Gates Stresses Need for Trustworthy Systems

Security and mobility will be key elements in a network landscape that will change drastically over the next five years, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Nov. 12 in his annual state of the industry address at the Comdex Computer trade show in Las Vegas.


Gates said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks showed the need for both physical and digital security to guard against tragedy. He described his vision of the so-called digital decade, 2001 to 2010, to be one of trustworthy systems at the core of business, enterprise and home networks.


The 7 million copies of Windows XP sold in the two weeks after its release, the strongest product launch ever for Microsoft, showed that his vision was widely shared by the public, he said.


"A key reason for the early success of Windows XP is its incredibly strong security," Gates said. "Our goal of enabling a single code base to operate across both your PCs and your servers offers immense benefits. It takes the security of your network to a whole new level. Microsoft's mission is to create computer networks that are orders of magnitude more secure than anything we've seen before."


Gates said advances in security will open new areas of mobility and change the computing landscape. He predicted that tablet computers will outpace desktop and notebook PC sales within the next five years, and he demonstrated several tablet computers being shown at Comdex that will be available by next year.


The tablets displayed at the keynote and at a party afterward, from several manufacturers, were running full versions of Office XP.


"The PC took computing out of the back office and into everyone's office," he said. "The tablet takes cutting-edge PC technology and makes it available wherever you want it, which is why I'm already using a tablet as my everyday computer. It's a PC that is virtually without limits, and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America."

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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