Gates Tech Vision: By 2010 It Will All Come Together
While times may be tough for the technology sector and for the U.S. economy in general, technology will provide answers that will help us weather the storm, according to Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect for Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.
Speaking at the keynote session of the Comdex Fall 2002 technology conference here, Gates said that by the end of what he termed “the digital decade,” between 2000 and 2009, all the scenarios for automation of business and home life that are just beginning will be commonplace. This will be enabled, he noted, by advances in chips, connectivity and computing devices.
Many things that are currently done manually will be done in digital form by 2010, he noted. “Theres a lot of hard work to be done to build a foundation for that,” he added, noting that many technology initiatives will require “literally tens of billions of dollars to be spent. This is the task were all engaged in.
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“Personal computing is not just sitting in front of that desktop PC,” Gates continued. “Thats very important, but thats just a piece of what well do. The magic of the chip and [advances in] software are now spreading out to all kinds of devices, connecting in different ways. All of these will come together.”
Gates pointed out that the idea of personal computing is now “far broader than ever before.” Systems can connect automatically, yielding greater productivity, he said.
“Last year, there were a lot of highs and a lot of lows. It was a tumultuous year, a tough year, a year to test the people with long-term commitment, a year to test which innovations really meet the demanding requirements customers have in this kind of environment,” said Gates. He added that it will require new advances “to deliver in both the dimension of improved costs and the dimension of improved capabilities.”
Gates characterized some technology developments as “a big surprise on the positive side,” pointing to what he said is continued improvement in price performance and storage capacity.