Looking forward 20 years or less, from 1995, Bill Gates of Microsoft foresaw the computer as the ubiquitous communication device it is today. From his address to the Economic Club of Chicago, April, 1995, at the dawn of the internet age:
“Certainly within the next 20 years the impact here in the United States will be very, very dramatic…
“The first 20 years were really about creating a tool that would allow us to build documents, and it was a tool of the individual. That’s very different than the computer that came before, which was a tool of organizations. But the primary way that you got a benefit out of the tool was that you would type in your word-processing document or your spread- sheet or your database and you’d print something out; take it to a meeting. And so it was only you, working alone, that was sitting at that device.
“What I’ll talk about that comes in the next 20 years is that, rather than being a device for an individual, or even a computation device, these will turn into communication devices. And devices that are so far beyond, in terms of their presentation capability and their location capability, something like the phone is, to redefine how we reach out into the world at large…”