Bill Gates says advances in technology and changes in attitude will see the next ten years become the 'first true digital decade'.
Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas the Microsoft chairman and cofounder said that over the last five years digital technology had become "central" to everyday life.
Citing the expansion of Windows-enabled PCs and the ubiquity of mobile phones, he explained: "Since I first started talking about the digital decade in 2001, the speed with which digital technology has become central to the way we work, learn and play has been amazing.
"But in many ways, we are at the very beginning of the transformation that software will enable. During the next digital decade, technology will make our lives richer, more connected, more productive and more fulfilling in profound and exciting ways."
Delivering his final CES keynote address before moving to a more withdrawn role at Microsoft later this year, Mr Gates said that Windows Vista had confounded its critics to sell more than 100 million licences.
He claimed that this success was the latest stage of a 25-year period where Windows had "unlocked the power of personal computing".
"Now we are expanding Windows to go where you want to go and do what you want to do on PCs, the web and mobile devices," Mr Gates continued.
"The result is connected experiences that extend across people's lives, interests and communities, at home and at work."
Microsoft used this year's CES to announce new partnerships with Disney-ABC, NBC Universal and MGM.
The deal with NBC will see the creation of NBCOlympics.com on MSN, which will become the official online home of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the United States.
And a new initiative with Disney and MGM will bring TV programmes such as Lost; Grey's Anatomy; and Ugly Betty, as well as films including Rocky; Terminator; and Silence of the Lambs, to the Xbox Live download service.