Gates: Next decade will bring huge software advances

Bill Gates said advances in software and computing will accelerate significantly in the next decade

The coming decade will bring even more advances in software and computing than the last 10 years, bringing new ways to watch television, to use telephones and to input information into computers, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates predicted Thursday.

Changes in software and computing over the next 10 years will be "very substantial" and will permeate all facets of life, Gates told a crowd of about 1,100 people during a Northern Virginia Technology Council breakfast in Washington, DC Computers and software have changed how people take photographs and purchase music, but other industries will be affected just as much in coming years, he said.

"There are great realms of activity that digital approach has not yet touched on," Gates said.

Among Gates' predictions for the coming decade:

-- Television will be married with the Internet, allowing for personalized news and commercials. People will watch more of their home movies on their TV screens, and TV sets and computers will be increasingly connected. Television will be an "utterly different thing," he said.

-- Telephone sets will increasingly be able to handle video, e-mail and other digital media. Speech recognition will allow telephone users to ask for information such as nearby restaurants.

-- More and more software will be delivered as a service over the Internet, instead of residing on individual computers.

-- Computer users will have more options for inputting information beyond the mouse and keyboard. Speech and handwriting recognition software will gain in popularity. Computers will move off the desktop, with speech recognition and motion-sensing cameras allowing users to control screens embedded into desktops or whiteboards.

-- More schools will ditch textbooks for tablet PCs that hold dozens of books. New types of textbooks will increasingly contain video and other media.

-- Companies and government agencies will embrace three-dimensional computing, giving users new ways of interacting with virtual worlds. Students will increasingly use software to simulate experiments.

"In a broad sense, we can say that information workers ... are not yet empowered to collaborate in the way that they should," Gates said. "I think the opportunity is stronger than it's ever been."

Gates said he's "very optimistic" about the future of the tech industry, even with the current questions about the US economy. "I don't think anything will stop the rapid advances," he said.

Gates also repeated his concerns about the number of H-1B and other immigrant worker visas available to US companies. He testified before the US Congress on the issue Wednesday.

On most technology, the US portion of the world's innovation is "extremely high," Gates said, but the US government needs to be aware that other countries are catching up. US policymakers need to look at long-term implications of immigration policy, he said.

Some lawmakers and tech worker groups have questioned the need for more high-skill immigrant visas, saying many US workers could fill those jobs.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?