Ballmer: Right technology can unleash 'creativity'

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talks up technology's importance to business leaders in Sydney during his whirlwind visit of Australia.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked up technology's importance to business leaders in Sydney Friday as his whirlwind visit of Australia winds down.

Ballmer addressed about 400 businesspeople at an American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) luncheon and called on them to make more use of technology in business.

"Today the right technology can enable businesses to unleash the full creativity and productivity of their most important asset: their people," Ballmer said, according to a Microsoft statement.

"Technology that is powerful, integrated and easy to use; these are the keys to making a business truly people ready.

"Governments and business leaders that embrace technology and innovation will be far more competitive in today's global marketplace."

Ballmer also spoke about technology's role in driving social change. "Opportunities abound for technology to drive positive social and economic change," he said.

"As leaders and concerned citizens, we in the ICT industry must strive to help everyone participate fully in the information economy."

Technology had the capability to create new economic opportunities for low income earners, those without tertiary education, indigenous Australians and senior citizens.

The AmCham session was not open to media and Ballmer was not available for interview.

As part of his two day visit, Ballmer has met with Prime Minister John Howard and Leader of the Opposition Kevin Rudd, as well as other politicians. He also met federal and state CIOs and bank executives.

Among his appointments yesterday was a meeting with Defence officials where Ballmer and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defense, Peter Lindsay MP, signed a declaration acknowledging the ongoing partnership between the two organizations.

Before his stopover in Australia, Microsoft's head honcho paid Singapore a visit last week where he championed the benefits of driving long-term research and development initiatives.

Ballmer left Australia Friday night.