Bill Gates to Underscore Commitment to Computer Science And Academia at OOPSLA 2002
Nov. 08, 2002
Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Will Unveil Programming Language Innovations In C++ and C# and Demonstrate Microsoft Research Contributions in Security and Reliability

SEATTLE, Nov. 8, 2002 — Today at OOPSLA 2002, the 17th Annual ACM Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will unveil innovations in key developer technologies as part of Microsoft's commitment to academia and computer science.

In his keynote address before an audience of university faculty, students and developers, Gates will announce the road map for the Microsoft® Visual C# (TM) .NET and Visual C++® .NET programming languages, two core technologies supported within Visual Studio® .NET, the company's flagship development tool. Gates also will demonstrate an innovative internal tool developed by Microsoft Research, code-named "Scout," that enables Microsoft's development teams to locate, prioritize and address product vulnerabilities. "Scout" marks a significant advancement toward Microsoft's goal of providing a safe, private and reliable computing experience for its customers.

"Today's announcements are about demonstrating our unwavering commitment to the advancement of computer science," Gates said. "Our goal is to provide the academic and developer communities with the tools, standards support and trustworthy technology they need to succeed."

Looking Into the Future of Programming Languages

Building on Microsoft's long history of delivering innovative and practical programming languages, from Visual Basic® to C#, Gates will take the wraps off future enhancements to Visual C++ .NET and Visual C# .NET. Microsoft will demonstrate progress in its long-term commitment to the C++ programming language and standards conformance by releasing a new version of Visual C++ .NET that will be 98 percent conformant to the public International Organization for Standardization (ISO) C++ standard. For the first time, Windows® developers can use advanced ISO-defined C++ language features while also compiling and using modern C++ libraries.

"Microsoft started out as a developer-tools company, and we recognize the incredible importance of great tools that support a range of programming languages," Gates said. "Today we are delighted to announce an even deeper commitment to C++, in the form of greater ISO standard conformity and an emphasis on building standard libraries."

Gates also will disclose additional features in the next version of Visual C++ .NET that enable developers to use existing skills to deliver more robust and secure projects in less time, without sacrificing the power that has traditionally accompanied the C++ programming language. These features include performance improvements for floating point operations, increased productivity for Windows Form-based development, and improved security for more trustworthy computing.

In addition, Microsoft will propose specifications for new features in C#, a modern and innovative language designed by Microsoft and ratified by ECMA as a public standard. One feature, called generics, promises to dramatically increase the power of C# developers to create robust, modern business frameworks using a language construct immediately familiar to C++ developers. Along with generics, Microsoft will also propose several other productivity-enhancing features in the C# programming language, including anonymous methods, iterators and partial types. Together, these proposals place Microsoft at the forefront of language design and, when ratified and delivered, will offer programmers using C# a highly expressive and practical programming environment. More information on all of the proposed features is available at http://www.csharp.net/ .

Bringing Research to Reality

For more than 11 years the research originating from Microsoft Research has influenced all aspects of Microsoft's development. "Scout" is one example of this. Gates will demonstrate how "Scout" enables Microsoft's development teams to detect and address product vulnerabilities.

"Scout" is a test-prioritization system that ranks the application's given set of tests, based on changes made to the program. Using "Scout," development teams can track in-process testing, prevent defects from entering the system through early detection and thus improve product security and reliability, and shorten the repair process.

Gates also will demonstrate new programmability features for the Microsoft Tablet PC, which was launched worldwide yesterday. Tablet PC is the next-generation mobile business PC, which runs Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and features the capabilities of current business laptops. The Tablet PC concept originated in Microsoft Research, and many of its innovations that allow users to use the PC more often and in new ways, including handwriting recognition and the digital ink functions, were created in Microsoft Research.

Microsoft Research has a history of taking ideas and turning them into technologies and products used throughout the world, recognizing that innovative ideas today can turn into the products of tomorrow. To this end, Microsoft Research today announced its intent to invest in the next generation of computer science researchers by funding the Association for Computing Machinery's Student Research Competition, which will increase opportunities for student research in the IT community.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Visual C#, Visual C++, Visual Studio, Visual Basic and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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