Infamous Tech Industry Predictions and Quotations

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
The Linux/OS Wars one was the funniest. Mostly funny because it'll never be true and a little more funny because some Linux fanatics actually think it will happen.

Not a Linux hater, but come on you got to be realistic.
I disagree, give it time. Linux will eventually catch up with applications of their own and then what will Microsoft do?
Linux's biggest problem isnt the lack of applications. It already has the apps for 99% of consumers.

Linux's 3 big problems are

1: public image. People think linux is all command line. Despite the likes of mint and ubuntu being able to do most stuff without terminal, people still think linux is some black box with no rules.

2: lack of user friendliness. Part of the reason #1 exists is that it it still partially true. You have to put in PPA's off of google, through terminal, to get the latest video drivers (and dont get me started on the dismal quality of old intel video drivers or AMD drivers for anything that isnt GCN 1.4). New hardware still needs fussing with terminal to make some oddball hardware work properly. Mounting a secondary drive for data storage, navigating the file system, restoring after a bad update, all these things are far more user friendly on windows then they are on linux. The issue is linux is geared to professional use, and as a result it has never truly caught on with end users.

3: fragmentation. The fragmentation of different drivers, kernels, software, PACKAGE MANAGERS (seriously why does linux need 6 different package managers that all do the same thing but use different commands?) ece. This fragmentation makes linux slow to adopt some new changes, like how long it took to get openGL 4 support on intel hardware, getting newer drivers out, the arguing of what will replace X11, ece. Arguable a lot of this wouldnt be an issue if, say, debian was the core of every distro. But linux doesnt work that way. so you end up with tons of distros all doing the same work at the same time, but for different distros, resulting in lots of wasted time making the same fix over and over again.

This is something MS got right. It's closed source, single player nature allowed MS to rapidly adapt to changing requirements and to keep it's OS consistent with itself. Which they miraculously screwed up with 8, and made worse with 10.
 

erickmendes

TS Evangelist
Linux's biggest problem isnt the lack of applications. It already has the apps for 99% of consumers.

3: fragmentation. ...
.
Public image may never change for linux, but I think Linux is a tool for the IT pros. Sure it can be packed to be user friendly, but that's not Linux main mission, and we know it. Even Windows 10 would can still be challenging to the common user to install in a common PC.

But what I wanted to say is about your 3th point... Yes, Linux got a lot of fragmentation, but I think of it as the Hellraiser's Lemarchand's box... It can open up another dimensions to you. You can make Linux do whatever you want if you have enough skill (that you can develop) and time (that you can choose to spend on it...).

Windows and Apple iOS can make great things... but we all know the datacenter that run the foundations of the (IT) world don't run on Windows nor iOS... They run Linux, BSD, and so forth... I work in an highly virtuallized datacenter for a gov institution, we got give or take 200 virtual machines running all our services, from the bottom rock infrastructure services like DNS, DHCP to the frontfacing webservers, e-mail and so on... 95% of the are non-Windows.
 

fadingfool

TS Addict
Wondering why THIS comment is in the list:

“I don't know if anyone has tried to run Windows on a 286 machine, but frankly I'd rather have knitting needles in my eyes” - 1991

In '91, most people were using the 386, and Windows 3.1 was *already* slow & crash prone. The 286 was slower, didn't have an FPU, and the memory-protection sucked. The quote was very true even back in '91.
In 1991 most people had 386's? I had a Amstrad PC1640 with it's 8086 (8Mhz) EGA graphics and adlib sound card - Dos 3.0 and GEM. Didn't get a 80386 until many years later and didn't use windows until I had a 486 DX - and I was ahead of the curve compared to my peers.
 
2: lack of user friendliness. Part of the reason #1 exists is that it it still partially true. You have to put in PPA's off of google, through terminal, to get the latest video drivers (and dont get me started on the dismal quality of old intel video drivers or AMD drivers for anything that isnt GCN 1.4). New hardware still needs fussing with terminal to make some oddball hardware work properly. Mounting a secondary drive for data storage, navigating the file system, restoring after a bad update, all these things are far more user friendly on windows then they are on linux. The issue is linux is geared to professional use, and as a result it has never truly caught on with end users.
I remember that being true like 12 years ago. I still used Ubuntu and for some hardware it was a nightmare. After Ubuntu I went to Arch and the experience was more pleasant and less troublesome, I then jumped to Manjaro when I has less time to tinker with my OS. I've been using Manjaro since 2012 and I've yet to find a computer that has problems with it. Everything just works. The only thing that extra effort are some printer drivers, but then you do that once and are all set.
 

AR TWO

TS Rookie
The Linux/OS Wars one was the funniest. Mostly funny because it'll never be true and a little more funny because some Linux fanatics actually think it will happen.

Not a Linux hater, but come on you got to be realistic.
Just because you claim to be "Not a Linux hater" does NOT make it so. And it only shows how limited your awareness of the current tech landscape around you. FWIW, Linux in the form of Android has already taken over all the mobile, smartphone, tablets, etc. Linux in the form of embedded OS, not unlike OpenWRT, has already dominated all the residential gateway/routers, etc. Linux in the form of server OS. The low cost IoT devices, including all the rasperry pies, by and large are mostly running Linux of one flavor or another. The servers, the cloud, are by and large running linux of one flavor or another. Desktop(and by extension laptop) is last bastion, where desktop Linux has NOT achieved clear dominance, but it is also clear to everyone that desktop computing is a saturated market and NOT a growing one. If it weren't for gaming, my personal desktop machine would have been running Linux many years ago. Furthermore, the distinction is really irrelevant. At my work the company has enterprise licenses for windows for any and all machines, but as developers, we all have several Linux VMs installed an running on the same PC with the windows 7 host machine. And even on my personal machine, I got Linux VM on it too for convenience.
 

sbwertz

TS Rookie
Wondering why THIS comment is in the list:

“I don't know if anyone has tried to run Windows on a 286 machine, but frankly I'd rather have knitting needles in my eyes” - 1991

In '91, most people were using the 386, and Windows 3.1 was *already* slow & crash prone. The 286 was slower, didn't have an FPU, and the memory-protection sucked. The quote was very true even back in '91.
Windows 3.1 may have been slow in '91 because it would have had to work through a time tunnel, it wasn't released until the next year. Windows 3.0 actually worked OK on the first IBM PC clone I bought for myself, a Dell 210 which originally came with Windows 2.0.
Don't forget GEM. Ventura Publisher running on GEM was a fantastic desktop publishing solution. The windows version was never as good.
 

JamesSWD

TS Maniac
This is why I never give futurists much weight or thought. They're usually wrong because they can't take into account inventions & developments that no one expected or saw coming that end up changing the whole game. They also don't take into account human psychology, our limitations, what we'll accept and what we won't.
 
The Linux/OS Wars one was the funniest. Mostly funny because it'll never be true and a little more funny because some Linux fanatics actually think it will happen.

Not a Linux hater, but come on you got to be realistic.
Well, you made this comment 4 years ago. The topic of this post is about quotes from people who made a big estimation error. Although commenting on old posts is weird on the internet I like to correct your estimation four years later. Because to be realistic, the majority of devices run Linux these days.

Alright, let me explain that for a moment. If you look at desktop market Linux is still a small player, but on the other hand, in the server department, Linux is the largest player.
Also, the mobile market is huge and Android is by far the largest player on the mobile market. If you did not know, Android is a version of Linux.
If we look further to the research side, most supercomputers run Linux and in the world of research, Linux has a much larger share compared to the desktop market.

Linux isn't just one OS, it has many altered versions but they all stay Linux.
Linux still might not be big in the desktop market but looking at all the other markets that Linux is the biggest, it is a realistic thing to conclude that Linux is the most used OS in the world.
 

Forebode

TS Booster
Couldn't some/most of these be taken out of context? Many could be implying something like with "with current technology" or it could be a sales pitch where it's a gross exaggeration. I'm sure many of those people had a brain and understood that you can't use words like never.

When trying to predict the future you can't use ego and you'll tend to have to be vague. There're too many factors at play.

example.. people would never want a computer at home. How big were computers back then, what did they cost, what could they do, could they come close to the constant entertainment that a tv would provide for nearly every owner of a tv? the statement is true based on the technology and the time.. but EVER? that's ridiculous to say the second those words leave their mouth.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
Couldn't some/most of these be taken out of context? Many could be implying something like with "with current technology" or it could be a sales pitch where it's a gross exaggeration. I'm sure many of those people had a brain and understood that you can't use words like never.

When trying to predict the future you can't use ego and you'll tend to have to be vague. There're too many factors at play.

example.. people would never want a computer at home. How big were computers back then, what did they cost, what could they do, could they come close to the constant entertainment that a tv would provide for nearly every owner of a tv? the statement is true based on the technology and the time.. but EVER? that's ridiculous to say the second those words leave their mouth.
Just reading some of these quotes you can easily see how some of the things they said were in fact true in that time and some were taken out of context.
 

MrPhoenix

TS Rookie
Linus gets so hilariously triggered. I remember the lecture he gave a few years ago where he literally looked at the camera and said **** you, NVIDIA, and gave them the finger.
 
I read this a while back.. the words are sure right.. but I don't remember where I read it. it was a [SIZE=3][FONT=arial]faux pas [/FONT][/SIZE]made by Bill gates in (again not sure) 1983 or 84. when he said "64KB ought to enough for everyone" or something like that.. again correct me if I am wrong...!!!
Actually, when he said it, (if he said it) he was right!

I bought my first pc in 1988 and it came standard with 512K. The computer ran all the software anyone could want at the time, including Flight Simulator 3.

After a year or two, I upgraded to 640k because all the computer mags said I'd be better off with more memory (some things never change).

I remember how disappointed I was. The pc didn't run faster, or better, or different in any way.
 

Axle Grease

TS Addict
The Linux/OS Wars one was the funniest. Mostly funny because it'll never be true and a little more funny because some Linux fanatics actually think it will happen.

Not a Linux hater, but come on you got to be realistic.
Linux at any stage in its development never stunk anywhere near as bad as its advocates. The usenet Linux advocacy newsgroup was full of toxic, and just downright nasty fanatics. There was never an argument to be found for Linux that did not rubbish MS Windows and denigrate users of MS Windows.
 

Mugsy

TS Evangelist
I remember years ago reading about someone important in science in the early 19th century saying "Everything that can be invented, has been invented."

Still, great article. Had some good laughs.
Charles Duell, head of the U.S. Patent office at the dawn of the industrial revolution in 1899 advocating that the USPTO be discontinued.

After his infamous claim, we saw the first automobiles, the Wright Bros invented the plane, Henry Ford invented the Assembly Line, and Thomas Edison was issued an additional 1,000 patents including the Phonograph & Lightbulb. :)
 

LenovoX

TS Booster
One prediction gone wrong, made by Bill Gates: "Windows will be a reliable OS"... like the one from Zuckerberg: "Facebook is for friends & friendship!"
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
A most famous quote from my own departed dad:

"Those computers are just a passing fad, you'd be better off investing your money in a new car" so I invested my $3,000 in a new startup called Microsoft and never sold any of the shares which has provided me a very comfortable retirement ........
 

FF222

TS Addict
Those who say otherwise point to the lack of 'proof'
Let me introduce you to a concept obviously not yet known to you: burden of proof. Look it up! Gates says he never said it, and there's no proof and no original source that says he said it - like a published interview or something. All we have is an obvious urban legend, and conspiracy theorists like you trying to spread as factual information, despite having no proof whatsoever for it.
 
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FF222

TS Addict
When presented with an opportunity in 1986 to license Guide, the first commercially available hypertext browser, Gates threw the proposal across the table and asked "Who would ever want a browser"? Thanks to Gates' insight, Microsoft are still playing catch up.
You realize that kind of browser had nothing to do with web browsering or web browsers, because, well, you know, the web wasn't even invented until the next decade, don't you? You also realize that the Guide system never became widespread, while other hypertext systems (like the web, or Gopher before it) went ballistic - so, even if Microsoft would have wholly acquired it at any time, it still wouldn't have went anywhere with it, don't you? And finally you realize that Microsoft had the single most popular web browser in history, that had almost double the market share that Chrome ever had, up until Bill Gates left the company, and Ballmer took over, don't you? No, you don't, because you have no clue about the history of the web or hypertext systems.
 
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arrowflash

TS Booster
One could write an entire article just about John Dvorak's predictions. I still love reading the guy's articles though, even if 90% of his predictions turn out wrong.

And in my opinion, Larry Ellison isn't really wrong on his thoughts about cloud computing.
 

mark kram

TS Enthusiast
The Linux/OS Wars one was the funniest. Mostly funny because it'll never be true and a little more funny because some Linux fanatics actually think it will happen.

Not a Linux hater, but come on you got to be realistic.
Linux has already taken over the world in the form of Android. A rooted Android phone allows changes to be made in the code.