Technology in the Next Decade; Where Will We Be? Bill Gates, David Bowie, Larry Ellison, Scott McNealy and Others

FRAMINGHAM, MA – January 4, 1999 -Computerworld newspaper recently sat down with 10 pioneers to ask how technology will evolve over the next 10 years. Here's what they said:

Bill Gates on the digital age: (Microsoft chairman and CEO) People overestimate what will happen in two years and underestimate what will happen in 10. I'll put my reputation on the line that this 10 years is when paper forms will almost disappear.

David Bowie on fashion and technology: (musician and philosopher/trendsetter) Everyone talks about wearable computers in the years to come. Whether I go for that has an awful lot to do with who designs them; I'm quite fastidious about what I wear. These huge vinyl boots; when you're 18, that's okay, but not when you're 52. … As the pieces of my body start falling apart, I'll have them all replaced. All the ones that make life worth living; I'm talking of the brain, of course [laughs].

Larry Ellison on communications: (CEO, Oracle Corp.) You will be connected in a car, at the beach, in a tunnel, in an airplane. You will always be connected to the Net. It's going to make us more efficient. And distracted.

Scott McNealy on privacy: (chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc.) If they've got a sensor and a camera in my bathroom, I would have a big problem with that! But if they have, in Palo Alto Square, a camera watching 24 hours a day in a public place? I consider that a liberating thing. Now there's a chance that if anybody does something bad to me, they're going to be recorded and caught.

Mark Gembecki on security: (former National Security Agency staffer/ founder of Warroom Research) The future of information security will be like a return to the Old West. Law enforcement will have to assume the Wyatt Earp role to combat these anarchic, Jesse James-style cybercrooks. Going forward, we won't have scattered, random computer crime. We'll see much more orchestrated attacks. It won't be 15 or 18-year old perpetrators. The hacks of the future will be driven by cybercartels, which are forming even now.

Computerworld, the world's technology newspaper, is a weekly newspaper for technology and business professionals.