Bill Gates has become the latest recipient of an honorary knighthood at Buckingham Palace for his contribution to British Enterprise and on another note, his philanthropy in the shape of large overseas donations for food and/or vaccination programmes, primarily in Africa.

Gates, 48, can add the letters KBE after his name (which will have a much brighter ring to it than "Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire"). He was quoted as being "delighted".

Like most giants of the computer business, Microsoft started out life in an American garage, and last year was worth £28billion in spite of the anti-competition fine levied by the European Commission. The latest OS, Windows XP, received a major update on its third birthday last September and now the firm, derided for its insecurity, is to sell its own-branded antivirus and spyware applications. Perhaps the first editions will feature Gates in shining armour?