December 16, 2005
Microsoft Corp. greeted nearly 200 delegates at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum (GLF) Asia in New Delhi, India last week. During the two-day forum, government, academia and industry leaders from around the Asia Pacific and other regions explored how they can use information and communication technology to help their industries and organizations remain competitive in an increasingly connected, technology-driven world.
"GLF Asia is an important forum to encourage dialog between leaders throughout Asia Pacific in an effort to address our most pressing challenges," said Mr. Dayanidhi Maran, India's Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology. "We are pleased that Microsoft is working with governments to build partnerships to address the tremendous social and economic challenges we all face."
During the forum, Microsoft continued to emphasize its new agenda for high-performance computing. As part of his keynote address to the delegates, Bill Gates made the following remarks:
"Historically, you probably thought of personal computers as having the best price performance because of the competitive framework where many companies make personal computers and they're completely compatible with each other, but you didn't think of the personal computer as where you would get the very highest performance. But in the last few years, that too has changed. In fact, just a few weeks ago I keynoted a convention called Supercomputing and talked about how computers based on Microsoft software and the chips that Windows run on were actually providing the highest performance capability in the world for business problems, for scientific problems, for every type of problem there is.
You might ask, if that's the case, why haven't we seen a rapid shift to these low cost computers, and the answer is that because of the software that's been written on traditional machines it will be more than a decade before that transition is largely complete, but year by year the move of applications from the mainframe, from the non-mainstream UNIX-type systems onto the PC server hardware and increasingly onto the software that we build, that will be a general trend.
The wonderful thing there is that as you move to new hardware, the cost of the hardware is often less than the maintenance cost of the hardware it replaces, and so the only thing that's difficult is making sure that you've got the new software system and you can make that transition. The software is also far better, far more flexible, easier to get the information, much better developed tools, but that has to be planned in an orderly way. And so the move towards a very uniform, very high-performance type of computer hardware is a huge benefit that will allow more ambitious applications to be built."
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