If the user was a home user, most likely a suite like MS Office Home would have enough applications needed by someone who was only using the suite at home. On the other hand, MS Office for Business would have included extra applications needed in the workplace. Integration and correlation between the different applications in the suite was an essential factor pushing forward the computer industry.
On the other hand, we wouldn't be through with describing Bill Gates contribution to the development of the computer world if we didn't briefly refer to particular individual applications that changed the way things are perceived or presented. One of these was MS Powerpoint, usually part of the Microsoft Office suite. Up to that point, ideas in meetings could be presented without any background support or with the help of drawing boards. All these obviously needed more time than a simple creation of a slide show with Powerpoint. In creating a presentation, integration between the different applications also greatly helps, because a chart created with the MS Excel can then be imported in a Powerpoint slide and shown as such within the presentation, as part of a slide. This has become something very useful in the workplace nowadays and something that is a great support for presentations.
Another Microsoft application directly targeting making the work activities easier and more manageable is the Microsoft OneNote, an application that facilitates the note-taking process to encourage a better management of the notes taken, moving the information around, making it available to other users etc. Easy to use and very practical, it is another software application promoted by the chief software architect to move forward the computer industry.
The future trend will show, most likely, that Microsoft will continue to shape the future of computers, even with Bill Gates expected to step down by 2008. The reason for this is that the concepts he laid down in his time as chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft and the business relying on innovation as the way to move it forward are well implemented and will remain strategic objectives for the company.
So, we will expect Microsoft to move commit to unified and integrated communication as a next step already promoted by Bill Gates during his October 2007 speech at the Unified Communications Launch (Gates, 2007) and encourage integration as the best way to obtain the most efficient results from a suite of applications. We will also expect Microsoft to continue innovating in terms of applications that are there to make the user's life easier in using his computer, as this has been the trend with the company over the last 30 years. Finally, we will expect Microsoft to lead the way in terms of computer innovation as well.
So, what was Bill Gates's contribution to the development of the computer world? First of all, we can most likely state that if Bill Gates and Microsoft had not existed, they would have had to be invented. One cannot imagine the computer world or the real world, for that matter, without essential applications that are used in everyday activities. This paper is written using a Microsoft Office Word application and it will be uploaded using an Internet Explorer browser. Most likely I will be using Microsoft Outlook to send several emails this afternoon and I might just have enough time to load into my Excel spreadsheet and see how many papers I have completed this month. At this point, it will probably be more difficult to find applications that were not created by Microsoft.
Microsoft did for the software industry what companies such as Dell or IBM did for the hardware industry: they brought applications into everyday life, encouraging individuals of all conditions to use the computer in their activities, whether at work or at home. Microsoft and Bill Gates have developed to informational era and will be shown in history as important contributors in that segment.
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Bill's Life, http://www.teamgates.com/library/life.htm. At http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Gates.Mirick.html.Last updated September 1996. Last retrieved on October 28, 2007
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