Tech predictions: Imagine a world with just five computers

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Most technology predictions for 2010 won't come true. The more we learn about how innovation happens, the less straight the lines of advance look, according to a column by L. Gordon Crovitz in The Wall Street Journal.

A year ago, it would have been hard to predict that social networking sites would become the new mass media or that Google would be a mobile-phone brand, he writes.

Consider these predictions:

  • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
  • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olsen, founder of mainframe-producer Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
  • "No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer - 640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, Microsoft, 1981
  • "Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput." - Sir Alan Sugar, British entrepreneur, 2005

Click here for the full article, including more "predictions."

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