Steve Ballmer Speech Transcript – Blacks in Technology Summit

Remarks by Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft
Blacks in Technology Summit
May 11, 2002
New York City

STEVE BALLMER: I know were here in New York but Ive got to teach everybody something right away about technology. Take a look at the three of us, me with this great suit and red tie and white shirt, Tavis, Tom. Which one of us really looks like we work in technology? (Laughter.) Number one, number two, number three? (Cheers, applause.) I asked the guys if I could take the tie off. I said its not very technology to have a tie on, let alone Saturday morning, but I was glad to see Tom show up in the best spirit of new school today. (Laughter, applause.)

It is a real honor and privilege for me to have a chance to be here today. This has been an event Ive been looking forward to, and as was already said, the best news is already in: Over 4,000 kids — 4,000 kids — were here yesterday. And Ill bet you if they could have counted more, if we had had more room, we had more space, we had more sponsors we would have had more kids. And at the end of the day whether youre old school or new school, this stuff has a way of sort of filtering in to society over time the number one thing thats important for a variety of reasons is the enthusiasm, the energy and the interest of children. And so I agree the event in that sense has already been a real success.

When we think about technology, if I go back to in some senses, the kind of dream that Bill Gates and Paul Allen had when they started Microsoft, Bill and I were college classmates. I was living down the hall from him when the concept came about. It was — and it might surprise you — it was never about how much money the company could make or the guys could make or anything else. It was always about this notion that the personal computer was some kind of tool of empowerment.

When the Reverend Sharpton used those words, youve got to really think about those words because thats been the hallmark of the personal computer for the over 25 years that its now existed.

And when I joined Microsoft in 1980, I asked Bill, “Cmon, whats the ambition, whats the goal, what are we trying to do around here.” Id actually dropped out of business school to come to Microsoft and my dad, who was an immigrant from Switzerland and didnt understand why I was leaving school and I needed something to tell him, and Bill, looking at me sort of very quizzically said, “Steve, dont worry; were going to be part of putting a computer on every desk and in every home in the world. Were going to help change the world.”

And thats always been the driver for us and in a sense I think thats this notion of empowerment; tools, because thats what these technology things are at their best, theyre tools that help extend the capabilities of individuals. Theyre not replacements for individuals. Theyre not things that sit in a back room, the corner somewhere. Theyre tools that make real people more effective every day in some basic and fundamental thing that they want to do.

Sometimes its hard because all this gobbledygook about the technology and figuring it out and is it going to be important and around our place were always talking about the next technology revolution. Today its something called XML. It doesnt matter; the last five years its been the Internet. Before that it was something called GUI and before that it was the PC. Sometimes we can look back and say, “Wow, these things really mattered,” but its not always obvious theyre going to matter and matter to real people.

Ive been at Microsoft for 22 years, and in the 22 years Ive lived through three technology revolutions that really have changed the lives of real people.

When I first came up to Microsoft, I called my mom and dad and I said, “I really think Im going to drop out and go work for this company that my buddy started that does software for personal computers.” And my father asked a very sensible question for 1980. He said, “Whats software?” My mother asked the better question. My mother said, “Why would a person ever need a computer?” And my mom is a bright lady; this was 1980.

And so as we think about how the PC transformed the world, you think about the number of jobs and ways in which people work, that if you dont understand some basic operation of the personal computer, and Im not talking just about financial analysts and draftsmen and architects; Im talking about your cash registers point of sale devices, jobs providing customer service; you name it. The range of things that are essentially required — heck, even being a kid and trying to do a research project today requires — requires a knowledge of computers, which is really quite amazing.

But all of these things, theyre not things you learn for the sake of learning them; these are skills that you learn because they extend your fundamental and basic capabilities. They help you — you, the person, the kid, the student, the adult, the worker, they help you realize your potential. They help you get closer, albeit electronically, to people you might never see or know.

My oldest son is 10-years old. Weve never been to Italy. My sons got an Italian friend. How did he make an Italian friend? Well, he went to the computer, got on the Internet and was playing chess one day and he met some 17-year-old kid from Italy. He started asking him questions. You can meet anybody. You can get to know anybody.

Barriers, the notion of the world as a very large, separate place. In some senses the computer is not dehumanizing; it helps break down barriers and get people so much closer together in a variety of ways.

The same thing if you take a look at this from the business perspective. Most businesses have a fairly narrow, fairly narrow group of customers that they can serve. You get out on the Internet and yes people can steal your name. Im not going to offer to help either guy with that problem, Ill tell you. If you want to pay a lot of money to buy back stolen names Ive got a department thats pretty good at that, but I dont think Tavis wants to get into that. But the number of places and people you can reach and touch as a business or as a consumer over the Internet is really phenomenal.

So whether were talking about the personal case or the business case thats what these computers are all about, thats what technology is all about. Its not about a bunch of funny names and acronyms and things that are hard to understand. Companies like ours need to work harder and harder to make things simpler so that real people can do more and do more to realize their individual potential every day.

Software is going to continue to evolve. And maybe we have kind of a parochial way of looking at things but we think of the software as the backbone of all this. Its the stuff that people really interact with, that changes their lives, that changes their world.

Were in the middle of this, as I said, XML revolution. Its just the next phase, but there are so many things that Id like to do today I cant do. My wife, who Tavis mentioned is kind of mission-critical in my life, as we say in the computer business, shed like me home by Mothers Day. Well, that was a pretty simple one for me to keep in my head. She really likes me home a lot of the time when she schedules things on our behalf. My secretary, on the other hand, she likes me at things she schedules for me at work. These two people talk, they know each other, but its really kind of a pain in the neck for them to compare their work.

My wife always says, “Isnt there a way that you can kind of just drag my schedule off my computer and drop it over there on your computer and figure out that youd better cancel that last meeting and be home for dinner on Friday night? Cant you do that?” To which I have to say, “No, dear; thats the XML revolution.”

It doesnt work in my family either, but its all part of this evolution of how software continues to improve; it gets better, it gets simpler, it breaks down barriers and helps people come together.

I sometimes tell people my favorite space-age example ten yeas from now — who knows exactly how long it will take — is the entertainment scenario. You know, youre sitting there in your living room watching television. I like watching golf; you’re sitting there watching the golf game. Within ten years I guarantee you Ill be able to yell at my television set, “Hey, Bill, did you see Tiger make that putt?” And my TV will be so smart it will wake up and say, “Oh, he spoke to me. Bill, oh I recognize what he said, he said Bill. When Steve says Bill who does he mean? Aha, he means Bill Gates.” And if youre sitting in front of Bills TV all of a sudden it will say, “Hey, Bill, did you see Tiger make that putt?” (Laughter.)

We laugh. Its a funny example, but it gets at the kind of power to recognize voice, to recognize language, to recognize priorities, and believe me, Bill doesnt want every Tom, Dick and Harry interrupting him when hes watching that golf game or basketball game or whatever it is. Bill doesnt watch a whole lot of television, not like me but nonetheless. So we need a lot of things to enable that.

The fact of the matter is every one of those technologies that sounds kind of space age and futuristic and remote today, those are all technologies, which are going to make these computers, these devices simpler for everybody to access. And at the end of the day that is a critical advance is to make the technology easier for everybody to get at and more affordable.

One of the things Im most excited about, and it may not happen this year or next year; it make take a few years yet, but there will be a day in the next five, six, seven years when youll be able to buy a device, and Ill just call it a device because when I describe it were not sure what to call it, for maybe $500 or $600 thats your TV, thats your CD player, your DVD player, its your videogame player, its your PC, its your Internet access device and its your TV tuner all in one for $500.

Now, if you think of that kind of machine, if you think about a machine thats got enough purpose, enough value to a lot of families that youll start to see that device in more places, in more homes, in less affluent households than weve ever seen before.

And in some senses when people ask me whats the key, the key, going back to what Bill Gates told me 22 years ago is to put a computer on every desk and in every home and the only way to do that is to make these things more affordable, not because theyre going to be come infinitely cheap but theyre going to become infinitely powerful and flexible at very low prices that ultimately even the least affluent families will decide that they want and can afford.

When we think about realizing potential we also think about how will the world change in the business place. You know, I cant see. These lights are awfully bright. But Ill predict for you that within 10, 15 years when we come to a meeting like this instead of bringing paper — Im still old-school I guess; I have paper with me — but instead of bringing paper and pencils well bring computers and everything that happens in here will be broadcast over some wireless network in the room. And if you want to take a video recording of this and an audio recording and maybe some slides and you want to make some notes that will all just be beamed to your computers electronically.

This will all be a kind of virtual place out on the Internet. If you see a friend of yours who happens to be in the room you didnt know was coming youll be able to send them an instant message. It will recognize that were all here at the meeting together. And well have computers, which are affordable and practical that literally fit in your hand.

Just to give you a little bit of sense of this because you cant come to a Microsoft deal without looking at a little bit of technology, Im going to talk about some of the impact of technology but I just want to show you just a little bit of something to whet your whistle on some of the kind of interesting and cool innovations that are coming, and Martin Taylor from our staff, a strategy director who works for me is going to come on stage and join me in showing you something that will be out later this year from a number of companies called the tablet PC. Martin?

(Applause.)

MARTIN TAYLOR: Okay, when Steve mentioned this concept of going to meeting and not having paper and having devices that talk to each other that are wireless, that you can take your notes and everything is integrated, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to really change the culture of how that works and then how we normally do things. Today in many of our meetings, for instance, people take laptops to them but that’s uncomfortable. There’s a screen in front of you. People are conditioned to do this when they work.

So I want to share with you a device that we’re going to be coming out with later on this year called a tablet PC that brings the best of the laptop world together with the traditional, what Steve called old school world of using a legal pad and taking notes.

So let me first of all show you that this looks like just a normal laptop. And so for all intents and purposes it’s a normal laptop with a normal keyboard, a normal mouse pad and it works just like a laptop.

What you can do with this device is wireless. It has about six to eight hours of battery life on it. A wireless modem is built in and all the technologies that you have in a normal laptop are built into this device.

But again when you’re sitting in front of this device trying to use it in a meeting setting it’s still a little bit difficult and to really get to that next level we had to change the paradigm. So what we’ve done in partnership with some of our hardware vendors and then extending Windows XP is have a device that flips around and actually becomes a tablet, and so I’m going to show you how you can actually use this device just like you would a normal PC.

So the first thing that has to happen, and you really can’t see the screen too well until the colors come on, is that this is the normal view of this. And so what I’m going to do is just log in real quick as myself. And as it logs I’m actually going to shift this view from a normal, what we call landscape view to more of a portrait view like a legal pad. So as I log in — and you can still time me while it’s booting. (Laughter.)

STEVE BALLMER: You’ve got to get somebody better than me for that.

MARTIN TAYLOR: Okay, so now that the screen has come up —

STEVE BALLMER: I thought he was going to give me a hard time about how slow it is to boot Windows XP, but I got that feedback, Martin. (Laughter.)

MARTIN TAYLOR: So here’s the device and all I simply did was just switch the view so now I have more of a portrait look.

So this looks just like Windows XP if anyone out there has used Windows XP.

So what I’m going to do is actually go into a little device that we have that’s called Journal. This is a small, little application that will ship with the Windows XP on the Tablet and you’ll see now it looks like a legal pad. And so this looks like I would normally take notes. So I’ll say, “Hello, this is me taking notes.” So forgive my writing but that’s basically the concept there. But I’m going to show you now some things you can do because now we’ve gone from having a normal notepad situation to now having something called digital ink.

So, for instance, I’m going to bring up a document I’ve worked on before called Meeting Notes. So here’s just a small document that was written. If I need to create space in my meeting notes, for instance, all I have to do, now that I have digital ink, is basically go here and actually make space and actually just drag down and move the text. So you can see you really can’t do that in a normal legal pad environment. (Laughter.) I’m just telling you what you can do.

STEVE BALLMER: No, I think the audience figured that one out. (Laughter.)

MARTIN TAYLOR: The next thing you can do, for instance, is actually now convert your handwriting to actually text pretty simply. So what I’ll do is actually I’ll grab some text here, let’s just say “action” just quickly. And then what I’ll do is just come here to actions and convert this selection to text. It recognizes it and I say, OK, and I say finish. So automatically I can now convert that to actual words now, if you can see that on the screen.

But it doesn’t stop there. For instance, I can even take this and tie a thing here and make that automatically an e-mail and send it out to e-mail.

I’ll show you one more thing because this is great. So you can take notes, you can move things around but there are a couple other things I want to show you really quickly. I’m going to go into Outlook to show you that this is a normal PC. So I’m just logging into Outlook here.

So this is my e-mail. This is what I’m in a lot of the time. But if I’ve really gotten to this concept of using a Tablet PC and taking notes this way and I’m not typing as much as I used to, if I want to do a brand new mail — has anyone ever done this before? You want to send an e-mail to someone and you want to kind of draw a diagram for them and maybe you had a meeting over a cocktail napkin, you drew a sketch of something and you want to e-mail that to a person. It’s very difficult.

In the Tablet PC world all you simply do is turn on the ink indicator and now I can actually just draw something right in my e-mail. So I’ll draw a picture here or I can draw something here, see how the sales are going to look or whatever, and then e-mail that just like that, so now I have a very simple way to send digital ink back and forth to people.

That’s just a couple of the things I wanted to show you. The last thing I’ll show you as we wrap up here is I’ll go back into the general application and show you the last thing we’ve done. We’ve tried to make editing documents very, very simple in Word. And so, for instance, you can go into Word, you can do all kinds of things to edit documents. But the one thing that we found is that people still are used to like printing it and circling on it and making notes on it and things like that, so how do you do that in this type of an environment.

So I’m actually going to import a document really quickly here, so File, Import. I’ll bring up this document quickly. So here’s a normal Word document and I’m going to now open it in the Tablet PC Journal. As you can see, we haven’t shipped it yet. We’re working some kinks out here.

The basic concept is to bring up a document and then do some real-life editing. You can circle on the document. You can underscore things. You can highlight things and then forward that document right to those people as if you printed it and walked down the hall and gave it to them.

So the overall idea is changing the concept of the laptop, making it a device that looks like a tablet, you can walk around to your meeting, you can send things wireless back and forth, you can scribble, share notes and pass things around.

(Applause.)

STEVE BALLMER: Great. Thanks, Martin.

Just think for a second; I want to just take the concept. It will be a while but take the concept of every kid at school having a device like this — taking notes. If you’re connected over a wireless network you have access to the Internet, you have access to every book, every thought, every idea ever written. You can talk to people. You can write notes to people. Some teachers will hate that but nonetheless I mean it’s really amazing stuff.

And sure this is high end, not that affordable, et-cetera kind of stuff, but we need this kind of simplicity to really help a lot of people, old school and new school really realize their potential.

I want to really build on this theme of realizing potential and talk about some of the specific issues that I think we face around some of the divides that exist between folks who have access to technology and those who don’t today, and there are real issues today, issues that we’re real concerned about. And you can’t say to yourself our mission is to put a computer on every desk and in every home except certain households. It doesn’t work that way.

We know that it is sort of the fulfillment of our dreams as well as in our best business interest to make sure that we break down the divides that separate people from technology, whether that’s in the community, whether those are divides that exist in businesses, with students or as people in the workforce.

So I want to talk about those in turn because to our company and I think to our company and I think to our industry with growing recognition these are very, very important issues.

Let me first talk about this notion of the digital divide, which gets used frankly different places, different ways in a lot of different contexts. You know, if I go to a poorer country I get asked about the digital divide between rich countries and poor countries and what that will mean. There is certainly a digital divide between poorer and richer people. There is certainly a digital divide in the United States today between African Americans and white Americans: 56 percent of African Americans have worked with computers; 70 percent of white Americans have worked with computers. That’s not acceptable from my perspective. It means our industry isn’t doing the right job of reaching out and helping to expose people, particularly kids, to technology early on enough in the cycle.

Over the last several years Microsoft has given over $200 million cash plus software to over 5,000 non-profit organizations in the United States with one goal and one goal alone — not to solve the problem of the digital divide. No one company, no one institution can do that. But if we get technology, we and our partners and groups like Tavis’ and Blacks in Technology, if we get these technologies out where people can see them, where people can become comfortable and literate and experienced with these technologies, that’s a big step forward.

The devices will get cheaper, they’ll get more affordable, they’ll come in new forms that make them more desirable, but the key is to get exposure broadly and to get literacy up with the devices.

If you take a look in the U.S. economy and listen to Alan Greenspan, who runs the Federal Reserve, he’ll tell you that 60 or 70 percent of the productivity increases that we’ve seen in the U.S. economy have come essentially from technology. That means workers being more productive.

The burden that puts on all of us to make sure that we ourselves and the children that we can touch and influence directly and indirectly have exposure and become literate with these technologies.

We’re certainly going to try to do our part and we certainly encourage everybody to do their part on behalf of the broad constituency of people in the United States, white Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans. There are issues in every sector that we have to get after and really work on from our perspective.

It is something that requires partnerships. The government’s got a role. Educational institutions, businesses, citizens, foundations, community groups; a lot of really different people really have to play if we’re going to promote computer literacy at the widest and broadest level.

The business divide: The business divide is an important one. As we take a look at the marketplace out there the fastest growing, the fastest growing business community in the United States is minority owned businesses and specifically African American owned businesses. The likelihood of technology use in small businesses, whether they’re run by African Americans or other minority groups or white Americans, is about the same. But there are still some things we think we’ve got to do to promote this notion of using the Internet amongst businesspeople as a tool to reach out and touch customers quite broadly.

And certainly as we take a look at the statistics today about 35 percent of all businesses in the United States would have a Web site or a Web presence. And I was glad to hear that our co-host and the founders of this event have Web sites but only 2.4 percent today of African American businesses tend to have a Web site.

We need to play a role, you need to play a role in helping people understand, not proselytizing what’s good, what’s possible but really helping expose people to the real benefits that one can get in terms of increased sales, customer satisfaction in using — in using technology as a tool for business and business communication.

I think it’s very, very essential that we all focus in on those issues.

The education divide is the one that troubles me the most and one in which not only our company but also I’m pleased to say particularly Bill Gates personally through his foundation has been very active, and that’s this notion of getting computers in front of kids in rural areas, in inner city areas, in poorer areas, not only in schools but in libraries, in churches, and to try to take some real effort to make sure there is an adequate presence for computer and software where people can get at them and use them and start to build the literacy that we talked about.

If you look at the ratios, they’re not good. The numbers of students per computer are too high and they’re particularly too high inside inner cities. And we have to do more to encourage not only private giving by companies like ours and foundations like Bill Gates’ but also there’s got to be more investment. This is an area that I recommend to every government I visit. If you’re going to do one thing, just one thing to help technology and to help people with technology it’s to make sure that there are adequate numbers of computers in schools across the spectrum of society. It’s incredibly, incredibly important and certainly has been an area of real focus for us in programs that we’ve done with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, for example, and other institutions where we can get computers out in front of people.

The last one I want to talk about is the employment divide. Not only is computer literacy increasingly an issue of importance in terms of every worker but if you look at where there’s been growth in our economy over the last several years it’s the technology area. We’re kind of in a bad spell right now. There was a technology bust starting about two years ago and people are laying off and blah, blah, blah, but if you really stand back and look at it and say where are there going to be jobs created in the United States over the next 10, 15 years it’s going to be in the technology industry. I know that. I believe that. I feel that so deeply and surely and it’s certainly where job creation has come.

What are the three largest sectors of employment in the United States today? Number one is electronics manufacturer. Number two is automotive. Number three is information technology. Two out of the three biggest sources of jobs today are in the information technology field. Yet if we look at the percentage of people working, African Americans working in the technology areas we’ve seen some nice gains but it still lags employment in other areas. And for us this is super critical. We need to help and we’re trying to do our best through donations to schools of higher education, et cetera. We need to all do our best to bootstrap what we call in our business the virtuous cycle where you get people and they draw people and you get more and more people entering the workforce, the technology workforce from as broad and a diverse community as absolutely possible.

Our company lives, eats and breathes starting with the programmers and computer scientists who build the kinds of products Martin showed you. I can’t do that. I’ve never been a computer programmer. In some ways I’m lucky to work at Microsoft. (Laughter.) It’s one of the advantages of being the only guy Bill Gates knew when he was 23 who worked in business.

But the need to really encourage people to get into this business is super important.

I’m feeling kind of like an old guy these days but I don’t know how many people have ever seen the movie “The Graduate,” but there’s a great Dustin Hoffman movie, 1968, ’69, there’s a great line where Dustin Hoffman, who’s about to get married, just graduating from college, he’s talking to his soon to be father-in-law and his father-in-law is trying to give him good career advice and he says, “Son, I have just one word for you: ‘Plastics.’ Plastics is the future. Plastics. You should make your career in plastics.”

I’d have a hard time giving that message to any future son-in-law. I don’t have a hard time giving the message to anybody I meet: Technology. Technology. There’s an ability to change the world, to have a career, to make a difference and we need to encourage people not only to become computer literate, we need to help highlight for people the kinds of jobs, et cetera that are available.

I had one of the most gratifying experiences in my Microsoft career about five years ago. I was back in Washington, D.C. and we had done some donation of computers and software in a lower-income housing development in D.C. called Edgewood. And I went by as part of understanding where the money is going, what we’re doing, et cetera. Our team in D.C. took me by. And I met a lady who had come into this lab that we had set up. She had learned Microsoft Office. At the time she was about 19, 20 years old. She was unemployed. She learned Microsoft Access and she told me it had changed her life. I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “I have a job. I was unemployed. I’m an Access programmer. I’m teaching my friends Access. They’re all getting jobs.”

This is not a lady who had had some big, fancy educational background; this was a lady who had been forced to get some talents or some educational experience for practical purposes and it became a source of career and she and I probably exchanged 20 e-mails over the course of the next year. Most of them were, “Hey, Steve, how do you do this in Access?” to which my typical answer is, “I don’t know but I know a technician who can help,” because she was way past me, I’ll tell you, in her use of Microsoft Access. But it gets at some of this fundamental idea that we’ve got to encourage people not only to become literate but to really understand the opportunities that exist in the field as a source of jobs.

Our company feels like the place where we can help most is to highlight the opportunities and be kind of like a sparkplug, seeding new ideas, putting computers in new places, programs like the Blacks in Technology program and some other stuff that we’ve been involved in that really encourages and really gives exposure to some of the opportunities and possibilities to the broadest set of the community as possible. Whether it’s the work we’ve done with Club Tech at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, it’s the work that we’ve done with the HUCA, with the UNCF in terms of computers and software and educational grants in the schools, we’ve done a lot with community colleges and community organizations, a number of grants that we’ve made, that’s how we can help as a spark, as a catalyst, as somebody working hard, not because we can solve the problem but we can help fuel the interest and the fire and the passion and the enthusiasm.

I love seeing everybody out here at 8:00 on a Saturday morning. I’m sure it was a big pain in the neck to get around New York at 8:00 in the morning. I think it’s a pain in the neck to get around New York about anytime. But to be here this early in the morning to want to really understand and have enough passion to I hope as a result of the meeting that we’re having today to be not only somebody who’s open but somebody who becomes an advocate, somebody who’s proselytizing, somebody who’s trying to move forward, I certainly thank you for that.

Microsoft is also trying to help in some other ways. We’re certainly trying to do our part to make sure that we provide an adequate amount of business and support to minority-owned businesses, African American businesses and as part of that program we have committed to move cash deposits into banks that are owned by people from a variety of different groups.

Today I’d like to announce that we’re also depositing an additional $9 million of investment with a set of minority banks, including the City National Bank of New Jersey, the Liberty Bank and Trust, the Legacy Bank, the Canyon National Bank and joining me on stage today will be the recipient of some of those monies. That’s Mr. Louis Prezeau. He is the President of the City National Bank of New Jersey where we will be depositing $3 million. Please welcome Louis.

(Applause.)

LOUIS PREZEAU: Good morning and thank you, Mr. Ballmer. City National Bank is really grateful for Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to our bank, to all the minority banks throughout the country and also to the National Bankers Association, the trade association that represents minorities in banking and women in banking.

A large investment in minority banks really directly benefits the African-American community we work in by first strengthening our own bank by putting larger capital investments into minority communities and also more firms to lend to minority businesses in our community.

We do sincerely appreciate Microsoft’s leadership in making the investments in minority banking and we certainly look forward to working with you and Microsoft to do bigger and better things. Thank you.

(Applause.)

STEVE BALLMER: I want to wrap with a call to action. At the end of the day this whole Blacks in Technology program, this speech, the kids coming here, it’s not going to make a difference unless you all move forward as kind of evangelists, telling the story, talking about the opportunities, talking about the importance, talking about the need.

And I’m not trying to get you to do kind of our industry’s job for us but I hope — I hope that some of the things that we’ve had a chance to share with you here today stimulate you to learn how to use technology and make it really part of your everyday life, to help you embrace both as individuals and on behalf of the communities in which you work and the businesses in which you work, help you embrace new opportunities and really move forward. I hope our commitment to your broad success is clear and I’d love to see you take the message.

This is one where you could say is this about being left behind or is it about embracing the future. Is it about really recognizing just the fundamental trends that exist in the fundamental capability of technology to just let you be better, not by replacing you or anything else but by extending your capabilities, letting you do more, letting those 4,000 kids who were here yesterday do more, get different jobs, letting my friend from Washington, DC do more, realize her potential. That’s what we’re talking about. And if all we do today is get you fired up on that and passionate about that and carrying that message I’m going to be super enthused. I know Tavis is going to be super enthused. I know Tom is going to be super enthused and we’ll have made something of a difference in really bridging the digital divide and driving forward.

I appreciate very much your time this morning. It’s been a great delight. If I can help with anything else, I am SteveB@Microsoft.com. I’d be delighted to hear from you. Thanks very much.

(Applause.)

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