Michael Miller nails the future of computing

This is a pretty interesting article. It was a press release, but I didn’t find it anywhere on Google, so I am republishing it here. It came out on October 7, 1995, and 12 years into the future it’s amazing how well Michael Miller did. Yes, some are pretty generic, but it’s almost dead on. The comments in bold and italics are mine.

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ — What are the key technology trends in 1995?  What kind of information systems will we see in the future?  Will we use a PC or a TV to access the information superhighway?  Will we ever carry a “wallet PC” or walk up to an information kiosk?

Michael J. Miller, the Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine, addressed these and other questions in a speech to the 1995 IACPR (International Association of Corporate & Professional Resources) Annual Conference held Friday, September 29, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA.

Miller said:

“The fabulous increases in computer power and software capabilities we’ve seen in the past 20 years will continue; there’s no end in sight.” This is the most generic prediction of computing power, but it was true. No limits have been found.

“Networking will be everywhere, as we move toward a client/server world with networked applications.  Every PC will be connected; and every network will connect to everything.” Bingo. It seems so simple today, but remember in 1995 your PC wasn’t connected to anything. Internet penetration was around 20%.

“Windows 95 is the platform for 1995; but the Internet is emerging as the most important platform going forward.  It’s going to be quite a contest between Netscape, Microsoft, and the rest of the computer industry for setting the standards for this new world.” This was probably the boldest prediction made, as Microsoft owned the personal computing platform at this time frame. Linux was just getting heat and no one really had a great grasp of the internet.

“All sorts of applications will be written for the Internet platform, including information delivery, search tools, catalogs, and electronic commerce.  All this will create big security and management issues, but is inevitable.” Again, looking from today it seems like a no brainer, but 12 years ago no one even thought you would do most of your banking online, watch movies online or even “chat” with people in real time.

“The result of all this will be that everyone has more information.  Applications will become more personal, more portable, and more customizable.  There will be a big need for corporate and industry experts.” We’re just beginning to see this in the Web 2.0 world. Everything has a framework of APIs to share their data and people can personalize sites to no end.

“Networks everywhere are changing the nature of work.  You can, or will be able to, work from anywhere, at any time, and have available any information.” In 1995 remote control of workstations through dial up lines was available, but you were limited in functionality. At this point you can run million dollar businesses anywhere you find yourself with a network connection.

“At home, if the question is whether the PC or the television will be the dominant standard, I believe the answer is ‘both.’ TV’s are important for viewing things from a distance, for multiple people viewing data, for passive applications.  The PC form factor will be better for close reading, for some kinds of interactions (such as typing), etc.  And other form factors — notably ‘wallet PCs’ and information kiosks, will also be crucial.” Wallet PCs sound funny until you say cell phpne. Another bingo. He missed on information kiosks, but you cannot be perfect. He got the TV dead on.

“The future of information systems means the PC is a ‘Personal Communicator’ — more personal yet more connected than today’s computers.  And it will continue to evolve.”