1182 — Bill Gates sees free hardware in future

Apr 1, 2004 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

Hardware costs will fall sharply within a decade to the point where widespread computing with speech and handwriting won’t be limited by expensive technology, says Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. ‘Ten years out, in terms of actual hardware costs you can almost think of hardware as being free — I’m not saying it will be absolutely free — but in terms of the power of the servers, the power of the network will not be a limiting factor,’ Gates said, referring to networked computers and advances in the speed of the internet.

Microsoft has often been at odds with the computer hardware industry over the last 20 years, given the dominant position it holds through the lock on PCs it has through its Windows operating system.

The world’s largest software maker is betting that advances in hardware and computing will make it possible for computers to interact with people via speech and that computers which can recognise handwriting will become as ubiquitous as Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which runs on more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers.

‘Many of the holy grails of computing that have been worked on over the last 30 years will be solved within this 10-year period, with speech being in every device and having a device that’s like a tablet that you just carry around,’ Gates said at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo, held by information technology researcher Gartner Group.

In fact, Microsoft is already selling software for such products, aimed mainly at businesses, rather than retail consumers. Last week Microsoft launched Speech Server for companies developing automated call centres.

Gates also said advances in programming will allow software developers to create applications in less time by using visual representations of the inner workings of software rather than writing lines of programming code.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is planning to spend €5,500 million on research and development in its current business year to June, which Gates said will deliver many advancements in speech and other technology for Microsoft.


Source: Reuters

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