Bill Clinton drops in at Microsoft to say thanks

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REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft Corp. is contributing technology for two projects dear to former U.S. President Bill Clinton's heart, and on Friday he was at the company's campus here to say thanks.

Microsoft is participating in a United Nations organization that aims to help millions of children in refugee camps worldwide continue their educations. The company designed a Web site,, to help the organization raise money.

In addition, Microsoft is helping to develop technologies to measure the carbon footprints of large buildings and then track how changes to the buildings might reduce their impact on the environment.

"The problem is, believe it or not, even after all these years of dealing with climate change, there is no commonly accepted clear measurement of the impact of specific actions on the problem," Clinton said.

Clinton is backing a climate-change initiative through his foundation, which aims to change large buildings in big cities so they have less of an adverse effect on the environment. "We'll measure what cities are doing, and when we turn out to be wrong and what we're doing is not working, we will have evidence that will justify stopping it as well as evidence that will justify spreading these reforms around the world," he said.

Clinton addressed just a few questions, including some related to the presidential run of his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

He had little to say about his role in the antitrust case lobbied against Microsoft during his tenure in office. "In our administration, we had no contact between the White House and the Justice Department over enforcement of the laws," he said. "The first time I heard about the Microsoft case was when I read about it in the paper."

Clinton was in Seattle signing copies of Giving (Knopf, 2007), his new book about philanthropy. During his visit, Clinton also addressed a group of mayors from around the country who gathered in Seattle last week to discuss ways to reduce carbon emissions in their cities.

Microsoft often invites visiting dignitaries to talk to employees at its campus.

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