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Microsoft Hits 30: Gates Proud of His "Big Bets" on GUIs and Web Services

Microsoft's 30th Annual Meeting Was Held in Safeco Field in Seattle

“As I think about the last 30 years," said Bill Gates, commenting on Microsoft's 30th birthday, which was celebrated yesterday at an unusual Annual Meeting held in Safeco Field in Seattle, "I’m most proud of our making 'big bets' on technologies like the graphical user interface or Web services and watching them grow into something people rely on every day."

"And the long-term research we’re doing today on some of computer science’s toughest challenges – such as helping computers listen, speak, learn and understand – will lead to what I think will be the next wave of growth and innovation for our industry,” he continued.

Steve Ballmer congratulated employees for their contributions to date and share their vision for a prosperous future, primed by investments in areas as diverse and vital to the future of technology innovation as graphics, speech recognition, signal processing, facial-expression mapping and quantum computing:

“We’re more excited than ever about the opportunities ahead. We have an amazing pipeline of new products we’ll be releasing over the next 18 months. With our 30-year heritage of delivering low-cost, high-volume innovations, we’re in a great position to provide people and organizations with the software and services they need to achieve their potential.”
Other company executives spoke at the event about different facets of the Microsoft business include Lisa Brummel, corporate vice president, Human Resources; Christopher Liddell, chief financial officer; Jim Allchin, co-president, Platforms Products & Services Division, and Jeff Raikes, president, Microsoft Business Division.

They each gave examples of current investments in the company’s future – from employee incentives to community service and technology advances visible in products today.

Over the next 18 months alone, the speakers said, Microsoft is expected to deliver twice the number of new products and services it has during the past three years combined. The line-up of new and enhanced offerings, they said, will transform how people create and manage information, how they get protection from online threats, and how they access TV, movies and other entertainment and play console games.

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