Feeds

Gates calls on Feds to plug tech investment gap

With more H-1Bs if neccessary

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Bill Gates has once again warned Washington that it must do more to fill the gap in US technology investment ahead of the "second digital decade".

The Microsoft chairman and co-founder also returned to familiar ground during a keynote address yesterday to some 1,000 members of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, talking about his vision of the future of computing.

Earlier this week Gates, in a testimony to Congress, called for Washington to relax its immigration and education policies for skilled foreign workers.

Yesterday’s breakfast speech was a more sedate affair, less about haranguing the gathered crowd and more about Gates returning to his oft-cited rhetoric about how the next ten years will mark a “second digital decade” that he reckons will be great for tech innovation.

Gates once again punted speech recognition and surface computing as two key technologies that will, over the coming years, see “rapid advance”.

However, after his address questions from the floor turned, perhaps inevitably, to the contentious immigration and education issues that he had raised on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Gates repeated his call for Congress to relax its immigration rules and grant more H-1B visas to skilled foreign workers who have studied at universities in the States, to allow them to stay on after graduation. Otherwise, he argued, the US tech industry could slip on global competitiveness.

The Microsoft boss added that Congress was making snap judgements in expecting immediate paybacks on education investments.

"Historically, the United States has done a great job of doing the right investments," Gates said, according to Associated Press. "Government policies going back decades have worked very well."

But he cautioned: "The payoff doesn't come immediately. I'm very concerned about those sort of trade-offs."

Microsoft chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie joined Gates on stage during the Q&A session with the council. He agreed that lawmakers’ decisions were too often “skewed to the short-term”. He said: “It’s important we have an informed policy decision.”

During the debate Gates also urged US communications regulators to free up more vacant TV airwaves to allow them to be used for broadband internet access; an idea opposed by broadcasters and makers of wireless microphones over concerns the devices could cause interference.

Microsoft and other tech vendors want the so-called “white space” spectrum between analogue broadcast channels to be used to expand access of wireless broadband service using Wi-Fi technology. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.