Look out Google and Moveable Type. Bill Gates has discovered blogging for business.
Gates touted the wonders of blogging to CEOs of some of the world’s top companies at the eighth annual CEO summit put on by Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. Google’s increased visibility on the Web scene and encroachment into computing space is morphing it into a Microsoft competitor reminiscent of Netscape. And Gates doesn’t want to see an 800 pound gorilla like Google beat Microsoft at anything. That’s why Microsoft has been so hard at work in the search area and is now, apparently, looking at blogging as an opportunity.
At the summit were Warren Buffet, Barry Diller of InteractiveCorp, Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com and Dell Inc.’s Michael Dell. Steve Rubel predicts in his blog, Micro Persuasion, that there is sure to be a ripple effect when CEOs who didn’t know a blog from a bagel go back and implore their tech people and PR chiefs to explore this “blogging thing Bill Gates talked about.”
Party Like It’s 1995
Rubel says it feels like 1995, when Gates issued a now famous memo ordering Microsoft to throw all its resources into launching a “hardcore” attack on the Internet browser market. At the time, Netscape’s share of that market was close to 90%; by early 2000, Netscape’s share had plunged to 20%, and Microsoft’s browser appeared to have won the war. Does Microsoft also want to take over the blogosphere with new software?
A Microsoft statement called the CEO Summit yesterday “one of the most important gatherings of global business leaders, second only to the World Economic Forum.” Just a tad overblown, perhaps.
Some 700 Microsoft employees keep their own blogs, and while Gates didn’t say he was starting a blog, he did say it was a great way he could communicate with employees.
Gates also told his pals about Real Simple Syndication (RSS) which will also get a hit of legitimacy as a result.
Most of the CEO Summit takes place behind closed doors, and access is tightly controlled. According to Reuters, reporters were allowed to watch Gates’ address on Thursday through an online Webcast or via closed-circuit television in a room on the Microsoft campus.
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