Gates: the world is your computer

Gates: the world is your computer

Summary: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has been talking up Web services and SOA, which is music to our ears, of course. But what will Microsoft's role be in this brave new world?


Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has been talking up Web services and SOA, which is music to our ears, of course. But what will Microsoft's role be in this brave new world? Interestingly, while utility computing proponents say processing power should flow like electricity, Gates goes a step further and suggests we'll just snatch it right out of the air, no matter where we are. Web services, SOA, and mobile computing are making this a reality, he said at a recent conference in Singapore.

"We have the availability of information wherever you go, delivered by the breakthrough of wireless networks [in the office and public areas]. This means that when you take the portable PC with you, you're connected up," said Gates. "That portable [device] will get even smaller and will turn into a tablet device where pen-and-ink can be used as well as the keyboard." 

Web services and SOA are creating "standards that work at very high level — containing data like healthcare, supply chain and e-government records, and letting those be exchanged between systems of all types."  This means that "the software can connect no matter what language it's written in, or what environment it's written for," he added. "So in an ecommerce application, you don't have to insist that the buyer and seller have a common implementation [but] simply that they abide by the same [Web services] standards."

Gates' view is that this ubiquitous IT power won't quite be omnipotent, since it will be augmented to some degree by local processing at the device level. But, once the world is covered by mobile networks, is it conceivable that we won't need that much local processing power? Which will we need more -- handheld mainframes, or intelligent terminals?    


Topic: Cloud

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  • Ahhh, he speaks

    Yes, the man who gave us 32-Bit DOS, Product Activation, Blue Screens of Demise, and more tells us what to expect in the near-term. Gates is a better marketing (and competitor-extinguisher) than a true 'computing visionary.' I'll leave the 'what's coming up next' to Steve Jobs.

    I wish Gates would receive less space on ZDnet and similar news sites. Why encourage him?
  • SOA and M$

    Its hard to believe that M$ would embrace SOA - since it would be essentially cutting its own .NET throat. Why buy M$ software, when a pen-based tablet can connect to a Linux SOA server just as easily? Unless Gates can put a hook in SOA to pervert it to his own proprietary uses, he's just blowing smoke here.
    Roger Ramjet
  • Both

    [i]Which will we need more ? handheld mainframes, or intelligent terminals?[/i]

    We [b]are[/b] talking Microsoft here, after all. WHich means that you'll have to have high-powered mobile devices because the high-powered servers won't work with anything else.

    The high-powered servers are of course needed because the mobile devices won't work with anything else.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Good grief, you guys want cheese with your whine?

    The truth of the matter is that until MS makes it available via Windows it simply isn't going to reach critical mass. Like it or Hate it, it's the way it is.
    • Absolutely

      Precisely. For instance, antivirus and spyware protection are only now starting to be adopted since MS is at last including them.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Good one....

        Patrick Jones
  • Cart before horse

    Well it sounds good but when he starts to talk about accessing and exchanging that type of data it makes me wonder? We have some grave security issues at hand. Bill has a history of leaving security up to someone else.

    I also think that people have been lead on to feel safe about exchanging information. Not so after so much transaction accounting information has been ripped off. You can't swipe an e-wallet I don't have!

    Bill needs to talk about and prove that MS products are secure and virus free. He needs to insure the public that he works for the user first and the pop-up advertiser never.
  • XML - the Jurassic Park of data management

    It is to be hoped that Gates's enthusiasm will lead to the long overdue decline of XML.

    Now for those who have never seen a hierarchical DBMS in all its primitive, lumbering majesty, reviving it might seem an attractive idea to amuse the curious.

    Those of us who had to work with these untameable beasts know exactly why they have been almost completely superceded by DBMSs based (however loosely) on the relational model.

    We are also well aware of the damage that XML could do to flexibility and data integrity should it ever break through the electified fence that keeps web services away from anything mission critical.

    It would be unfair however to compare Gates to a mad scientist. A mad scientist is, however mad he may be, still a scientist.
    • A Mad Scientist

      would require a college degree - don't you think? ;)
      Roger Ramjet