Gates: Software Will Enable Optimized Business

|

By Ara C Trembly, Technology Editor

|

NU Online News Service, Nov. 21, 11:20 a.m. EDT, LasVegas?Software advances will lead the way for insuranceand other industries to find new and better ways to do business,Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates told atrade gathering here.

|

Delivering the keynote address at this year's Comdex GlobalTechnology Expo held here Nov. 16-20, Mr. Gates told an audience ofseveral thousand that the industry still needs a platform to enablefaster and more efficient commerce and e-commerce. This platformwill be built, he noted, on an infrastructure of software thatdelivers what he called "seamless computing."

|

Mr. Gates focused on various seams or "constraints" that haveheld back development of a better infrastructure for business. Inthe 1980s, the problem was that hardware was not sufficientlydeveloped to allow rapid development, he explained. In the 1990s,hardware advanced, but there were constraints on connecting devicesuntil the Internet matured enough at the end of that decade.

|

"People thought that was the last boundary, the last thing to besolved," said Mr. Gates. "They were wrong." In the current decade,which Mr. Gates has dubbed "The Digital Decade," the challenge isto overcome the "seams" in order to establish software connectionsthat will enable better commerce, he noted.

|

Today's "seams" include boundaries that prevent technologydevices from communicating, as well as those that keep differentsoftware applications from working cooperatively, Mr. Gatesobserved. "Many things are not done because of these difficulties,"he said. "You are going to have many devices; they should beconnected."

|

Once we get rid of the seams, said Mr. Gates, "we can deliverall the scenarios we dreamed about."

|

How will that happen? According to Mr. Gates, "It requires a lotof investment" in research and in building new softwareapplications. He added that companies should work with industrieswho are conducting pioneering research, while "standardsorganizations need to move into new frontiers" to better enablecommunication.

|

He focused particularly on "boundaries between corporations,where the ease of moving information in a secure way is still waytoo difficult. We have to schematize data in standard ways."

|

Mr. Gates also talked about Microsoft's initiative to provide"trustworthy computing," providing reliability and security. "Theseare software problems and they're not easy software problems," henoted.

|

According to Mr. Gates, Microsoft's "most acute focus issecurity. It's the largest thing we're doing." He emphasized thatsoftware must be kept up to date with the latest patches to preventsecurity breaches. He added that the software maker is workingtoward providing automated updates to make the process moremanageable for customers.

|

Spam, or unauthorized commercial e-mail, is another toughproblem for the security of the software infrastructure, said Mr.Gates. He noted that spammers exploit e-mail to find a fewcustomers. Even if they only get one in 10,000 potential customersinterested, the proposition is economic for the spamming companybecause the cost of sending mass e-mails is so low.

|

Mr. Gates said that advances in anti-spam software, along withlegislative efforts aimed at stopping spam, "will shift the tide"and make it "no longer attractive" to be a spammer.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader

  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.