Bill Gates said there is still room for improvements in search engines and the internet. Speaking at a conference of more than 7,000 IT professionals in Singapore, Gates predicted the rise of 'richer' mobile apps, boasting new abilities, such as being able to enable users to access features such as maps or e-wallets on the move.

"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.