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Friday, July 08, 2005

Gates Perspective On Advances in Software

(Via Cworld)Web services will have a "catalytic effect" on software development, speech recognition will go mainstream in three to four years, and search capabilities will feature richer, clearer interfaces, says Bill Gates. Software in his mind is "the fastest-changing element" in a world of technology that is also evolving on other fronts. Hardware improvements are occurring at an "exponential rate" with marked increases in networking speeds and storage capacity, the availability of 64-bit computing on standard servers is paving the way for the technology to go mainstream with low-cost hardware, and a common architecture is emerging from the laptop to the server. Information will be available on portable devices, connected through wireless efforts in areas such as Wi-Fi and 3G. The phone will get richer, becoming an electronic wallet and connecting users to maps. In an artificial environment, the computer already comes close to humans in recognizing speech. Signal- to-Noise ratio is the key impediment. Gates predicts that the problems facing speech recognition will be solved in this decade.
He expects that breakthroughs in software will come very quickly with reduction in operational cost & highlights the main obstacle to this progress as security, In its efforts to boost IT security, Microsoft is addressing the "who" piece - making sure users of a system are who they say they are by using the directory and incorporating a higher degree of authentication; the "where" piece - whereby systems connect only when they need to, with the exception of the mail or Web server; and the "how" piece - tools to write secure code and to automate code quality assurance, identify code that is being written and keep it up to date. He highlighted the three key audiences to keep in mind when dealing with software: the worker who deals with information, the developer who builds extensions of applications, and the IT department,which needs to maintain directories, manage the system, provide support and generally improve productivity. There is a need for one architecture that addresses all of these needs. Web services fit in very well here – With Internet we can send information with standards like TCP, advances in Web services and XML allow electronic records to be exchanged by systems of various types, Web services will continue to have a catalytic effect on software developments, allowing software to connect at the component level. The service-oriented architecture implies that software can be connected no matter what language it is written in and predicts that the competition in the software market will then center on who has the most efficient development tool, and on bringing information to standard tools that people are already familiar with.I expected more coverage on Mobile technologies, consumer electronics and digital lifesytle areas.

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