Keep spending on IT, Bill Gates tells CEOs

Microsoft told more than 100 international top executives yesterday that IT, especially software, is crucial when it comes to...

Microsoft  told more than 100 international top executives yesterday that IT, especially software, is crucial when it comes to the challenge of running a business in tough economic times.

Chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates opened the seventh annual CEO Summit at the Microsoft campus with a keynote speech focusing on how IT can deliver business value and competitive advantage in today's economic climate.

"Some may question the value of IT right now, but at Microsoft we believe we are in the early years of what I call the Digital Decade," Gates said. He defined the Digital Decade as a time where the way we work and communicate is transformed by IT. 

Communication and collaboration tools, for example, have helped Microsoft employees be more productive and saved the company money, Gates told the audience.

He further touched on several internal Microsoft projects to increase efficiency and productivity at the company.

At last year's event Gates also highlighted the role technology can play in boosting efficiency and productivity as companies face an economic lull.

CEO Summit attendees, business leaders from industries as diverse as finance, electronics and retail, like last year were given a Tablet PC which, Microsoft believes, is the productivity tool of the future.

The NEC Versa LitePad devices run a special edition of Windows XP Professional and have a touch-screen display on which users can write notes using a stylus.

The summit ends today

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