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Bill Gates: TV As We Know it, Obsolete in 10 years


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#1 Slimy

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 05:43

Riyadh, Nov. 10: Television as we know it today will become obsolete in the next 10 years, said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He was speaking at the First Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh during his first visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. “I had my children with me recently and while we were walking in a shopping area, there was this record store and my son asked me: ‘What is a record?’ Well, he has never seen a record. If I take him to a museum, he will see one. Yes, he knows what a TV is, but 10 years from now even TV will be something people will look back on and say: ‘Well, how inconvenient that was. You couldn’t carry it with you wherever you wanted to, and you couldn’t organise it the way you would’ve liked to,” Mr Gates said during his keynote address.

He was referring to a sea-change in both the way we watch TV, as well the TV sets themselves. Books will become obsolete too, Mr Gates said. “For interaction today, we primarily use the keyboard. In the future we will be using all sorts of means for interacting with the computer. We are talking about eliminating textbooks or books altogether because we will have a very light thin screen, a tablet-like computer connected to the Internet that you will carry with you at all times.” An interesting revolution is underway, he said. “Ten years ago, when we thought about photographs, we thought about taking a camera, developing a film. And when we thought about organising and sharing our photo collection, it required working on paper. That was not very efficient. Well, today, if you take a photo you can put it on the Internet and have it published in a very rich, automatic way, and yes, in seconds. You can review your catalogue in a very rich way. Amazing, isn’t it?”

Mr Gates gave full support to Saudi Arabia’s economic development plans and announced the signing of a record 14 agreements with Saudi public and private organisations. “The reason your plan is actually realistic is that you have the resources to make that kind of investment,” he told the top Saudi business, government and IT leaders at the forum. He said Saudi Arabia should draw lessons from the huge successes of both the US and India in the world of information technology. “The US has been the strongest in terms of research on IT and that’s where investments in universities are going to help you,” he said. “India has been the strongest in terms of the number of (IT) engineers it has employed in a wide variety of things. There again it was the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) that helped it do that,” he said, heaping fulsome praise on the Indians.

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#2 seta-san

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 05:46

some how i doubt this. Television will be here forever. Anyway if we do replace television lets give all of our old TVs to countries with violence problems. People will be too stuck to the tube to do anything violent then.

#3 CaKeY

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 05:52

Cakey: Microsoft as we know it, obsolete in 5 years.

#4 Edrick Smith

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 05:53

some how i doubt this. Television will be here forever. Anyway if we do replace television lets give all of our old TVs to countries with violence problems. People will be too stuck to the tube to do anything violent then.



I doubt that they will be here for ever. Highly Doubt it, Wonder if we will ever become a world like Star Trek where the GUI is replaced by a button interface and TV is replaced by HoloDecks and money is no longer needed.

#5 aberflasm

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 06:26

I can fore see a future where home user personal computers are replaced with internet-boxes and other appliances. Everyone will have online storage and subscribe to web apps. Partly due to DRM/Security issues and partly due to the fact that the majority of people use computers for internet and email. Broadband, voice recognition and gesture input will change how we interact with these appliances. Linux will rule the business world. IMO the only reason WEBTV didn't take off was because you couldn't share music with it, edit photos, etc...

#6 Smigit

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 06:54

Read half of the above.

Anyway I tend to agree with what he's saying. TV "as we know it" will go away I'm sure. The future at present I think will be telivision delivered online. Now will that happen in 10 years? I dont think so. Some regions this may happen but theres many parts of the world without the money, connections ect to make it happen too soon. In what form it will take I cant say but the immediate push seems to be media pc's although their uptake seems to be fairly slow. I think the online services and streaming in general will need to improve until computers can generally really take over and I doubt many people are in a situation where they can readily stream HI-Def tv and do so reliably. I mean you have to bare in mind that most of the world are still on standard tv sets and adoption of HD equipment in almost all places has been alot slower than say the US. Price is an issue in alot of places too.

Infact almost any medium will take a while to be adopted. DVD's took quite some time before they became the norm and MP3 players were around for quite some time before the iPod became the status symbol that it is today (even they took 2 or 3 generations and a windows version to really catch on).

As for the tv not being portable. I dont know what he has in mind their. Projectors? The current push with home cinema is larger and crisper displays...something that doesnt exactly promote portability. Even projectors need some screen or something to look any good on so I think replacing the actual tvset is a bit further down the track.

#7 Cyranthus

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:05

i can agree with the tv thing. TVs and computers are beginning to move closer and closer to each other. I mean, we already have WebTV... we have websites with television. there are big screen 42 inch flatscreen televisions that can be used interchangably as computer monitors. its only a matter of time.

but the books being extinct thing? i dont think so... never.

Edited by Cyranthus, 11 November 2006 - 07:11.


#8 clonk

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:09

Cakey: Microsoft as we know it, obsolete in 5 years.


Linux will rule the business world.


You both are fools if you actually think that. The same damn thing has been said EVERY year. It hasn't happened and it won't.

#9 Copernic

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:09

To me TV is already obsolete, but books ? never.

#10 HaLoHaLo

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:59

i have not watched tv for at least a year :alien:

#11 P.M.K

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:00

Cakey: Microsoft as we know it, obsolete in 5 years.


Microsoft obsolete in 5 years???

That's very very doubtful.

#12 boogerjones

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:17

Didn't Bill Gates same the exact same thing about spam email? :rolleyes:

#13 Tech_Dude_5000

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:25

Well Analog TV is already if not soon to be obsolete. When was the deadline for tvs to switch to all digital?

#14 XerXis

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:38

i would miss the feeling of taking a good book from my bookshelf and feeling the weight in my hand, turning the papers, smelling it. It would take away the fun of reading

i do however agree with the television thing, i havn't had a television for a few years now, i use webtv and windows media center (i agree it's basicly still the same thing)

#15 Yusuf M.

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:44

Well Analog TV is already if not soon to be obsolete. When was the deadline for tvs to switch to all digital?

According to USA Today it could be Feb. 17, 2009.