Before Microsoft came along, there really was no software industry was just a few companies selling very high-priced software only to companies, big companies. The idea of low-cost software that would be empowering for individuals and that them could be literally around the world hundreds of thousands of these successful companies-that was part of the Microsoft dream. And in fact, the software industry is 10,000 times bigger because of the work we do. The vast majority of all the revenue in the software business is because Microsoft has a uniform platform that has gotten out to go around the world. And so in every country we've helped companies grow up, create jobs, pay taxes around the software world. The main competitors who don't like us are actually hardware companies who have been used to charging very high prices for the hardware and the PCs changed that.
It's hard to think of a business that's had a more positive effect for customers than the PC business. The rate of product improvement, the kind of empowerment it provides, its ability to create and stay in touch. You known the closest comparison is when publishing came along and people had books. Of course books created a problem. You know, the people wanted to control things didn't like books, the people who wanted to sell high-priced hand written things didn't like the printing press. But overwhelming it was something that people knew really that it was very positive. The same thing's happened with the PC. There's no company that in terms of our work has gotten as positive feedback and you how has gotten as broad a set of users. Those users are always telling us what they'd like to see us make better, and that's partly why it's a fun business because we get to make new versions of the software all the time.
Well, the vision of Microsoft is about information as you want it, any time, anywhere, any place. And this is an overall strategy about making it easier to write software, easier to share data, revolutionizing user interface with the speech and handwriting. And making reading off the computer as good or better than paper and so today we're as radical as ever in seeing that the horizons for software will let us get so much more than even what we have now.
The digital future includes lots of specialized devices. If all you want to do is make a voice call, you will have a device for that, if all you want to do is take a photo, you'll have a device for that. The PC of course will be the device whenever you want to see a full-size screen to do anything with documents or web browsing or planning, you'll use that. Now sometimes these devices will be combined together and we have enough partners who make these devices that every possible combination will be tried. You know putting the phone and the camera together, bringing the wristwatch a camera together, and it'll be completely up to the market to decide exactly how they'd like to see these things packaged. But no doubt, the photos will go digital, movies will go digital, music will go digital, and so the ability of the user to share and enrichen these things will be dramatically better than it's been without digital.