Maybe Bill Gates needs to burnish his legacy a bit with the kids. A survey released this week asked 1,010 young adults between the ages of 16 to 25 to name the greatest innovators of all time.

Thomas Edison, the “Wizard of Menlo Park” who developed the electric light bulb and motion picture camera, got the majority of the vote. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs came in second, followed by Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie and Mark Zuckerberg, according to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index.

The inclusion of Jobs on the list isn’t surprising, especially since 40 percent of the respondents to an accompanying survey said they couldn’t live without their smartphones or tablet computers.

But the youngsters obviously don’t feel the same way about their Windows machines and Bill Gates who led the PC revolution throughout the 80s and 90s.

Now, arguments could be made on whether Gates’ innovation came more on the business end of things rather than the technology front, making key moves to purchase software that formed the basis of Microsoft.

However, the results of the Lemelson-MIT survey are pretty fascinating, especially given the emergence of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Of course, Facebook likely has transformed the lives of 16-to-25 year-olds more than most technology products, including those Windows-based computers sitting on desktops. That said, aren’t these the same folks that likely have an Xbox sitting under their TV?

[Hat tip to Mashable]

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  • Ron

    This isn’t surprising. Look at the survey group. Either you grew up with the technology hence you knew who you believed are the recent day innovators (ex. Jobs=iPod/iPhone and Zuck=Facebook) or are taught things wrt history (basics like who invented the light bulb, telephone) but I’m not sure if there has been much taught wrt Gates=Microsoft/PC in history. Be interesting to rerun the survey for those 30+

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Steve, Mark, and Bill on their legacies of innovation!

  • Nikola

    Nikola Tesla should be up there..

  • Sonyawiley1

    That was rude he might be annoying without questions he’s one of the greatest of all time and that’s a fact and the american people should denounce that snub.
    The Liberty   

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    LOL. Zuckerberg is a tool who was in the right place at the right time. Gates is definitely a more important innovator though I would not place him on the same plane as the tragically neglected Nikola Tesla. 

    • Guest

      LOL! I agree. Tesla is a great innovator who has been sadly overlooked. I mean, seriously, how does Temple Grandin rank more highly than Tesla?! Other than that they can both be portrayed by David Bowie in a film, the two are not even on the same plane.

  • Eliud Ortiz

    Where’s Tesla? And our good friend, the great and powerful Woz? Turing? Ritchie and the folks at Bell Labs? Ford? Wright Bros. ? Am I missing something here?

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