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Jobs and Gates to appear side-by-side at WSJ 'D' Conference


Apple chief executive Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates have committed to a rare joint appearance at the fifth anniversary of the The Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital" conference later this year.

The two men, both seminal figures in the development of the personal computer, will jointly discuss the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation on May 30 with D co-producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.

Both Jobs and Gates have made multiple individual appearances at the past D conferences, but this will be their first joint session at D, the Wall Street Journal announced on Tuesday.

In addition to participating in the joint session with Gates, Jobs will appear on his own in a separate segment at the conference, dubbed D5, to discuss the latest developments at Apple, including new ventures such as the iPhone and Apple TV.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will also appear at the conference in his own segment, to discuss Windows, Office, the Xbox, Zune, and other topics.

In addition, the D5 conference will feature an impressive roster of other leaders in technology and media. Confirmed speakers include Google CEO Eric Schmidt; CBS President Les Moonves; Cisco CEO John Chambers; film director George Lucas; online pioneer Steve Case; Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore; News Corp. President Peter Chernin; Palm founder Jeff Hawkins; and Steve Chen and Chad Hurley of YouTube.

Although Apple's Jobs was not amongst the guests at last year's D4 conference, he attended the two previous years and came bearing gifts. In 2004, he used the conference to unveil the AirPort Express Base Station. He also revealed that Apple had recently developed a modern-day PDA device that was scrapped just ahead of its introduction.

During D3 the following year, a witty Jobs previewed iTunes 4.9 while also dropping the first hints at an iTunes movie store and iPhone. It was during this year's conference that Jobs also vowed to take his fight against AppleInsider and the PowerPage to the United States Supreme Court. The case never made it; Apple conceded following a unanimous defeat in the California Court of Appeals and was later ordered to pay $700,000 in legal fees to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Like past editions of the conference, D5 will be an all-interview event, without canned speeches, The Journal said. The sold out conference will take place May 29-31 near San Diego, California.

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