Prognostications for 2010: The phoenix of predictions

Back in 2007 I made some pretty significant predictions.  I would like to say that making predictions is not nearly as hard as you would think. The way technology is adapted is pretty straight forward. So to recap this is the 2007 predictions and status.

  1. A backlash against outsourcing? I wasn’t right about rural sourcing yet, but with the way things in the economy have gone all outsourcing appears to have gone downhill. The legal impediments to outsourcing has increased the slow down even if the entirety of the legal remedies haven’t been taken. The international community continues to press on which means this particular prediction is a near miss.
  2. Convergence will continue at the device layer. Since 2007, can anybody argue that convergence devices have not exploded onto the market place? Enthusiasm for the iPhone and the Android operating system mean this space will continue to grow. A total hit (on target, superior, sustained, fire power) the converged device was heralded by the iPhone replacing almost all devices. The Android based phones are rapidly following.  There is more to come in the space that comes later.
  3. Vista won’t be a bust but people won’t jump on it? Well of course this is also a big hit. Not until service pack 2 would most people in the Enterprise adopt Vista willingly and even then hardly anybody did. Whether entropy, sloth, or systemic perturbation Vista is the Windows ME with many people still on XP (and a few luddites still Windows 2000, you know who you are) Microsoft delivered a dawg. What about Windows 7? Later.
  4. Voting machines? Black box voting and other have covered that. It was pretty easy to know that Diebold and others were going to have problems. The rapid adoption of voting machines was virtually halted. Another hit? Not really the story was over when I wrote the original blog post.

So, what about the future? I figure I have about a seventy percent accuracy rate which would make me money gambling and a heck of a baseball player. What though is in the future?

  1. Netbooks are a transition device. The netbook is the first major commodity-computing platform that is literally cheap enough to throw away when it fails or has issues. The Netbook represents a transition device. As it is cheap enough to throw away they can be the cloud computing edge device, the subsciption based computing device, the e-reader, or lead to a all in one converged device with all of those attributes. As long as netbooks exist and are selling they represent cheap transition technology. The risk is some of what we see happening. Bigger screens, more memory, larger hard drives and the amount of data held on them along with the data risks will climb. In other words if netbook prices climb too much they will cede their position to another transition technology. This may have already happened if the commodity tablet enters the market place. ModBooks and Kindles are either to expensive or to limited functionally to fill that niche. It is likely the suggested Apple tablet will be in the former category. The sales tactics used with the Apple iPhone (steep prices for early adopters) may slow adoption though.
  2. Cloud computing as silly as the term will continue to ascend. I know “DUH!” Whether wrapped up software as a service, distributed computing as a platform, or virtual guest operating systems the product will continue to sell. Virtualized services have to many benefits not to be implemented in various ways. Some things to watch for though are security concerns as previously identified by the HoneyNet project.  Exploit tools have been created to detect HoneNets that could be considered dual use against virtualized hosts. There already has been some exploits based on the virtualization system in use. This could be the fatal flaw for cloud computing but the cost-benefit for securing with physical systems seems like it will be ignored. Though that seems to be the direction the federal government would have companies lean. All of that said what does cloud computing and the rise of that model mean to a company like Microsoft. Microsoft Azure represents a product, but the Office and Windows products lines for the personal computer represent their largest profit product lines. I would think and suggest that Microsoft will be coming out with a cloud operating system using something similar to Google Apps but with all of the same feel and functionality of Windows and Office. Look for the newer better version.
  3. Whether it be Orkut, MySpace, Friendster, or Facebook there is one truism about the realm of social media. Migration. Like a phoenix the latest greatest thing rises from the previous latest greatest thing. Twitter is getting pretty big for it’s britches, Facebook is having social growing pains, eBay is so last year and failed in the social paradigm leaving a lot of refuse behind. Each one of the social media sites are easily defined by the communication paradigms they pattern after. One thing they all have in common is asynchronous communication. Like the telegraph, letter, email each one of the current social media sites have more to do with bulletin board systems of the 1980s than they do with the “future cybergasm”. ICQ, instant messenger and VOIP represent transactional communication. Chat rooms are to paraphrase my college step-daughter “so yesterday.”  However, that is the direction that social media sites are going to have to move. The next super site is going to need real time updating with a shared community. I’m imagining something that allows links and browsing to be shared in real time. Imagine the information fire hose. Then imagine the collaborative community aspects. Yes some of this exists in meeting software and ICQ type software. That is the nature of the Internet. Stuff rises from previous ideas.
  4. Security will be exactly where it started. Since the 1970s we haven’t moved very far forward and I really doubt we are going anywhere fast.  Ok, I cheated. This has been true for nearly 40 years so can I really go wrong?

That’s it for this year let’s see where we end up in 2011. Until then, good luck, enjoy the rest of the year. There are a lot of great things in technology on the horizon.

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