* Foreword to the OS/2 Programmer's Guide, 1987: "I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time."
* COMDEX keynote speech, 2002: "Within five years, I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America."
"It," in this case, was the Windows Tablet PC, where you write with a stylus on the screen. Oh well.
The Apple Collection
You could make a whole Web site just dedicated to the pundits' predictions of Apple's death. You don't hear those much anymore, but for a few years the columnists and authors seemed smugly confident.
* "By the time you read this story, the quirky cult company…will end its wild ride as an independent enterprise."—Fortune, February 19, 1996
* "Apple [is] a chaotic mess without a strategic vision and certainly no future."—TIME, February 5, 1996
* "Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It's so classic. It's so sad."—A Forrester Research analyst, January 25, 1996 (quoted in The New York Times)
* "The NeXT purchase is too little too late. Apple is already dead."—Nathan Myhrvold (Microsoft's chief technology officer, June 1997)
* "Apple's erratic performance has given it the reputation on Wall Street of a stock a long-term investor would probably avoid."—Fortune, February 19, 1996
* "'The idea that they're going to go back to the past to hit a big home run…is delusional,' says Dave Winer, a software developer." –The Financial Times, July 11, 1997
* "The iMac will only sell to some of the true believers. [It's] clean, elegant, floppy-free—and doomed."—The Boston Globe, May 14, 1998
* "For all of his success, all Steve Jobs had really accomplished was a temporary pause in Apple's long-term decline."—Infinite Loop, 1996, by Michael S. Malone
* "I'd shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders."—Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, Inc., 1997
Of course, most of these quotes are from the dark period when Steve Jobs was exiled from Apple. After he returned as interim CEO in September 1997 the tide of predictions trumpeting Apple's demise quieted.