technology to Turn the Challenge of Change Into Competitive Advantage

REDMOND, Wash., May 23, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates today met with CEOs of leading corporations from around the world to discuss how companies are deploying emerging technology, even in challenging economic times, so they can become flexible and agile in responding to their customers needs. In a speech opening Microsoft’s fifth annual CEO Summit, Gates shared his views on how technology will continue to improve the productivity of individual workers and deliver services and rich data flows that specifically support a company’s business processes, and how large enterprises can take advantage of the emerging Web services technology to become more agile and nimble in an era in which customer service and shareholder value need to go hand-in-hand.

More than 160 of the world’s top global business leaders and CEOs are gathering on the Microsoft campus in Redmond to take part in presentations and interactive discussions exploring the ways in which technology can assist enterprises in maintaining a competitive edge and to position themselves for long-term growth.

“The CEO Summit is an exciting forum for exchanging ideas with a varied and inspiring group of business leaders,”
Gates said.
“We are all focused on the same challenges — how we can better employ technology in the face of rapidly changing markets and newly emerging business opportunities.”

In the keynote address that opened the CEO Summit, Gates described several key areas in which computer technology will improve business efficiency and overall productivity:

  • Worker productivity. To underscore the concept of how workers can benefit from continued improvements in productivity applications, Gates discussed how products such as Office XP will provide workers with new and more efficient ways of accessing, manipulating and distributing the huge amounts of data generated by enterprises. Gates also discussed how the Tablet PC, expected to be available in 2002, can significantly extend the power of the PC for users while away from their desks, giving them the ability to employ new applications such as taking handwritten notes, annotating and marking up documents, and reading electronically, all on screen.

  • Business services and processes. As part of the keynote, the CEOs in attendance were shown a demonstration of how Web services built on the Microsoft® .NET Platform can be implemented in ways that significantly reduce administrative costs and overhead while increasing response time and customer service. The demonstration example showed how a retail company could more easily manage the full range of daily supply-chain requirements as part of a richer and more satisfying customer purchase experience.

  • Mobility. In another demonstration of how technology available today can immediately impact overall business efficiency, event attendees were given Compaq iPAQ Pocket PCs connected to a wireless LAN. A custom application running on the devices enables attendees to access event schedules, view a video welcome from Bill Gates, find information about other participants such as contact information, bios and photographs, and chat with other attendees through messenger software.

The CEO Summit was established in response to growing business-leader interest in IT issues. Many CEOs recognize the business benefits made possible through the deployment of complete IT solutions and view technology as a strategic business tool. The CEO Summit provides those leaders with an opportunity to expand their understanding of technology’s impact on overall business productivity and discuss the issues with peers from around the world.

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.

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The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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