A man on a whole new mission

Despite all that Bill Gates has accomplished, it appears that he is about to embark on an entirely new adventure.

  • E-Mail
By  Andrew White Published  February 3, 2008

Speaking in Dubai last week, Bill Gates was far from the archetypal ‘geek'. Although his rumpled face betrayed the fact he had just stepped off a lengthy flight, he was dressed in a smart dark suit and tie - a world away from his patented dad-chic jeans and sweater combo. Charismatic, authoritative, warm and witty, his enthusiasm was infectious.

The Microsoft chairman spoke passionately and at length about "the second digital decade", which he insists will bring about "a whole new world of work, as the business world focuses on the productivity of workers, and empowers them through technology".

According to Gates, the move from network-driven communications to software-driven communications (and the platforms Microsoft has built its billions upon) will see benefits across the board.

Firms can save a lot of money by the way they implement this, but most important will be the increase in productivity," he told delegates. "Quickly, you'll look back and wonder how you ever used to get along.

"This next decade will be even more exciting than the last, and that's why Microsoft is investing record levels in innovation," insisted Gates, who then went on to show the fruits of this investment. To the fascination of the audience, he demonstrated a prototype technology - Microsoft Surface - that would have sat happily on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, let alone the ballroom at Emirates Towers.

Surface is the first commercially available surface computer, and turns an ordinary tabletop into an interactive digital playground. Through pinching, prodding and pressing the tabletop, the user is able to interact with content as easily as if he or she was sat in front of a PC today.

Soon to be available in restaurants, hotels, retail establishments and public entertainment venues, the technology is poised to transform the way people shop, dine, entertain and live.

Instead of having a personal computer on your desk, you will have one as your desk," Gates beamed as he flexed the machine's muscles, first designing his own snowboard in an online ski store, and then sending a virtual postcard to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Such high-tech hi-jinks aside, Gates also made time to answer questions about his future, and the future of the industry he has helped build.

He dismissed suggestions that the software industry might suffer when icons such as he and Oracle founder Larry Ellison eventually take a back seat, and underlined his eagerness to devote more time to philanthropy through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "I'll be bringing my optimism to an area that has not traditionally seen a lot of optimism," he said.

It has been tough for people working towards good causes, but I am excited about using the money that I am so fortunate to have, to help improve peoples' lives."

Despite all the Microsoft founder has accomplished, it appears that he is about to embark on an entirely new adventure. ‘Gates 2.0' could just be his most remarkable achievement yet.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code