Gates Advises CEOs: Software Puts Information to Work for People

REDMOND, Wash. – May 17, 2006 – Speaking to more than 100 CEOs gathered here for the 10th annual Microsoft® CEO Summit, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates today said trends in the “new world of work” create a need for companies to rethink how employees find, analyze and act on vital corporate information. Gates described how current and future Microsoft offerings address the key issues of information overload and information “underload” – the difficulty employees face trying to act on information once they have found it.

Microsoft asserts that although finding information and people through powerful search tools is critical to enabling information workers to more effectively do their job, the intelligent enterprise requires secure, customizable solutions that help their employees collaborate and act on information to drive business success. The company believes that enterprise search is just one facet of effective Enterprise information management in a people-ready business, and Microsoft is addressing this by providing new solutions that enable employees to find relevant people and information quickly through their desktop, within the corporate network or on the Internet.

“Everyone inside an organization – from the CEO to the newly hired information worker – has to be able to find the information they need and then use it to drive smart decisions and take action,” said Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Platforms and Services Division at Microsoft. “Search is just one piece of the solution. Organizations that enable employees to create, access, use and share information efficiently will be more successful at building customer relationships and better at getting great results from their people.”

Enabling Information Management With Enhanced Search Solutions

Microsoft today shared its vision of how enterprise search fits in the broader context of software technologies and services that maximize employee productivity and effectiveness. Enterprise search is just a component of information management, which is far more than browser toolbars and appliances or a keyword search of a set of documents on a network. An optimal enterprise search solution improves productivity by quickly, seamlessly and securely connecting people with the right information so they can effectively apply it to their organization’s needs. It also allows organizations to deal with very large amounts of content, addressing information overload and underload by giving information workers the right tools to make better decisions, find and instantly share the knowledge within the enterprise and beyond, and prevent duplication of content and effort.

Finding, Using and Sharing Information Through a Single Point of Entry: Windows Live Search

Microsoft’s goal is to create and deliver groundbreaking search solutions that present information workers with a simple, unified way to get at the information they need, no matter where it resides.

  • Simple. Microsoft’s approach to enterprise search lets information workers search in Windows Vista™ and the Microsoft Office applications they work in every day to quickly obtain relevant information, and recognize that people are information sources too.

  • More secure and adaptable. Unlike the Internet, company networks require rules-based information access to help provide security, employee privacy and regulatory compliance and keep company information more secure.

  • Single point of entry. Windows Live™ Search provides a single, comprehensive user interface, which uniquely brings together content from previously separate systems including the Internet, desktop and corporate networks.

New Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Search Solutions

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates at the Microsoft CEO Summit 2006, Redmond, Wash., May 17, 2006.

Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 provides integrated information management capabilities such as portal and collaboration, enterprise content management, business process and forms, business intelligence, and enhanced search. Enterprise search is also a core investment area with enhancements in increased relevancy, security and scalability. In addition, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server will provide new capabilities through its Business Data Catalog to search against structured data sources in line-of-business applications including those from Siebel and SAP.

Office SharePoint Server also furthers Microsoft’s investment in people and expertise location through a breakthrough innovation called Knowledge Network for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. By automating the discovery of undocumented knowledge and relationships, Knowledge Network can provide customers with the shortest path to key contacts, enabling them to make better decisions more quickly. Knowledge Network will do the following:

  • Make finding people based on their expertise more efficient by searching automated profiles

  • Help users quickly connect with influential and knowledgeable people

  • Help keep personal information private

As a response to customer feedback from the Microsoft Office 2007 system beta, Microsoft is also announcing a new product called Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for Search 2007. A subset of the complete SharePoint Server offering, SharePoint Server for Search will provide midmarket and departmental enterprise customers with core search capabilities, crawling content in common data repositories including file shares, Web sites, SharePoint sites, Exchange Server and Lotus Notes. It can also be extended to search other repositories using third-party or custom-built connectors, and is upgradeable to the full SharePoint Server offering.


The 2007 release of the Microsoft Office system will deliver on the promise of enterprise search via Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, which makes it easy to search for people and content on a corporate network. In the second half of 2006, Microsoft will release a test version of Windows Live Search, which delivers a single-point-of-entry experience for enterprise search.

About CEO Summit

The Microsoft CEO Summit was established in 1997 in response to growing interest among corporate CEOs in the convergence of technology and business issues. 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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