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Tech predictions: Imagine a world with just five computers

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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