Gates Predicts Big Technological Leaps

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday he expects the next decade to bring even greater technological leaps than the past 10 years. In a speech to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Gates speculated that some of the most important advances will come in the ways people interact with computers: speech-recognition technology, tablets that will recognize handwriting and touch-screen surfaces that will integrate a wide variety of information.

"I don't see anything that will stop the rapid advance," Gates said, noting that technological change driven by academia and corporate researchers continued even after the Internet stock bubble burst in 2000. Gates also said the coming years will bring rapid changes in media as television increasingly becomes a targeted medium, where viewers can select niche content for news, sports and entertainment.

"TV will be based on the Internet; it will be an utterly different thing," he said.

Gates' speech came after he testified to Congress on Wednesday advocating greater investment in math and science education and more relaxed immigration rules that would allow foreigners who obtain college degrees in the United States to work here after graduation. Current policy, he said, forces many bright, capable students to return to their native countries after the U.S. has invested in their education. Gates said Thursday he was optimistic that policy makers would make the right decisions about investing in technology and human capital, though he acknowledged that such investments don't pay off immediately.

View: Full Article @ The Associated Press

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Claim: Android will have 'much larger market' than iPhone

Next Story

Microsoft Looks at the Theory of Six Degrees of Separation

22 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Bill's been touting the dead horse that is speech recognition, handwriting and touchscreens for decades, and they still haven't taken off in any significant manner. Do people actually want them? I know I don't.

- Offices and cube farms are already noisy enough; I don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry using voice commands to operate his computer. Besides, it's quicker to use a mouse/keyboard to select some option somewhere, not to mention that it's way quicker also to undo some error you've made with a mouse than undoing some misinterpreted voice command. Sure, there might be useful applications depending on the environment, but I don't see anything as "revolutionary" as Gates like to think.

- I can type way faster than I can write, and what I type is way more legible. Tablets don't have the right 'feel' of pen and paper. Using a backspace key is infinitely faster than all the steps involved in fixing incorrectly recognized handwriting.

- Those who get excited at the thought of touchscreen haven't used it. Holding your arms out in mid-air to reach a touchscreen to do "precision selecting" gets tiring really quick. That Surface demo was kinda cool, for about 3 seconds, and, yeah, there might definitely be some practical uses, but I don't see anything to revolutionize the way the average Joe uses his home or office PC.

All that being said, I'm certainly not against the idea of trying to improve what exists, but even if every one of those areas was completely perfected, none of it would create the sort of "big technological leap" that Gates has been talking about for years.

Since 2000, computation is on hold, there are not a new technology, just a remake of old technology with mixed results.

We are in the worst moment ever, for example OSX?... it's just a reshaped unix (a pretty old operating system), Vista?, is still a NT operating, system, virtualization?.. fine but still a old technology (circa 1970), speech-recognition ... nothing new (and barely usable), "tablets that will recognize handwriting and touch-screen surfaces that will integrate a wide variety of information" or you could say WACOM. Technology speaking we are going to nowhere, but monetary talking technology = money.


Anyways, the "educational" viewpoint of Bill Gates is just a BULL####, Microsoft Certification is a stupid joke that create dumb people, i found many MCE with thousand of studies and still unable to create a single sort algorithm, not to say a more and efficient algorithm such using hash table/ tree or another way.

MCSE doesn't mean anyone is a computer science expert and has nothing to do with algorithms. If you need someone who can create algorithms for you try looking for the right credentials and stop blaming people with credentials unrelated to your needs.

It's like blaming a lawyer for not knowing how to be an accountant.

I love it bill gates is a true hero of our time yet no matter what he says he gets attacked. Its funny everyone is running out to get apples yet thier CEO does nothing more than make an attack on MS at every given opportunity. Seriously people think, im sure bill gates only means the students that will want to stay in the US. Isnt it better keeping them in the US and helping us companies rather than outsourcing to offshore companies.

Bah, these kinds of people also "predicted" massively interactive TV as soon as digital TV arrived, where you could decide how to watch sports events etc. Some of that materialized, but it's still extremely rare. Conversely, Internet-based TV is already here since a few years ago, but not in a large scale.

I think the flaw in these arguments is that while technological advances may allow certain usage scenarios of it, that is often unrelated to how hard it is to change traditions. In the case of (offline and non-ISP related) TV sets, the tradition is several decades old. Decent hybrid cars more than suitable for large groups are also available today technologically, but many still don't even consider them simply because of tradition.

Uh oh...someone found out my secret!

I didn't actually select the photo, but rather the category of Microsoft :)

At least it isn't that awful pic from Tiger Beat...

i disagree, i think we have hit the limit with where we can go with computers for the time being
look what happened with CPUs, they couldnt make better single cores, so to get around it they made dual cores

i dont think we will see half the kind of stuff that came out in the last decade
its going to me alot more relaxed. alot more patent lawsuits

What your saying about cpu's is not true, it's not a matter of not being able to make better single cores, it's a matter of physics, going bellow 45nm is extremely difficult, and nano technology isn't ready. Also for the topic multi core cpu's makes sense since for what Gates is talking you would need several resource intensive processes running in parallel.

multi-core is a better cpu than single core, as long you have the software that takes advantage of it.

What a thoughtful and well-educated comment. Next time, read the article before you let your ignorance out on the web

(z0phi3l said @ #2)
He left out the part where Microsoft will steal the ideas and add it into Windows

Isn't it interesting how many things Gates has predicted over the years, yet managed to miss everything that mattered?

  • >640K RAM
  • Multimedia
  • The Internet
  • Search engines
  • Social networking
  • IPTV, streaming video
  • "Web 2.0"
  • Virtualization
  • MMORPGs, virtual worlds
  • Mini-PCs that don't suck ass (e.g. the Eee PC... compare that to Microsoft's UMPC idea)

I'm sure I forgot a couple of things.

What will Gates miss next? Odds are you will know about it before he does.

(toadeater said @ #2.2)
  • Mini-PCs that don't suck ass (e.g. the Eee PC... compare that to Microsoft's UMPC idea)

Excuse me! The UMPC is the greatest invention ever!

*hugs his Q1U tightly* Don't listen to them baby, they don't know what they're on about.

more relaxed immigration rules that would allow foreigners who obtain college degrees in the United States to work here after graduation. Current policy, he said, forces many bright, capable students to return to their native countries after the U.S. has invested in their education.

I can see where he is coming from but the flip side of the argument is that allowing foreign students to return to their home country will help bring that country forward and hopefully reduce their dependency on overseas education.

Why stay in the USA? We need to develop our less educated and technologically advanced countries. The US already have 280+ M people who can worry about further developing the states. The people from overseas countries, Europe and Africa, should try to invest in their countries' development.

(OblivionStalker said @ #1.1)
Why stay in the USA? We need to develop our less educated and technologically advanced countries. The US already have 280+ M people who can worry about further developing the states. The people from overseas countries, Europe and Africa, should try to invest in their countries' development.

you know, we europeans aren't stupid and have our own prestigious universities

Immigration will be a key economic issue, as baby boomers are starting to retire. All of a sudden, you will find millions of people not working anymore and the economy going into a downturn, as there is nobody to replace them. With the recent scandals surrounding laws that give government the power to do anything to anyone, I would say the US should be looking to get rid of such things and make it a more attractive place for people to immigrate to...otherwise, it will be the US that suffers, as educated people will just immigrate to a different country instead.