Microsoft’s CEO thinks pens will be gone by 2025

Writing tools have been around for millennia, and the pen is one of those things that pretty much everybody recognises and knows how to use. Writing has been having some serious competition from typing-based machines in the last few decades, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes the pen will be gone by the year 2025.

Nadella was asked a series of quick-fire questions during an interview with ABC News, and when asked which piece of technology wouldn’t be here in 2025 he answered “the fountain pen” without hesitation. Sadly he didn’t elaborate, so we don’t know what the logic behind his answer is.

Is he right though? Typing is easier than ever before, and with the advancements in voice dictation it’s sometimes possible to create text without actually having to use your hands at all. But does that mean the pen is on its way out? Will it end up like the quill, locked up in museums and only sold as a novelty in tourist trap gift shops?

Ten years ago I doubt anyone could have predicted that we’d all be carrying around pocket sized computers, or that we could watch all of our television content without actually owning a television. It’s possible that the pen could be replaced by typing, or a stylus, in mainstream usage, But I think that it’s quite unlikely.

I write about tech, I love tech and seeing how it can make our lives easier. But I still prefer using a pen and paper. Almost every single large article that I do gets planned out and drafted on paper before it gets typed up. It’s easier and it helps me express my thoughts more coherently in a way that a screen has never been able to manage.

Plus, the pen has been around for so long it’s certainly not going to disappear overnight. Certainly not until we have┬ádigital equivalents that are much, much, cheaper.

Tom Pritchard

4 comments

  • In 2025, I will still be using my fountain pen. Tangible written lettering gives the opportunity to include one’s personality into a note otherwise not conveyable through Times New Roman or even Zapfino. One day my sons with be left with scattered hand-written notes and perhaps it may reveal something about me that isn’t expressed on an LCD screen, but maybe not.

    At the least, who doesn’t appreciate a hand-written thank you note, these days?

  • I work in IT. I carry a notebook computer (unfortunately, it’s running Windows), two iPhones, and a Fisher Space Pen: always. When I need to make a quick note, using that pen is far faster than readying any of those gadgets just to type a short entry.

  • The poor use pens. The rich use people. There will still be ink and feathers. The poor will still write even if the rich take away ALL the books and history and lock everyone up in tiny ‘office’ rooms with no view, just a wall to stare at for the entire life.

    In 2025, MSFT will be out of business and a memory in the history books.
    Microsoft is NOT a limited liability company, they are a corporation; the founders and executives are liable under law for committing tax evasion which is punishable by prison time.

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