What Is The Future Of Paper? [MakeUseOf Poll]

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Last week we asked you which major company was the best of 2011. With companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon on the list, I didn’t expect this poll to create any major surprises. Alas, our readers are not to be taken for granted, and the winning company of 2011 is not in the above three…

Out of 483 readers who voted, almost 29% named Mozilla as the best company of 2011. Google game in close second with 25% of the votes, with third place going to Apple (19%), followed by Amazon (9%), Samsung (6%), Microsoft (4%), Facebook (2%), with Nokia trailing the pack at less than 0.5%. 4% of the voters thought the title should go to none of these companies.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

So the surprising winner of this poll was Mozilla, who really did do some impressive things this year in its battle against Google Chrome. Microsoft, who has been working rather hard this year, did not seem to impress MakeUseOf’s readers that much.

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This week’s poll question is: What Is The Future Of Paper?

If you’ve ever watched even one sci-fi movie as a kid, you’ve been waiting ever since for those flying cars and a life without paper. In reality, paper still has a strong hold on our society, although it’s quickly diminishing. Many people choose to forego paper bills entirely, and pay everything online. E-readers have also had quite an impact in the short time they’ve been around, and more and more people are leaving paper books behind. So is paper going to disappear soon, just like in the movies, or is all this just a drop in the ocean of paper, which will stay with us forever?

If you think paper will disappear in time, vote for the answer which states the closest number of years. Don’t forget to share in the comments exactly why you think paper will stay or disappear, and what would be the substitutes.

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Comments (19)
  • oliverdude67

    i go for paper will disappear when we run out of trees . this is the best option .

    • Ecoxamã – CrisTambor

      Where is paper still made of non-reforestation trees? We will disappear well before trees do.

    • Ecoxamã – CrisTambor

      ==> please someone delete my comment – I didn’t intend to use this OpenID, and don’t know how to delete it. Thanks.

  • Richard

    Since the introduction of computers ect.. It looks to me paper is more used then ever before,

  • Sheila Warner

    Paper may become an oddity in the developed world, but the rest of the world (specially developing countries in Asia) will still continue to use paper in some form in the foreseeable future.

    While environmental concerns will force everyone to consider alternatives, I see this as leading to an emphasis on recycling rather than people adopting something new. I say this from a developing world viewpoint which still constitutes a major chunk of the world population.

    • Yaara

      I agree. Environmental concerns may also eventually lead to someone inventing a non-electronic substitute which is less harmful to the environment.

  • Joel Lee

    I don’t think paper will ever fully transition out of use. There may come a time when it’s no longer used for bills and books, but paper will always be needed for records–especially sensitive records.

    In order for a paper record to be lost, it has to be physically destroyed (fire, shredded, etc.). Electronics can crash–server hard drives can fail (even with RAID and other precautions). Plus, network encryption is never 100% failsafe.

    I foresee paper becoming a niche market, but still a very important market nonetheless.

    • Yaara

      That’s an interesting analysis. I wonder if the future doesn’t lie in some form on physical yet electronic media.

  • gpvprasad

    All will not have power/electricity 24/7 not even 8/7, Hence paper is needed.

    • Yaara

      That’s an interesting thought. But who knows, e-ink devices already don’t require much electricity at all, all they have to do is invent one you can write on.

    • gpvprasad

      May be but cost or e-ink device will also matter

    • Yaara

      True, but who knows, maybe they will become as cheap and common as paper. Hard to believe, though. Maybe in 100 years.

    • Anonymous

      Very unlikely that there will be a cost comparison that is favourable to electronic devices, and such devices will never win the battle of simplicity.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.