Skip to content

PM Matti Vanhanen's US Tour Ends on Tech Note

Prime Minister Vanhanen wrapped up his US visit with a meeting with Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the company's Seattle headquarters on Thursday.

Gates and Vanhanen discussed public and private sector responsibility in terms of internet development -- and touched on the Jokela high school shooting that occurred in November.

Gates praised the Finnish education system, and said he wants his company to play a role in Finland's new innovation university, which will open its doors next year.

"We talked about Microsoft getting involved and collaborating on some research," commented Gates at a press conference following the meeting.

Gates moreover offered to provide Finland's comprehensive and vocational schools with the Live@edu service, which is a Microsoft platform designed for communicating in the school environment, and includes electronic message boards, chats, school schedules and email.

Finns Like to Google, Says Google

Hitting two birds with one stone, Vanhanen also paid a visit to the Google campus in Mountain View, California, where he met with the company's patriarchs, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Vanhanen was let in on some insider information, as Google VP Marissa Mayer commented that Finland offers an important measurement unit for Google.

"We often joke that if people all around the world googled as frequently as Finns, Google would make even bigger profits. Searches in proportion to Finland's population are internationally top-class," said Mayer.

During his trip, which began on Sunday, the premier also met with US Vice President Dick Cheney and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Vanhanen was scheduled to return to Finland on Friday.