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Israel braces itself for Bill
AVI KRAWITZ
10/20/2005
Microsoft founder to arrive in Israel for the first time this evening as part of European tour.
Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates is set to arrive in Israel for the first time Tuesday evening as part of his annual European tour, presenting this year his vision for "the new world of work." During the whirlwind one-day visit, Gates is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert and will address approximately 2,500 businessmen and entrepreneurs on "the new world of work" idea. There, Gates will present his vision for the future generation of software to be used in ensuring the efficiency of information-related work and in the general business environment. It will be the keynote address at a full-morning seminar on the subject. Gates has also scheduled time to conduct a workshop with Israeli teenagers, who have excelled in technology, and who will present their ideas and questions to him. His itinerary, however, has not allowed time for Gates to visit the Microsoft research and development center in Haifa, which employs 150 people. Gates was involved in the decision at the start of the 1990s to make Microsoft's products, such as the Windows operating systems and the Office program bundles, compatible with Hebrew at an investment of $100m. The company's Israel branch was set up in 1989 by founding CEO Aryeh Skop, who was replaced at the start of this year by Danny Yamin. The company has a total of about 400 employees in Israel. Forbes magazine has estimated that Gates has a net worth of $46.5 billion, making him the world's richest man. He is also one of the world's greatest philanthropists.
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