It is always fascinating to read what Bill Gates has to say, especially when he is talking about the future. Here is his speech given at the Newspaper Association of America Annual Convention (WSJ report):
Well, this decade we call the digital decade. Why do we use that term? Well, despite the popularity of the PC in the ’90s, most of the activities that people engaged in were not changed. The main activities that were changed were creating documents, where the word processor was preeminent, and the starting of electronic mail as a way of communicating. By the end of this decade, 2009, the number of activities that will have been changed by digital approaches will be extremely broad. It will be common sense, certainly for your younger readers, if not all of them, to pay bills electronically. The music that they buy will be digital. A lot of the material that they read will be read off the screen. The way that kids stay in touch with each other will be instant messaging brought to a whole new level, with voice and video as part of that interaction. The way that people buy and sell, that you bid out to buy something, will be fundamentally changed by electronic commerce. Electronic commerce was over-hyped, because the foundation had not been put in place. But, now over the last few years companies like ourselves and IBM, under the industry term Web services, are actually building that foundation to make that common sense.