We live in a world filled with smartphones, tablets, and televisions that intelligently respond to our gestures and voices. We can share information with others in the blink of an eye, we can easily map out a trip to anywhere on earth on a phone, or display hundreds of photos in a digital frame. But before any of this was possible, Microsoft predicted all of it in a bunch of cheesy concept videos showing off the company’s vision of the future.
Bloomberg has cut together a highlight reel of the footage, and in doing so has made one thing very clear: Microsoft executed on almost none of its promise. All of those amazing technological advancements we now take for granted were at Microsoft’s fingertips, but countless roadblocks and distractions prevented them from capitalizing on an incredibly accurate vision of the next decade. The Bloomberg article specifically mentions a few of the biggest issues Microsoft faced, including internal disagreements, the underwhelming Vista, departures from within, and the failed launch of Microsoft’s own tablets.
Now Steve Ballmer is on the way out, the new CEO is still undecided, and a questionable purchase of Nokia is fresh on everyone’s mind. It’s probably better just to watch the video below and try to imagine what Microsoft would be like today if they had beaten Apple or Google or Facebook to the punch.