Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and it's scary how accurate he was

Bill-Gates

After reading ’Business @ the Speed of Thought’, my respect for Bill Gates has increased exponentially. That isn’t to say that I wasn’t a fan of his before. I’ve always been impressed by the strategies that Microsoft carried out in its early days, but that doesn’t come close to how impressed I am now. In this book, published in 1999, Gates outlined how information systems, the Internet, and technology in general would change the way that businesses function. Along the way, he made some incredibly accurate predictions, most of which have since become huge industries: smart phones, smart homes, social networks, and an array of other uses for the Internet-a few of which have yet to be developed.

Gates presents a few key elements for a good information system. While we have to keep in mind that the book was written in the late 90’s, many of these questions are still hardly answered by today’s technology, and present opportunities for new businesses.

Predictions

  1. Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.
  2. People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.
  3. People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the Internet.
  4. “Personal companions” will be developed. They will connect and sync all your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data. The device will check your email or notifications, and present the information that you need. When you go to the store, you can tell it what recipes you want to prepare, and it will generate a list of ingredients that you need to pick up. It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you’re doing.
  5. Constant video feeds of your house will become common, which inform you when somebody visits while you are not home.
  6. Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events.
  7. Software that knows when you’ve booked a trip and uses that information to suggest activities at the local destination. It suggests activities, discounts, offers, and cheaper prices for all the things that you want to take part in.
  8. While watching a sports competition on television, services will allow you to discuss what is going on live, and enter contest where you vote on who you think will win.
  9. Devices will have smart advertising. They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences.
  10. Television broadcast will include links to relevant websites and content that complement what you are watching.
  11. Residents of cities and countries will be able to have Internet-based discussions concerning issues that affect them, such as local politics, city planning or safety.
  12. Online communities will not be influenced by your location, but rather, your interest.
  13. Project managers looking to put a team together will be able to go online, describe the project, and receive recommendations for available people who would fit their requirements.
  14. Similarly, people looking for work will be able to find employment opportunities online by declaring their interest, needs, and specialized skills.
  15. Companies will be able to bid on jobs, whether they are looking for a construction project, a movie production, or an advertising campaign. This will be efficient for both big companies that want to outsource work that they don’t usually face, businesses looking for new clients, and corporations that don’t have a go-to provider for the said service.

The original post is here.

Bill Gates awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Outgoing President Barack Obama today names Bill Gates as one of the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

The medal has previously been awarded to such luminaries as Mother Teresa and Stephen Hawking and was awarded for Bill Gates’s charitable work after he exited Microsoft in 2008. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, the foundation focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, the mission is to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. The Gates Foundation has provided more than $36 billion in grants since its inception.

President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor – it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better.  From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

One of the founders of Microsoft in 1975, Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and chief software architect until 2006, when he transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  His last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008 and he stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, taking on a new post as technology adviser to support newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.

The awards will be presented at the White House on November 22th and livestreamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live. See the full list of recipients at Whitehouse.gov here.

Microsoft is building a quantum computer that may never work

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Microsoft is working on a quantum computer that uses what are called “non-abelian anyons,” a quasiparticle that physicists aren’t sure even exist. Quantum computers promise to perform calculations at unfathomably faster rathes than today’s computers. Although other companies are using more realistic, proven materials in their work to create the machine, Microsoft is hopeful that its unique approach will pay dividends as the resultant machine should be less susceptible to external interference. The company has nearly 40 people working on the project, as quantum computing is seen as well worth investing in.

“The upside is enormous and there is practically no downside,” Alex Bocharov, a computer scientist at Microsoft Research working on quantum computing, told Scientific American in an article published Sunday. “Microsoft is a very affluent company; it sits on something like US$100 billion in cash. So what else one would you invest in? Bill Gates is also investing in other things—to eradicate malaria and HIV that might require quantum computing at some point.”

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Non-abeilan anyons are a controversial part of quantum computing, though. The concept was put forward by Alexei Kitaev in 1997 and was met with skepticism. “I laughed when I first read it,” Nick Bonesteel, theoretical physicist at Florida State University, told Nature in 2008.

Whereas normal computers have transistors that switch between “on” and “off” states, the best way to think about quantum machines is that these switches can exist in both states at the same time, allowing for a multitude of possibilities to be represented at once. Where the on/off states in normal computers are known as “bits,” in quantum computing they’re called “qubits.”

This potential allows for artificial intelligence more powerful than ever before. Yuri van Geest, founder of SingularityU, told an audience at Pirate Summit 2016 last month that a maze solving app would take some time to find the right answer with a regular computer, but with a quantum machine, the answer would appear instantaneously. This boost in analytical skills, van Geest explained, could impact the jobs market.

For Bocharov and the team, it’s all about pushing a pioneering new technology. “In the past, the question was always whether something was a problem where a quantum computer would be hypothetically better than a classical computer,” he said. “Now we want to figure out, not just is it doable, but how doable is it?”

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Face Off

For a different Sunday morning, this is a best way to spend your two hours.

In this video Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are speaking about their companies, their and our life, the future of the world with different point of view.

Happy 60th Birthday Bill Gates

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The founder of Microsoft and wealthiest man in the world turns 60 years old today. William Henry Gates III was born October 28th, 1955 in Seattle, Washington where he still resides in his post Microsoft years.

He has much to celebrate as he turns 60. After leading Microsoft for decades it must be quite rewarding to see the company he founded grow in such a bold direction this year with a booming commercial cloud computing division, new category defining hardware that is leading the competition, and an incredibly fast adoption rate for Microsoft’s latest version of Windows.

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But Gates isn’t nearly as involved in Microsoft now a days as he used to be. He formerly stepped down as CEO in 2000 when Steve Ballmer took the reins. He also left his position as Chairman of Microsoft in February of 2014 when Satya Nadella was appointed CEO. He spends a great deal of his time working on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation‘s projects, which has been identified as the wealthiest charitable foundation in the world. The foundation focuses on improving the lives and productivity of people around the world, and has gained much attention recently for its emphasis on eradicating common diseases in developing nations.

Gates still does help out at Microsoft as a Technology Advisor. Most notably Gates has been helping Nadella rethink some of the company’s strategies, particularly with reinventing Office. And it appears his contributions are still paying off for the company with news that the reinvention of Office as an SaaS offering, Office 365, overtook Google Apps for Work this year.

So happy birthday Mr. Gates! Hope you are having a productive celebration of reaching the huge milestone of 60, while the company you founded continues to reach its own previously unimagined milestones. If you want to follow more about Bill Gates work outside of his advisory role to Microsoft, you can learn more on his personal blog GatesNotes.

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