I ran about 50/50 with last year’s technology predictions. Some were fairly safe, some a little more “out there”. Here’s my thoughts for what’s on the docket for 2009…
- Microsoft opens the Xbox 360 platform even further, enables an “app store for the home” that spans well beyond games.
- Blu-ray sputters along, but not enough conclusive evidence (in other words, revenue) happens to either shut down the format altogether, nor to get consumers to adopt it.
- As the FCC-mandated digital TV transition approaches, the hype machine reaches full effect and very convincing pieces try to show the plight of the very few. After it’s all over, virtually nobody complains loudly.
- One or both of Home Automation and/or Interactive TV returns to prominence in techie chatter, but neither make any additional inroads into actual homes.
- Pasting from 2008 predictions: Google launches “Android for Set-Top Boxes” but gains little traction in the foreseeable future.
- Netbook sales grow well, but not astoundingly so. The majority of users ignore them due to a lack of actual value present in the device (especially those of us with big grubby fingers).
- One PC maker emerges from the trenches with a really well-designed laptop with great Vista drivers that actually can stand up against a Macbook enough to make people take notice.
- A Linux-based computer powered with a really great GUI and OpenOffice comes to market from an established brand.
- USB 3.0 launches, causing massive annoyance and confusion to consumers. I still can’t believe they didn’t give it a different name than USB. Terrible decision.
- More lousy wannabe touchscreen phones ship, none compete 1:1 with the iPhone.
- A really good GPS+phone combo device comes to market.
- The BlackBerry Storm is rapidly replaced with some better device from RIM.
- Mobile commerce replaces location-based services as the hot mobile trend.
- US cellular companies wage a price war, making several features (ahem, texting?) cheaper, along with better priced packages across the board.
- No truly impressive Android phones ship from anyone.
- CES 2009 is notably smaller than 2008, yet the important stuff that goes on at the show is business as usual. It’s all the fringe people who are absent, and the same who complain about the lack of cool new stuff at CES. Which won’t be a surprise due to the rarity of cool new stuff actually shown at CES!
- Macworld is just the first of many shows to also announce downsizing, including Streaming Media, Web 2.0 Expo, etc. 2009 will be a bad year for the tech conference industry.
- Apple introduces only evolutionary products, nothing astounding or revolutionary. Let’s face it, sooner or later the well runs dry, and this is the time for the company to expand its market. Yes, we’ll get a new phone, laptop, and ipod, but I doubt we see anything as profound as in the past 2 years.
- A largish black monolith with dimensions 1 by 4 by 9 is discovered.
- Facebook reaches a user base of 200 hundred million users. It’s growth ratethen slows and the alarm bells sound loudly throughout the media, regardless of actual success metrics.
- Twitter finally announces its business model, which underwhelms everyone. Not that it won’t be a good model, just that it will have been (wow is that passive voice or what?) built up with far more hype than can possibly be delivered.
- Many “web 2.0” companies face major shrinkage as the funds simply don’t come back to them again. Companies with huge traffic bases or, more importantly, solid revenue models will be fine, but the rest start fading away (and they take their weird names with them)
- Several “prominent” blogs/bloggers retire due to a lack of revenue, exhaustion, lack of interesting new content to write about, etc.
- Web 3.0 does not arrive.
That’s all I can really muster up for 2009, guess I’m having clairvoyance block. Regardless, I’m pretty excited for the year. Have the new house coming. A little family expansion planned for Q1. Oh, and I’ll be involved with some other cool new startups. But I guess that’s getting to be par for the course, eh? I sincerely can’t wait to tell y’all about one of them, it’s my own little brainchild in fact. All in due time, though, all in due time.