Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bill Gates @ NVTC (Part II) - Q&A
It was interesting to see Craig Mundie join Bill for the Q&A session - the transition is on and Bill is involving more and more people from Microsoft as he prepares to leave in June!

Q: What can hold back the vision that you have described for the future back?
A: Not much, technology innovation has not slowed down at all. Science departments in universities are leveraging software for R&D in all domains - e.g. software provides a single visualization platform for telescope data across the globe that is now accessible from a desktop. The rate of technology change is not expected to slow down.

Q: What about evolution of security with the new functionality?
A: Castle and moat security model has to be changed. Move to an end to end authenticated and secure connections.

Q: How is Microsoft supporting technology in education?
A: As compared to the technology kids have access to at home, the technology in the schools is antiquated. Microsoft has several initiatives to support schools: software grants, sofware developed specifically for eduction (simulation software for robotic modeling, etc.). Pilot prorgames in schools hav resulted in doubling of participation in science and math and high-school drop out rates have reduced. Microsoft is also supporting interesting competitions to promote interest in science (imagine cup for scientific problem solving)

Q: What are your thoughts on iPV6?
A: iPV6 is a necessary step. It will have key impact on network management and security. Lot more energy in pushing deployment outside the US due to lack of iPV4 addresses.

Q: What should we be doing to promote penetration of broadband access in the US?
A: Microsoft strongly supports the freeing up the WiFi white space for free broadband access. Competion between cable companies and telcos is driving deployment.

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