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Gates: IBM, Not Google, Top Rival; Shows off Vista Features

The good-old days…

Though the news media tend to focus on Microsoft's competition with Google, IBM is its biggest challenger, said Bill Gates during his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, reports Reuters. Gates instead dismissively compared the potential threat from Google's search capabilities to that of past competitors such as Netscape's web browser and Sun Microsystems' Java programming language. Gates said Microsoft is still mostly unchallenged in new applications, such as internet protocol (IP) TV.

"The biggest company in the computer industry by far is IBM. They have the four times the employees that I have, way more revenues than I have. IBM has always been our biggest competitor. The press just doesn't like to write about IBM," said Gates.

Bloomberg writes that Gates also showed, for the first time, the new consumer features in the next version of Windows software, touting search and digital photo advancements - pointing to the actuality of competition from Google. Windows Vista will have a built-in desktop search and an application to organize and display photos.

Gates also discussed new software to record live television and transfer music and video around homes, allowing consumers to connect to high-definition cable TV without a set-top box.

Gates is also pushing music and video software to fight Apple's iPod.

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