Once again, Bill Gates has seen the future. The Microsoft chairman now claims that in ten years, "you can almost think of hardware as being free," because the bottleneck of network and server power will be eliminated. Over the next decade, Gates believes that many of the long-standing "holy grails" of computing, such as quality speech recognition, will be achieved, allowing people to talk to every device. He also believes programmers will develop software more quickly by working with visual representations of its inner workings, eliminating tedious lines of code.
On the subject of software development's pace at Microsoft itself, Gates said that the next-generation Longhorn OS would not be shoved out the door to make a deadline, but speculation of a 2006 release is probably valid, and that Microsoft's project to contain spam is still on track to debut that same year, reiterating an earlier pronouncement.
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