Gates upbeat on PC industry future

Slowing world economies and the knock-on effects of the September terrorist attacks in the U.S. could impact the PC business in the short-term, but long-term prospects are bright, said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., speaking Tuesday in Tokyo.

"There could be a period of time here where the kind of somberness that comes with this tragedy affects business," he said, referring to the U.S. terrorist attacks. "I'm not somebody who can predict that. However, I can say that, already as the economy was slowing down, Microsoft was one of the few companies that was able to continue to increase our R&D on products such as tablet PC, speech recognition, Xbox or Pocket PC."

"Certainly, the tragedy of Sept. 11 has touched everyone in our country and Microsoft employees' first thoughts were in terms of how we could help out, both with the people involved and the companies involved, in any way," he said, speaking at a news conference held to announce an alliance with NEC Corp.

Asked about an incident in which a letter possibly infected with the anthrax virus was sent to a Microsoft office in Nevada, Gates said, "There was an incident involving Microsoft itself. Fortunately that incident didn't involve anybody being infected and obviously like all companies we are beefing up the various things we do to try and keep our employees as safe as possible."

Despite the current troubles, and pressure on the PC market from the increasing popularity of PDAs (personal digital assistants) and cellular telephone handsets with Internet capability, Gates remains optimistic about the future of the PC industry.

"Throughout the history of the PC, it has been underestimated again and again," he said. This is not the first year we have had people saying, 'What about the PC?' We had that happen when we had a market of 1 million PCs, when we had a market of 10 million PCs, and now the market is well above 100 million."

He cited new applications yet to be fully realized, such as real-time communications, note taking and as a music storage system, as reason for his optimism.

"The PC, as we improve it, will be the device of choice anywhere you want the large screen. The market for small screen devices will be optimized by having these platforms work together," he added.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?