GeekWire Summit Highlights: Bill Gates, the race to a COVID-19 vaccine, and the future of devices

This week’s GeekWire Podcast features highlights from the first week of the virtual GeekWire Summit, including what’s next in the quest for a COVID-19 vaccine; a conversation with Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer; and Bill Gates’ comments on what’s keeping him optimistic in these tumultuous times.

Listen to the episode below, or subscribe to GeekWire in any podcast app.

The full GeekWire Summit sessions are available on-demand exclusively to attendees of the virtual event, which runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Oct. 29. Learn more and register here.

Race to a COVID-19 Vaccine: We spoke with Dr. Deborah Fuller, professor of microbiology at the University of Washington; Dr. Lynda Stuart, deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Melanie Ivarsson, chief development officer at Moderna, one of the major biopharmaceutical companies with a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Phase 3 tests.

Panos Panay rose to prominence in the tech industry as the leader of Microsoft’s Surface hardware business. Now, in his expanded role as the company’s chief product officer, he’s leading the unified Windows software and hardware teams just as the pandemic renews the relevance of desktop and laptop computers in our lives. In this podcast highlight, we discuss Microsoft’s Surface Duo, and where dual-screen devices fit in the evolution of computing.

And finally, we talked with Bill Gates about the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and his thoughts on the tech industry’s current antitrust challenges, among other topics. Toward the end of our conversation, we asked him for some big-picture takeaways, including what keeps him optimistic in these tumultuous times. Listen to the final segment for his answer.

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