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Top 10 questions IT leaders should face under oath

04 May 2012

In the last few weeks, some of the world's highest profile technology chief executives have been grilled under oath over the use of Sun's Java technology, now owned by Oracle, within the Android operating system designed by Google.

This has meant Oracle's Larry Ellison, Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Sun Microsystem's prior chiefs Scott McNealy and Jonathan Schwartz have all been forced to answer questions they may have otherwise wished to avoid or brush over.

We on V3 are often left frustrated by media trained executives performing such dodges, so it was fun to watch the leaders squirm and it got us thinking about some of the most pertinent questions we'd love to put to other's in the industry, under oath, and see how they coped.

10. To Bill Gates: Are you concerned about the future of Microsoft?

Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum 2007Bill - can we call you Bill? - your company owned the 1990s, but as the 21st century really hits its stride, Microsoft could very well become obsolete.

The company's biggest product, the Windows operating system, has become less important than ever as more and more everyday tools move from the desktop to the cloud. And while Microsoft controls the browser space, their share is hardly comparable to the market stranglehold enjoyed in the heyday of Windows.

And there there's the mobile space. While Microsoft hasn't been completely left in the dust, they were dangerously close. Windows Phone and Windows 8 Metro have both been touted as promising products, but Android and iOS have had a tremendous head start and are still viewed as "hipper" products than Microsoft's latest creation.

There's still that famed Redmond war chest, but even that lacks the clout it once held. Apple is no longer the struggling niche computer maker it was in 1998, and Google's search holdings are among the most lucrative revenue streams in the business. Microsoft's two biggest rivals have the funds on hand to match any effort to outspend or undercut on pricing.

So Bill Gates, as the man who built Microsoft, how confident are you that the company will still be a market force 10-15 years from now?

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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