CES 2008: Bill Gates' last CES keynote as Microsoft boss
Bill Gates' made his twelth and last keynote speech at CES on Sunday 6th January. He began his time on stage reminiscing about what the industry was like 10 years ago but quickly moved to look forward to the next 10 years.
"The next 10 years is going to be about content that is unique", stated Gates. "We've made a lot of progress. The first digital decade has been a great success."
"This will be my last keynote," Gates said. "As of July, I will no longer be a full-time Microsoft employee. Since I was 17 I've had a full-time Microsoft job."
Explaining that thinking about how he would spend his last full day at the office has inspired a film, Gates preseted a short funny video about such a day, starting with Gates driving to the office in a bog standard car, leaving his briefcase on the top of the car in a comedic fashion.
The hilarity continued with guest star appearances from names as varied as Steven Spielberg, Hilary Clinton and George Clooney and one memorable scene when Gates calls Bono and plays a Guitar Hero riff down the phone in an attempt to audition for a place in the band.
The video inspired heartfelt applause from the tech crowd as Bill Gates continued with his speech, talking about what the second digital decade will bring.
Stating that this new era will be all about "connecting people" where software and systems will become more "user centric", cloud computing got a lot of mentions, which could be considered surprising as Microsoft has been criticised as slow to innovate in this field.
Stating that the next-gen applications "will let people create platforms" and become a "new class of applications", Gates stated that he sees three key elements to the new wave of computing heading our way.
High def displays and 3D environments, intelligent devices that back up and know a user's location automatically and and a new kind of interface with new modes for interaction such as a touch, talk and gesture were Bill's big predictions.
"Microsoft's long term research adnd innovation will come togther and be the drivers for the next ten years, with Windows as the building block" stated Gates.