AP: Don’t bet on Bill Gates’ keynote predictions

“For the 10th time, Bill Gates will inaugurate the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by touting new Microsoft Corp. products and describing his view of the future of computing,” Brian Bergstein reports for The Associated Press. “Before you rush to the edge of your seat Sunday, consider this: Gates is a mediocre prognosticator.”

“In fairness, as the old joke goes, predictions are very hard, especially ones about the future. Scouting a technology on the horizon is one thing; it’s another to foresee the business-execution problems and competitive troubles that might waylay it,” Bergstein reports. “But hey, this is Bill Gates. That savvy guy who has spent more than 30 years atop what remains (for now, at least) the dominant entity in personal computing, a company that pours $7 billion a year into research and development.”

MacDailyNews Take: “For now, at least.” Good one, Brian. They should play him onto stage with “Hail to the Thief.” Maybe Gates will regale CES attendees with how you spend $7 billion per year on R&D and still get totally spanked by Apple for the last 30+ years?

Bergstein continues, “Since this is Gates’ last keynote before he leaves his day-to-day Microsoft duties to focus on philanthropy, it’s as good a time as any to scour his track record.”

MacDailyNews Take: Praise Jobs, this is the last time we have to hear ol’ Kermit squeak out another sleep-inducing yawnfest.

Bergstein continues, “Even when Gates has been right, he’s been wrong. Take that 2001 speech in which Gates prophesied PCs in 75 percent of American homes. He also said that within five years, the most popular form of the computer would be the Tablet, a sleek device that responds to handwritten commands from a pen-like stylus. Gates didn’t come close. IDC counted 3.3 million Tablet sales worldwide in 2007, just 1.2 percent of all PCs.”

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t worry, Apple will more than make up for Microsoft’s ineptitude on the tablet front.

Many more wrong predictions by Gates in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz for the heads up.]


  1. Question.

    Is it true Microsoft has yet to turn a profit on xbox/xbox360?

    I find that amazing. Haven’t they sold more xboxes then wiis or ps3/ps3 have been sold?

    Don’t they have to turn a profit someday on that division?

    I am not trying to troll with these questions. I mean, how much did they invest into that division to not turn a profit yet?

  2. From the article:

    “First, the highlights.
    They include Gates’ debut of the Xbox video game console at CES in 2001. The Xbox became Microsoft’s most successful piece of hardware.”

    I would have guessed keyboards and/or mice.

  3. Bill owns 97% of the world wide personal computer market and is the richest American on earth.

    Steve, highly regarded as a genius around here, owns 3% of the world wide persoal computer market and is only very rich.

    So, remind us how you get from that reality the conclusion that Bill and his company is dumb, stupid, inept and makes inferior products?

  4. Some of the previous predictions and innovations and the analysts analysis are hysterical:

    1995—Some analysts gasped that “Bob” put Microsoft way ahead of Apple Inc. in a crucial race to incorporate cartoon characters in PC use.

    2002—Well, first Microsoft and partner companies had to design a new operating system and low-power chips for objects, plus a wireless transmission network for SPOT data. The initial output — some watches, a weather gizmo and a coffee maker — was far from revolutionary.

  5. Microsoft tablets suck ass. I have one for work. Handwriting recognition is terrible. Vista is horrible. Every one I’ve ever used sucks.

    In a few short months, MS Windows market share will fall below 90%, a major milestone for Apple.

    Revenge is best served cold, like a frozen Macbook up Ballmer’s fat ass. he he he.

  6. @How’s this
    “So, remind us how you get from that reality the conclusion that (MS) … makes inferior products?”

    MS DOES make inferior products. People reach that conclusion because it is the truth.
    It doesn’t have to be the best to sell more – maybe just the cheapest & good enough.

    I for one, prefer my things to be better than “good enough”.

  7. Listen carefully to Bill’s predictions! Take notes! Within the next months, you’ll exactly know what will really happen… since you’ll turnover everything he said.
    It’s often usefull to know the wrong to grab the truth in it’s opposite…

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