Bill Gates' life after Microsoft

Bill Gates says that it is gratifying to see the computer industry that he helped start turn some of its attention to broader societal challenges.

"I think there's increased awareness of using innovation to help in more than just profit making," Gates told CNET in an interview on Friday, following his speech at the Techonomy conference. "When I think back to the conferences I went to earlier in the industry, we were pretty darn focused on popularizing software and personal computing. Nothing wrong with that, but it's nice to see the evolution."

In a car on his way to the airport following the speech, Gates spoke about his most recent efforts, including last week's announcement that around 40 wealthy American individuals and families had signed on to his Giving Pledge, agreeing to give half their wealth to charity.

As for his part-time work at Microsoft, Gates said he's most involved in search, but talks with CEO Steve Ballmer about a range of issues and also has been sending messages to the Windows team about how to make sure Apple's iPad doesn't wipe Microsoft out of the tablet game.

Read the whole interview Bill Gates on giving, batteries, tablets, and more on CNET News.