In the Year of the Ox (1985), Steve Jobs made surprisingly accurate predictions about the future of technology.
36 years ago, Apple founder Steve Jobs was still trying to convince people of the benefits of the personal computer. “The computer is the most amazing tool we have ever seen” – Jobs said in an interview in the year of Ox (1985).
At that time, computers were very expensive and difficult to use. However, Jobs had a clear vision of the future of Apple. Here are four of his famous predictions for 1985, three of which have come true.
- “Computers will be used at home more”
Up until 1985, Apple released four computers: Apple I (1976), Apple II (1977), Lisa (1983), and Macintosh (1984). These PC models are mainly used in businesses and schools.
“You can actually prepare documents faster with better quality and be able to multitask to increase productivity” – Jobs explained. He believes that computers will free people from everyday work.
However, people often don’t use computers during their free time. At the time, Jobs described the idea of the home computer as more like a “conceptual market” rather than a “real market”.
“The main reason to have a computer in your home is that you want to do business from home or want to use educational software for yourself or your kids” – Jobs said. “This will change. Computers will become an essential tool in most homes ”.
According to the US Census Bureau, only 8% of American households owned a computer in 1984. In 2000, 51% owned a computer, and by 2015, that number had grown to 79%.
According to a 2017 CNBC poll, the average American household owns two Apple products. Today, users spend a lot of free time using computers, as well as other technology equipment.
- “We will all be connected through the computer”
What would make computers more useful beyond business, Jobs predicted, was connectivity. “The most compelling reason for most people to buy a home computer is to link it to a nationwide communications network,” he said.
Predicting this Apple founder made four years ago, when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the global network system World Wide Web.
According to the New York Times, Berners-Lee wrote the first web-browser and editing tool at his office at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). In late 1990, the first website went live online.
The idea of creating long-distance communication networks for computers appeared decades ago, in the ARPANET research project funded by the US military. ARPANET became the foundation for the modern Internet when engineers Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn developed the TC / IP network standard. ARPANET switched to the TC / IP standard since 1983, paving the way for the future global network.
In today’s Internet of Things world, everything from computers, smartphones, vacuum cleaners to light switches is connected to the Internet. The analysis firm McKinsey Global Institute forecasts that the trend of using smart devices will bring the economy about $ 3.9 trillion to $ 11.1 trillion by 2025.
- “Computers will have a mouse”
In the past, computers didn’t always function with a mouse. Before Apple released the Lisa and Macintosh with a mouse and graphical interface, most personal computers on the market then needed instructions on commands that could be entered using a keyboard.
Jobs always defended his point of view with a computer mouse. “If I wanted to remind you of a stain on a shirt, I wouldn’t do it with just a language like: ‘There’s a stain on your shirt, 14cm below the collar and 3cm from the button to the left. “” He explained. “If you have a place -‘ There ‘[Jobs pointed], I will point right there. Pointing is the metaphorical language we all know, ”he explained.
“Doing all the functions – cut and paste, for example – with the mouse is much faster. It’s not only easy to use, it’s more efficient, ”Jobs added about mouse gestures.
The mouse incorporates a graphical user interface that allows people to click intuitive desktop icons and images, including windows and drag-and-drop menus. That is “the last step towards making it possible for people without special training to use computers,” said Wired.
Ironically, Apple’s popularization of touch screen technology on the iPhone and iPad could make the computer mouse forgetful.
- “Software will be competitive, while hardware will be proprietary”
In 1985, Jobs predicted that there would be only a few computer companies making hardware and lots of businesses making software.
“The self-sufficiency of computers will belong to Apple and IBM” – Jobs said. “I don’t think there are many companies in third or fourth, companies in sixth or seventh are much rarer. I think innovation occurs frequently in the areas of software, not hardware ”.
However, this prediction is only partially correct. Microsoft used to hold the number one position in the software market, to the point that it entered the US government antitrust investigation in 1998.
Today, Apple’s macOS software still competes with Microsoft Windows and Google’s Chrome OS. In terms of phones, Apple’s iOS competes with Google’s Android operating system. Meanwhile, hardware brands like Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and HP are all vying for market share in countries around the world.