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Pen To Be Extinct In A Decade?


PenChalet
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According the Microsoft CEO the pen will be extinct in a decade. What do you think? I am sure none of you feel this way, right. Or will the pen outlast Microsoft? :)

 

You can read the article here:

http://www.cnet.com/news/microsofts-ceo-expects-pen-to-be-extinct-in-a-decade/

 

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Wishes aside, Microsoft is doing quite well. Nadella, the CEO, is not an unattractive man. Perhaps a previous poster was thinking of Steve Ballmer. Nadella's view about the future of pens -- and I suspect he was contrasting all writing instruments with the electronic stylus -- is skewed. He is showing that the direction of his company is away from technologies that ease the transition from composition to digital representation. I think he is missing an opportunity. Right now, Lenovo has a tablet with a built-in projector. Why not develop a portable computing device that has a built-in scanner?

 

The limited use of pens in everyday life isn't solely a Microsoft conspiracy. In the past, I wrote a check at the grocery store; now, I swipe a credit card and enter an electronic signature. In the past, people took extensive notes at meetings. Note-taking is relatively rare now and about half of those who take notes are using electronic device rather than paper and pen. It's premature to announce the demise of the pen and a bit self-serving when the forecast comes from the CEO of a tech company, but it's not a mere fantasy.

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I think, historically, the challenges presented to computing to convert analogue input from handwriting into a digital format and back again have been huge and it has been simpler to change the way we enter input (from pen to keyboard) rather than crack the problem of creating accurate handwriting OCR software.

 

But we could be approaching a time when this is more feasible as computers and algorithms become more sophisticated. The question is whether enough people would use it.

 

How cool would it be to be able to write a letter with a pen, perhaps on a touch sensitive, intelligent desk blotter, and for the letter to be detected, digitised and transmitted to a device and then on to a recipient and rendered back to the original handwriting.

 

We can do all of the above already with the exception of reliably detecting, interpreting and converting highly personal handwriting.

Edited by Stanley Howler
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Futurology suggested that we'd all have flying cars, that power would be too cheap to meter, that interplanetary travel would be commonplace and many other things. I doubt that as long as tech companies exist they'll stop making these predictions but a decade left for the pen? Not really. When, for example, was the last time you left your pen on charge overnight or couldn't connect it to paper?

Computers of all types will go their way and pen and paper theirs - in some areas of comp sci it's called 'affordabces'. What computers seem to find difficult are two means of human communication - voice and handwriting. Voice recognition is ok-ish but handwriting?

I love my computer and I love my pens but they sit on opposite sides of my office and do different things. It's possible to foresee coexistence between pen and computer for some time because they afford different things. That I'd expect Microsoft to know.

R

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Gosh, does that mean we all on FPN have to vanish during the next decade?!?

*poooff*

 

It's time for a famous misquote:

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers"

Greetings,

Michael

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Wishes aside, Microsoft is doing quite well. Nadella, the CEO, is not an unattractive man. Perhaps a previous poster was thinking of Steve Ballmer. Nadella's view about the future of pens -- and I suspect he was contrasting all writing instruments with the electronic stylus -- is skewed. He is showing that the direction of his company is away from technologies that ease the transition from composition to digital representation. I think he is missing an opportunity. Right now, Lenovo has a tablet with a built-in projector. Why not develop a portable computing device that has a built-in scanner?

 

The limited use of pens in everyday life isn't solely a Microsoft conspiracy. In the past, I wrote a check at the grocery store; now, I swipe a credit card and enter an electronic signature. In the past, people took extensive notes at meetings. Note-taking is relatively rare now and about half of those who take notes are using electronic device rather than paper and pen. It's premature to announce the demise of the pen and a bit self-serving when the forecast comes from the CEO of a tech company, but it's not a mere fantasy.

So, is he on the edge of being right?

Ea Alis Volat Propiis, per/Repletus Fontis Calamus!
She Flies by Her Own Wings, with filled Fountain Pen

 

Delta DolceVita, F-C Intrinsic 02, Pelikan M800 red/black striation, Bexley ATB Strawberry Swirl, Red Jinhao 159, Platinum 3776 Bourgogne. :wub:

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The pen & ink will be in use after the earth has been laid waste by nuclear war, accident, or global warming.

"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

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I concur and very poetically stated. :lticaptd:

Ea Alis Volat Propiis, per/Repletus Fontis Calamus!
She Flies by Her Own Wings, with filled Fountain Pen

 

Delta DolceVita, F-C Intrinsic 02, Pelikan M800 red/black striation, Bexley ATB Strawberry Swirl, Red Jinhao 159, Platinum 3776 Bourgogne. :wub:

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I remember the death of vinyl and turntables being much predicted. However It's still being used today, increasingly by people who didn't grow up with it.

I reckon vinyl will outlast the CD, which would of seemed ridiculous five years ago

 

Fountain Pens, ink and paper are similar in some respects. They provide an analogue, physical experience which computers can't replace.

 

Whenever there's a new technology there's a rush to use it as much as possible at the expense of older technologies. Gradually there's a rebalancing, and some of the older tech is revived. More people are starting to write physical letters again, and hand written notes are becoming more popular as they're shown to help people remember information more than other digital methods

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So, is he on the edge of being right?

 

That's a good question. Nadella, the Microsoft CEO, is informing the readership about his business plan rather than predicting how the future will unfold. Twenty years ago, I would have composed this message with paper and pen. Today, I am using a text editor, then cutting and pasting using the technology of Windows 8.1. Two or five years from now, I expect to be be writing the response on screen. What's more interesting to me than the question of when, is how will we we get there?

 

I am a fountain pen user, but instead of putting my money into a 30 or 50 year instrument, I am thinking about convenience: Can I buy 2 or 6 pens and make them available around my house and workplace? Rather than searching for the ideal pen, wondering who can repair it, how should I carry it, and which paper is the best match, I am interested primarily in convenience and ease of disposal. In that sense, without committing to a specific date, I would say that forecasting the demise of the fountain pen as an everyday writing instrument is as easy as saying that the sun rises in the east.

Edited by prf5
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I have pens that have been in use on & off for over 60 years. I know there are people here who's pens date back much farther. For fountain pens to go extinct, you would have to go around & make all that exist permanently unuseable, as well as preventing the production of new pens.

 

 

 

The pen & ink will be in use after the earth has been laid waste by nuclear war, accident, or global warming.

 

I'd say that's a more accurate prediction.

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I hope he does not predict the end of the paper bag. He could use two over his head.

 

Note that he predicted the end of the fountain pen - not the pen

Edited by Charles Rice
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I hope he does not predict the end of the paper bag. He could use two over his head.

 

Note that he predicted the end of the fountain pen - not the pen

 

Nadella's remark was off-the-cuff and made during a quick-fire question and answer. The answer was clearly prompted by the writing instrument in reporter's hand.
Reporter's question: "What's one technology that we rely on today that won't be around a decade from now?"
Answer: "One technology that won't be there." Looks at the reporter's pen and says: "fountain pens?" Reporter and Nadella chuckle.
The reporter holds up what appears to be a Pilot ballpoint and asks, "No more of these?"
Answer: "That's right."
The next question is about the prospect of Microsoft developing a watch.
As to getting rid of paper bags: a fine idea, sooner the better. As to not making allusions to antiquated sexist jokes? That would be priceless.
Edited by prf5
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As to getting rid of paper bags: a fine idea, sooner the better. As to not making allusions to antiquated sexist jokes? That would be priceless.

 

 

I still say he's ugly. Heck, I'm no prize, but I'm better lookin' than he is. :)

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Since early man has been around he has used some type of stick and colored material to write with what he saw and thought on anything that he could find...

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