Thursday, June 5, 2008

Microsoft's Ballmer on the Future

Interesting response by Steve Ballmer to the following question: "What is your outlook for the future of media?

In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications and advertising are going to be turned upside down -- my opinion.

Here are the premises I have. Number one, there will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form. "

While the world is definitely moving toward electronic based consumption, it is hard to fathom that by 2018 thee will be no more newspapers or magazines. Devices like the Kindle and Apple iPhone are certainly drawing more people to electronic readership, but the timing seems awfully quick to see its extinction within 10 years. I also don't believe that these devices are ideal for enjoying electronic newspapers and magazines. Another generation or two of product change still needs to occur. It has yet to be proven that consumers are even thinking of making the switch and the price point for these devices are still high.

I envision this trend to take longer and there will still be paper forms of newspaper and magazines for at least 15 years.

One other comment by Ballmer, "Also in the world of 10 years from now, there are going to be far more producers of content than exist today. We've already started to see that certainly in the online world, but we've just scratched the surface" The internet has absolutely lowered the barriers of entry to enable more content to be delivered faster and easier to the consumer. The rise in blogs, like this one, exemplifies that trend, as does the proliferation of websites.