Gates: Microsoft to focus on software, not content

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates addressed the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week with America Online CEO Steve Case, whose company recently announced a takeover of Time Warner. Gates and Case were on hand to discuss coming changes in the Internet and the way that all nations, rich and poor, can share in its wealth of resources. However, Gates was quick to distance himself and his company from Case's AOL, stating that Microsoft wasn't interested in getting into the content business.

"The strategy that \[Microsoft\] is pursuing has really been the same for the last 25 years," Gates told a panel forum. "It would be fun to own a movie studio, but I don't have any expertise, so we're going to stay away from that. Instead, I think there's room for a company who's main goal is to create software and allow that software to be a very empowering tool,"

The notion of Microsoft as a company focused solely on software was first discussed weeks earlier during the announcement that Gates was handing over the Microsoft CEO role to president Steve Ballmer. But Microsoft spent over two years attempting to become a content company as the Internet boom started. The failure of several high-profile Web sites, such as Mungo Park, caused the company to rethink its strategy, however. And though Microsoft has pledged to support every device imaginable in this new "post-PC" era, it's certain that future growth--at least for the short term--is tied intimately to its ability to deliver on this promise

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