White Mirror: How did Microsoft's 2009 predictions for the world of 2019 hold up?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/31/how-did-microsofts-2009-predic.html


They were right about the touchscreens being everywhere the only difference is we carry our personal touchscreen which connects with other objects rather than touch screens being embedded in the objects. The touchscreen coffee cup essentially exists, it’s just that the touch screen is in your phone and the phone connects to the cup via an app.

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I loved the touchscreen boarding pass - because in the future, touch-sensitive LCDs will be as cheap as paper! Also, it can’t be hacked or reverse-engineered, and when that one guy throws it on the ground, it totally won’t leach heavy metals into the ground water!


I like how everyone in the future is a business person. There’s nobody relaxing, nobody doing any kind of menial work, nobody working with art or music.

In the future, everybody will be working on corporate projects, manufacturing and planning, all the time. Microtopia FTW!


Twenty years of schoolin’
And they put you on the day shift

Look out kid
They keep it all hid


That one gets half credit, since a lot of people use their phones as the boarding pass these days.


ah, an over-lifesize holographic screen with touch and white-board app with animation and “enhance-drawing-super-AI”, connected over a 25,000 Tb-whatever-super-fiber to wherever and with absolutly zero latency. in 2018. in a school. sure.

the rest just gives me the creeps all the more. fucking nightmare.

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Unless future-Microsoft is supposed to have installed a bunch of simulated light panels in the windows of those schools, I have a hard time believing it’s broad daylight in both India and whatever generic American city that school is in.

Oh yeah, and an Indian classroom of eleven kids will be able to afford a full-wall high resolution LCD touchscreen blackboard. I guess if you’re rich.


What will be more interesting is predictions Microsoft mkes today.

It is a very different company today under Nadella than it was before. Huge cultural shift towards interoperability and cloud computing.


We don’t care what OS you use… Just make sure you are renting it on our servers!


its like an ad for Betsy DeVos wet “libertarian” dreams.

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Good point, I was being literal-minded.

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Back to the Future II did it better.

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I generally find these corporate utopianisms absurd, but it’s doubly absurd as a prediction for only ten years in the future. That’s the kind of time frame where a tech you currently have working well in a lab (and for which you have a mass manufacturing path) could end up in a consumer product, but just barely. Some of it is knowingly absurd, though - schools being imagined with anything but slightly broken 10-year-old technology (i.e. current technology) are clear fantasies, for example.
The problem with ten-year forecasts is that realistically, one is talking about evolutions of current products and their uses - but if you could predict how that would play out and what the “killer apps” would be, you’d be making that stuff now. (Also: predicting “there will be iPhones… but the screens will be bigger!” isn’t exactly sexy.)

Let’s see how Apple’s 1980’s vision of the world of 2000 held up.


Nancy Sinatra: futurist


No play, no fun, no jankiness… just a bland, corporate, sanitised microshit future. All running on their windows as a service OS twattery that doesn’t show the forced updates or targeted ads and apps you can’t uninstall.

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So they were right, then?


Seems to be heading that way sure - copyright filters and all our digital eggs in about 3 or 4 baskets.

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Such edge lord.