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Embrace technology or go out of business, warns Gates

Now, what was that the judge just finished saying?

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There was irony a-plenty at Microsoft's third annual Government Leaders Conference in Seattle yesterday, which Bill Gates keynoted just hours after the judge threw the book at his company. The list of attendees included an impressive cross-section of the world's police, security services and armed forces; but hadn't Microsoft just been convicted of, er... Fortunately DI James Tozer of the West Mercia Police, the director of China's Ministry of Public Security (brr - they make you buy your own bullets), the reps from the Australian Police and the Mounties et al refrained from snapping on the cuffs. But considering the lamentable performance of the Seattle Police during the WTO meeting they may have had other things on their minds. And prudently stashed in their hand luggage. What Bill had to tell them was also deeply ironic, considering. The government sector had been slower in moving towards digital than business, but this was for understandable reasons. "In the business sector, companies are faced with lower profits - or even being put out of business - if they don't rise to the standards that are being set by the very best companies." Lower profits? Being put out of business? Wasn't the judge saying something about this just the other day? But it's with some regret we note that Bill doesn't seem to have turned over a new leaf when it comes to embellishing history. "Microsoft was started 25 years ago based on providing software for the very first personal computers," he told his audience in a borderline, could be true, depending on how you look at it sort of way. For one of the very first personal computers, that should be, because the Altair was not exactly the first. Then even this foothold in reality crumbles away, as Bill visionarises retrospectively. In 1981 "IBM entered the personal computer market. And based on a standard that Microsoft created, IBM and hundreds of other companies made compatible machines." Microsoft of course "created" this standard, MS-Dos, by buying QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Bill Paterson of Seattle Computer Products. And all of those other companies didn't initially make compatible machines, partially because Bill was telling them that MS-Dos was the standard at the time, not the IBM PC. This cost a lot of companies a bundle, until they figured out IBM PC clones were where it was at. So maybe Bill should admit that Compaq was really responsible for the revolution. Tsk. ®

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