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I, Cringely - The Survival of the Nerdiest with Robert X. Cringely
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Predictions
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BOB Predictions
Read and vote on all of Bob's 2008 predictions below. Be sure to check back for updates...you can even change your confidence vote as new information comes in! How often is Bob really right? Check Bob's Batting Average in the archive.
#26
OUTCOME: Pending

My last prediction for 2009 has to do with venture capital. While investments in technology will continue, the really smart VCs will realize there is a much better and more certain way to make a ton of money in the short term: start a bank. Look for the rebirth of community banks, in this case backed by VCs. Work with me on this one. There is no credit available because the big banks won't lend...more >>>
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#25
OUTCOME: Pending

If Microsoft and Google are down then what's up? Apple! This could play out a number of ways. Apple will certainly continue to grow its Macintosh market share. iPod growth may be softening but the iPhone will make up for that. Still, faced with Android I think Apple will drive its content business through an acquisition in the cheap-or-free networking space (remember it was Apple that came up with WiFi in the first place) to...more >>>
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#24
OUTCOME: Pending

Not only will Microsoft peak, Google will, too! Oh Google will continue to grow for another decade or more, but as a technology leader Android is probably the peak. The company is too fat and happy to be a technical leader for much longer. It's still a good investment, though.more >>>
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#23
OUTCOME: Pending

The catalyst for Microsoft's decline will be when the world's most influential IT analyst, Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, writes sometime this spring that he can no longer see any reason to own Microsoft products. He could have written that story a year ago but it is taking Mossberg time to get up his nerve, but he eventually will.more >>>
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#22
OUTCOME: Pending

By this I don't mean the company's shares will reach a peak value by any means, but its aggregate peak of wealth and influence will be reached and everything will be slowly downhill from here, accelerated primarily by the efforts of Apple. Microsoft hasn't been able to find a franchise to replace the PC. Games are big but not profitable enough. Mobile is too crowded. Content they simply aren't good at. That leaves Enterprise and...more >>>
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#21
OUTCOME: Pending

The next Yahoo CEO will dismember the company and sell it piecemeal, made possible by the fact that only the Internet companies have much real cash. The Yahoo name will survive but the company will not.more >>>
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#20
OUTCOME: Pending

Death of daily newspapers will accelerate and many papers will fail outright. When the Detroit Free Press announces it is ending home delivery on most days as they are expected to, well that's it. I thought this process would take longer but it is likely that half the daily newspapers in America will be gone in three years.more >>>
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#19
OUTCOME: Pending

Intel will continue to dominate while AMD slowly suffers, but I don't see AMD being acquired in 2009.more >>>
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#18
OUTCOME: Pending

IT layoffs are going to happen, putting tens of thousands of technical people on the streets, yet STILL the big employers will be pushing for unlimited H1B visas to bring in technical people from South Asia. This mean-spirited and blatant age discrimination might be successful, too, unless the Obama administration does the right thing.more >>>
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#17
OUTCOME: Pending

This one isn't what you'd expect. In 2009 there will be several HUGE cyber thefts as well as companies admitting huge cyber thefts that happened in previous years but were kept secret. The former will happen because the security infrastructure on the Internet is more fragile than ever while the latter will happen because companies -- especially banks -- will want to get every write-off they can while the news is so generally bleak. Who...more >>>
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#16
OUTCOME: Pending

The good news is that most recessions mean new IT platforms. The minicomputer hit its stride in the early '70s recession, the PC in the early '80s recession, client-server computing in the early '90s recession (notice these things happen every 10 years or so?), the Internet in the 2001 recession, and now we're about to see mobile take over in an even bigger way. Desktops will survive but most of the growth will be in...more >>>
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#15
OUTCOME: No Way!

Season 2 of NerdTV will finally premiere.more >>>
Status: [CLOSED] comments (13) | related links (0)
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#14
OUTCOME: No Way!

I still see Apple dumping Akamai for a Google-based content distribution network.more >>>
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#13
OUTCOME: No Way!

Apple will build into some Macs support for the Windows API, allowing Mac and Windows apps to run side by side with no need for virtualization software except to run Linux. This fits with Apple's surprising new role as a competitor to HP and Dell for the business workstation market. But what's REALLY surprising about this is it will all be with the permission of Microsoft, which will still get a license fee from Apple...more >>>
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#12
OUTCOME: No Way!

Along the same lines look for OS X to bifurcate clearly into two lines -- Mac OS X and plain OS X (for devices like the iPhone) with Apple licensing (non-Mac) OS X to a few companies, including Sony.more >>>
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#11
OUTCOME: No Way!

Apple will introduce a subnotebook/tablet computer/media player.more >>>
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#10
OUTCOME: Right On!

I know the CEO of AT&T already blurted this out, but I had it first so it goes on my list.more >>>
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#9
OUTCOME: Right On!

As part of its transition from a PC company to a consumer electronics and content company, Apple will introduce -- and trumpet in a huge media show -- its replacement for the mouse. Really.more >>>
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#8
OUTCOME: No Way!

Not only will Bill Gates be retiring from Microsoft in 2008, CEO Steve Ballmer will, too. No word yet on his successor.more >>>
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#7
OUTCOME: No Way!

Microsoft will indefinitely extend the life of Windows XP, acknowledging the failure of Windows Vista, which will require another generation of hardware (and another $5 billion in R&D) to finally look good three years from now.more >>>
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#6
OUTCOME: No Way!

IBM will have several quarters of bad earnings, will try to sell Global Services to private equity firms who don't really want it, then end up financing the transaction itself to save Sam Palmisano's job.more >>>
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#5
OUTCOME: No Way!

Google will bid billions and win the upcoming 700-MHz wireless spectrum auction, which is an auction for frequencies that are actually much more useful for a voice network than for a data network. Then Google will impose its open access rules on the frequencies before either TRADING them to Sprint or simply ACQUIRING Sprint to get that company's WiMax licenses, which are what Google really wanted all along.more >>>
Status: [CLOSED] comments (1) | related links (0)
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#4
OUTCOME: No Way!

Venture capitalists will become disillusioned with their investments in technology companies that make all their revenue from advertisements. It's not that these companies will fail, they just won't make enough profit to justify their insane valuations. Think Facebook.more >>>
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#3
OUTCOME: No Way!

Cisco will acquire Macrovision, though what they'll do with TV Guide I can't imagine.more >>>
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#2
OUTCOME: Right On!

The DTV conversion, where U.S. analog broadcast television stations are turned off in February 2009 and we all have to switch to digital TVs or to cable or satellite or buy those DTV converter boxes, well this whole conversion thing is going to be an absolute disaster. I don't expect technical problems at all, but the public won't understand it, the government will blow it, and at the last moment some politicians will even try...more >>>
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#1
OUTCOME: Right On!

The personal computer will decline (or continue its decline) as our key IT platform, replaced slowly by Internet-centric devices of all kinds from phones to TVs to PDAs. Everything will BE a PC of course, but we won't call them that.more >>>
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