Gates bids UK adieu

In his last UK appearance as Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates shared his thoughts on the power of the internet and the art of delegation

In his final UK appearance before he steps down as Microsoft chairman to pursue his philanthropic and charitable work, Bill Gates said developments in technology and software will continue to radically change ways of working and interacting for businesses and consumers.

Speaking at the Institute of Directors (IoD) in London on Wednesday, Microsoft's chairman said: "One of the biggest changes will be how you interact with the device. The devices themselves will get a lot smaller, more powerful and connect to the internet."

Alluding to Microsoft's Surface technology, which he gave a demonstration of, Gates added: "We'll be talking about a computer in the desk in the future."

Talking about the use of technology in business, Gates said: "We can say that computing has become a tool to equalise the small business with the large one."

Gates added: "There's another side: that is how software is allowing people to be more productive at work. It's the empowerment of these people to do their jobs more effectively."

Gates also commented on the potential of the internet, calling it a "huge democratisation tool".

But Gates said there is still a long road ahead for technology development. "It's come a long way in the last 30 years, but we're not even halfway there with building the systems we need to have."

Reflecting on his own career at Microsoft, Gates also had a word to say on the art of delegation: "I was [initially] ruthless about the quality of the code but, when we got to 20 people, I had to trust other people to do it."