Gates Opens Sixth Annual Microsoft CEO Summit

REDMOND, Wash., May 22, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. opened its sixth annual CEO Summit today with a keynote address from Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. More than 100 CEOs from companies around the world — representing virtually all major industries — have convened in Redmond, Wash., for sessions following the theme
“Navigating the Unpredictable: Road Rules for the New Normalcy.”

“The turbulence of 2001 has created uncertainty in the global business landscape, but forward-looking companies can use technology to respond more quickly to change,”
Gates said.
“Todays CEOs are more savvy about technology than ever, and this years CEO Summit will give them an even better picture of how to use technology to empower their work force, and deliver better products and solutions to their customers.”

Setting the stage for the two days of presentations and interactive sessions, Gates spoke about three areas in which new technologies will continue to increase business efficiency:

  • Progress for the information worker. Gates said the industry has only begun to scratch the surface of the potential productivity gains that technology can deliver. Research in a number of cutting-edge areas is beginning to pay off, enabling a new wave of productivity gains. New devices and applications will take advantage of new searching technologies, a better understanding of how meetings work, and the ability to use speech recognition and intelligent playback to recall and share useful information.

  • IT empowerment. Microsoft also is committed to reducing the complexity IT professionals face every day. Microsoft® Windows® XP, for example, includes a new remote reporting feature that automates system maintenance and monitoring. IT empowerment represents one piece of Microsofts Trustworthy Computing initiative, which seeks to bring the computing ecosystem to a point where people no longer question the reliability and safety of the software, hardware and services they depend on.

  • Web services and digital business processes. Gates highlighted customers that have developed Microsoft .NET-based solutions for real-time information exchange, supply-chain transparency and electronic payment among multiple business partners. He also spoke about Microsofts work promoting standards such as SOAP, XML and WSDL, which provide an efficient framework for digital business processes.

Attendees experienced firsthand some productivity tools of the future. Each CEO was provided with a new Tablet PC for use during the conference, marking the first time Tablet PC prototypes have been used in a large public setting. Tablet PCs extend the power of laptop computers running Windows XP with enhanced capabilities such as pen and speech input. The Tablet PC prototypes will allow attendees to take notes with a keyboard or in their own handwriting with a stylus, view PowerPoint® presentations, and participate in interactive surveys and Q & A sessions.

Gates also showed the CEOs a PC workstation equipped with a next-generation panoramic display that gives information workers a much wider field of view which can be filled with multiple full-page windows at once. These displays create an immersive, highly productive environment for information workers and will be affordable for consumers as well.

“Were experiencing a time of constant innovation — which I call the Digital Decade — that will transform the way we work,”
Gates said.
“Although computers have generated huge improvements in workplace productivity throughout the past 20 years, some of the greatest developments are still on the horizon. CEOs need to keep investing in these kinds of technologies to achieve the next level of cost savings, time to market and business agility.”

The Microsoft CEO Summit, established in response to growing interest in IT issues among corporate CEOs, is considered to be the second most important gathering of global

business leaders after the World Economic Forum. Not only do conference attendees hear Microsoft executives and industry experts speak about macroeconomic trends and technology issues, but the summit provides a valuable forum for CEOs to discuss business issues and share experiences 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.

Microsoft, Windows and PowerPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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

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