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Is Bill Gates distancing Microsoft further from ItsOurNet's Net neutrality position?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-01-10 09:46
Listening to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, in a podcast interview with Richard Scoble at the CES show, Microsoft clearly is no longer singing from the ItsOurNet hymnal on net neutrality.
When Microsoft withdrew its support and funding from ItsOurNet in the late fall, it indicated that it intended to rejoin ItsOurNet after the merger review was complete.
Whether or not Microsoft stays out of ItsOurNet or not, it is clear from this podcast interview that the head of Microsoft does not agree with the standard ItsOurNet line on NN.
Below is my good faith attempt to represent a transcription of Mr. Gates comments in the podcast, which you can hear and check for yourself at this link: http://www.podtech.net/scobleshow/technology/1309/exclusive-lunch-with-ces-bloggers-and-bill-gates The bolding is my emphasis.
Question: How will net neutrality affect Microsoftâ€™s business?
â€œMicrosoft wants people to build Internet infrastructure that has the ability to feed high definition video to every screen in your house. So we want the incentive to be there for people to build that new network. And we want that network to be something -- that the content from everyone is treated in a reasonably equal wayâ€¦
Question: Is Microsoft on the side of the consumer?
â€œWho else represents both sides? Most people are either a network company that doesnâ€™t want a restriction or a content company that does not understand the disincentive to building out the networks. So there were tons of things proposed that would have made the U.S. just like Europe. So these are complex issues.
The U.S. did have a problem in the 1990â€™s in the 1996 Telecom Act that it has an assumption that subleasing could do this magic thing and how did that go? Why is Korea ahead of us? Anyway itâ€™s a complex issue.â€? End of Quotes.
Does this sound like Gates is an ardent supporter of ItsOurNet to you? Either Gates is not privy to its Washington office's embrace of ItsOurNet, or Microsoft is getting more nuanced in its net neutrality position.