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  1. Technology
November 23, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Elsewhere at the show, the majors were taking stock of multimedia porgress so far, Reuter reports. Each year, the outcome isn’t quite as good or quite as big as we want it to be, Robert Faber, senior vice-president of 3DO Co told a seminar on the first day of the week-long event. So far, many of the services proposed – interaction with television quiz shows and tele-banking – have been less than exciting. Fujitsu Ltd chairman Takuma Yamamoto quoted estimates that multimedia could be a $20,000m world market by 2000. Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates told a seminar the doubling of processing power for the same price every two years meant personal computers would soon be able to understand spoken commands and handwriting. Adam Singer, a Tele-Communications Inc vice-president, said the problem with multimedia was no different from that faced by all new technologies. There is always a time-lag between the development of new technology and the uses eventually dreamed up for it. We have a technical capacity beyond our ability to describe it: hence the confusion about the benefits and multimedia applications, he said. Gates pointed to the fast-growing list of multimedia titles available on CD-ROM as evidence of the creative energies now being channelled into multimedia. By supplying shopping catalogues, encylopaedias, medical data and video games, the world CD-ROM market will be worth $600m in 1993 – four times its size in 1992 – and it will double annually for the next three years, Gates forecast. Microsoft itself is now bringing out new titles at the rate of two a week. Although the eventual hope is to deliver a mega-menu of services down future high speed information networks, the CD-ROM can provide these before the infrastructure is laid. The network or highway is the eventual business, Gates promised. In the meantime we can all have a profitable business developing CDs for computers.

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