Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

20 Years of Bill Gates Predictions

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the tell-me-a-story-oh-powerful-oracle dept.

Microsoft 269

NewsCloud writes "The Seattle PI's Microsoft Blogger Todd Bishop asks "How does Gates shape up as a seer?" None strike me as particularly clairvoyant, but the missed ones are winners: "I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time." and "Two years from now, spam will be solved." But in fairness to Gates, for many years Microsoft's tagline was "a PC on every desktop and in every home.""

cancel ×

269 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I predict (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208213)

that he will stay rich, but leave his wife for Steve Jobs.

Re:I predict (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208301)

Look, I don't know how you got Mr. Gates' private diaries, but you can expect a call from his lawyer shortly.

What's the problem here? (2, Insightful)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208443)

Spam HAS been solved, it's just that most people aren't implementing the fix. Use Gmail if you don't want to set up your own filtering system.

Re:What's the problem here? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208635)

/me can't believe nobody mentioned "640k" yet

Re:What's the problem here? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208747)

/me can't believe you didn't RTFA.

Re:What's the problem here? (5, Funny)

tecie (834046) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209279)

/me can't believe you didn't RTFA.
You must be new here.

Better prediction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208381)

I predict that I will sleep with your mom, and she will take you to court and make YOU pay for child support. This will only work because I am your identical twin.

I predict (0, Redundant)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208407)

that he will stay rich, and beat his wife for Steve Jobs.

Ruddy hell its Harry and Paul (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208621)

Anyone else see the sketches about Bill and Steve o the new Harry Enfield show? Quite amusing.

Re:Ruddy hell its Harry and Paul (2, Funny)

alnapp (321260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208891)

for differing values of "quite"

Re:Ruddy hell its Harry and Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208993)

Negative values can be "quite".

I am still trying to get over my disappointment, having watched the first episode. It had such potential. But Paul Whitehouse seems to have let himself get steamrollered into unfunny sketches by Harry. You can spot some of Pauls brilliance (I'm betting the builders and the surgeons are probably his original ideas) but it's mostly lost under a tidal wave of crap characters, bad stereo types and unfunny dialogue. Darn.

Re:Ruddy hell its Harry and Paul (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209027)

Check it out here [youtube.com] . Prime time Tv.

Re:I predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208861)

What - leave her to Jobs in his will?

Seering advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19209233)

"a PC on every desktop and in every home." Bill was right on that one.

Compare that to Linux, which predicted it would be ready for the desktop by now. Amazingly, it's still chasing Windows 95's tail lights. On the other hand, it has the largest variety of text editors of any OS.

CEOs are not seers (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208231)

The problem is, Gates made most (if not all) of these comments in order to push efforts that Microsoft was working on at the time. As a CEO of a major software company, part of his job was to make comments in public that would try to influence the industry to move in the direction that would align with what his own company was doing (or at least attempting) already.

These sorts of comments can often be successful at moving the industry because people automatically equate wealth and power with wisdom. In this way, they take what is basically a marketing statement and turn it into some sort of prophecy. Gates was right on some of these because his own company took the industry in that direction. Where he was wrong, it was because his own company failed in its efforts in that area, or (in the case of OS/2 especially) they decided to go in a different direction.

Re:CEOs are not seers (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208281)

These sorts of comments can often be successful at moving the industry because people automatically equate wealth and power with wisdom.


People? Who people? Speak for yourself!

Re:CEOs are not seers (4, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208359)

You've never talked to what could be considered an "average" manager, have you?

Many people would see such arguments as silly, and blatant advertising, but for some reason, management often sees people who are able to make a lot of money as founts of wisdom in all matters.

Re:CEOs are not seers (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208431)

Hey, they HAVE to be right, after all, they make a shitload of money!

Don't you dare questioning the way of the money! Money makes right! Ask any congressman next time he discusses matters with mafiaa representatives.

Re:CEOs are not seers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208889)

I wonder what the real mafia makes of the riaa and the mpaa being called the mafiaa...

MafIAA vs. The Mafia (3, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209211)

The Mafia is a myth and legend, for one. It's a bunch of otherwise independent crime organizations that sometimes scratch each other's backs and other times claw at each other's eyes. The most cooperation one can usually expect is that it's mutually beneficial for both sides in a dispute to avoid the ire of the authorities and that it's sometimes convenient for two crime lords to split rackets on geographical or crime-type boundaries.

The MafIAA is much more organized. This is partly because they haven't yet been proven to be doing things illegally, which allows them to communicate and plot as openly as they do. Many of the tactics do seem like racketeering, and there's chatter in the courtrooms and the press that some counter-suits are trying to make a point of that.

More directly to you question, though, protection payments, strong-arm tactics, threats, trying to bar outsiders from competing, and divvying up markets among member organizations are all time-tested mob tactics. If "The Mafia" is upset about anything involving the comparison, it's probably that the MPAA and RIAA are less romantic of a notion.

Re:CEOs are not seers (2, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208447)

Reminds me of The Secret [wikipedia.org] in that its a self-fulfilling prophecy. People involved in the Secret claim following it will lead to success. People believe them and give them money, making THEM successful. If people hadn't bought into it, they wouldn't have given them their money and they wouldn't have become successful. Same with Gates. He says "this will happen" and people believe him so they give him money to make sure it happens.

Re:CEOs are not seers (2, Funny)

rocjoe71 (545053) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208745)

OSQ: Hello, this is Happy Dude. If you'd like to know more, send one dollar to: "Happy Dude", P.O. Box 14, Springfield. ... You have the power.

On CEOs as seers. (5, Interesting)

Mahjub Sa'aden (1100387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208345)

Bill Gates doesn't seem to be much of a seer in the development of his software, either. From what I've seen his comments correlate well with the way Microsoft works: they make some fine products, but seem to be continually behind the ball on everything. All the major innovations of Windows et al were done somewhere else first, and often much better. Like the web that Gates keeps alluding to. They bolted that functionality on to Windows back in the day (let's not even go there) and to this day the overwhelming body of evidence is that Microsoft doesn't really get the web.

So no, I don't think Bill is a particularly insightful seer. He may be an evil genius or something when it comes to the minutiae of building an empire, but future-aspected he is most certainly not.

You want a seer? Try Jules Verne. Now that guy was pretty damn amazing.

Re:CEOs are not seers (1)

paintswithcolour (929954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208423)

I'm working from memory here and I can't find an exact quote reference, but didn't Gates come out in support of the Dreamcast as the gaming console of that generation (I'm guessing, like you say, with a vested interest in the inclusion of their own tech). I'm guessing was a similar situation to OS/2, didn't work out with finances and they took it in the X-Box direction.

Re:CEOs are not seers (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208493)

The Dreamcast was capable of running Windows CE. My memory is fuzzy as to why, but I believe it was intended as the platform upon which game makers could create networked games. AFAIK, the idea never panned out.

Re:CEOs are not seers (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209089)

Some Windows CE games were made; AFAIK only one of many games I own runs on CE (Armada). It's the least reliable game I own, and just removing and reinserting a controller can crash WinCE.

I believe the web browser also runs on WinCE.

Re:CEOs are not seers (3, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208615)

"I'm working from memory here"

About 640Ks worth? That should be sufficient!

Re:CEOs are not seers (4, Insightful)

Gonarat (177568) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208825)

OS/2 was originally designed to be the successor to DOS back when Microsoft and IBM were working together. Microsoft and IBM then had a falling out and both companies went their own ways. IBM owned OS/2, so Microsoft pushed out Windows 3.0, which was not a DOS replacement, but a windowing system that ran on top of DOS 6.

Microsoft had to go back and develop Windows NT to replace DOS, and DOS did not actually go away until Windows XP ended the Windows 9x/ME line which were technically running on top of DOS.

IBM continued to develop OS/2 (remember OS/2 Warp), but while IBM may have owned the mainframe world, Microsoft owned the PC desktop. Windows won, and OS/2 was eventually retired.

Re:CEOs are not seers (1)

CheShACat (999169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208873)

What are you talking about Dreamcast WAS the console of that generation!! </fanboy>

Re:CEOs are not seers (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208457)

Of course you are right. But frankly, I'd say it's harder to shape the future than to predict it.

Re:CEOs are not seers (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208465)

One common theme in literature is the question of whether oracles predict the future, or create it. Would Oedipus have killed his father had the Oracle at Delphi never prophecied that he would and thus his father never sent him to die in the wilderness? Had the witches not said that Macbeth would not be harmed by any of woman born, would he have gone down the path that led to him being killed by the C-section-birthed Macduff?

Which relates to what you said in that Gates is trying to be the non-supernatural form of seer -- the one who tries to create the future with their prediction, instead of predicting some future that is destined to happen. Now, one of the common traits of literary oracles is that they are extremely wise and clever, such that truly distinguishing whether they can actually see the future or merely guide it meticulously is extremely difficult. They also tend to have unclear motivations, which also clouds the issue. This is what makes it interesting.

Gates' motivations are patently clear: Guide the direction of the industry in a way favorable to Microsoft. He also isn't supremely wise or clever. Though in the comparison I'm making he doesn't fit precisely because he's also the executor of whatever real path his company takes into the future. Somewhat like if it was Macbeth who predicted that he was to be king, hoping that saying so will help cause it to become true. Strangely that doesn't work as well.

Re:CEOs are not seers (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208531)

As a CEO of a major software company, part of his job was to make comments in public that would try to influence the industry to move in the direction that would align with what his own company was doing (or at least attempting) already.

Not to mention the infamous "deny-everything-until-we're-ready-to-launch" tactic. This comes both in the "dazzle the market" and "scramble to catch up" variety. Maybe there was some visionary insight in the boardroom or strategy sessions, but you didn't hear about it until they were ready to make money off it. CEO public statements are always about pushing you somewhere they need you to go or holding you back where they don't want you to go, also known as FUD.

Consider it a lot like the people playing the stock market. Some people want to talk the market up, some want to talk it down, some want to talking you into trading (brokers), others would rather scare you away (real estate) all depending on their position. None of them are into charity and free stock advice. Neither is the CEO of a public company out to give you free business predictions.

Re:CEOs are not seers (1)

ronadams (987516) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209299)

Consider it a lot like the people playing the stock market. Some people want to talk the market up, some want to talk it down, some want to talking you into trading (brokers), others would rather scare you away (real estate) all depending on their position. None of them are into charity and free stock advice. Neither is the CEO of a public company out to give you free business predictions. Wonderfully stated. What is often missed in this, and many similar, circumstances is that talking points, especially the most sensational ones, put out in the tech sector, are really meant to push and shape rather than reflect and idealize.

Here's a better saying (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208567)

"Pioneers get the Arrows, settlers get the land". Gates has always been a settler. They take proven technologies and ideas, copy cat them, and then try to inflate them to one way standards (embrace and extend). Settlers are useful. Microsoft created the low end PC vendor market by taming all sorts of diverse bios, video cards, disks and peripherals.

Gates would not look like such a stogy inept prognosticator if it were not for a few brighter lights and pioneers like Jobs and the Google boys. Even Michael Dell gets some credit for being a sort of henry ford at one time but that was sort of a one time flash.

Sure you can say Jobs did not invent Postscript or the WIMP interface or word processing in full-time graphic or music players or any number of things. But he was such an early and wholehearted adopter of nascent technologies that he is a pioneer. Pioneers did not invent the conastoga wagon or canoes they set forth in but they used them to blaze trails and set up the future.

Re:Here's a better saying (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209341)

Sure you can say Jobs did not invent Postscript or the WIMP interface or word processing in full-time graphic or music players or any number of things. But he was such an early and wholehearted adopter of nascent technologies that he is a pioneer. Pioneers did not invent the conastoga wagon or canoes they set forth in but they used them to blaze trails and set up the future.

You know, I really like that analogy, and I'll extend it one step further: the people who actually invented those things were explorers, and some explorers come back rich and covered in glory, but most die miserable deaths a long way from home. The pioneers are a bridge between exploration and real settlement.

OS/2 (4, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208251)

"I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time."

Two points here. First, he was selling the product when he said this, and secondly he was actually right in the idea of it. It just happen to be Windows and not OS/2. Microsoft attacked the general market. IBM only knew about dealing with businesses. Once Microsoft moved away from OS/2 and went full bore on Windows, OS/2's days were numbered even though OS/2 had a lot of things going for it over Windows.

Holly Duplicate Post Batman! (1)

canipeal (1063334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208293)

I wonder if Mr. Gates foresaw that one coming!

Re:OS/2 (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208371)

Windows is sorta the next generation of OS/2 anyway. OS/2 was a joint development between IBM and Microsoft; when IBM and Microsoft parted ways, IBM got the old code and Microsoft got the new code. Windows NT started out with the name 'OS/2-NT' internally at Microsoft, despite the fact that many, many revisionist historians love to leave this point out.

Re:OS/2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208625)

Why was this marked Troll?

Re:OS/2 (0, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208709)

When you find out, let me know, k? Thanks!

Re:OS/2 (0, Flamebait)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209191)

Because of people with mod points who were still sucking on their mother's tit for sustenance when the events in question happened, and who never bothered to learn computing history.

Re:OS/2 (3, Interesting)

elwinc (663074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208557)

Exactly. Gates was acting as Salesman-in-Chief when he made these remarks. So the real question is how much product did he push with his remarks. Or, if you wanted to put him in context, you could compare Gates' predictions for the future with his CEO peers such as Steve Jobs, Scott McNealy, and Larry Ellison. My guess is Gates would come out on top in that comparison.

Amusing aside: my first experience with Steve Jobs' famous "reality distortion field" was a talk he gave at MIT in the early eighties around the time of the Fat Mac. I remember him saying something to the effect that "it turns out for networking all you need is about 150K/sec." He was trying to tell us that Appletalk was adequate and that ethernet was overkill. So powerful was the reality distortion field that nobody even called him on it!

Re:OS/2 (4, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208597)

In fact he really was correct since Windows NT was originally known (during development) as NT OS/2 or simply OS/2 3.0, even though it was a different code base. It'd really be quibbling not to give Gates this one. Windows NT really has as much, or more, conceptually in common with OS/2 as it does with Windows 1.x - 3.x.

NT and OS/2 Error Codes (1)

Mad Geek (102911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208937)

Even the error codes were the same (at least in the earlier versions). I used to use the OS/2 help command to figure out what some SYS errors NT spit out meant.

It's definitely come a long way from the time where you could crash an entire NT subnet by hooking up a workstation with an incorrect IP config, but I still think the NT 4.0 SP6 was the most stable release of Windows...

Re:OS/2 (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208779)

And what I remember reading here at Slashdot is that IBM didn't even know hot to deal with businesses. If memory serves me well, OS/2 run on 80286 somewhat well but not so well in 80386. This caused MS to move to Win API which broke compatibility with OS/2 and gave rise to Windows NT line. But my memory is faint about this, so please correct me if I'm wrong (and please, come up with facts and links, not speculation and conspiracy theories).

A PC on every desktop in every home ... (-1, Flamebait)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208253)

No, it's "[a] PC on every desktop and in every home running Microsoft software." Get your facts straight and stop posting revisionist history.

Re: you must be a young-un (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208607)

in its early years before Windows even existed Microsoft indeed said "A PC on every desk and in every home" [microsoft.com] At later points in time they added bit about windows, and even later said they wanted a server in every home.

Re: you must be a young-un (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208773)

I never said anything about Windows.

And no, I'm not a 'young-un'.

I'd highly suggest reading Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry--and Made Himself the Richest Man in America [amazon.com] by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews. Excellent book-- and it's the source of my comment.

A server in every home (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208975)

Well, thanks to Microsoft there are mail servers in every home... in South Korea ;-)

So they fail, then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208627)

I have no MS software purchases running on any of my six machines at home. I have about 8 installations of linux, mind...

Fairness to Bill Gates (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208259)

So now we are going to be fair to him ?

Re:Fairness to Bill Gates (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208309)

So now we are going to be fair to him ?
Yeah. The story submitter must be new here. Welcome aboard, NewsCloud!

Re:Fairness to Bill Gates (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208805)

No problem. But quid pro quo, I'll start being fair to him as soon as his company is to its customers.

Msft tagline ripped off from Apple? (2, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208273)

> . . for many years Microsoft's tagline was "a PC on every desktop and in every home."

Wasn't that Apple's idea? As I understand it, that's why they called the company "Apple" - it was supposed to be something every kid should have on his/her desk.

Re:Msft tagline ripped off from Apple? (2, Informative)

Luthair (847766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208435)

As I understand it its called Apple because Jobs is/was a big fan of The Beatles who had created their own record label, Apple Records.

Re:Msft tagline ripped off from Apple? (5, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208929)

Please go read the "Logo" section in the wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org] . It was a tribute to Newton... Even, I, a non-Apple users knew that.

Re:Msft tagline ripped off from Apple? (1)

anthroboy (663415) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209321)

And it's worth noting that even this prediction hasn't proved out. To suggest otherwise is pretty darned classist IMHO...

The Alternative (3, Funny)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208283)

He could go the other direction and predict really mundane stuff. Sort of like that old Christopher Walken skit on SNL in which he plays a "Dead Zone"-like guy, but says stuff like, "You're going to get an ice cream headache. It's going to hurt real bad...right here for eight, nine seconds."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Walken#Ap pearances_on_Saturday_Night_Live [wikipedia.org]

Extra Extra.. read all about it! (4, Insightful)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208285)

Business man makes business predictions about the future. Some are right... some are wrong!

And in related news.... critics choose to focus only on the predictions that were wrong!

* Personally, I really loved OS/2. It's wasn't the best piece of software *ever*, but it was truely remarkable for it's time. I wish MS would have stol^h^h^h borrowed more ideas from it.

Re:Extra Extra.. read all about it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208367)

What would be truly remarkable for any time, is if you mastered the mind-boggling concept that IT'S means IT IS.

That's really not it. (2, Insightful)

Mahjub Sa'aden (1100387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208389)

Read the article. Most of the quotes aren't either right or wrong; most of them are simply mundane, and were mundane when he made them. Read every single quote and see if you don't say, "Well DUH!" in your head a bunch of times.

Maybe the article sucks, or Bill's holding his crystal ball close to the boardroom, but it's all pretty standard stuff.

oblig (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208289)

That's the dumbest fucking article I've read about billg.

the OS/2 stuff is predictable (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208295)

At the time mr gates and co were pushing that product and had paid a lot of money into its development. Therefore his not bigging it up is about as likely as Ford suggesting people use bicycles instead of their cars.

Also no-one had any idea, or could even conceive of the idea that spam would become such a big problem. Again though, if they had an inkling, he was hardly going to say 'well yes, in a few years most mail on the internet will be spam'. That's hardly going to help him sell Outlook now is it?

He wasn't talking as some kind of all knowing Oracle, he was talking as a powerful businessman with a definite agenda. Why do people keep dragging this up?

Re:the OS/2 stuff is predictable (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208555)

I remember when this quote and a related Comdex video came out ("OS/2 will be the operating system of the 90s"), and I still have a copy of the video somewhere. People always laughed at this one and say that Bill was a turn-coat to OS/2, but, you know, he was right.

I was a die-hard OS/2 fan, and still have a copy of it running on a virtual machine. I don't give a nod to Bill easily. However, MS worked with IBM on OS/2 version 1, before abandoning it to go with the monster Windows was becoming. MS took their work and used it to shape Windows NT, and everything derived from NT still has an OS/2 heart.

For evidence of this, just check out:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/ntwrkstn/ reskit/os2comp.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:the OS/2 stuff is predictable (1)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208585)

"He wasn't talking as some kind of all knowing Oracle, he was talking as a powerful businessman with a definite agenda. Why do people keep dragging this up?"

I think it's because he positioned himself exactly as an "all knowing Oracle" when he produced the book The Road Ahead.

That's what people do when they've got an inflated sense of self. We keep bringing it up because we enjoy wielding the pin.

Re:the OS/2 stuff is predictable (1)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208633)

At the time he said it, spam was already a problem to the average user in clogging up their inbox.

Re:the OS/2 stuff is predictable (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208807)

his spam comment is probably the most true he ever made. 3 - 4 years ago, I had to delete hundreds of spam emails a week. wtih the advances in filtering technology, now I'm lucky to ever need to delete more than 10 a month, and that is on 3 separate email accounts compared to 1. I'd say the problem of spam has been replaced by a more benign problem: family forwarding on stupid messages about Bill gates giving away thousands of dollars for forwarding an email....

has anyone had their spam actually increase over the last year or 2? I'd be interested to find out how that happened.

Now, if someone thought he meant magically people would stop sending spam, then they are just stupid. the problem of spam was it filling up your inbox because there weren't good ways to filter it out. that has been solved to a major extent now.

Re:the OS/2 stuff is predictable (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209201)

He wasn't talking as some kind of all knowing Oracle, he was talking as a powerful businessman with a definite agenda. Why do people keep dragging this up?

Because some people think he is an all knowing oracle.

Re-tooling words a little... (4, Funny)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208317)

In the article... "You'll watch a program when it's convenient for you instead of when a broadcaster chooses to air it." I wonder if he'll soon say... "You'll watch a program when it's convenient for your broadcaster to decipher whether or not by you watching it, it is not pirated, the operating system pushing your media center is not pirated, it has passed the then behemoth MPAA/RIAA/DoJ/DHS joint task force aptly named NOMIND or "National Oversight on Mentally Intergrating National Deficencies" benchmark tests which include:

1) Methods to ensure proper copyrighted procedures (RIAA)
2) Methods to ensure proper filtering and re-programming the American Apple Pie way (MPAA)
3) Methods to ensure political correctedness (addenDumb to new DoJ/Christian Law "Thou shall not criticize thine government" doctrine)
4) Methods to ensure Osama is not in your living room and or you are not exporting crypto to him or his terrorist via any methods including telekinesis.

Missing Option (2, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208537)

Yeah, not that this is a poll, right? But you mention the RIAA and other organizations to which Microsoft caters and I wondered why the article doesn't mention "The MP3 is dead," which Bill Gates said back in 1998. That's far more interesting than several of the predictions they've listed, considering the current state of the iPod and the Zune.

Re:Re-tooling words a little... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208609)

4) Methods to ensure Osama is not in your living room and or you are not exporting crypto to him or his terrorist via any methods including telekinesis.

<Hermes Conrad mode="technically correct">Unless you're using a piece of chalk to draw it on his cave wall in Afghanistan from your living room, I think you mean telepathy rather than telekinesis.</Hermes>

He won't say it. He'll do it. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208735)

He'll continue to keep the spin up, with you as the customer being allegedly in control of when and where you watch your content.

Why do you think that people do what they say? Or tell you what they do?

Spam problem has been solved... (0)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208325)

Just not implemented. With a variety of solutions from a variety of vendors that require both sides of the communication to run their new standard... Well, you have resistance from the users, the ISPs, and each of the vendors as they try to get their product out while holding up everyone else's. In the end, there are a number of new standards to stop spam, just none of them that will be implemented.

-Rick

Re:Spam problem has been solved... (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208661)

Yeah. It just goes to show you how stupid humans can be sometimes. I think even chimpanzees have solved their spam problem by now, but humans will just keep squabbling and squabbling without fixing anything. Nobody wants to make any effort to fix spam, everyone just wants someone else to do it for them and make it all magically better..

Re:Spam problem has been solved... (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209177)

Spam problem has been solved (at least for me), by Google on gMail. In three years, I got no more than 10 spam e-mail in my inbox.

OS/2 Did Win (1)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208365)

"I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time."

It is true, Windows NT 3.1 = MS OS/2 with windows 3.1 interface on top.
Basically Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003 are the MS version of OS/2 with their own GUI tacked on top, so technically
Gates got this one correct.

Intersting... (1)

jfade (1096961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208409)

I find this pretty interesting in general, just because of how all kinds of wild predictions about computers have been made by all kinds of people, most of them totally wrong, but for one person to be (more or less) correct more than once about things is pretty fascinating to me.

I have to say, though, speaking of newspapers, the Epic 2014 [robinsloan.com] video makes some pretty interesting predictions about the future of print newspapers. I'm relatively sure that news is going to continue to make a move to be more online (and probably subscription) based, but the Epic 2014 video is pretty interesting to think about.

Augur the Seer... (2, Insightful)

Vexler (127353) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208419)

The only "seer" of technology for me is Augur [efc.com] , and he doesn't use Windows.

At any rate, only a person with truly innovative and revolutionary approach has the insight to guess how technological advances will influence societies. Gates' approach has been to buy out companies he can't compete with, and then re-branding the acquired products. It was true with PC-DOS v1.0, and it continues to be true to this day.

Seer? Pah! (3, Funny)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208427)

You know, when you're the richest person on earth [forbes.com] , it's not that difficult to make what you say become fact. I mean, if Gates had really wanted spam eliminated, he could spend some of the $56 billion he has to put out hit contracts on the world's most wanted spammers. Or, more realistically, fund something like the X-prize [xprize.org] , but for spam elimination instead.

Re:Seer? Pah! (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209133)

Maybe he's more interested in more worthwhile causes such as curing diseases? I say this because he does donate a lot of money for disease research and many other charity endeavors, look it up...

He can't see the future of governance (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208475)

I'll bet he didn't see the open source government [metagovernment.org] coming. It's too open for closed-source/money-grubbing/power-hungry people to understand.

Now that it is starting, you can damn well bet he and/or Rupert Murdoch will try to coopt it. Like something that open and distributed could ever succumb to a single entity!

Gates Predicts He'll Make Another Billion (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208487)

Gates says whatever is most likely to make himself more money in the next year, without losing money.

And since making his kind of money means we all do it his way, his "predictions" are self-fulfilling prophecies.

How's that speech recognition and DB filesystem working out? Just fine, because the convincing promises sold several $billion more Windows installs on servers and desktops.

Bill Gates is the self-fulfillingest prophet ever, measured by the age old question "if you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

OS2 prediction - OS2 became Windows (4, Insightful)

jan de bont (702726) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208497)

Given that OS2 and Windows NT were the same product before the IBM/Microsoft "divorce", given that after the divorce, Microsoft shipped NT 3.5.1 with a Bootloader that still said "OS2" (hexdump the boot sector on an NT 3.5.1 drive, if you still have a copy - You'll see it). Given that OS2 evolved directly into Win NT and therefore has a heritage that reaches all the way into Longhorn... He was right!

The fact that a reporter missed this bit of history is typical. No sense of history or heritage.

Don't confuse the brand, owned by IBM, with the code, originated with Microsoft, that became Windows server.

Regarding OS/2 (2, Insightful)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208551)

"I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time."

If you are laughing at that, you need to brush up on your operating systems. It is one thing to laugh at something because the other guy is wrong. It is another thing to laugh at someone because YOU don't know what you are talking about and think he is wrong.

NT4, win2000, XP, win2003 and vista are descendants of OS/2. The win 9x line is dead and all we have are the bastard sons of OS/2. I would say that win2000 and XP were pretty significant operating systems for good or for bad.

Dont laugh Gates was right.

descendants of OS/2 .. ? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208997)

'NT4, win2000, XP, win2003 and vista are descendants of OS/2'

Only in the sence that lower primates are decendent from homo sapiens. At the time even MS recognised that OS/2 was superior. They only abandon it once they realized they couldn't get total control of it. In the imortal words of billg we can't get IBMed [edge-op.org] on this one.

Re:Regarding OS/2 (Score:2, Insightful)

Simple, he isn't a seer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19208571)

He is simply an fucktarded atheist who should go and slit his fucking wrists.

Are OSS predictions any more accurate (4, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208581)

Some of the usual culprits I see are

(1996-2007) is definitely the year of Linux on the desktop. (Apparently if you recite this one enough times it will become true)

XXXX product from MS is doomed to failure for no particularly logical reason despite the fact we really know nothing about it but we love unfounded speculation.

MS is on the verge of collapse because little bobbie just started a project in sourceforge and although it has not released anything yet it will be an XP/Exchange/Outlook/SQLServer etc etc etc killer when they do and so the MS Evil Empire will crumble.

Oh, the irony (0, Flamebait)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208645)

On the same day we have /. articles about how Bill Gates predicted how content would be available for fair use and about how the DRM in MCE is shafting users by keeping them from viewing content. Way to go Bill. You killed your own prediction. That is brilliant business planning....

Missed Queues (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208875)

"When wallet PCs have become ubiquitous, we can eliminate the bottlenecks that plague airport terminals, theaters and other places where people queue up to show their identification or a ticket."

He really missed this prediction in multiple ways.

For ticketing, the internet allows people to pre-purchase tickets for just about anything, allowing a very quick scan of a printed-at-home ticket for entrance.

For identification, RFID is revolutionizing that arena, and it does not require an actual computing device ("wallet PC") on the end user.

These "wallet PCs" turned out to be PDAs, and although latecomer Microsoft currently dominates this area with their mobile OS, the real revolutionary and cutting edge advances were made by other companies, like Palm.

The queues we see today are not because of the reasons he suggests, but due to the security required to prevent mass murder.

The ironic thing with his predictions is that his company actually has the resources to make a lot of them come true. I just wonder why other companies are the ones bringing us the gee-whiz technology and software. Internet search, iPhone's slick touch-based PDA interface, input devices like the Wii's. These are all arenas Microsoft compete in directly, yet others take the lead. Why can't MS make these kinds of things happen?

Dan East

OS/2 Being Most Important (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208907)

In a twisted way he was right, since they stole the codebase and created NT from it, which has morphed into 2000, XP and now vista.

OS/2 was a deception (2, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208909)

Gates' promotion of OS/2 was an act of deception, not prediction. He mislead WordPerfect into developing for OS/2 instead of Windows so that Word would have the advantage.

A goal, not a prediction. (3, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208971)

Microsoft's tagline was "a PC on every desktop and in every home."

That's a goal, not a prediction. A prediction requires that you have no ability to affect the outcome.

fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19209007)

i just love how you asshats sit around and pat yourselves on the back for having hindsight.

how long have i been hearing that mantra that linux will own the desktop or this year is the year of the linux revolution?

if i were so overwhelmed with insight into technology do you think i'd be sitting around posting on slashdot or would i be making billions and changing the face of technology? i'm sure all you guys who are laughing it up today had seen the problems in everything years ago but didn't do anything about it. or maybe you tried and failed miserably.

oh, that's right, bill gates got you down. whatever. move along.

Give it a rest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19209033)

the problem with the editorial staff here on /. is their obsession with MSFT. DO you guys realize that your infatuation with mac stems from an artificial hatred of MSFT? Linux is a standalone movement but the more annoying fringe is the hatred of MSFT... this hate is fabricated and entertained by the editorial choices made here. You are fed shit and keep on asking for shit?

Give it a rest already! The MSFT bashing is just like geek teenage acne, an ugly phase. You are obsessed with anything MSFT, it is unhealthy.

Let's see... (3, Interesting)

peterbiltman (1059884) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209081)

... Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world, check. ... Microsoft is still the dominate OS, check. ... Microsoft revenue increases every year, check.

I don't see what this has to do with news at all. Just another Microsoft rant this place has become so famous for.

Money is the way you keep score (0)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209123)

And Bill is way ahead.

640k is enough for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19209195)

Is 640k enough for everyone?

Billy boy ofcourse denies he ever said such stupid things.

2003 he said 4 gig would be enough for everyone. Is it?

No need for prognostication... (1)

pestie (141370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209275)

There's no need to predict the future when you can control it instead.

NT IS NOT OS/2! (3, Informative)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209303)

People, you really need to check your history! Microsoft may have borrowed from their co-development of OS/2, but they developed with a different kernel. I can't believe how many times this MYTH got repeated!

IBM made OS/2 a much better product after the split. If you ask for recommended versions, you'll get OS/2 1.3 for the command line version and post OS/2 2.0 for the graphical version.

Microsoft leaving OS/2 was the best thing that ever happened to OS/2 from a technical standpoint, but not from a marketing standpoint.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>