Introduced to Madonna’s song – “Welcome to Comdex XP”.


Cameo on 200th Frasier


Thursday – Xbox

Friday – Harry Potter. Gates wanted to make it clear that he was dressing that way before Harry Potter was born.


Acknowledged 9/11 – affects business, highlights importance of security

PC sales – analysts are talking about saturation – commercial and home demand is flat.


Is technology played out? Was the hype ever justified? Is there more to come? Is this really it? Where does it go from here?


Gates excited about what is not yet delivered. Churchill – “Not the end, not the beginning of the end, perhaps the end of the beginning”. Potential is barely started.


People overestimate short-term (2-3 year) changes but underestimate long-term (decade) changes. Long term changes in the way people think about using technology are happening.


New ways of using tools. Email, IM replaces real-time communication, screen sharing, digital cameras for sharing photos, now 21% of photo sales.


Launch of XP is as significant as original Windows or Win95. OEM sales were uncertain, but are beyond any other MS product, retail sales more than double any other version of Windows. (Of course, he says laughing, that means beyond any other software package ever released.)


Titled the speech “the digital decade” – digital innovations become an integral part of life.


Tech will drive the economic revival


Knowledge workers will double productivity compared to the last decade


B2B will progress from current shallow approaches to real integration – Current XML-based Web services are a start. This will be “real B2B”.


In the home – having shows when you want - an entertainment revolution. PC becomes the center of home entertainment.


Video – deleted because of proprietary content (was afraid that would happen), but the time is not sliced from the video feed. Very annoying.


Clip apparently ended with one of the “monkey steve” ballmer clips.


Key centerpiece is trustworthy systems. Theme of empowerment – talking a long time, but this is an advanced stage.



Knowledge workers:






Unlimited scale

Web Services



Music, movies, photos

TV, Games


Why now? Moore’s law still working, and will through the decade at least three more times. Speech reco, handwriting reco, higher storage capacities (faster than processing speeds), mobile devices (laptops, pocket PCs, cell phones, digital cameras) are dropping in price and raising capabilities


Connectivity – backbone prices are falling (collapsing?) 802.11 becoming pervasive


Home broadband not expected to drop in price for a while – will not be pervasive for 4-6 years.


Intro: Jeff Raitz – hardware products division


Knowledge worker scenarios – mobility.


New prototype laptop from Acer – thin, light, high powered, good screen density. Improvements to 6-8 hour battery life.


Demo – screen spins around on its mount, folds down, switches from landscape to portrait – becomes tablet PC.


Progress report on tablet PCs –

Convertibles – clamshell notebooks that convert into tablets

Slate design – like a portfolio – pure tablets – FIC, Tatung (wireless or wireline keyboard), Compaq, Fujitsu, Wistron (large format tablet, like Qube). Toshiba – tiny tablet, as small as HPC or Psion

Intel reference device


Key announcements – 5 new hardware partners, including NEC.


Software – notebook enhancements – reading, handwriting reco, etc.


Journal from Microsoft – will be made available for tablet PCs – notetaking. Insert a space in existing notes and draw or write additional notes


Storage of ink – can search for ink?


Repurpose meeting notes into action – handwriting recognition


The only handwriting reco demonstrated was on text that was already on the tablet – maybe still not reliable enough to demo?


Compaq tablet – Autodesk – animated CAD on a tablet – zoom in and out, move objects on screen


Fujitsu tablet – demos wireless connectivity (all tablets will have it – 802.11, GPRS, 3G)


Instant messaging prototype – uses ink (not recognized – sent as ink)


Groove networks – create a new metaphor for collaboration – use the connected world for a new generation of collaboration software. Creates workspaces – shared whiteboard – use shared ink (still not recognized)


Groove recognized the importance of MS Office – seamless document markup, using ink, through Groove.


Announcing Win XP Tablet Edition at Comdex.


Email is lifeblood of organizations – in new Office, ink is datatype – can be enhanced like text - bolded and highlighted


Enhancements to Office XP for tablet environment – also announced this week.


Hope to have final releases of Win and Office Tablet Edition next year at Comdex.


Gates – hopes next year that lots of people in audience will be taking their notes on tablet PCs.


Trustworthy systems – people must expect their devices will work. New applications – will they work? Will other apps continue to work? After an app is installed, you never go back.


Auto-backup, online support, self-repairing systems, fault-tolerant servers. People need to know their storage is backed up, always available, easy to do.

Need to be able to improve systems, servers without involving the user.


Continuous improvement cycle – detect when something goes wrong. System crashes can send a problem report back to a website, can detect problems between components – many crashes caused by drivers. Improvement – simplify drivers, work with hardware companies to improve troublesome drivers. Engaged the entire industry in getting fixes done. Fixes flow back through Windows Update, instead of waiting for service packs.


Same idea in security. Move to NT kernel is a big step. Drives and app testing for only one platform. Encrypted file system, firewall, engineering process designed for security. Hundreds of security advances over Win98.


New round of server releases – .NET server beta 3 – releases this month. Security is top priority. Automatic high security configuration, automatically receive security updates, but only for the components you ask for.


Office software:

XML business intelligence, simple sharing,


Document distribution – limit dist list, don’t allow docs to be printed out. More XML and workflow will be built into packages – sales analysis, marketing reviews done in a more profound fashion. People can get at data.


Communications – today, multiple email addresses, phone numbers. Which ones do I give out? Interruptions. Corporate boundaries and security – technology doesn’t exist. I don’t get to decide what interrupts my time. Different from email, not just IM and NetMeeting. Put user in control, for realtime and async communications. don’t fragment communications pipelines so fax, voice, IM are different.


Scheduling – group meetings across corporate boundaries – secure documents – forwarding control – technology doesn’t exist yet. Not just IM or NM – put the user back in control for real time and async comm., not fragmenting different communications platforms.


Slide: One address, Notification, Voice/video/screen call, Scheduling, Information mangement, User in control. Sound familiar?


Real-time comm. – why not share documents and lists while on the phone? Work on info together. NetMeeting too hard to set up, not mainstream. Most phone calls in future will be voice and screen working together.




Drill-down in on-screen data


Scribbled annotations, note taking, wireless linking, natural use of ink and voice. Wireless connectivity is key, especially in home.


Price down dramatically – soon will take for granted.


Integration of ink and voice into messages is explosive value –  but currently too hard to set up. Should be enabled in a few years.


Reading these messages is enabled by a mobile device with great software – tablet is fundamental.


Meetings – how to improve productivity? Capture them digitally, make available to search. Planning, facilitation, remote presence (video conferencing needs to move to desktop, become richer), follow-up and sharing.


Video conferencing will become mainstream – discussion and interaction are central.


Can double the speed of meeting playback without affecting comprehension – who will want to go to the actual meeting?


For knowledge workers, the sky’s the limit.


Enterprise issues – scale is critical. Number of transactions will rise.


Take virtues of the PC market – high volume, multiple vendors, low price – bring to server market. Unlimited scale.


Of four major benchmark categories, Microsoft powered servers dominate three.


Fault tolerant approach – Clustered PC servers have come from nowhere to #1-5 in performance benchmarks, #1-5 in price/performance


Non-clustered servers also #1-5 in price/performance.


Not interested before in pure transaction performance on non-clustered systems – now have created a top 10 system with Unisys. MS and Unisys announcing 164,900 tpmC (transactions per minute) server – top 10 performance. IA64 coming to maturity – will have same position for that benchmark as for the others.


Last year’s Comdex speech was focused on XML – Microsoft bet its .NET strategy on it for web services as the key standard for the coming decade.


Web today is a terminal environment – connect a browser to an environment like a 3270. To connect two computers as peers is difficult – discussed in computer science – how to find the other computer, establish common protocol, security. XML. SOAP, UDDI are the standards needed. Internet becomes programming backbone. Fulfill rich and free capitalism – buyers and sellers with no middleman. Unrestricted interaction between companies is possible.


XML development has gone extremely well. XML standards, Visual Studio .NET, Back office and Front office connection, data mining and prediction.


At PDC – VS .NET – had record attendance. Pioneering developers in every sector are seeing what XML web services can do. Not rip and replace –


Key for internal and external processes – back and front offices.


Intro: Robin Pierce from .NET


Web Services, small, reusable app components that can be shared between websites as services.


Expense report – Excel spreadsheet registers with credit card companies via Passport (!) through Web Services and pulls in expense data.


Web services toolkit will be available – design custom functions to pull data from compatible information services.


Cash receipts – tip to bellman – enter in PocketPC using custom Expense application. Includes tip calculator. Generates XML on back end, syncs to PC and imported into expense spreadsheet. – download the app compliments of Microsoft.


Excel can generate XML on back end for approval process.


Extend to B2B: with UDDI, publish online catalog.


Set up business rules for automatic inventory refresh. Enter order in Excel, which will generate XML code sent to vendor.


Go beyond EDI with UDDI – find businesses around the world that can fulfill needs. Search for vendors who have product code and talks same XML protocols as I do.


More info:


Not well rehearsed, very nervous.


Home: the last frontier


Technology has to be inexpensive and fit in with what people already want to do at home.


Wireless PC, set top box, video games, need to be simple to connect, and converge on the Internet through services like MSN.


Connectivity must be simple and inexpensive. 802.11, universal plug and play.


Hang a screen on the refrigerator – PC recognizes it, asks what the default page should be – family schedule, news, phone messages, photos, etc.


Why not there today? Music – rights management, digital licensing models


Video – advances in storage, built in software. Cameras – resolution, ease of use of software.


TV is central – getting advanced graphics of the PC onto the TV, getting it connected – not just there by yourself, play with other people, interactive shows, ads, not just be a spectator (UltimateTV logo on slide, of course)


Use the power of the PC, video game or set top box.


Theme of digital home strategy – put the user in control, making existing forms of entertainment more successful, create a new generation of home entertainment.


Centerpiece is the Xbox.


Intro: Seamus Blackley , head of Xbox product development - Demo – Xbox – wild applause. (This is what people were waiting for.)


Presentation is very GenX – Xbox will change the way people will think about games.


“So simple even Bill Gates can hook it up.”


Game demos – richer than TV or movie experience.


NFL Fever 2002 – be scared of opposing linemen, need to take a shower after playing.


Great 3D rendering, shadowing and motion. Zoom and point-of-view control.


Football demo – ball has more memory in it than the GameCube has video memory.


Xbox Dev kit – dashboard – manage memory, substitute own music for Xbox music, parental control (set maximum move and game ratings that will play on box) – let the game developers make games without worrying about censoring violence level.


Reboot takes 11 seconds – twice as fast as any other game system.


Game Preview – Wreckless driving game. Hong Kong, downtown, rush hour. Different points of view – police video, inside car. Great animation.


Dead or Alive 3 – fighting game preview – movie-like animation.


They gave away 4 Xboxes – crowd shots – many empty seats.


Breakthrough hardware and software are coming together – tablet, communications. Happening faster than people are expecting. Server, web services development too. Trustworthy computing. More opportunity to improve the world than any other business. “Let’s go out and do it.”