In 2003, Bill Gates pooh-poohed the threat of the then-burgeoning search company, telling his staff:
"These Google guys, they want to be billionaires and rock stars and go to conferences and all that. Let us see if they still want to run the business in two to three years."
In an interview with Fortune that same year, Gates called Google "so cool that you just can't even deal with it" -- suggesting, as the story's author put it, that Google was "nothing more than the latest fad."
6. Android's irrelevant, and the iPhone is doomed to fail.
Why stop with the Web? Microsoft execs have made plenty of now-silly-sounding statements on the subject of smartphones, too.
At an investor's event in 2008, Steve Ballmer broadly dismissed the threat of Android, saying he didn't "understand [its] strategy" and going on to proclaim:
"Google doesn't exactly bubble to the top of the list of the top competitors we've got going in mobile."
That same year, Ballmer is credited with announcing: "Google's not a real company. It's a house of cards."
And as for that other little smartphone -- you know, the one with the lowercase "i" -- it was apparently no cause for concern, either.
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance," Ballmer told USA Today in 2007.
Also, Clippy is going to save the world, and Microsoft Bob will one day be recognized as the most underrated product of all time. You heard it here first.