Microsoft’s annual CEO Summit kicks off officially today with an 8:30 am keynote by Bill Gates titled “The Next Wave of Business Productivity and the Challenge of Continual Innovation.”
115 CEOs will attend from 26 countries, says Microsoft. The combined annual revenue from these companies tops $3 trillion annually and they employ 10 million people worldwide. Attendees include Jack Welch, Warren Buffett and others. The event informally kicked off on Tuesday evening with Charlie Rose interview of Tom Friedman at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle.
None of the summit content, other than Bill Gates’ keynote, will be available to anyone other than attendees. “We want attendees to feel comfortable to speak freely at the event,” said Kim Stocks, Microsoft’s Director of Corporate PR.
Some of the sessions:
- A panel discussion on “Decoding the Financial Markets” led by Maria Bartiromo
- A discussion between Jack Welch and Tom Brokaw “On Business”
- “The Next Next Internet – The Next Five Years Will Be Even More Disruptive” panel discussion led by Michael Kinsley
- “Investing In Earth 2.0″
The Bill Gates keynote looks to be the highlight, however. In addition to showcasing existing Microsoft software he will also demo a new prototype touch computing device called TouchWall and Plex, which envisions a new “Minority Report” type touch screen interface (see next post for more details on TouchWall and Plex). Gates will end with a discussion of ongoing challenges in innovation and Microsoft’s 600+ researchers looking at future technologies.
This is Microsoft’s twelfth CEO Summit.
Update: More TouchWall video here.