Bill Gates' briefing to the BCS Elite group left his audience of IT leaders impressed by his vision of the future and frustrated that the Microsoft chairman did not talk more about the UK's corporate IT agenda.
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David Roberts, chief executive of user group the Corporate IT Forum, said Gates' address held out the prospect of "another mountain of change" for corporate users to deal with in the years ahead.
He said he would have liked to have heard more from Gates about how Microsoft intended to manage expectations about upgrade cycles, since its product lifecycle seemed to be working to a shorter timescale than most corporate IT refresh plans.
Philip Virgo, strategic adviser at the Institute for the Management of Information Systems, said Gates had come back time and again to the issue of security and authentication across platforms, but Microsoft had been slow in adopting some platforms and would need to rise to the challenge.
He said the Elite group was an audience that wanted Microsoft to achieve its aims in bringing platforms together more seamlessly.
David Rippon, IT director of the University of London Computer Centre, was surprised Gates did not talk more about open source. "This must have an impact on Microsoft but it was not mentioned," he said.
David Tidey, IT director of Kensington and Chelsea council, was enthused by Gates' vision of Sharepoint as a future means of bringing together platforms. "We are a big Microsoft shop and this has confirmed that Sharepoint is a key tool and that I am going in the right direction.
"I liked the concept that he was thinking from the user perspective rather than the device perspective. I hope it can be delivered - it is a challenge for Microsoft," he said.