"We have the availability of information wherever you go, delivered by the breakthrough of wireless networks [in the office and public areas]. This means that when you take the portable PC with you, you're connected up," said Gates. "That portable [device] will get even smaller and will turn into a tablet device where pen-and-ink can be used as well as the keyboard."
Gates believes in a future where everyone, and every system, will be highly connected through wireless devices and web services, and that Microsoft has a key role to play in making all of this possible. Commending web services and standards such as XML (extensible markup language) and the emerging service-oriented architecture (SOA), Gates said that the Internet had evolved to the point where it allowed the exchange of data like healthcare, supply chain and e-government records, and that the Internet would continue to play a greater role in our lives provided we strive to improve it.