Microsoft's Gates Outlines Vision for E-Government

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates described his company's plans to help empower governments and their citizenry through Internet technology.

Gates addressed the issue of electronic government in a keynote speech March 27 at the Microsoft Government Leaders Conference, highlighting various examples of government offices using Microsoft technology.

More than 400 government representatives from more than 80 countries are attending the conference to glean more information about e-government technology and hear real-world examples of how these systems are changing the way government agencies interact with citizens, businesses and other governments, the company said.

According to a company statement, Gates described two applications: the United Kingdom's Government Gateway project, an initiative designed to have 100 percent of government transactions online by 2005; and Accenture's eGovernment Accelerator, a system designed to help governments deliver seamless services across agencies via the Web.

"Nothing will have a greater impact on the way governments interact with citizens and each other than their effective use of technology," Gates said in the statement that pitched the company's .NET initiative. "Innovative solutions, such as the U.K. Government Gateway project and Accenture's eGovernment Accelerator, both based on the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server platform, will enable governments to improve efficiency, cut costs and be more responsive to citizens' needs."

The U.K.'s Government Gateway is a central authentication portal for all interactions among businesses, citizens and the government. Various Microsoft technologies were used in this solution, including the Windows 2000 operating system, SQL Server 2000 and BizTalk.

Microsoft said the system leverages legacy information technology systems and provides full integration to a broad array of applications and platforms while creating scalability.

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