Bill Gates predicts the iPad back in 2007
It's May 2007, and Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are being interviewed during The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference. A question is put to the bosses of the two biggest home computer giants about their ideas for the future of personal computing.
One of the men answers that he sees the future as still being led by the PC. "It will be the PC," he says. "Maybe used a little more tightly coupled with some back-end Internet services and some things like that".
The other man says: "I don't think you'll have one device. I think you'll have a full-screen device that you can carry around and you'll do dramatically more reading off of that... yeah, I mean, I believe in the tablet form factor...You'll have some way of having a hardware keyboard and some settings for that. And then you'll have the device that fits in your pocket, which the whole notion of how much function should you combine in there, you know, there's navigation computers, there's media, there's phone."
Now you would bet on the first man being Gates and the second Jobs. Right? No, wrong. It seems that Bill had the vision.
If only Apple wasn't so darned good at product launches then maybe Billy boy would be donning a black turtle neck and introducing the next-gen Microsoft phone to a cheering audience next month.
If you've got time, it's worth watching the full set of these videos on YouTube. Hindsight is a funny thing.