Gates on the Past, the Future, and Google

STANFORD, Calif. — Philanthropist Bill Gates is able to take things a little slower these days, since he doesn’t have to worry anymore about the day-to-day irritations of running a major multinational corporation. He mostly thinks about how to give his — and colleague-in-cash Warren Buffett’s — money away for the betterment of mankind through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Do not misunderstand: Gates is still chairman of the Microsoft board, and he still sees progress reports, goes to the occasional company strategy meeting, speaks at keynotes and intervenes in big customer deals as needed.

But he also has more time for events like TechNet, held Nov. 15 at Stanford University’s venerable Memorial Auditorium.

Gates was interviewed by PBS’s talk-show host Charlie Rose in a wide-ranging, hourlong conversation before an audience of about 1,000 Stanford students, media members and various guests — including Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger of California.

TechNet describes itself as the “bipartisan political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy.”

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