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Microsoft ‘changes the world through software’

Vergnes trots out the one-liners at IDC

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The modest title that Bernard Vergnes, the old-timer who has been put out to pasture as chairman of Microsoft Europe, took for his talk at the IDC European IT Forum in Paris was "Changing the world through software". Gates' vision statements that had driven the company were duly trotted out by his obedient servant, from computers on every desk and in every home [Vergnes admitted that in the early days. the "home" part had often been dropped], through DNS, and a Web life style, to Ballmer's more recent idea of empowering people with great software [40 million lines, for example], anytime, any place and on any device. McNealy said in his talk that Microsoft had stolen this slogan from him. Fortunately for Microsoft, the visions did not have to work, because the monopoly did. Another area for Microsoft where Vergnes saw opportunity was in teleconferencing: all those unnecessary meetings cost $56 billion per year in the US alone, he noted. The great future fields would be a Windows-driven Web-centric platform and a natural interface that allowed voice recognition, visual recognition, and handwriting recognition. We shall see. ®

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