Gates: ‘All Media Will Be Software-Driven’


LAS VEGAS -- Broadcasters may just be starting to grapple with transmitting their signals in digits. But that is part of an inevitable transition to Bill Gates.

“All media and entertainment will be software-driven,” the founder and chairman of Microsoft said in the final keynote address he expects to ever deliver at the annual Consumer Electronics Show here.

In the past decade, software has overhauled how music is created, delivered and played back; made film almost obsolete in the creation of photos; and underlies feature-rich mobile and home phone services.

Such change in communications and entertainment will reach “much faster and much further in the second digital decade,” Gates said Sunday night.

The “magic of software,’’ he said, will bring “high-definition experiences everywhere,” from TV screens to screens in desks; make the idea that all data and all computer services can be available at any time from any place common; and, mean that users will increasingly use their fingers, their voices and hand gestures to interact with digital devices.

Gates is leaving Microsoft as a full-time employee in July, to work full-time at his charitable foundation.

In a mock video about his last full day at Microsoft, he was shown trying to find his way with more time on his hands – and being gently rejected by Bono in his attempt to become a member of the rock band U2; by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in attempts to become their running mates in the presidential race; and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart in his attempt to become a co-host of The Daily Show.