Bill Gates: DVDs and CDs are doomed

Last updated at 10:00 28 October 2005

Compact discs and DVDs are on the verge of extinction, Microsoft chief Bill Gates has claimed.

He warned film fans awaiting the arrival of high-definition discs that the format would soon be obsolete.

The Microsoft tycoon believes homes will soon have a single, remote device to control all their "digital lifestyle" and entertainment needs.

Films would be as easy to download from the Net as music is now, he told a technology conference.

CDs and DVDs would be the last physical format for music and films and they would one day be streamed straight to computer hard drives, the billionaire suggested.

TV shows will also be broadcast online, giving viewers more choice and the ability to customise what they watch. For example, football fans who want to see match highlights but have only 12 minutes to do so will be able to get their chosen clips edited

instantly into a 12-minute programme.

Vital mobiles

Mobile phones will become an even more indispensable part of every life, Mr Gates said. Within a few years, users will be able to search the Web simply by asking a question into the handset. "The new technology is going to be very empowering," he added. "In some ways, the home computer just disappears into the environment."

Mr Gates was setting out his vision of a "high-definition generation" at the Internet Advertising Bureau's annual conference, Engage 2005.

IAB chief executive Guy Phillipson said it was a "landmark event" and he was delighted Mr Gates agreed to speak. "The room was packed and the atmosphere was electric," he added.

"He spoke of a future where all media can be delivered to you anytime, anywhere, in a way you want."

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