Gates Outlines “New World of Work” at CEO Summit

REDMOND, Wash. — May 19, 2005 — More than 100 CEOs from the top Global 1000 companies gathered at Microsoft Corp.’s Redmond, Wash., campus for the ninth annual Microsoft® CEO Summit for two days of discussion, debate and interactive sessions about the theme “Pathways to Growth – The New World of Work.” In his opening remarks, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates described workplace trends that are transforming the landscape of global commerce and outlined Microsoft’s vision for advanced productivity tools that will further empower information workers to do their jobs more effectively.

Bill Gates addresses business leaders at the ninth annual Microsoft CEO Summit, Redmond., Wash., May 19, 2005.

“Today’s companies thrive when their employees can effectively collaborate, visualize and act on business intelligence and prioritize scarce time and resources,” Gates said. “Information workers are the driving force behind business innovation. To adapt and succeed in the ‘New World of Work’ today and tomorrow, they need advanced tools that will help them make the most of their unique talents, experiences and judgment.”

Gates described how workplace trends such as the shift from manufacturing- to services-based economies are shaping technology innovation in the coming decade, as is the growing need for people to collaborate across organizations and time zones. Other forces include the larger and more complex streams of information that employees must handle in today’s “always on, always connected” technology environments, the demands for greater transparency and accountability in business processes, and more intense competition to recruit talented employees from a shrinking work force.

The Next Wave of Microsoft Office Products

Gates pointed to the next wave of Microsoft Office products, currently code-named “Office 12,” as a significant development to advance information work in this changing business landscape. “Office 12” will be available in the second half of calendar year 2006 with the first beta version expected this fall.

In the next generation of Office, Microsoft is focused on delivering tools that enable individual workers to make a stronger impact with their daily tasks, manage their communications and collaboration in a unified environment, and more readily visualize and extract valuable insights from large volumes of incoming information. All of this will help enable businesses to be more competitive in the “New World of Work” by extending the capabilities of software to drive better business performance. It will also give IT departments a more standardized, integrated architecture for efficiently managing the complete life cycle of documents and other content. In addition, the next generation of Microsoft Office products will further incorporate open XML standards and provide rapid development tools.

About CEO Summit

The Microsoft CEO Summit was established in 1997 in response to growing interest in the convergence of technology and business issues among corporate CEOs. The conference is an opportunity for attendees to hear leading industry experts analyze economic trends and technology issues and provides a forum in which CEOs can discuss business challenges and share insights and experiences with their peers from around the world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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