Microsoft admits Bill Gates was wrong

Bill Gates at DavosWell, maybe not in quite so many words.

But it is kind of funny to remember that it was Bill Gates who predicted spam would be dead by 2006 while reading reports from Microsoft this week that spam now makes up 97% of all email. (Something, incidentally, that Sophos has been saying for a while now).

I think Gates’ declaration at World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2004 that spam would be dead within two years will probably be something that will haunt him for quite a while yet.

We should give him a break of course. The world’s media are hanging on his every pronouncement, and occasionally he’s bound to get it badly wrong. A bit like when he claimed that OS/2 was “destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time.”

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Mind you, when I first started work as a programmer I was told I was being given the job of porting the anti-virus software to Windows, because the main guy was going to write the “more important” OS/2 version.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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