The future can be viewed from several perspectives. Chapter 8 extrapolated from the
p the evolution of hardware continues to be the dominant force in the creation of computer hardware products. The availability of hardware at a given price and performance level, in turn, paves the way for new software and applications.
The first section of this chapter presents the Intel view of the future. This is a good starting point, because Intel is the leading supplier of microprocessors, and hence, its plans are the future.
In The Age of Intelligent Machines, Ray Kurzweil (1990) provides an excellent over-view and compendium of intelligent machines. His book includes a time line for the future, a portion of which is presented in the second section of the chapter. Ray's view is highly optimistic, because he sees the world in terms of possibilities.
That section is followed by one that offers my own, more conservative views. It summarizes what can be expected during the next decade, beginning with basic physical technologies (semiconductors, magnetics, etc.), and includes the application alternatives that will be made possible by new systems.
The last two sections of the chapter describe my view of the changes that can be anticipated in the mainframe, minicomputer, and supercomputer industries when cheap, powerful, and more ubiquitous desktop and other forms of distributed computing become available, as well as my ideas on worldwide competition.
These various perspectives on the future should be helpful to readers interested in identifying new business opportunities.