Bill Gates Looks Ahead at “Next Digital Decade”

Microsoft announces new entertainment partnerships with
Disney-ABC Television Group, MGM and NBC Universal.

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 6, 2008 — At the 2008 International
Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and
Microsoft President of the Entertainment & Devices Division Robbie Bach
today unveiled several new entertainment services and partnerships, including
new deals with Disney-ABC Television Group, NBC Universal and
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), that demonstrate how software is
improving people’s ability to connect with their favorite content and
communities through new and expanded forms of entertainment experiences.

In his 11th CES opening keynote address, Gates looked at the
sweeping changes since 2001 that have created the first true Digital Decade,
including the continued expansion of the popularity of Windows-based PCs, the
growing prevalence of broadband networks, the spread of mobile phones and the
advent of portable digital media devices.

“Since I first started talking about the Digital Decade in
2001, the speed with which digital technology has become central to the way we
work, learn and play has been amazing,” Gates said. “But in many ways, we are
at the very beginning of the transformation that software will enable. During
the next Digital Decade, technology will make our lives richer, more connected,
more productive and more fulfilling in profound and exciting ways.”

Gates went on to outline his vision for the next Digital
Decade — an era in which dramatic advances in hardware and software will make
the power of computing a ubiquitous part of day-to-day life. Gates referenced
how natural user interfaces will more closely reflect the way people interact
with each other. High-definition experiences will be nearly everywhere.
Services-connected devices running on the Web and huge amounts of storage
accessible via the Internet will mean that information and capabilities people
want will be available instantly and seamlessly, no matter where they are.

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