Indonesian Presidential Lecture: A Quick Review

I have just watched this lecture from the local TV. The speakers were the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, and the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (henceforth SBY).

SBY did not particularly said lots of things, he was mainly concerned about how technology can help Indonesia to face the current trend of globalization. There was really nothing much to know.

Mr. Gates then talked about the massive growth of IT technology with reference to the Moore's Law (which says that processor capabilities doubles every set amount of years). Then he advertised the current Microsoft research focus such as Microsoft Surface (if I am not mistaken, it enables mobile devices to talk to tables that they are over them and synchronize everything without intervention). Gates also previewed another Microsoft plaything on astronomy which looks very much like Google Earth but it is for the outer space, not for the Earth. Furthermore, he mentioned how IT boosts a lot of other sectors important to humans such as medicine. MIT OpenCourseWare were also given as an example of the profound effects of the internet (although the name was not mentioned explicitly).

Perhaps a more interesting section of the lecture for open source fans was the Q&A session. Rene L. Pattiradjawane (excuse me for misspellings, if any), a regular IT journalist for the local newspaper Kompas, asked Bill Gates about his opinion on the open source movement as a lot of Indonesians believe that it was the most cost-effective solution instead of adopting Microsoft technologies. Gates countered the opinion, saying that in the IT department software only costs about 1% of the total spending so it was very justifiable to just buy the current monopoly; by sacrificing that 1% budget you get the whole compatibility and quality the industry has to offer. So much about open source.

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