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7 technology predictions that never happened

They simply couldn't have got it more wrong

When it comes to predicting the future, sometimes tech aficionados get it wrong. Here's our round-up of the 7 worst tech predictions of the past 65 years.

Most predictions for the future are fairly vague. However, that doesn't cut it in the world of tech, where predicting the future is key to survival. But on occasions some tech aficionados have got it wrong. And in these seven cases, very very wrong.

So here's our round-up of the seven most foolish predictions the past 65 years of the tech industry. Read on to see just how wrong they got it. Then take a look at our Tech Predictions for 2009 feature, where real life psychics predict what might happen in 2009.

Foolish tech prediction 1

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943.

At the dawn of the computer industry, nobody really knew where this new technology would take us. But the explosion of desktop computing that put a PC in nearly every home within 50 years seems to have eluded the imagination of most mid-century futurists.

After all, when IBM's Thomas Watson said 'computer', he meant ‘vacuum-tube-powered adding machine that's as big as a house'. It's fair to say that few people ever wanted one of those, regardless of the size of their desk.

Foolish tech prediction 2

"Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." - Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946.

By 1946, movie executive Darryl Zanuck had already cemented his place in entertainment history as the producer of more than 100 films for the big silver screen. So who could have blamed him for underestimating the power of the small blue screen? I'm guessing that if Zanuck were alive today, he'd find himself just as mesmerised as the rest of us by the mind-crushing distortion loop that modern TV programming has become.

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  1. They couldn't have got it more wrong
  2. Nuclear power in the home
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