Gates said that Microsoft has also increased its research and development budget by 8 percent to $6.8 billion. In addition, he spent some time talking about the companys new file system, WinFS, designed for the next-generation Windows products. It involves understanding things like meetings and appointments, with schema created that define how those things work, Gates said.Jim Allchin, group vice president of Microsofts Windows Platform Group, told attendees here that Microsoft has shipped 130 million licenses of Windows XP and, as of the fourth quarter, its XP Professional product mix rose 10 percent to 70 percent. But there is still plenty to do, with 350 million PCs still running NT 4 and older versions of the operating system and many people questioning whether they should upgrade. "In the next fiscal year we will release the second service pack for Windows XP, which will mostly be not about new features, although there will be a fewa new version of Media Center, an update of the Media Plus pack, as well as an update of the Tablet PC," Allchin said. Turning to the Longhorn release, Allchin said the next step will be at Microsofts Professional Developer Conference, to be held in Los Angeles in October, where Longhorn developer preview CDs will be handed out. "That will be followed by a broad first beta next year," he said.
Microsofts quality and value focus going forward includes improving things like online crash analysis and corporate error reporting. Talking about spam, Gates garnered a laugh from the audience by showing some of the spam hes received, which included solicitations telling him how he could get a university degree, reduce his debt and improve his finances as well as pay pennies a day for legal services. "Sometimes they get it wrong and dont reach the target audience," he quipped.