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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-21 Print this article Print

The products coming out this year and the next will reflect how the industry has responded to the issues of reliability, cost of ownership and security by making investments to deal with them, he said. "And this is where I think in some ways people are really underestimating what can be done. Its kind of natural if you overestimate what an industry can deliver and then that you cycle back to where you underestimate those things. But I think were on the verge of particular software advances that really address these harsh realities," Gates said.
One example Gates cited was e-commerce and XML Web services, the infrastructure that allows companies to exchange information for buying and selling and collaborating without their IT departments having to build special applications that only relate to that one particular relationship.
"The idea that when you have these Web services, that you can capture the full richness of whats going on with complete visibility to the knowledge workers, to update those things and be notified appropriately of things, that is where you get real benefit of saying that the paper approach really is completely obsolete," Gates said. Microsoft "bet our company on it in the year 2000, calling it our .Net strategy, and theres been great progress on that, in fact, lots of interoperability between the different software stacks, the key specifications all put together, and now we have pioneering customers doing very well with that," he said. Another issue is managing all these things, as the software needs to automatically keep things up-to-date, and "if you say apply this new version for all of these workers the software, the network should make that happen," Gates said. But that took a new generation of software as it did not exist on earlier systems because the numbers just were not large enough, he said, showing a demonstration of PlaceWare, "a Web-conferencing application being used to basically take any Web browser and telephone to have meetings online. "And when we talk about meetings online, were talking about meetings with remote colleagues, with customers, and also with partners. And when I say meetings, Im not talking about just the small one-on-one group meetings that are out there, but also huge group meetings. So were talking about meetings of up to 2,000 people. So a lot of times those would be meetings of a whole division," he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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