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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 15, 2006 at 11:34 AM

Another Microsoft worry: The second digital divide

SAN DIEGO — Amid all the talk of the broadband enabled world, sensor networks and other new systems that are connecting people more than ever before, there’s a risk that some people will choose to opt-out, creating a second digital divide, said Jonathan Murray, Microsoft’s worldwide technology officer.

Murray, speaking at the FiRe conference, asked: “Will we see a new breed of people in society who decide they don’t want to be digitally enabled? Will that create another discontinuity in society we need to address?”

Murray advises governments on how to prepare for future technologies.

His other looming concerns include “the potential limits that governments may put in place” that restrict industry’s ability to take advantage of new technologies. He’s also concerned the tech industry isn’t prepared to deal with the social responsibility and ethcial issues presented by sensor networks and growing computational capability.

“I would respectfully suggest our industry needs to mature somewhat on how we deal with those issues,” he said.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft

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