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Geeky Gates can be fun too

In Las Vegas, Justin Timberlake announced that Bill Gates would make his singing debut in his next album later this year.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 02:29 IST

In Las Vegas, Justin Timberlake announced that Bill Gates would make his singing debut in his next album later this year. He was joking, of course. But after seeing the way the audience lapped up the presentation the Microsoft boss made, one would be ready to believe that Timberlake was seriously suggesting a career in entertainment for the software wizard.

Delivering the pre-event keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, a relaxed Gates conjured up a picture of a connected family — like those seen in science fiction movies — four years from now.

Wake up and switch on the huge screen. “It will tell you where every family member is at that moment, stream in the latest news and then enable you to get ahead with your work even before you start for office,” Gates said in a demonstration.

In association with MTV, Microsoft is also bringing in a new platform called Urge that will offer millions of songs online. That’s what brought Timberlake on to the stage. The singer said he was excited about the way the project would take his songs to the masses.

Gates, who took the wraps off the company’s next-generation operating system — Windows Vista, said he believed the next few years could herald another revolution in the way we use information. “The software is where the magic is,” he said.

“The new applications of Windows Vista on television will blow away the current barriers. School sports and neighbourhood events that broadcasters keep away from television now can be on the drawing room TV.” “The cross-device approach will let you store files on the Internet and then access them from anywhere. Moving between PCs will become easy,” he said. He spoke of a number of new innovations. Small, sleek Windows Media Centre PCs that will download, store and play music or videos as and when you want it, and laptop computers that will display vital information without you opening it are just a few.

The audience at the Las Vegas Hilton were all ears. The clamour and the glitter of the casinos beckoned, but Gates was more interesting. If Bill had sung, they would have danced.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 02:29 IST