Top five worst tech predictions ever
Predicting the future is tough and predicting the future of technology is even tougher, but that’s no excuse for some of these predictions.
1. No mass market for computers
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
-Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
While outstandingly inaccurate no matter who it came from, to come from the chairman of what would become one of the largest computer companies makes it all the more special.
It is now estimated that there will we 2 billion computers in use by 2014, so to be fair to Mr Watson, he was only 1,999,999,995 out.
In fact the market is now so big we have tested over 80 laptops that are currently available in shops. Read our laptop reviews to find out which perform the best.
2. No one will make money from TV
“While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.”
- Lee de Forest, inventor, 1926.
Lee de Forest may have helped introduce sound to motion pictures, but he was no Nostradamus. As well as questioning the commercial viability of TV, he doubted the possibility of space travel saying, ‘Man will never reach the moon, regardless of all future scientific advances’.
Unfortunately for Lee – but fortunately for the rest of us – some of those future scientific advances included the introduction of flat screens, high definition video and even the inclusion of internet connectivity to televisions.
To help you find the best TV for you we have tested more than 160 currently available models in our TV reviews.
3. 1996 will see the end of the internet
“I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
-Robert Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, 1995
Quite a major miscalculation with this one, the internet did see a rather spectacular explosion around this time but instead of collapsing it pretty much took over the world.
Now the internet has permeated almost every aspect of our lives and we have tablets designed simply for accessing the internet. We have tested over 40 different models of tablet, see which ones perform best in our tablet reviews.
4. The end of spam
“Two years from now, spam will be solved.”
-Bill Gates, 2004
A fairly recent one from Bill Gates predicting spam filters will become so successful that we need never worry about it ever again. Eight years later and it’s estimated that 90% of emails sent are spam.
While spam is never likely to ever be completely ‘solved’, new software to help you protect your computer is getting more sophisticated.
We review a variety of software available for your computer, from backup and security programs to photo and video editing packages. Find out more in our software reviews section.
5. Rotten to the core
“Apple is already dead.”
-Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO, 1997
While uncontroversial at the time thanks to Apple’s rock bottom share price and disastrous recent results, this prediction was proven false by one of the most spectacular turnarounds in the history of business.
Just 10 years later Apple dominated the digital music space, was steadily growing its computer business and had brought out a snazzy new smartphone that would do rather well.
Apple products are now considered top quality and some of the best in their fields, while the iPad single handedly made tablet computing popular. See if Apple’s latest tablet managed to secure a Best Buy award in our Apple iPad 3 review.
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