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Gates decries government meddling

October 13, 1998
Web posted at: 11:00 AM EDT

by Ephraim Schwartz and Bob Trott


DENVER (IDG) -- The only surprise during Bill Gates' keynote address to the 2,000-plus audience at the Professional Developers Conference here Monday was that there were no surprises.

In the past, Microsoft has used its conferences to introduce Windows CE, Windows-based terminals, and even to distribute the next beta version of Windows NT 5.0. This time, Gates spoke mainly in generalities on how NT 5.0 will be optimized for the Distributed interNet Applications (DNA) architecture.

However, Gates also found the time to take a few swipes at government intervention into the computer industry.

"We went down to Apple to talk to them about putting QuickTime into our media player," Gates related. "That kind of discussion makes sense, and yet the government twisting that conversation should have never taken place," said Gates. "This is scary to me."

Gates told the audience that innovation may be stifled by constant government meddling.

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"Imagine if they wouldn't let you put HTML in your application," Gates asked the audience of developers. Gates told his audience that when NT 5.0 ships, there will be 60,000 applications to support from day one -- three times as many that were available for any other operating system.

Most of Gates presentation was a low-key talk about distributed computing. "The distributed world is redefining what we mean by application," Gates said.

Gates told the audience filled with Windows developers that distributed computing means they must incorporate various connection paths including the World Wide Web, Virtual Private Networks in their applications, and write for flowing multimedia data across the network.

The keynote came to a less than rousing conclusion with Gates describing queued components and dynamic load balancing, two key features in NT 5.0.

Queued components will allow end-users to continue to work off-line, as in taking a sales order and submitting it, with the submission uploaded when the user comes back on line. Dynamic load balancing will automatically redistribute computing power to other servers as the need arises.

Ephraim Schwartz is an editor at large and Bob Trott is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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