Gates Discusses Microsoft’s New OS at Electronics Conference

Microsoft’s Bill Gates talked up Vista, the company’s new operating system (formerly known as Longhorn), in a speech that commenced the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. He touted the forthcoming OS—slated for release sometime toward the end of this year—as being oriented toward individual customers and their personal needs in the home, and also demonstrated some of its capabilities for the audience.

Gates explained that Vista would be designed to make the personal computer the focal point of the digital home, in which all electronic appliances work together seamlessly in a cutting-edge entertainment schema. Microsoft is clearly angling for Vista to be at the forefront of this trend. “Now, we talk about this as the decade of digital lifestyles, the decade of digital workstyles,” Gates said. “That means that all these tools are becoming mainstream. And it’s not just one application that makes it happen. It’s not just banking or advertising, or filling out your tax return, or even instant messaging. It’s the fact that as you adopt those things they really go together, and it becomes more and more familiar to work in that fashion.

“The software industry is stepping up and doing software that uses the Internet in new ways, reaches out to users, creates communities, works across devices, and us building a platform to make that easy for those people to do,” he added. “(T)his all has to work across these devices, whether it’s calling people, seeing their presence, knowing what they’re…



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