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Gates Visits China, Urges Tech Investment

Greater investment in technology to improve health care and education would help ease global economic inequality, said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

Greater investment in technology to improve health care and education would help ease global economic inequality, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday, adding he saw no limits to the technological revolution.

"Health care...is right up there with education as a top area, a growing area, where we have to think about how the rich world is going to change what it's doing and how we bring more equity and capability into the developing countries," the world's richest man said.

Gates on Thursday unveiled his company's latest effort to bridge the digital divide worldwide, announcing several new ventures, including US$3 (euro2.21) software packages for government-subsidized student computers.

The software maker said it will sell a Student Innovation Suite, which includes Windows XP Starter Edition and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, for US$3 each to governments that subsidize a certain percentage of the cost of PCs for primary and secondary students for use at home and at school, starting in the second half of the year.

Gates said more opportunities would be created as technology becomes easier and cheaper to use as it advances.

"I'm often asked, is the technology revolution going to reach an end? And the answer is certainly that in the decades ahead, we don't see any limits," Gates said.

Gates cited the growing prevalence of video on the Internet as an example of how quickly and dramatically technology improves.

"Five years ago, we talked about music on the Internet; we talked about photos on the Internet. But video was not a mainstream thing. Today, it's very mainstream. Why? The power of the systems, the power of the software tools, and the use of high speed connections allow video to work very well on every one of these systems," Gates said.

"We see the fact that the power will just get better and better."

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