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Bill Gates predicted smart TVs and Microsoft’s Cortana in 1998

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and bona fide leader of geeks, could double as a Mystic Meg…

The World In has published an archived article about the future of technology, written by Bill Gates back in 1997.

The piece, which is now nearly 20 years old, sees Gates reel off a host of predictions about what’s to come in the world of gadgets.

And it turns out that the world-famous technologist was spot-on with a lot of things.

Here are some of the technologies Bill Gates predicted before their time…

Smart TVs

“The boundary between a television set and a PC will be blurred because even the set-top box that you connect up to your cable or satellite will have a processor more powerful than what we have today in the most expensive PC. This will, in effect, make your television a computer.”

samsung tv


“Eventually, everyone’s business card will have an electronic mail address. Every lawyer, every doctor and every business – from large to small – will be connected.”

Dependency on the Internet

“Within a decade, no one will notice the Web. It will just be there, an integral part of life. It will be a reflex to turn to the Web for shopping, education, entertainment and communication, just as it is natural today to pick up the telephone and talk to someone.”

Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant

“Speech recognition also means that you will be able to call in on a phone and ask if you have any new messages, or check on a flight, or check on the weather.”


Related: 9 crazy predictions from a professional tech futurist

Abandoning traditional media

“People will trade the time they now spend reading the paper, or watching television, for information or entertainment they will find on the computer screen. Americans, particularly young ones, will spend less time in front of a television screen, more on the Web.”

In technology, size matters

“I do my e-mail on a 20-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor. It is not available at a reasonable price yet, but in two years it will be. In ten years, a 40-inch LCD with much higher resolution will be commonplace.”


Did any of Gates’ predictions surprise you? Let us know in the comments.

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