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Gates In Las Vegas: On IPTV, MTV, And All Things Digital

Microsoft Chief Software Architect's CES 2005 Keynote in Las Vegas

He's done it six times before, but even so it seems worth recording what Bill Gates had to say at his seventh successive Consumer Electronics Show keynote in Las Vegas yesterday. So here is our selection of the choicest quotes, culled from the 90 minutes:

"Music is a fun area. It's one that everyone I think would agree it's going digital, so the ability to create playlists, to have it in your pocket, to organize it in rich ways, people are going to take it for granted."

. . .

"[M]ost people are still not in the digital realm, if you look at online music sales, it's pretty small. There's a view that enabling subscriptions will help that a lot, you pay a monthly fee and have access to literally thousands and thousands of tunes. We've enabled that for the first time, the technology, and the Windows Plays For Sure allows you to have a monthly subscription. Many of our partners are coming out with those offerings, and we'll see if that catches on in a very big way."

. . .

Q. What's going to happen in television, what will we see?

BILL GATES: Well, again here it's about choice, letting people see more variety of shows, letting them see these shows when they want to, being able to mix content they might go and get over the Internet in with things they're getting over their normal video sources."

. . .

"[T]here are a lot of different ways that we're letting people get better TV. Media Center would be the high-end and the most flexible. We're doing set-top box software, we're doing a device called MSN TV that plugs into your TV, lets you browse the Internet, sort of simpler than a PC and very straightforward for a lot of people. We've got standards that make all these things work together. That's where the Windows Media connect is. And our software will be used in some of the DVD recorders that come out, and that means you'll get that better connectivity."

. . .

"We've been investing in software for the TV probably for longer than we should have. It's been almost 12 years that we've been building on this, but this was a milestone year, not only the Comcast announcement but also some partners, particularly from the telephone companies who are investing in these next generation networks. Today we're announcing that Bell South has joined those companies and they'll be rolling out some of the IPTV services using our software there."

. . .

"We've got probably the biggest content announcement today is our relationship with MTV. MTV Networks of course has a broad range of things, not just MTV but VH1, Country Music, Comedy Central, and a real expertise in understanding their customers, globally young people, people who care about music; they are a fantastic partner. And so they'll be working with the Windows ecosystem, the PlaysForSure, the rights management and looking at innovative ways they can come up with things that are free or subscription or download, so a really great partnership there."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
humility pays 01/06/05 10:40:28 AM EST

This is a new style of Gates - maybe 2005 will be his year

humility pays 01/06/05 10:40:02 AM EST

This is a new style of Gates - maybe 2005 will be his year

brad-x 01/06/05 08:36:17 AM EST

Objectively speaking some Microsoft products do provide better value in terms of functionality. From my point of view, Server 2003 is an excellent turn-key workgroup server, Office 2003 is an excellent collaboration suite (spare me the Linux banter about samba and OpenOffice.org, it's not the same). Whereas for enterprise level services such as public web services, e-mail, border security, I'd place more value in UNIX-based systems.

eno2001 01/06/05 08:27:47 AM EST

Microsoft isn't necessarily anti-open source. The misconception comes from the confusion over the differences between GNU GPL (aka free software: free as in speech) software and open source. Many people think that the primary goal of free software is to provide the course code. Of course this is not completely true, but merely a subset of what free software is. The 'free' in free software means that a user is free to do whatever they want with the software as long as they don't impact other people's freedoms (keeping modified GPL code to yourself if you are making profit impacts other people's freedoms).

Microsoft is not anti-open source, they are anti-GPL. There is a difference as much as they want to muddy the waters.

FatherOfOne 01/06/05 08:25:16 AM EST

Microsoft and most companies fail to see that opensource is more about freedom and communication that anything else.

Because of opensource software you currently have a 64bit operating system for AMD64, and companies like TIVO are free to "add value" to their customers without having to talk to potential competitors. Now cell phones are starting to standardize on opensource software. Why? Because there is significant value in it. What about the next great gadget out there? What OS do you think they will choose to run on it? Windows? What if Microsoft may become a competitor of theirs?

msft_must_die 01/06/05 08:14:14 AM EST

How exactly is Microsoft supposed to stay in business if processors are going 64-bit but Microsoft can't release a 64-bit OS?

wotonnotow 01/06/05 08:09:19 AM EST

I don't care what anybody says, Bill Gates is not stupid. He's capable of learning that badmouthing Linux just tells everyone he cares about it.

tirgotajs 01/06/05 08:08:07 AM EST

Mr izzatso, BILL GATES tells it like it is. He definitely knows what he is talking about. That is the reason he is the head of the # 1 software company in the world and that is the reason he is the richest man in the world.

Fact: He is a winner..you are a loser
Fact: Microsoft is the best that is, that was and that ever will be. He doesn't need to waste words mentioning Linnux...a second rate business. Or what is it? A business? A company? An organization? By the way... when Linux plans to introduce a product that can compete with the best?
My suggestion to you...drop Linux and join the winner.

izzat_so 01/06/05 07:56:58 AM EST

Bill Gates tells it like it isn't. He gave a whole interview to CNET without mentioning Linux once, not even when he demoed a Linux box :-)

Okay what next? 01/06/05 07:50:04 AM EST

So if MS is putting its muscle now behind entertainment and music we'll surely see some major acquisitions...how about biting off Apple for starters? I can't believe IPTV will keep Gates sufficiently occupied. Look out world, if he's moving beyond Windows...

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