Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology

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Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology
Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology

PC Magazine’s first issue featured an interview with the 26-year old founder of Microsoft, about the creation of the original IBM PC. We still have questions four decades later.Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology

PC Magazine‘s charter Issue(Opens in new window) was published in 1982. David Bunnell, newly appointed editor-in-chief, flew to Seattle to interview Bill Gates, the co-founder and president of Microsoft Software Corporation. Bunnell conducted this interview to learn more about the role Microsoft and its software played during the creation of the IBM PC, which was created less than a decade ago. Bunnell’s new publication was named after the IBM PC.

Bill Gates: Paul Allen and my company were founded around the revolutionary idea of software being an amazing tool.
Bill Gates: Paul Allen and my company were founded around the revolutionary idea of software being an amazing tool.

The interview features Bill and his team discussing how much it was fun for them to work on the IBM project. They also discuss how satisfying it was to be part of the process and how they worked together to get the job done. The two men even recall exchanging jokes via email, which was an early form used to communicate between the teams. It was a two-hour interview that covered many details about how software and hardware were created. Gates also speculates on the future of the PC, and how it will eventually become universal and transform the way people work.

He was correct, of course. The concept of the personal computers has advanced so much beyond the humble 16-bit beige box that was intended for hobbyists, it is barely recognisable more than forty years later. It has also seen the world change around it. The PC is just one example of the technology that has transformed not only how we work but also the way that we live.

Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology
Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology

PCMag has remained true to its name for 40 years. However, the “magazine” part of our name was eventually shortened. The range of topics we cover has expanded. Our reporting and reviews now include phones, smartwatches and VR headsets as well as digital health and fitness equipment, smart homes, and electric cars to name just a few. We still rate more then 200 PCs every year to help you choose the best one for you.

Bill Gates, in the charter issue PC Magazine (PCMag).

There have been four decades of technological evolution, over 550 magazine issues, many articles and reviews, and I am the new editor-in-chief at PCMag. I thought it would be fun meeting Bill Gates and getting fresh perspectives on where we are, where we are going, and what lies ahead. Here is what he had to share.

Wendy Sheehan Donnell, Founder of the IBM PC and the software it contained: Did you know what you were doing when the IBM PC was created more than 40 years ago?

Bill Gates: Paul Allen and my company were founded around the revolutionary idea of software being an amazing tool. Our dream was to have a computer at every desk and in every house when Microsoft was founded in 1975. We knew that everyone would want to use computers because of the amazing advances in chip technology and the software that could easily be made thanks to those chips. We also discussed information at your fingertips. It’s become a reality with sensors and cell phones. It still comes back to the important early work that was driven by great software and chips.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Back in those days, you considered purchasing PC Magazine (Opens in new window). But you regret not buying it. How important was the creation of the PC industry possible without early computing magazines such as ours?

Bill Gates on the Next 40 Years in Technology

Computers are so ubiquitous and integral to our daily lives, that many people forget that the original users and those who believed in personal computers were just a small group of geeky hobbyists. There were many clubs, such as the Home Brew Computer Club, where people could get together to discuss the latest developments. PC Magazine really helped to bridge the gap between hobbyists, and a larger audience of people who are looking for more accessible and usable computers. PC Magazine was a critical element in helping to push the industry from being niche to becoming a global player.

PC Magazine was a great tool for bridging the gap between hobbyists, and a wider audience. PC Magazine’s reviews, feedback and recommendations were key to helping the industry move from being niche to changing the world.

What do you believe PCMag.com will look like in 2062? What time do you believe we will transition to the Post-PC Age

Today, chips and software come in many forms. Mobile devices that can fit into our pockets are the most popular. We also have that combination to power our TV sets. It’s in our cars. It is quite widespread at the moment. We’ll eventually see glasses with augmented reality which are widely adopted, and robots that do more than just perform repetitive tasks on production lines.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

As these chips become more powerful, the sky really is the limit. AI software algorithms will eventually be able to create personal agents that can assist us in a wide range of tasks like reading scientific discoveries and offering advice. It’s still a very exciting field.

What is the biggest technology challenge in the next 40-years? How can we overcome it?

We face many challenges that will require innovation and technology. The climate change issue is a major one. Another big problem is political polarization. How can we all work together and reduce violence and wars? While there is no tech tool that will solve this problem, the interconnectedness of our world and how we interact with one another is crucial.

 

 

 

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