Image: Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates
Andy Manis  /  AP
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates speaks during a surprise appearance at an introductory class on programming at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wis., on Oct. 12.
updated 10/13/2005 3:10:40 PM ET 2005-10-13T19:10:40

Computer science graduates will be in greater demand than ever over the next 15 years, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates says.

Gates addressed University of Michigan students Wednesday in kicking off a three-day college tour aimed at getting young people interested in computer science and related fields.

"You're going to have tons and tons of opportunities," Gates said. "If there's a field to go into, this is it."

Gates said the global market has greatly expanded the need for technology and innovations and needs young people to create them. Although many computer science jobs are being created overseas, there still are plenty of opportunities in the United States, Gates said.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

As part of his talk, Gates demonstrated new kinds of technology, including Microsoft's new Xbox 360 videogame console, which can also play music and store photos.

Gates tried to show off the graphics in an Xbox car racing game but had some trouble getting his vehicle to go.

"I don't think I'm going to win this race," he joked, as the blue Porsche repeatedly bounced off a wall on a simulated Las Vegas street.

Gates' tour includes stops at the University of Wisconsin, Princeton, Columbia, Howard and University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

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