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Thread: Gates: Hardware Will Be Free

  1. #1
    Double Agent
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Hardware costs will fall sharply within a decade to the point where widespread computing with speech and handwriting won't be limited by expensive technology, Bill Gates said Monday.

    "Ten years out, in terms of actual hardware costs you can almost think of hardware as being free -- I'm not saying it will be absolutely free -- but in terms of the power of the servers, the power of the network will not be a limiting factor," Microsoft's chairman said.

    Microsoft has often been at odds with the computer hardware industry over the last 20 years, given the dominant position it holds through the lock on PCs it has through its Windows operating system.

    The world's largest software maker is betting that advances in hardware and computing will make it possible for computers to interact with people using speech and that computers which can recognize handwriting will become as ubiquitous as Microsoft's Windows operating system, which runs on more than 90 percent of the world's personal computers.

    In fact, Microsoft is already selling software for such products, aimed mainly at businesses, rather than retail consumers. Last week Microsoft launched Speech Server for companies developing automated call centers.

    Gates also said advances in programming will allow software developers to create applications in less time by using visual representations of the inner workings of software rather than writing lines of programing code.

    Microsoft is planning to spend $6.8 billion on research and development in its current business year to June, which Gates said will deliver many advancements in speech and other technology.

    Source: Wired

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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Double Agent
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Quote from "pr1ck" from ircspy...

    I just thought his response is kinda interesting....just to paste it here for y'all to enjoy...

    personally i think this whole ideas spells bullshit, fking corporate america....

    I think that hardware WILL be free. to an extent.

    Have you ever seen one of the mini-comps at the library? If not, get your lazy rear off the chair and take a look at what a library looks like on the INSIDE. You'll be surprised.

    For those of you still unfamiliar (or too lazy) to know what I am talking about, a 'library' type computer is a miniscule computer with (I suppose) a video ouput card and a network card. The first is really cheap if it only needs to relay video from the network. The second's $5 on NewEgg.

    Presumably, with sufficiently fast servers and sufficiently cheap internet connections, these mini-'puters are the PC of the future. How? Easy.

    An example: a central server for NYC has 1000s of individual, powerful CPUs, several Optic Cable lines (Gigabits) of internet access capability, and a tech support crew. At base, that is all they need.

    They then offer a package - not unlike current cell phone packages - with certain specs. For example:

    Basic: 4.0 GHz Processing power, 0.2 Terrabytes storage, 256MB video processing capability.

    Advanced: 6.0 GHz processing, 0.5 TB storage, 512MB video.

    Platinum: 8.0GHz processing, 1TB storage, 1GB video.

    You choose one of these packages. 2 days later a tech guy comes to your house and installs a 15" LCD hooked up to a mouse/keyboard/gamepad and a miniPC (all upgradeable for $&#036, sets it up with a small Optic connection, and you use THEIR server and processing space as YOUR PC.

    So you ask: How the f*** is a MiniPC going to handle 8GHz processing power?
    It's not. All it needs to do is relay the video/audeo feed from the server and relay your input back to the server.

    So How do I watch a DVD on this thing?
    All content will be downloaded off the internet. Your credit card will be used to immediately pay for your transactions. Verification will be via retinal scan/finger print and a click of yes/no. With gigabyte/second internet, bandwidth is practically unlimited, so the video will be directly streamed from server to ISP to your MPC.

    This will allow for instantaneous access to one's computer from any MPC (I'm sure that with dropping prices for the technology, free/paid public terminals are not far away). With WiFi soon to reach a distance of 100 miles per antenna and devices like the OQO ( in developement, mobile access is also not far away.

    What of warez? Underground networks for the old-schoolers like me will always exist, but I'm afraid the masses will jump all over this technology the day it's released.

    The age of mPCs is coming. Brace your pattents and balls.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    yeh, we had a thread a while ago where i mentioned that idea, but i didn't have any quotes to support my theory. basically i thought we are prolly heading toward a computing model where each user only has a terminal (like one of those search machines in a public library) which only does the input and display functions, not the actual processing... and then you subscribe to a remote CPU/storage service over a super-fast net connection.

    on one hand, you wouldn't own a full computer anymore, you'll give up even more of the little privacy that you have left, and you'd be renting forever. but on the other hand, it would take up less space, generate almost no heat or fan noise, there'd be no more pressure to upgrade your parts and throw away old computer crap, you wouldn't personally be able to catch viruses anymore, etc etc etc.

    there's some good, some bad, i guess.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    bigdawgfoxx's Avatar Big Dawg
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    Apr 2003
    I think its real bad..I like my own computer that I take care of. I dont want to go through some server of computers somewhere else or something...
    [SIZE=1]AMD 4200 X2 @ 2.65Ghz, ASRock 939-VSTA
    1.75GB PC3200, 2 X 160GB Seagate w/ 8MB Buffer
    HIS Radeon X800 Pro, Antec Super Lanboy Aluminum

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Originally posted by bigdawgfoxx@21 April 2004 - 12:36
    I think its real bad..I like my own computer that I take care of. I dont want to go through some server of computers somewhere else or something...
    agreed. And i'll bet that it won't let you download anything except things from "certified" m$ sites.

    Go LINUX!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    How's is doing it that one way close to free? Wouldn't this acually cost more in the long run?

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Sep 2002
    Yorkshire, England
    Originally posted by freak@21 April 2004 - 15:32
    How's is doing it that one way close to free? Wouldn't this acually cost more in the long run?
    Of course.

    That's why they would virtually give away the bit of hardware you would have at home.

    They don't want those hardware manufacturers getting their hands on your money when the software sharks can have it all.

    Actually, there's nothing new in this idea, the "Network pc" was proposed over 10 years ago. But it wasn't Bill's brainchild then so Microsoft kicked it into touch for a while.
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Lick My Lovepump
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Originally posted by bulio@21 April 2004 - 14:03
    agreed. And i'll bet that it won't let you download anything except things from "certified" m$ sites.
    MS has been stopped from doing this in the past, and will probably be stopped again.

    Hear about the EU getting millions off them, and forcing them to make a Windows XP without WMP 9?

    Technology always gets cheaper and better. Look at DVD players. A few years ago, you would be paying about 200 for a player that only read DVDs. Now you can get the same for about 30 that does SVCDs and crap too. TVs used to be things that you were lucky to have one of in a house, and you'd pay about 100 to have one fixed. Nowadays you can buy a TV for under 100, and its quite rare to see people with only 1 TV in a house.

    The high end market will probably still stay quite high, but even nowadays a 500 Mhz PC is sufficient for Internet surfing, and basically for use as an interactive information source.


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