Bill’s back in Aust

The news about Bill Gate's visit to Sydney continues to flow. Here's a good
one on ZDNet, in which the author is
calling for questions from his readers to ask bill. So, why not -- what would
you ask Bill??

Back in Aust

By href="">Iain Ferguson, ZDNet

According to an e-mail from Microsoft's Sydney office, Microsoft
chairman Bill Gates will be making the long flight down under in a couple of
weeks' time.

Local hacks will get the chance to hear Bill elaborate for an hour or
so on Microsoft's technology strategy and the company's "ongoing commitment to
customers through research, development and the role of innovation in the
evolution of Microsoft technology".

Gates later plans to turn up -- as does Prime Minister John Howard --
at the launch of Microsoft 's "Unlimited Potential" programme designed to give
people in any condition anywhere access to computing technology, education and

Your correspondent has to date only been to one press conference with
Gates, that being many years ago at a Computer Associates event in New
Orleans. From my somewhat hazy memory (the lowlight of that particular trip
entailed consuming a couple of Hurricanes -- a lethal combination of White,
Jamaican and Bacardi rum, as well as sundry mixers -- on top of five beers,
but I digress), the highlight of a bland session came from a journalist from
one Middle Eastern country hissing a question to Gates Gollum-style about when
certain of Microsoft's "precioussss" products would be available in his native

Your writer will be interested to see whether the 28 June briefing here
will yield genuine insight into the raft of issues confronting Microsoft or a
token rehash of the corporate line. While I -- and I'm obviously hardly alone
-- continue to be cynical about Microsoft's propensity to wield its corporate
might to the edge of the law to bury its competitors, the company has shown in
recent times a far greater willingness to descend from the clouds to engage
with its customer base in crucial areas such as product security.

ZDNet Australia  will be heading along to the session with a list
of questions for Bill. While we'll obviously be compiling a few of our own,
we'd like to ask you to send in questions you'd like answered by Bill as well.
We'll forward those that we didn't get a chance to ask after the conference to
Microsoft and publish the responses in a future editorial. Send in your
questions and comments to

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