Future bright for Indian firms: Gates

BANGALORE Nov. 13. Presenting a glimpse of the "Digital Decade" with "tablet PCs" and artificial intelligence, the Chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, enthralled the delegation of over 2,000 software developers who gorged on his "Tomorrow Vision" at the "Bill Gates Live" event on the Infosys campus here today.

Heralding the arrival of the Digital Decade (2000-09) with new technologies like .NET and Web Services developed by Microsoft,

Mr. Gates also predicted the robust growth of Indian software firms such as Infosys Technologies.

Applause and a standing ovation later, Mr. Gates reminisced on the path traversed by Microsoft and himself along with the development of "miracle technology like the microprocessor which took personal computing to a new level. Microsoft's vision for the future is Trustworthy Computing, and Web Services is a step in this direction. We are very optimistic about the developments taking place here," Mr. Gates said.

His musing for a connected tomorrow: tablet PCs with larger displays, pocketsize devices in automobiles which are connected to TV sets, phone companies sending bills through the Internet as XML documents, digital ink which allows you to write on computers, and all these connections will be through .NET technology. Anywhere anytime computing, this is the promise through Microsoft's .NET technology.

According to him, the Digital Decade would belong to companies (read many Indian firms) who have the patience to learn and build the new architecture of the future. And software juggernauts like Infosys Technologies are what will sustain the momentum. "The Infosys campus here is big, but we will see bigger campuses, more offices the world over and more employees," Mr. Gates predicted.

"Visionaries like Mr. Narayana Murthy and Mr. Premji can make changes happen in any city, State or country... The Infosys campus is a mirror which reflects India's IT industry in a nutshell."

This comment by the Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, brought cheers from Infosyians. For them, however, it was work as usual except for the tight security measures.

"We were invited to the event since we work on the .NET platform and have been constantly updated on developments at Microsoft," remarked Vinu, software developer, Span Systems.

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