Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bill Gates, Sim Wong Hoo : Men of vision...

The Suntec City Convention Centre was jampacked with around 8,000 IT professionals, teachers, students, and representatives from the government sector during the Bill Gates Live Forum held last week (July 1). It was basically a geek jamboree bannered by the Bill himself and home-grown radical geek Sim Wong Hoo, he of the Soundblaster fame.

Microsoft's Chief Software Architect talked about speech recognition in computing going mainstream in a few years. Bill also highlighted Microsoft's greatest challenge at present, internet security, and how the Redmond giant is spending around 6 billion greenbucks in R & D to find ways to circumvent ways to address current and emerging threats.

What's a Bill Gates forum without a mention of open-source? MS hating open-source? "We're certainly not against open source," Bill said. "But it is important to recognize that when you take an IT budget, your real goal is to get things done. And packaged software, whether ours or open source, the key thing you want to look at is whether it lets you buy inexpensive hardware, reduce your communications cost and, most importantly, reduce personnel cost development and operational functions." Furthermore he opined that companies will see that Microsoft offers a better "value equation" if they keep "an open mind." Getthefacts? You tell me. No FUD here heh. =)

WH Sim for his part talked about his crusade against the guys from Cupertino and his company's thrust of bringing cutting-edge technology to everyone's living room. His NUTS (No U-Turn Syndrome) and CHEAT (Create Huge Excessive Advantage Tactics) jibes were hilariously spot-on. And his take on kiasu-ism, Singapore's most iconic trait, and how he used this to leverage Creative's famed quality control, was, simply put, a genius' touch. The 50-year old bachelor even showed the next Creative Portable Media Centre (PMC) model which looked very sleek and trendy. It's one of a geek's gotta-haves I would say.

But the real show-stealer was Howard Shan Lo, the guy in the Eye for a Guy 2 show who was dissed by Denise Keller for that Wolfgang bloke. Witty and articulate, he was a welcome fare to Colin Png's rather hyper and melodramatic talk.

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