Microsoft is not expecting to adapt its software and services for broadband internet access for about five years, according to company chairman Bill Gates.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Gates told political and business leaders that the high price of broadband access in the US was stifling demand.
Gates said US broadband would lag behind European and Far Eastern countries by "five to six years". He slammed US telecom providers and cable networks for recently increasing prices.
Until uptake of broadband improved, Microsoft would concentrate on providing products for slower, narrowband services, he added.
Gates also dismissed the idea of an impending economic recovery. While the European economy was improving, it would not be enough to lift the rest of the world out of its current slump, he said.
The assessment was based on Microsoft's position as a supplier to leading businesses, Gates said. He acknowledged that Microsoft is not an expert in forecasting.
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