Innovating towards the digital future: Lifestyles, society and culture Viviane Reding. Microsoft Innovation Day, 2007
How Europe has the market, the people and the industries to build the future, and how exciting new services are being used by citizens for social and professional reasons, for entertainment and knowledge. I will show how digital innovation is used to strengthen quality of life and improve on basic needs as health. But behind the positive developments, there are many necessary underlying factors that have to be working, and I will at the end talk about what we are doing for two specific and relevant factors today: The innovation in software, and the management and roll-out of telecom infrastructure

Europe has today a broad ecosystem of ICT industries. We cover all the sectorsnecessary to benefit from convergence. A range of ground-breaking and businessshaking technologies has emerged from Europe: from the web itself to the mp3- format and ADSL, from phone technologies to social networking services.


The European

We might think these services are only good for private life or entertainment. The truth is, they have proved to be efficient and well-made tools that already enter the


single market is our foundation. Within a single market development is spurred, uptake stimulated. Competition and innovation across Europe rely on this. And this is why it is so crucial to complete the single European Information Space. We must ensure that we can use our assets across the continent. Let me give you some current examples from the creative digital economy in Europe.Web 2.0 market has exploded. Take social networking sites: In some countries they are now a mass acceptance market. Finland-based Habbo Hotel claims 80 million registrations. Badoo and Faceparty from the UK have a combined membership of 20 million users, so does the Belgian-based Netlog. From each country networks thrive, whether it is Hyves in the Netherlands, StudieVZ in Germany, LunarStorm in Sweden, Skyrock in France, iWiw in Hungary or Grono in Poland. The list is endless. There are services for the working professionals, for young kids, for the retired, for the medical workers or the holiday travellers. In thesenetworks people share personal photos, stories and media entertainment, they organize their social and political life, their career or studies, they keep in touch, they do everything we have not mapped or imagined yet. This is the digital frontier for everyday people.professional space. Be it blogs, instant messaging or social network pages: The tools made for private life can be hugely beneficial also in a company or a public institution. I trust that many present here today are exploring this avenue, and I am excited to see what will come up in the next years.