Q & A With Bill Gates: Innovator, Deal-Maker, and Philanthropist

Gates: Companies make their contribution by both giving some cash to broad areas but also by having their products in their area of expertise be tailored and donated to people who are poor. So in the case of Microsoft, we went and got involved in putting PCs in libraries. We went to Chile to put PCs in the libraries there, so by having a really robust machine connected to the Internet, going through the training, working with the government, getting all the pieces right -- we learned how to do that in the United States -- those projects were incredibly successful.

So while I admit for my Foundation the top priority is health, Microsoft is about software. It's got a product, that's what the company knows. And that's where, in its activities around the world, its helping educators, it's helping kids who have curiosity, and I think that's fantastic for Microsoft to do that.

I'm taking the success that Microsoft had and putting tens of billions of that into the basic needs where breakthroughs can be made -- and there, we'll be using software. We'll be using mobile phones, we'll doing data gathering, so we'll be using software as a tool to do it. I wish every company was doing as much as Microsoft is to take their expertise and look into that developing world and see what role they can play . We've had great impact, great success, and it helps us attract better employees. It makes our employees feel good because we were founded on the idea of empowerment. We're not just talking about it, we're out in over a hundred countries delivering it in a significant way.

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