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Gates speaks at UN, Ballmer in Silicon Valley

The Microsoft chairman, wearing his Gates Foundation hat, addresses the United Nations, while CEO Steve Ballmer is set to speak to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Bill Gates

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Microsoft's Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were both making speeches Thursday, but to widely different audiences.

Gates, the company's chairman who has stepped away from full-time Microsoft work, was at the United Nations to discuss global progress in the fight against poverty, while chief executive Ballmer is here to address the Churchill Club, a collection of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives.

Steve Ballmer

Gates was before the UN wearing his hat as head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and to speak on where the world stands versus the Millenium Development Goals. Although the metrics show the world ahead in some areas and trailing in others, Gates told the assembly of world leaders that the important thing is that there are now measurable goals for fighting poverty.

"I love the Millennium Development Goals," he said, according to remarks posted on the Gates Foundation Web site. "I think they are the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that I've ever seen...Thanks to these goals, not only UN agencies but the world at large knows the key measures of poverty, hunger, health, and education. Some of the numbers are good and some are not. But the fact that the world is focusing on the numbers is excellent."

As for Ballmer, he is speaking on stage in a conversation with Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ann Winblad. That talk starts in about an hour, so check back to CNET News and Beyond Binary for coverage then.