Steve Ballmer: Government Leaders Forum 2004

GERRI ELLIOTT (Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation): It is now my great pleasure to introduce our CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer. Steve is here specifically because of the Government Leaders Forum and it was important enough for him to spend some time with you talking about his vision and his strategy as well and how Microsoft is aligned to those. So please help me welcome Steve Ballmer. (Applause.)

STEVE BALLMER: Well, thanks. I want to welcome everyone to this Government Leaders Forum and thank you for your participation. We’re very honored to have you here, and I hope these few days really prove very highly productive for you and for the communities and nations in which you’re involved.

I particularly want to thank Dr. Kim Hak-Su for his thoughtful comments today and for his incredible leadership for, I want to say, SCAP for short. We were joking earlier about how the technology industry and the UN are both very good at acronyms, but thank you very much, Dr. Kim; it’s a pleasure — UNESCAP which makes incredible contributions to the economic and social development in Asia and in the Pacific.

Technology’s Role in Promoting Economic and Social Development

Today I want to talk with you about how technology and specifically Microsoft can assist your governments in efforts to promote economic and social development. By working together, I believe we can really help improve the lives of millions of people throughout Asia and the rest of the world.

Let me say first of all up front I’m not going to claim to be an expert in economic development. That’s not what we do. You’re the experts, the people who really know what’s best and what’s most needed in your communities and in your nations. We make software. We believe that software though is a unique tool that helps enhance people and helps people enhance their capabilities so they can better their lives and so that the societies in which they live can progress.

That’s why we talk about the mission of our company and really of our industry is helping enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

You might correctly say that governments do much the same thing through public policies and public programs. Our industry tries to do it through information technology, which is really I think a great enabler of potential.

Partnering with Government

Over the past several years, we’ve given a lot of thought to how we can be the best possible partner to government, how to achieve the goals we all have in common for us to be a good global citizen.

We focused a lot of attention on building strong, positive relationships with governments in every region where we do business. I’m very proud of the close collaborations we’ve been able to forge with many of the governments that you represent today.

We’re especially excited about working with governments throughout Asia because this is such an exciting and dynamic and diverse part of the world. Many of your countries are making incredible advances, really leading the world in so many areas.

We want to be your partner, and in order to be a good partner we have to spend a lot of time really listening, really listening. We’re working to respond according to the express needs of the people in each country, the people who really know best.

I’ve been with Microsoft since, well, almost the beginning I guess we would say at this stage, although the company was five years old when I joined, and I’m humbled by how much our company still has to learn about the world. We’re still relatively a young company. In less than three decades we’ve grown into a company with 57,000 employees doing business in more than 75 countries around the world. In recent years, we’ve consciously become much more global in our thinking and our approach. We still know we have a long way to go, but we’re committed to being a truly global company and I’m very optimistic that we can make a positive contribution particularly here in Asia.

My optimism stems in large measure from some recent initiatives that have been very well received in many countries. In the programs that are in my mind, we worked closely with governments really from the beginning, we customized global thoughts and programs to be very local, to support the priorities of each and every government with which we interact.

Local Language Program
A lot of our effort goes into supporting your efforts around digital inclusion and education and I’d like to share with you some of the things we’re doing with governments around the world in that arena.

A great example of how our global approach and work with customers around the world guide our efforts is our work in local language programs. This started with one of our managers, a fellow named Andy Abbar, when he was visiting a customer in Spain about two and a half years ago. The customer was a big bank in Spain, in Barcelona specifically. Andy went in expecting to hear about issues in IT with Windows and Office, how could they reduce their development costs and IT costs and the usual things, shall I say, for a Microsoft person, but the bank was very clear; what they really wanted was help serving their customers in their native language. Well, Andy’s initial thought was, well, we support Spanish. But the bank said, no, not Spanish — Catalan, Catalan is the language we speak in this part of Spain.

And while over the years we’ve localized our Windows and Office products in 40 languages and dialects, it’s a lot of work, very expensive, we haven’t done all of the languages of the world and there are literally hundreds of other languages in the world. Some are spoken by just a very small number of people and creating a full version of Windows or Office for them is very expensive. Other languages are spoken by millions of people but mostly fairly impoverished so there’s not a market really there yet for our products in those languages. But these people then become doubly disadvantaged in a global economy that increasingly depends on and relies on technology.

Andy came back from Barcelona to our headquarters in the Seattle area, and we really began to think about how we could do more to quickly adapt our software to work in many more languages. We talked with customers, we talked with governments about this topic.

We were inspired actually by an experience that Andy had during a subsequent visit with the ministry of communications in Vietnam. He noticed that a receptionist at the ministry had covered her computer screen with little Post-it notes. They had writing on them in Vietnamese. Andy asked a colleague to please translate what were all these notes sitting on the computer screen up and down. And he discovered that down in the lower left the Post-it note on the screen translated the word “Start.” In the upper left notes translated “File, Edit” and so on. When the receptionist left the office so that another receptionist could sit down at the computer, the next receptionist could benefit from the same Post-it notes. So they were finding ways to work around the language barriers, not very elegant, but simple and affordable.

So we came up with the idea to create what we call a software shell but you could consider it designed in electronic Post-it notes to provide local language interface for our English versions of Windows and Office, but that would make those products come alive in the local language and translate words like File, Print, Save and so forth so that functions are accessible in local language.

We called that our Local Language Program. We launched it eight months ago and so far we’ve published interfaces for 22 additional languages, including Hindi, Malay, Thai and others. In Europe I was involved in launching a version in the language Sami, which is spoken by 50,000 people in the Lapland area of upper Norway. So we found that we can get very local now with languages that are spoken by very few people, and we plan to publish interfaces in 34 additional languages by June of next year.

From the start, we recognized that these interfaces really belong not to Microsoft but to the linguistic communities in the countries themselves, and that we should involve those people very much in the development of these translations and localizations. We worked with governments and universities to let local volunteers suggest the right terms for their language. People can do that actually over the Internet or, if that won’t work, we try to get creative in other ways. In Nepal, our partner who was working on the local language interface went on the local community radio station and started broadcasting 10 different computing terms over the radio every day, asking listeners to call in suggestions for how to best translate those computer terms into Nepalese. Within two weeks, we had a complete glossary of basic Windows terms in Nepalese.

These glossaries are all in the public domain so that anyone, a competitor of ours, a local software developer in the country, can use them to create additional software that will benefit the linguistic community, and we believe that this Local Language Program should help stimulate the growth of local software enterprises, help the communities keep their languages alive and help extend the benefits of technology to more people. We’re very excited about it.

I met with the Prime Minister of India earlier this week, and the fact that we’re localizing Windows into 14 additional Indian languages should really open up accessibility, particularly amongst the more disadvantaged people in rural India.

Windows XP Starter Edition

As we pursue digital inclusion, another learning opportunity for Microsoft involves a new product called Windows XP Starter Edition. This is a desktop PC operating system, but really designed for first-time home computer users in developing markets. Starter is designed to run on very low-cost PCs, providing a base level of experience and lowering the price of admission to computing in the parts of the world that face the greatest financial barriers to digital inclusion.

We’ve worked on this closely with governments, people who make computers and citizens in five pilot countries, mostly here in Asia: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Russia.

The challenge then is to come up with the right technology solutions at the right price with features and built-in support that empower people who have little or no computer skills and who otherwise could not afford a PC.

In terms of our business, Starter Edition provides another inexpensive but legal alternative to pirated products that we know are widely used in many developing countries.

We partnered with the government of Thailand to test the Thai version of Windows XP Starter Edition by giving PCs and Internet access to some average citizens. Microsoft employees visited often with these families in their homes to understand how they use their PCs and to learn how to make the software more useful and relevant to their needs.

We have more to learn but the results have been really very, very encouraging. Young people with very limited access to PCs in school, who were getting maybe only an hour a week or so of basic instruction in computer skills, began going online every day to improve their school work, learn about the world, play music and communicate with their friends and other people around the world.

And because Starter Edition is simplified and localized in the Thai language, these students were able to quickly teach their other family members how to use their PC, including parents, brothers, aunts, uncles who had no previous computer experience.

Last month, Windows XP Starter Edition began to ship on new, low-cost desktop PCs in Thailand. Over the next few months, it will roll out in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Russia. We plan to review what we’re learning from these pilot countries as we continue to work to make basic computing more available and useful for beginners and their families.

Digital Inclusion: Partners in Learning, Unlimited Potential

Besides the initiatives I’ve mentioned, our efforts for digital inclusion and education take on many other forms. We’ve been very involved creating a pipeline that moves refurbished or used PCs from the developed world or from commercial institutions to the developing world to private citizens.

We’re a leader in adapting software to needs of people with physical and other disabilities, and that’s something we’ve really been committed to as a matter of corporate policy since 1995.

Our flagship programs for digital inclusion are something we call Partners in Learning and Unlimited Potential. Partners in Learning involves working in schools to increase access to technology and technology skills, providing software and helping improve and expand teacher training. This is really a huge undertaking. China just, for example, has more than 250 million primary and secondary students. Of the country’s 10 million teachers, the Chinese government has designated 60,000 of them as specialists on information and communication technologies. And now the challenge is to train those 60,000. Some lack even basic computer skills. They need those skills and they need training in how to use technology in the classroom to enhance learning.

To support the Chinese government’s efforts and to extend training to more teachers more quickly, we’ve partnered with the government to distribute an IT skills curriculum, including lesson plans and materials that come on DVD. So far we’ve distributed 9,000 copies to teachers in three different Chinese provinces. We’re also supporting the establishment of computer labs, three of them each in China’s 31 provinces, with networked PCs and high-speed Internet access to serve both teachers and students.

As in China, we’re collaborating on Partners in Learning projects with 84 national governments and many international agencies around the world. As part of this effort, we’re announcing the worldwide availability of two sets of IT skills curricula that we worked with partners to develop. They cover everything from basic computer skills, things like using desktop applications, networking and programming. We’ve localized that curricula into more than 20 languages so far, including the Indonesian language, Japanese, Korean, Thai and two Chinese versions. We’re making them available to schools and learning centers free of charge as part of our Partners in Learning and Unlimited Potential programs.

Unlimited Potential, our other flagship initiative for digital inclusion, was just launched last year. After consulting with many governments and development agencies, we saw that many countries really wanted public/private partnership help in developing the workforce skills of adults, especially disadvantaged groups of adults that were outside any kind of traditional school setting.

We partner already in 78 countries to set up and support thousands of community technology centers. Our support includes donations of cash, software grants and a global support network.

I mentioned this curricula project that we’ve done and that curricula is really designed for hands-on learning also in a community center setting.

Unlimited Potential: The Philippines

The Unlimited Potential learning centers are all different in different countries. In India our community partners, our government partners were particularly concerned about developing the workforce skills of women in rural areas so there’s a special focus there. In Indonesia the big concern was, in fact, rural poverty, so the emphasis has been on farmers in Indonesia.

And because Microsoft is a global company with a global commitment to citizenship, we’re finding opportunities to really help in some unique ways. A great example of that is work we’ve recently begun as part of starting an Unlimited Potential program in the Philippines. We’ve been working with the country’s technical education authorities to enhance computer skills training at learning centers that the government operates all around the Philippines. In the process we’ve realized that overseas workers are a very important part of the Filipino economy. There are about 8 million Filipinos working in other countries and they send back about $8 billion a year to help support their families. Many of them dream of being reunited with their families but often they lack the skills to earn a decent living back at home. Developing those skills could really help them contribute to the Filipino economy without having to leave the country and it could help reduce the strain on society caused by long family separations.

So we’ve begun working with a Filipino government agency called the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to provide computer skills training at a center in Manila for both departing and returning overseas workers. What’s especially exciting is that we’ve also begun working to provide that training to Filipinos who are overseas. We’re doing this now in Kuala Lumpur and here in Singapore. In Singapore I understand there are about 100,000 Filipino workers, mostly women, many of them domestic helpers, maids and nannies. Many of them spend their one day off, their Sundays at a center operated here by the Foreign Overseas Workers Association of Singapore. They take classes there. Traditionally it’s been in things like cooking and dress-making but now also computer skills.

Microsoft provides cash, software curricula, materials and training for volunteer teachers in these centers. This is a close collaboration we have with the Overseas Workers Association here in Singapore, the Singapore government, the Philippines, the Department of Labor and, in fact, the Philippines embassy.

These classes are extremely popular. Filipino women are learning word processing, how to create computer spreadsheets, they’re creating PowerPoint presentations and business plans for small businesses they want to start when they return to the Philippines.

This year’s class graduated here just this last week and the program will be expanded next year. Many of the volunteer teachers are other Filipinos, professionals employed here in Singapore and students of Singaporean universities. They do a wonderful job and I understand that some of them are here with us today and so I’d like to see if we can ask them to stand up and show them a round of applause. Please stand. (Applause.) Thank you so very much.

Partnership with UNESCO

As you can see, we’re engaged in many efforts for digital inclusion through close collaboration with governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations and other industry partners. Many of our projects involve agencies of the United Nations, particularly UNESCO, and I’d like to take a moment right now to introduce Sheldon Shaeffer, UNESCO’s Education Director, to help me announce a new chapter in our collaboration. Please welcome Sheldon Shaeffer. (Applause.)

SHELDON SHAEFFER (Education Director, UNESCO): Dr. Kim, Mr. Ballmer: the Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, and the Chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, yesterday signed in Paris a cooperation agreement between the two organizations. By so doing, UNESCO and Microsoft are building an international strategic partnership to bridge the digital divide and establish open and inclusive knowledge societies.

The agreement seeks to use information and communication technologies to accelerate social and economic development, acting through the collaboration of a range of stakeholders.

In this context, UNESCO recognizes the important contribution that can be made by the private sector to these strategic objectives and it is our intention to mobilize partners from civil society and in particular from the private sector to achieve its goals and program priorities.

Through this cooperation agreement, UNESCO and Microsoft will explore possibilities for collaboration in several areas, including education and learning, community access and development, the facilitation of software application sharing, digital inclusion and capacity building, the exchange and promotion of best practices on the use of ITT for social economic development programs, the fostering of Web-based communities of practice and cultural and linguistic diversity and preservation.

As an anthropologist by training, I agree very much with Mr. Ballmer’s focus on this issue in his presentation.

Of special importance, given UNESCO’s mandate to foster education for all, and as the UN agency mandated to do this, is the work to be done in the innovative use of technology to reach the unreached, revolutionize student learning and train and retrain the millions of teachers needed in the years ahead to make education for all a reality.

Mr. Ballmer, the UNESCO regional bureau for education in Bangkok, which works in 44 countries in the Asia and Pacific region, stands ready to play a major role in implementing this cooperation agreement. I look forward to collaborating further with you and with your Microsoft colleagues in this region to achieve the laudable objectives we have set for ourselves for the future. (Applause.)

STEVE BALLMER: I certainly want to thank Mr. Shaeffer and everyone at UNESCO for giving our company and other companies around the world the opportunity to expand our collaboration on a wide range of projects, projects that I think will help improve the lives of millions of people around the world in the years ahead, so thank you very much.

The agreement we are announcing today will help increase access to cost effective personal computers in the developing world, it will help improve teacher training in the use of information and communication and it will help both students and adults learn to develop the technology skills and other vocational skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.

The Microsoft collaboration with UNESCO represents I think a very important way for us to continue to pursue our company’s mission of enabling people and businesses around the world to realize their full potential.

I also want to thank Mr. Shaeffer for his efforts and for UNESCO’s invaluable work on behalf of the world’s people. Thank you.

Safety on the Internet

Projects for digital inclusion and education are extremely important but they’re still only a part of what is required I think for our company to step up to its full role in the new information society. We’ve also committed ourselves to achieving some big goals in other key areas of citizenship: Internet safety, responsible business practices and economic development and opportunities.

Let me explain a little bit about what we’re thinking, if you will, in each of these areas.

By Internet safety we really mean all of the societal challenges that have sprung up around information technology: security, privacy, spam, children’s online safety. We’re committed to help meet all of those challenges in partnership with governments, other industry leaders, companies and, frankly, anyone else who wants to help.

About three years ago, we made software security the No. 1 top priority of our company. We’ve invested very heavily in a multi-pronged effort to improve software quality and development processes and to reduce the risks that customers face of information security problems. We’ve worked to provide customers with more effective security education and guidance. We’ve collaborated with others in our industry to better respond to security threats and we’re working with governments around the world to help enforce laws against cyber crime.

I think it’s fair to say that no other software company has invested as much in security R & D, process improvements and customer education as we have done at Microsoft.

We’re especially proud of the progress reflected in our Windows XP Service Pack 2. It’s a free upgrade to Windows XP with advanced technologies that enable safer Web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging.

We’re developing a wide array of other new technologies and innovations that will help enhance security in a number of ways. Against junk e-mail or spam we’re making inroads with advanced filtering technologies, tougher laws and aggressive enforcement and new innovations like Sender ID. Sender ID is a technological process for authenticating an e-mail source so that fraudulent messages can be very effectively blocked and so that mail can get through from people you want to receive mail from.

We’ve offered Sender ID as an Internet standard that anyone can use. We’re big contributors to overall Internet standards and industry standards that can help these technologies move forward.

We’re working against online identify theft and other threats to privacy such as spyware. That’s software that sneaks onto your computer and sort of takes over, if you will. In our Windows XP Service Pack 2 there are eight different technologies that we pioneered that are built in to help keep spyware off your computer, yet we know there’s more to be done.

And we’re working to help protect children from threats on the Internet. Among other things, we’ve collaborated with Interpol and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children on a series of training sessions for law enforcement personnel on the prevention of computer-enabled crimes against children.

Since September, nearly 400 police and prosecutors have attended these training sessions in Europe, South America and Africa. Next week there will be another session in Hong Kong for law enforcement officials from throughout East Asia. Also next week in Hong Kong we’re having a conference for government officials and citizens concerned about what they can do to promote online child safety.

The training and guidance we provide to police and prosecutors is in addition to the day-to-day work we do to make the Internet safer for children. We are in regular communication with law enforcement authorities who are actually investigating cases of harm against children. We maintain ourselves a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography and other harmful content on our MSN communications service.

But perhaps most important, we are increasing our investment in consumer education. Our Child Safety Tips on MSN and are now available in over 19 languages and more than three dozen countries.

By the way, one of the classes we’re offering here in Singapore for Filipino workers is actually on this topic of adult supervision of online child safety. Many of the women involved in these programs are nannies and they’ve asked for classes so they can help protect the children they care for when they go online.

Parents and other caregivers are really crucial to help keeping children safe online.


Another area of focus for us on the citizenship front really focuses in to ensure integrity and transparency in our own business processes and practices. We have worked very hard over many, many years to be a very values-focused and values-driven company that maintains the highest standards of conduct and that more than meets the ethical and certainly the legal expectations of all of the countries in which we do business.

Some of this effort has to do with our own internal processes of corporate governance, but a lot of it has to do with being very open and honest and respectful with others, which is one of the core values of our company.

In particular, in the past several years, we’ve been looking for ways to share more information with partners and with customers about our products, to help people evaluate our products and to get more out of them. Through our so-called Shared Source Initiative we’re making source code available to our customers and partners and government worldwide. This includes access to the source code for all of the versions of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and other key products.

Particularly with government to help with security issues we’ve set up a special program that we call our Government Security Program that provides national governments with access to Windows source code. Last month, we also added the source code to our Office product for all of our government customers.

This program gives government access to technical information, cryptographic code, development tools. You can get an engineering-level view of our products and their security design so that you can probe in and help understand how Windows meets the national security requirements of your governments and your computing infrastructure.

Solutions Sharing Network

Also last week, we announced a new initiative. As a result of ongoing collaborations with governments around the world, we’re announcing and launching our Solutions Sharing Network, which is a free portal where governments and academic institutions and other agencies can share software solutions and architectures, best practice and applications source code.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the first Asian participant in the Solutions Sharing Network. K-U-K-T-E-M, Kuktem, one of Malaysia’s universities for engineering and technology, will be Microsoft’s lead partner in developing this network for the benefit of the government and education in Malaysia. Malaysian government agencies are also participating and we’re very pleased to have this new kind of partnership and participation and expect to expand it throughout Asia.

Finally, our commitment to citizenship includes a commitment to partnering with governments and communities to help really strengthen local economies. We do this in part, I guess you could say, through our products, which help people be more productive and creative. Because our software is powerful and easy to use, it’s especially helpful to emerging economies in helping quickly develop the workforce to compete for global service jobs and other businesses that require workers with computer skills.

Local Economic Opportunity

We also contribute to economic opportunities through the business activity that spins off from our own innovation, which flow from our constant commitment to research and development, a commitment that frankly extends to more than $6 billion this year alone.

Let me give you an example. Let’s talk about the Tablet PC. This is a technology that Microsoft pioneered with several hardware makers. Analysts at the firm IDC forecast a $7 billion market for Tablet PCs within the next three years. Recently, BusinessWeek magazine reported on the technology that goes into a version of the Tablet PC that’s made by one of our partners, Motion Computing, which is a company in Texas, in the United States.

This Tablet runs on Windows software with Digital Ink technology that was developed actually at one of our advanced technology centers in Beijing where we have more than 500 engineers and scientists doing some of the most amazing work, by the way. The Tablet’s digital pen technology comes from Japan. The color tilt screen, which can be viewed in very bright sunlight, was developed and made in Korea. And the machines themselves are made in China by a contract manufacturer from Taiwan and then supplied to a company in Texas.

Within the global IT industry, software is especially global because all of the independent software developers and computer services firms in virtually every country who localize, customize and maintain computer systems. Microsoft’s business model has always been based on the idea of what we like to refer to as a software ecosystem, a family of independent companies and individuals who earn their livelihoods by building on top of the Windows platform.

Worldwide we have over 750,000 partners who are creating jobs in every country of the world. IDC analysts estimate that our partners earn $7 or $8 of revenue for every $1 that our company earns, and those partners pay taxes in all of the countries represented in the room here today and many, many more.

Here in Singapore, this small but incredibly dynamic nation, the information technology industry amounts to more than 6,800 companies — 6,800 companies in Singapore alone who employ more than 100,000 people. That’s based on a projection from a study that IDC did last year. The Singapore IT industry earns $4.5 billion in annual revenue and pays over $1 billion a year in taxes.

In the last several years, Singapore has diversified its economy with strong growth in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. The government here deserves a lot of credit for establishing conditions where its pharmaceutical and IT industries can thrive; excellent schools here, good transportation and communication systems and a strong system of legal protections for intellectual property.

Recently, Singapore strengthened its copyright law as part of the implementation of its new Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Ahead of that new law going into effect next year, Microsoft and other IT companies have collaborated with the government’s intellectual property office on a business software licensing program, which offers temporary discounts on software to small- and medium-sized businesses. We call this offer Get Legal for Less, and it’s been very, very successful here in Singapore.

There’s another very concrete way that Microsoft works to help governments achieve their goals. We’ve worked hard to ensure that our technologies provide the best platform for governments’ own IT infrastructure. We’re especially excited about the potential of so-called Web services that use our .NET technologies as a powerful, very flexible platform for the next generation of e-government applications and services.

Our .NET Framework provides unparalleled interoperability for non-Microsoft systems that helps you get more value from your existing infrastructure IT investments and helps connect it and extend it more easily and helps you build new solutions and create new services more quickly and effectively.


A concrete example of that is a new collaboration that I’ll be announcing later on today that we’re doing with Alexander Hospital here in Singapore, the Infocom Development Authority in Singapore and some very clever folks here in the Singaporean area. This is called Healthcare.NET and the goal is to create the Singapore hospital of the future. Healthcare workers and technology providers will work together to build a very patient-centered healthcare system.

We want to use the great interoperability of .NET to reduce the hassle, the paperwork and the redundant data gathering that’s inflicted on patients in most hospitals around the world today as they go from registration through treatment and outpatient care.

Doctors and other staff will have the information they need to make faster, more accurate diagnoses and to deliver treatment sooner and more safely. Patients will be empowered to access their own information, their own medical information so they can make decisions and help provide care for themselves.

This project is going to take three years. We’ll use our .NET technology to integrate existing hospital systems and we’ll gradually add on new technologies such as biometrics, smart cards and RFID technologies.

The plan is to use Healthcare.NET to test systems for potential use not only throughout Singapore but really to enhance the quality of healthcare for all citizens of this country.

I hope you can see why I’m excited to be here today. This is a time of tremendous progress and opportunity throughout Asia, particularly on the technology front. The possibilities are really mind boggling.

I want to leave some time for questions and dialogue and discussion and a chance to really learn from all of you, so I’ll just close by saying that more than anything else, we at Microsoft want to work with you to help you achieve your goals for the citizens in your society. We believe that a strong public/private partnership between government and all companies in the technology industry can help expand economic opportunity and extend the societal benefits that technology can deliver, especially to those people who have been excluded or under-served. I know that’s a big and ambitious goal but it’s a goal I think we all share and I think it’s a goal that if we all put our minds to it, we can really achieve together.

Thank you for listening today, thank you for attending today, thank you for your participation in this conference. I’ll look forward to our dialogue and again all the best wishes on the many important, important things that are in front of you in the days ahead. It’s been my pleasure to have this chance today. Thank you. (Applause.)