The founder of the Microsoft empire and the world's richest man, Bill Gates, officially opened the Microsoft Global Technical Support Centre in Bucharest on Thursday morning, launching at the same time the company's latest operating system, Windows Vista, considered as the safest yet.

Gates appreciated the moment as very important and praised the professional skills of his company's 300 Romanian employees.

Gates sees Romania as a leader in employing e-governance programs and promised that Microsoft would invest in its software so to become more accessible for children and to improve the education system, given the one billion users worldwide.

The event was attended to by the Romanian president, Traian Basescu, and the prime minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

Gates' promotional tour for Windows Vista will end on April 30.

Vista is already challenged by several major IT&C players, who accuse the perpetuation of illegal practices in the European Union. The group gathering IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle and Red Hat said their complaints will be filed before the system is officially marketed.

In 2004, the European Commission established that Microsoft used its dominant position to eliminate from the market several audio and video software producers, making the Windows operating system incompatible with their formats.