Bill Gates predictions: Billionaire correct with vision for future made in 1999

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The Microsoft co-founder foresaw the current Coronavirus pandemic, issuing a warning in a TED speech in 2015. And in a recent video interview with Derek Muller, host of the YouTube channel “Veritasium”, the software king foretold the next existential threats facing humankind – climate change and bio-terrorism. But Mr Gates track record on making bold predictions about the future predates this millennium.

In his 1999 book ‘Business @ the Speed of Thought’, the Silicon Valley soothsayer forecast many of the major technological innovations that are now a feature of our daily lives.

These included everything from comparison sites to smart devices and even to social media forums like Facebook and Twitter.

He wrote: “Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries.”

With regards to the advent of smart phones, he predicted: “People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are.

“They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.”

Mr Gates also understood that people would increasingly use the internet to organise their personal lives.

“People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet,” he said.

When it came to foreseeing the rise of social media, the software entrepreneur and philanthropist predicted: “Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events.”

He even envisaged private chat forums for sports fans to discuss games as they were being played.

Mr Gates saw the potential for advertisers to exploit the internet in new and clever ways.

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He wrote: “Devices will have smart advertising.

“They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences.”

Given his talent for calling the future correctly, it’s little wonder that the Microsoft co-founder became one the richest people in the world.

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