Bill Gates reveals his computer of choice

The Boardroom

by Ben Sullivan| 11 February 2014

Reddit ‘ask me anything’ session also finds out what he thinks of new CEO Nadella.

Bill Gates, current co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Microsoft, hosted a Reddit 'ask me anything' session yesterday, revealing some rare insight to his personal life.

One of the questions instantly asked was "What computer are you using right now?"

Naturally, of course, Gates replied with the news that he's using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2.

So there we have it, official endorsement from one of the most famous computer engineers of all time - if a Surface Pro 2 is good enough for Bill then it's good enough for anyone! Although that might not quite be the case, according to these dull sales figures.

Another question posed was that of how Nadella's vision might differ from Gates' and Ballmer's. Gates simply replied: "Satya is taking a fresh view of where Microsoft is - strengths and weaknesses. A new person gets to step back and change the focus in some ways. He is off to a great start."

One more interesting question regarded Bill Gates' favourite project that he had worked on at Microsoft.

Gates said: "The Windows project which required a lot of patience was great. Office was also great. Together they defined the big success of the 1990s for Microsoft. Office connected to the cloud has a LOT of potential and we are off to a good start. Cloud Storage needs to be a lot richer though."

In reply to the question about the area of technology to focus on over the next ten years, Gates said that machine learning is the area to focus on.

"The ultimate is computers that learn. So called deep learning which started at Microsoft and is now being used by many researchers looks like a real advance that may finally learn. It has already made a big difference in video and audio recognition - more progress in the last 3 years than ever before."

Moving on from his Microsoft days, Gates went on to answer a question about global energy.

"What, in your opinion, is the biggest impediment to bringing new nuclear technology onto the global market?" one Redditor asked.

"We need low cost energy that is totally reliable. Most renewables will require storage which is expensive to do this. Nuclear will make a contribution if we can make it safer, cheaper and deal with waste better. Terrapower has a design (on paper) that addresses all of these issues so now we are talking to countries about building it. It is a 4th generation reactor design that uses depleted uranium."

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