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Bill Gates in Singapore

By Murray Bourne, 04 Jul 2005

Bill spoke at the Microsoft forum in Singapore last week The audience of 6000, which included many students, was respectfully silent throughout.

Bill's one-hour Powerpoint-based talk was mostly forgettable - several people that I asked commented that they found it "hard to follow". I felt it lacked spark and was not very inspiring.

He spoke quite a bit about voice recognition being the next holy grail that Microsoft is working on. They hope to solve the problems in "the next few years". Such a development would mean reduction in the use of keyboards as an input device. Work in this area always leaves the scientists in a state of awe at the power of the human brain to distinguish one conversation in the midst of a cacophony of background sounds. Computers cannot do this very well yet.

Another of Bill's themes was convergence where we will see new devices appearing which will combine several functions. This is already happening, of course, in the mobile telephone area. But such devices become very complicated to use. Come on now - do you use all the features in your phone now?

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