Readers move completely online
IPTV rules over regular TV
Yellow Pages disappear
Phone = PC; PC = Phone
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an interesting article this morning, looking at the prognosticating skills of Bill Gates on the future of technology, and how accurate he's been.
They then list four more predictions he's made:
Which do you think is most likely, and why? (And in what timeframe, if you care to take a stab?)On the future of media: "Reading is going to go completely online. ... Today, for people who read newspapers and magazines, even the most avid PC user probably still does quite a bit of reading on print. As the device moves down in size and simplicity, that will change, and so somewhere in the next five-year period we'll hit that transition point, and things will be even more dramatic than they are today."
On Internet Protocol Television: "The end-user experience and the creativity, the new content that will emerge using the capabilities of this environment will be so much dramatically better that broadcast TV will not be competitive. And in this environment, the ads will be targeted, not just targeted to the neighborhood level, but targeted to the viewer."
On online business listings: "The Yellow Pages are going to be used less and less. ... These things always take time, but Yellow Page usage among people, say, below 50, will drop to zero -- near zero -- over the next five years."
On communications: "We don't see the desk phone existing as a separate device in the future. Between what's going on with mobile phones and PC peripherals, and the richness of telephony being on the Internet and connecting up not just voice but also screen sharing, video, software-driven richness in those communications interactions, the phone is going to be the PC; the PC is going to be the phone."
Yellow pages? What is that? I can safely say that no one under the age of 30 uses the Yellow Pages so once the elders pass away, the Yellow Pages die with them. Google is king.
Lance "Breakout" Thomas
Phone = PC; PC = Phone.
I'm all for convergence of tech toys. I haven't had a landline in 5 years, and my next smartphone (I'm eyeing this one) will have a full keyboard, GPS mapping, FM radio, WLAN, Bluetooth, email, MSFT Office, 3G, MSFT Communicator/Messenger, plus the ability to sync nearly everything from my work computer. In short, I no longer need a laptop.
When I'm sitting at my work desk, I start all my calls to my contacts via my computer -- who does this 'dialing' thing anymore?
I'm torn about the IPTV prediction -- as much as I time-shift normal TV, I hate viewing longer content on my computer; it just takes to long to access (boot up, navigate, download, stream, etc.) If that gets to be less onerous, it's possible I'll drop cable entirely.
Reading moving entirely online? Never happen. Too many people like the feel of a book/magazine/newsprint in their hands. Plus, it's soooo easy/lo-tech. (You don't need a charging cord for a book.)
Last edited by DevilAlumna; 05-21-2007 at 03:11 PM.
NICE phone by the way Forget laptop replacement, that's a life replacement phone. I swear by the Samsung Treo but it seems like a newer and better phone is announced every week! How do you think the iphone is going to do? I have a feeling it is going to be really glitchy and not worth the trouble...
Lance "Breakout" Thomas
Yawn. People have been predicting this stuff for 15 years, if not 25.
You must spread some comments around before flaming the Moderators again.
None of the above.
I agree, Dog
Yeah, none of the above will happen soon. Printed reading material is portable, needs no batteries/electricity, don't have any boot-up time, and more outdoor-friendly. There's no way I'm taking an electronic device to read anything on the beach -- even if you can see the screen in the intense sunlight, the sand and salt might do in the machine pretty quickly. And many people use newspapers for other purposes. You can't paper-train a dog or wrap up the fish guts with yesterday's laptop!
And I can't imagine life without Sunday morning ads in the paper. I use the computer to search for specifics and intentionally weed out extraneous info -- show me only the electric, glass-top ranges in white with a convection feature, for example. The ads in the paper show me lots of things I may or may not need, or may or may not know about, which invariably leads me to research online something I found in the printed ads. On a tangent -- I really miss card catalogs. I loved the serendipity in the random topic of the card just past the end of the category I was searching. You don't get that in the electronic format.
IPTV will become HUGE. But it will coexist with cable and networks. I'm not sure free, over-the-air TV will go away -- this is perhaps the only way that low-income people (who may be illiterate) get news. Cable will be available for those without technology -- either the means acquire it or the knowledge to
use it. But some of us have already ditched the DVD player, preferring to hook the computer to the TV to play DVDs sent via online services or download movies from online services. Once the download services are priced competitively with the Blockbuster/Netflix mail-the-DVD services, we'll switch. We still use the Time-Warner DVR along with the DVR capabilities on the computer; we can record up to three simultaneous programs this way (more if we upgrade the computer). And the computer can write to DVD, too.
The future of phone books? I wish they'd quit delivering them to my home! I recycle 5-7 of 'em every year unopened. I put one in my car -- occasionally the maps are useful, or finding phone numbers without 411 (I don't use browser-enabled mobile phones). And for repair services, it's much more efficient to review a few pages of ads than to use most online directories/searches, especially with the water pouring down when the third floor water heater fails (I've got more than a few choice words for this builder who thought THAT was a good idea...but that's another topic). Yellow pages can also be used in natural disasters, where parts of the city may be without power for weeks. I think we'll see much better online directories in the future, but I doubt we'll see the end of paper directories.
Phone/PC hybrids: oh, I'm sure they'll get better and better. But I really don't want ONE device that is so easy to lose (I'm the mom of two teenagers, and stuck with the financial responsibility for their losses, too). With two desktops, four laptops, a slew of digital cameras, and a bunch of cell phones in this house, I know that each has their purpose, and no one device will replace any two of them. Losing a phone and all the numbers hurts, particularly if the phone isn't backed up. Losing a laptop (or the hard drive on a laptop) hurts more, but at least I have the phone numbers on my cell phone to call someone to cry on their shoulder, and hopefully the data was backed up recently. To lose one device with MY ENTIRE LIFE ON IT? Yikes. I'll still need a main computer to back up to. And I really DO NOT want to have a computer with me 24/7 -- I answer too many tech questions for family, friends, and even other parents at troop meetings and band competitions, so don't give me something that enables me to do MORE free support. I'd also like to spend time with people without technology interrupting or preventing conversation. Everyone needs to step away from technology for at least a few hours every now and then.
To be sure, the scales will tip more and more to online technologies and hardware becoming smaller and with more diverse features. But there will still be old technology until the literacy and income rates rise. The only thing I am sure of is that there will be increasing rate of technology addiction in the middle and upper classes.
Last edited by devil84; 05-23-2007 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Changed ambigous wording.