Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates is planning this week to unveilthe company’s strategy for the government IT market, an intenselycompetitive area that has seen open-source software gain a strongfoothold.

On Tuesday, Gates will discuss the company’s Public Services andeGovernment Strategy at a government event in Portugal. Thefollowing day, Gates will further discuss the initiative during akeynote speech at Microsoft’s Government Leaders Forum Europe 2006in Lisbon, a two-day event with government leaders from acrossEurope and high-ranking Microsoft officials.

The strategy will focus on the “core capabilities” of government ITadministration, including identity management, customerrelationship management and case management, document and formsmanagement, Microsoft said. The strategy, part of the MicrosoftConnected Government Framework, is billed as a way for governmentsto build less expensive IT systems with better service forcitizens, according to a company news release Monday.

Microsoft said it is working with its partners on the eGovernmentstrategy. Those partners include WISeKey SA for digitalidentification of citizens. Accenture Ltd. and Avanade Inc. areworking with Microsoft on software to replace paper forms andautomation technologies.

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