Speed Reads

The future has arrived

Here's Microsoft's oddly prescient 'smart home,' from 1999


Back in 1999, the future belonged to Microsoft. It was so dominant in the computer/IT market — Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player — that a few years later the European Union would slap it with a hefty antitrust judgment and fine. Now, Microsoft is merely a tech giant competing against everyone from Apple and Google to Nintendo and Facebook. Those companies, it turns out, have helped make a reality out of much of this 1999 Microsoft concept video of the "smart home" of the future. The Jetsons, today, if you will. One quibble: Rosie is the Jetsons' robotic housekeeper — isn't Astro their dog? --Peter Weber