Monday, October 13, 2003


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FT.com Home UK: "Interview: Bill Gates
By Chris Nuttall, IT correspondent
Published: October 13 2003 17:31 | Last Updated: October 13 2003 17:31

Chris Nuttall, IT correspondent at the Financial Times spoke to Bill Gates about the rationale for the new mobile web services pact with Vodafone. Following is an edited transcript of that interview.
Financial Times: You made an announcement with Vodafone today. It wasn't a handset announcement, but a services announcement. Do you see that as being as important to Microsoft as being the OS in the handset?
Bill Gates: Well we are doing a lot of different things with the operators. Software is important to them in many many different ways so the handset is part of it, services are part of the back-end platform and tools are part of it.
The announcement with Vodafone today is actually about standards. Its not a particular design win for Microsoft. Vodafone has actually been using the Microsoft.net platform very aggressively in their back end but what they were seeing was as they were going out to developers, they began to understand that some of those services could be used outside of the mobile network, and the way they were providing those services was unique to Vodafone.
So a developer wanting to connect to their authentication or billing would have to do it in a unique way. So we sat and talked and said well why don't we come up with specific web service definitions, that are just open, so it's clear to application people like say your AA service provider, who wants to do what we saw on the screen demonstration there.
To write what we saw - there's a day's work, literally - because you're connecting up to standard web services and so there'll be what we announced today. Any wireless operator can be"

This is not that exciting, unless you're a cell phone maker, but if you keep reading the interview proves interesting on its own, if only for aglimpse of the way that Bill Gates thinks. That's something seldom mentioned and it has an immense impact on an awful lot of people around the world.

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