Gates at RSA: Zzzzzzzzzz

The founder of the world's most important software provider misses an opportunity.

Murphy's Law in action for yours truly on Tuesday morning. The neighbor's car alarm began blasting at 2 a.m., the shower only poured out freezing water, and the subway (we call it the "MUNI" out here) was slow as molasses getting downtown. But I finally got to the Moscone Center to hear Bill Gates deliver his keynote speech at the RSA Conference 2005.

I should have stayed in bed.

Go to the Microsoft Web site and judge for yourself--they'll likely have a copy of his speech available today--but this rates as one of the all-time snoozers. The main theme: Security is important, and Microsoft cares about its customers. Toss in a few blatant company commercials for Microsoft products (most of which are still in beta), and there you had it. With a ballroom full of security professionals on hand, the founder of the world's most important software provider missed a golden opportunity to set the agenda.

About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


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