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I, Cringely - The Survival of the Nerdiest with Robert X. Cringely
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The Pulpit
Pulpit Comments
Status: [CLOSED]

You'd might as well mark 4) as true. The Grammy Awards are set up to benefit the entrenched powers-that-be in the music industry (even more so than the Adademy Awards or Emmys). We'll see an Internet ASCAP fee long before we ever see an Internet-only artist win a Grammy.

6) is just plain wrong. Sony never had a blue diode problem and isn't going to have a Cell problem, because demand isn't taxing their supply as it is. The early shortages were due to shopping-line speculators, many of whom got burned when the eBay price for PS3s tanked. The reason: no games, at least none that would compel gamers to pony up $500 or $600 for the console. There's a huge shortage of compelling games over the next three months too, with MotorStorm being the notable exception.

Sony will eventually come back as the game drought subsides. You have to pay a lot for a PS3, but you get a lot too. Sony will just have to get used to playing second fiddle to Microsoft for the next five years (or even third fiddle, if the Wii continues to outperform expectations).

ploeg | Jan 06, 2007 | 12:36AM

Oh, I have so been waiting for this!

I've been putting off buying a new TV in anticipation of the Mac TV but if it doesn't turn up this January, I'm gonna have to go ahead all the same.

blr bytes | Jan 06, 2007 | 12:54AM

I sure hope you are right about the MacTVs, but I don't see why they would need to put a Mini inside (that would make it a large iMac anyway). No one wants to have ship their huge TV back for repairs because the built in DVD drive died.

So far as Sony -- if it is in such bad shape, does that mean that Blu-ray will be put out of its misery, with HD-DVD winning?

Ted T. | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:00AM

The 360's library is too myopic. Really unhealthy. They need games like Blue Dragon and 99 Nights. They don't have to be great games, just satisfying games. Would it kill them to put a turn based battle game in there? Or a side scrolling Castlevania? That's why Dead Rising was successful at first and then sold nothing afterward. Only Blue Dragon and Gears of War could seduce ppl into buying the system.

PS 2 was great because of the myriad of genres. It had good titles for every genre. Some were even downright excellent.

But if you think developers are just going to jump ship to Xbox 360, you're crazy. Assassin's Creed, sure, that's Ubisoft. French are loyal to no one. But Japanese developers were born and reared on Nintendo. If there is an exodus of Japanese Playstation gamedevs, then be sure that they are headed straight for the Wii. And that my friend, seal's the deal. Unless Nintendo does something stupid with their console, like individual Friend Codes for games.

R. Dun | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:13AM

I think I'd add that there's the very good possbility of (and dear god I hate to use the term, but...) Web 3.0 very near the end of next year. The reasons being:

- Web 2.0 momentum is somewhat stale

- property investments are also somewhat stale in large cities (and people want to dump their money somewhere)

- all of the sudden everyone will remember that innovative shopping on the web seemed like a great idea in the 90's and what better time to take a stab at it again, than right before the holiday season with some upstart or new method of shopping trying to take down Amazon.

- Internet Explorer 7 will command more than 50% market share in browsers and we'll finally get to stop developing hacks or wasting development time trying to get something to work in Explorer 6 that works in Firefox, Safari, and even Opera just fine.


That's my rational for a 3.0, but maybe it will be a 2.5 or called something entirely different.

hudin | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:25AM

I'll buy a Zune, only because it rhymes with June and that stands for ME. Maybe if MS changes the name to June, bunches of Junes from all over the world will buy them.Can you feel the market power?

june dilevsky | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:27AM

My major tech prediction for '07:

GNU/Linux continues its semi-underground status without a major takeover of anyone. However major developers realise that their *own* version of Linux is basically the same as everyone elses, and they start to work as a combined unit. Start.

BSD dies a slow death.

I agree with R. Dun. Loyalty to games consoles is an amazing factor. People waiting for the PS3 have good reasons to wait for another few months to get their hands on it (unlike those for Vista).

The Wii becomes the best selling games console.

Edwin | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:28AM

GNU/Linux continues its semi-underground status without a major takeover of anyone. And...nothing. Linux still fails to make gains in anyplace other than the server room. Some Linux distros gain mindshare, others fade away.

Some BSD variants lose users, while others gain markedly in strength. OpenBSD is adopted/adapted/something by a Big Company and goes mainstream. Like Cisco-level mainstream. Oops, did I mention Cisco...? My bad. Oh and Apple remains very pleased with its own implementation of *BSD...

See? Any kind of fanboy can play that game. But it's a losing one as Windows Vista will be the only true game in town, alas. The baaing of the sheep is deafening. I'm surprised you didn't hear it. :(

Blad de Balh | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:19AM

My major prediction for 2007 is that computers will get faster, TVs will get larger, video games will have more polygons added, and OS X 10.5 will have some surprising features that compel me to get a job and buy a new machine so I can run it properly.

Gregory Scott | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:20AM

I predict that one of George Bush Senior's former CIA black ops guys will spill the beans on Operation 9/11 and GWB, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and a bunch of others will get an all-expenses-paid trip to The Hague in order to answer a couple of tricky questions.

Nah, just kidding. Anybody who could really spill the beans is either beyond immunity or already dead, so the worst-kept-secret of the last 100 years or so shall remain uninvestigated.

I_Own_Google | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:33AM

I'm confused, what exactly was the bad news for Sun this year? I must have missed it.

Islo | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:38AM

So far as Sony -- if it is in such bad shape, does that mean that Blu-ray will be put out of its misery, with HD-DVD winning?

The PS3 tanks on release, and you're still talking about 400,000 Blu-ray players out there right now, all of which have HDMI connectors. And it seems likely that a high percentage of the people who bought the PS3 are interested in its Blu-ray capability, particularly when you consider the game drought. Microsoft sold 45,000 HD-DVD add-ons in November, so let's guesstimate 90,000 for them at this point. HD-DVD has the price edge, and HD-DVD customers are buying more discs (because they have more money to spend after getting the equipment). On the other side, Sony has demonstrated that it can make up lost ground in a hurry, and they will, once they get some PS3 games released. So it seems like this is going to go on for awhile.

As for Microsoft, they have stated categorically that no future 360 will have an integrated HD-DVD drive. Microsoft wants Blu-ray to lose, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft wants to spend much effort to make HD-DVD win. Microsoft's vision is for you to download video onto your brand new Vista computer and play it on your TV using the 360 media extension feature. A 360 with an integrated HD-DVD drive and a nice fat hard drive would tend to depress Vista sales, which is why Microsoft won't give you those things on your 360 unless they are absolutely forced to do so.

ploeg | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:56AM

I wonder why you didn't mention that Apple and Sun will team up some way or another, given that Apple's website hint a sun behind the Apple...

Stefaan Huysentruyt | Jan 06, 2007 | 3:54AM

15) Google's Grand Plan: the Google Omniscient Device, or GOD

Geoff | Jan 06, 2007 | 3:54AM

Many of the current high profile "social" sites are fashion driven and can fall as quickly as they rise.

We see the same effect in "theme pubs" that last about a year and then get expensively re-themed.

I predict that one of the major social web sites will crash and burn in the next 12 months.

Geoff Lane | Jan 06, 2007 | 3:57AM

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates will form a very well funded non-profit alternate energy skunk works.

Oh, and Apple FTFF.

John | Jan 06, 2007 | 4:24AM

Here is what you said about Media Center last year: "Embedded devices will hurt Media Center PC sales, which will continue to be pitiful."

Media Center sales hit 10 million in May and then doubled five months later to 20 million in October:

How is that, "pitiful"?

Erick | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:29AM

So is number 7 a prediction?

You are predicting that Howard Stringer will be ousted or just doubling the bet on prediction 6?

alan skea | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:35AM

"but they took 53 weeks to do so, making me off by seven days."

Unfortunately, life is all about timing... And some believe that the entire universe was created in the time that you were off by...:-)

"Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is how accidents happen" - bad timing.. Fortunes are won & lost based on timing.

Bill | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:36AM

For whatever reason Media Center is now being sold by Dell et al as the new version of XP Home edition.

Of those 10 million sales from May to October 9.9m of those will be for home pc userage (with a optional front end they won't need to know about or use).

Ben Thompson | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:41AM

More on Apple: they will surprise the world (specially flat panel manufacturers) with the video-experience-3.0: the first mini HD-projector with instant on/off switching, plus broadband connection thru the powerline, ipod dock (for karaoke sessions) and OSX powered :)

Yes, I want to trash my TV...but only for something really superior!

PS: br and p may be not necessary? line breaks are not rendering on comment preview...or even remove the clarification and just replace br and p tags before storing the comment

Pitoniso | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:48AM

Why does everyone assume apple will change the tv and cell phone world? All they've ever done is slap existing tech into a shiny case and make it "cool".

Craig | Jan 06, 2007 | 6:31AM

All they've ever done is slap existing tech into a shiny case and make it "cool".

You can't be talking about the hardware company that makes better software than the software company (MS)...

Or the hardware company that makes better devices than the CE guys (Sony)..

Or the hardware company that gets copied left right and center on hardware design (VAIO)

What the hell are you referring to...?

mike | Jan 06, 2007 | 6:46AM

1)Disney, through machinations of chief shareholder Steve Jobs, will acquire and streamline and re-purpose Sony. This will happen in more than a year, probably by Summer '08.
2)SonyMusic/BMG management and labor force will be purged from top to bottom. Fewer releases are on discs of any kind. Most back catalogue, remasters and re-releases will be available as digital download only - expect by Christmas '07)
3)SCO will finally implode but who cares?
4)Steve Ballmer and many others at Microsoft will be purged by new thoughtful purposeful focused yet ruthless regime - motto:subdivide and conquer.
5)The new AT&T and other telecoms will be attacked
for but totally legal abuses of power by clueless muttonheads in press regarding distribution of bandwidth - meanwhile Google is silently building it's own mirror of the Internet that runs on speeds that is like comparing the old pipes of current system to straws while Google's internet pipes are like twenty eight lane highways
6)OpenOffice, not Microsoft Office, will be seriously challeged by Google's online apps, which will include a simple but effective slideshow by end of Summer 07.
7)Ubuntu's Shuttleworth and Novell will each drop serious cash on Madison Avenue for campaign's promoting each brand's flavor of Linux desktop. Ironically, desktop OS'es will mean less and less as the network becomes the new OS.
8)More OLPCs turn up in developed world than in Third World - eventually sold for a profit at USD199.99 - becomes vehicle disrupting Microsoft's dominance of desktop in the Western world.
9)IBM and Red Hat sues Microsoft in a foot dragging trial that paralells the SCO vs IBM case.
10)Red atand Novell scoop up remains of SCO.

Kevin Kunreuther | Jan 06, 2007 | 7:05AM

New or Old, the religion a CEO follows has foundations in outsourcing or offshoring - so you will be wrong by the end of the year :-)

Chetan | Jan 06, 2007 | 7:09AM

SONY needs to bring in an outsider. Someone with a fresh perspective, capable of doing things in a way no insider at SONY could possibly conceive. In other words, someone who doesn't treat their customers like crap.


PS. Bob is that AJAX displaying the comment preview in real-time, as I type it? It's *damned* creepy! :-o

Beeje | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:07AM

Could you include Kevin Kunreuther's interesting predictions in next year's scorecard? And if he bats better than R. Cringley, let him write next year's predictions column for a change :-)


David Emery | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:16AM

16) Slashdot will remain an obscure form of infotainment

Re 4) What would count as recognition? There was Gnarls Barkey this summer, but I suppose an equivalent this summer wouldn't win any awards either.

Henrik | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:24AM

Sun troubles? I think your bias is showing here for Sun had a stellar year re stock price and also as they moved forward with their plan to turn the company around. Sun's share price will continue to OUTPERFORM for the coming year and it might be time for you to look well beyond these borders to not just see but understand how sun will benefit from the consortiums now being undertaken. You were wrong long ago re APPLE because you did NOT understand outside the boundaris of USA relationships and you are wrong re sun now. IMHO

John DiAnni | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:37AM


you remind me of a paraphrase of a verse from The Qu'ran...

'...when does God laugh? When He hears your future plans...'

Or something to that effect, 19 times out of 20.

HiMY SYeD | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:38AM

10) Video overwhelms the net...

I don't buy it. This is a self-correcting problem for several reasons. Video is not mature on the net. People are putting longer interviews and such on the net (plug, but what is watched most is short entertainment items for a few minutes. Not live feeds and not 60 minute "shows". Since it is buffered locally, if it starts taking longer to download then people will do what we did a few years ago; download and then watch. Or let it buffer for 60 seconds and then watch. Or become more selective about what they watch.

Other than us geeks, I think the majority of viewers are sub-30, and few will listen to their complaints anyway. This will become a story when people with political and financial clout start complaining about it; meaning post-40 year olds. That doesn't mean it will take ten years, it means the use of online video must penetrate that market in significant numbers before shortcomings will get any ink. And for video they sit in front of a TV; and the shows they like (today at least) are professionally produced escapist fare or professionally produced news.

People's viewing preferences don't change easily. My wife and I watch a dozen shows regularly, and even though the mix changes every season they are all still professionally produced. You will not find a "Heroes" or "Battlestar Galactica" quality show as a net-only show anytime in the next five years. I doubt in the next three we could even download old episodes from the net to our TiVo.

And I have not forgotten that video traffic will impact on business traffic, so businesses might complain, and they do have clout. But I seriously doubt that, in 2008, you will be able to point at any national print article or broadcast (not counting internet stories) about how the net is crashing under the weight of video. I don't think this is a story in 2007.

Tony Castaldo | Jan 06, 2007 | 9:14AM

I'm disappointed Bob,
I expected a prediction for 2007 along the lines of "a major fault will open up and swallow Sun Micro dooming them forever....."
(and then in jan 2008 when their stock is at 15 and they continue to gain market share you could claim you were right with no explanation again)

Someone from Sun must have done you wrong in the past, I don't understand why you seem to hate that company so much. What was the bad news for Sun this past year?

Otherwise the predictions are entertaining/interesting as always.

mark | Jan 06, 2007 | 9:53AM

16) Bob realises Maclaren make baby buggies and it's McLaren who make the automotive equivalent of sex on the beach with $HOT_CELEB_DU_JOUR, claims it was a subtle dig at the child-like ways of VCs, decides Scottish name prefix market ripe for consolidation.

mollymoo | Jan 06, 2007 | 9:53AM

I dunno, Bob, I think you're missing a couple of huge stories in 2007, and one of them will be that Vista is losing MS market share and mind share. This is the year Linux hits the desktop in a big way.

Simultaneously I'm pessimistic about MS specific products competing with OS X. Non-PC types are already leaving in droves for things like ichat, iphoto, and imovie. As OS X matures and begins offering more of what even the PC types want as well, MS will lose marketshare there, as well.

My prediction is just a bad year for MS. They will fail to do anything right this year.


rhY | Jan 06, 2007 | 9:54AM

14. Please say this means that they will wise up (or perhaps their boards will wise up, oust the CEO's) and realize that outsourceing, off shoring, or the newest weasel term Global Sourcing, doesn't work, doesn't benefit the company, and doesn't raise the value of the stock.

Our Company is stuck with upper management (And I think it comes from the most upper of all) that seesm to think that this is going to work.

The IT department is getting ripped apart bit by bit. They have already taken a world class internal helpdesk and blown that apart. Who's next!

Famous Formula Company | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:02AM

Bob - Why all the annual doom -n- gloom? Seems to me you focus more on anticipated failures than successes. Is there no innovative technology on your horizon?

The general economy, and the tech sector, are doing well. Lighten up.

Or, go low tech and dust off the cover of this classic:

Tim D | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:04AM

"This is the year Linux hits the desktop in a big way"

Yeah, heard this 5 years ago. OSS will continue to promise and fail to deliver, simply because the OSS crowd started fractured and misaligned. Heh, Microsoft is just starting to go that route. The OSS scene is good for making a lot of motivating-sounding noises, but again, they're still fighting about which is better: Gnome or KDE. Whatever.

Maxamoto | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:32AM

Yes this will be the year of Linux and Apple OS gaining hordes of converts... are you effing high?

There is no way that MS will lose any market share over Vista... the only way that can possibly happen if the likes of Dell, HP or Gateway stop preloading Windows on to their PCs and start putting Linux or just stop selling PCs. In any other case, MS will probably gain market share.

And please, Apple is not gaining on MS in any way. I'll be amazed if they can actually increase their market share from 2.3% to 3%.

alex2 | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:38AM

Bob, I think you are being a bit harsh on yourself for calling 2 a miss. You said that OSX would run on generic Intel hardware but Apple wouldn't support it. You then go on to say that OSX runs on generic Intel hardware. Seems like a TRUE to me.

Apple is rather smart by NOT supporting generic Intel hardware. By only supporting their own boxes they can call the (i)tunes in terms of peripheral support, thus eliminating the madness that is windows driver hell. After all, doesn't MS claim that many causes of BSoD is the result of buggy drivers from third parties?

Greg | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:53AM

For #14 about offshoring, I don't get it: is the tide turning *in favor* of *more* offshoring, or is the tide turning *against* offshoring and the old CEOs were idiots for adopting it?

Chris D. | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:56AM


You didn't really elaborate on why MS will rescue Sony from going under due to patent issues. What patent issues are you speaking of?



Shplad | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:03AM

5) AMD and Intel continue to beat the crap out of each other with customers gaining but wondering why there is no software that supports those new 8-way processors, as both compilers and third-party developers fail to keep up.

That's... already proven false in part. The Cell is 8-way already. IBM already publishes an "octocompiler" for it, and GCC gained support for it in version 4.3. Linux already supports the Cell -- boot Gentoo Linux on it, an you'll see two penguins with six smaller "SPU" penguins on boot. Plus, with those 16-way Xeon SMP systems that Linux supports natively, this prediciton's dead before it got out the gate.

STrRedWolf | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:08AM

Be interesting to see how this pans out, I think you're spot on the apple predictions, but perhaps a bit off with multiprocessor predictions. Although you may be right that they wont gain popularity until 2008-2009.

shadus | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:20AM


Apple is rather smart by NOT supporting generic Intel hardware. By only supporting their own boxes..snip

By only supporting their own boxes? You make it sound like there's some kind of dastardly plan. Apple is a hardware company, why the hell should they support generic intel boxes?

Ray | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:26AM

#10 is completely wrong. You must be listening (or worse, believeing) the likes of Old politicians in congress. Get a clue how networks work and you'd realize there is more raw power and untapped capacity than you can imagine.

If anything, you'll see the weakness in one lazy ISP and the quality in another unlazy ISP.

Also despite the "popularity" of YouTube, etc., this isn't a mass market product yet. There just aren't enough customers to for those video services to "break" the ISPs. Also lookup how much dark fibre google owns. You want a better goes into the high-level network business.

Bobby | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:35AM

Some more bad news for Yahoo?

From the user end(remember us??) appears that many of their new improvements aren't really improvments at all...just more of the same and worse headaches/pains.

That's not a great way to retain the yahoo users.

Improvements are appreciated by users when they are actually improvements..and not more of the
same problems being recycled over and over again.

Why can't Yahoo get things right?
The simplest things are the best place to start.

Focus and flow..or joke us and go.

jbx | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:36AM

5) IBM customers revolt. It is happening slower than makes sense, but yes, they are revolting. True.

Sorry, you got this one wrong as well. Some customers are leavng IBM, and more are signing on. This one is just "Wrong".

Jim | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:50AM

Apple is much more than a hardware company. I'm glad Apple no longer shares your short-sidedness. It like saying Exxon is an oil company; it's an energy company. Apple doesn't limit itself that way, so neither should you.

I expect the Apple TVs will NOT have ac omputer built it, at least not a Mac Mini type. Instead, it will be an integrated iTV.

Leonard Nimrod | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:59AM

Running on a multi-core CPU is not the same as supporting all those cores for higher performance. The thing that killed the INMOS Transputer (look it up!) was that most applications are really hard to parallelise. This has not changed.

The Cell is actually a PowerPC surrounded by 8 special-purpose DSP cores. Running Linux on the PowerPC bit is a trivial port. Writing an application that keeps all those DPS cores busy is another matter. Some applications, like high-end graphics, lend themselves to this kind of parallelisation. Most do not. Of course the Cell is initially being pitched at games consoles.


Paul Johnson | Jan 06, 2007 | 12:00PM

re: 8) It's been said for awhile that Vista SP1 will be released at the same time as Longhorn Server, so I don't know if the prediction is that MSFT will decide to break up the two release schedules (e.g., due to mass problems in the OS, which is an easy prediction already came true in 2006 -- the only question is how loud people are complaining), or that Longhorn Server will ship in June.

Matt | Jan 06, 2007 | 12:13PM

"Sire, the IBM customers are revolting!" "Yeah, they stink on ice."

Jerry Kindall | Jan 06, 2007 | 12:18PM

In 2007, Apple will.... er, I guess we'll know on Monday.

As for the comments on the PS3 above, I bought one largely for the BluRay drive with the gaming as a secondary consideration but this is a powerful platform with lots of potential. It's expensive but contains lots of expensive hardware too. Xbox 360 will catch up with the addition of HDMI and a bigger HD in the next couple of months, but there will be a lot of current owners who are left in the cold. The 360 strategy was a gamble. Great, early launch which tipped the momentum to Microsoft and caught Sony hanging. It has a clear lead in games but outside of games, it is a compromise platform compared to the PS3 and might have been called the Xbox 270. Microsoft is counting on up-selling Xbox with integration with web services, Zune, etc. but what (like the Zzzzzune) if those are uncompelling?

Apple needs Sony needs Apple and the Jobs/Disney factor may be the key. Even Microsoft would be happy.

Jim | Jan 06, 2007 | 12:50PM

number 4 will remain true for many years to come. It is not because the music industry is too backwards, incompetent, idiotic, etc. (they are but that is beside the point) It is because despite all their obvious errors, they do know how to find a hit and make money from it. So if a song is released on the internet and it has 'instant hit' written all over it, the music industry will swoop in and will put it on any kind of medium that can get it a positive cash flow. So it will be on cd by the end of the week it was discovered.

Raindeer | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:31PM

Hey, some of those predictions don't appear to predict anything, such as #7. Can you please clarify?

Rick Rodman | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:31PM

8) WiMax will suffer under Sprint Nextel. My feeling here was that merging the two cell companies would be too distracting for them to do very much with their top asset (in my view) -- all those WiMax licenses. Since they didn't roll out much of anything in 2006, I'd say this one is true.

What's to roll out? Motorola is currently working feverishly to get their WiMax solution out the door. Can't say anything about other vendors, but I'd image they are no further ahead.

kyle | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:34PM

Feedburner? How man y people even CARE about blogs?
Sure, as a journalist YOU think that is important.
Mosat of us who USE the net do not give a crap about blogs, feedburner , or the rest of the "vanity press in a drum" that the 'Net has generated.

Soapboxes are for loudmouths..

Maurice Hilarius | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:47PM

My prediction has to do with home media center pc's. They already exist, but developers have missed it so far. I'm talking about the Wii, which is only $250, has wireless built in, and now has a web browser available.

Google searches for Wii software (or things along those lines) show some interesting results. People are already looking for ways to use the Wii as a home entertainment system, and not just as a video game system. Top of the list of "I wish I could..." is iTunes playable on the Wii by streaming from your computer. Apple may not bite, as a Wii version of iTMS would compete directly with their iTV box, but they should. Personally, I was thrilled and excited when Jobs talked about the iTV box, but now that I have my Wii, I don't see as much need for it.

My prediction is that iTV will fail. Not because it is a bad idea, or works poorly, but because many consumers just forked over hundreds for a next-gen console, and may not be willing to pay more $$ for another box to sit under their tv. The Wii seems to have a lot of potential for non-game uses. The other problem outside of money is the fact that tv's only have so many HDMI/Component inputs... If my HD cable box and DVD player use the two HDMI inputs, and my Wii uses the component input, where will I plug the iTV?

Six months ago iTV would have been huge, but their ship has sailed. Bring me iTMS for the Wii!

404notfound | Jan 06, 2007 | 1:48PM

You know why google apps never get out of beta?
Because they don't need to. I think the "big picture" on google is that they are building a giant distributed application delivery platform. An online OS so to speak. All these google apps that we love, are just example applications running on their platform. A company like Apple can come to google and implement a suite of applications, like .mac, on this google online OS and have it automatically be hugely scalable.

Anyway... that is my thought. Either that or google is really just aimlessly creating random incomplete applications due to corporate mismanagement.

macius | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:13PM

I fail to see how #7 is a prediction. :/

Alejo | Jan 06, 2007 | 2:51PM

1) A small (but important) piece of in-home equipment starts to appear: HDMI hubs/routers. Think of the way (and the why) USB hubs showed up. Now think of all the USB devices out there.

2) Novell begins a noticeable slide into oblivion or assimilation (probably the latter). This is due to much of the Linux developer community adopting GPLv3 in response to Novell's trysts with Microsoft, and in turn Novell entwining more Microsoft bits with SuSE Linux as they try to keep pace with the GPLv3-licensed advances in other distros. Note that this process has a noticeable *beginning* this year. The end will take longer.

3) The wheel of Karma, in the form of IBM legal action, starts a slow but thorough grinding of Microsoft ... once IBM finishes salting the earth where SCO once stood.

snowedunder | Jan 06, 2007 | 3:23PM

GPL v. 3 boomerangs on the FSF, irrecoverably fracturing the FLOSS community into Torvaldsian (practical) and Stallmaniac (ideological) camps. Embedded systems designers and other businesses avoid it like the plague, defeating its purpose.

MS breaks out the champagne as their greatest enemy falls on its own sword.

OldGoat | Jan 06, 2007 | 4:02PM

GPL3 is going to flop so bad it's not even funny.

dreddnott | Jan 06, 2007 | 4:15PM

1: Apple will unveil a movie rental service ala Netflix using internet distribution direct to your mac and streamed over your iTV. 3 "active" movies at a time. Delete a watched movie and iTunes starts to download (in the background) the next movie in your queue.

Mtroute | Jan 06, 2007 | 4:36PM

I predict that we won't see NerdTV Season 2 until the winter of 2008. :-)

Derek Warren | Jan 06, 2007 | 4:49PM

Hi Robert -- have you considered getting readers to vote whether you were right or wrong?

Julian | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:13PM

Here's my prediction: In '07 the average adult American will spend six hours a day on the web, watching TV, and playing video games. Given the other routines and responsibilities of daily life, this will leave zero time for any conversation or interaction with the spouse, kiddies, or friends.

Bill Gates' dream will finally be realized! -- and we will all be just like him, except for the money part.

Ed T. | Jan 06, 2007 | 5:51PM

"Remember outsourcing and offshoring? That tide turns for a bunch of reasons..."

Does that mean *more* or *less* outsourcing and offshoring or are you intentionally ambiguous so you can be sure to get at least one correct this year? :)

jfb3 | Jan 06, 2007 | 7:08PM

#8 is 100% TRUE

Javi Loureiro | Jan 06, 2007 | 7:12PM

So, you don't think S.J. will pull an iPod-phone out of his pocket next Tuesday?

You say things are still bad at Sun yet it appears things are considerably improved there - profits and server sales up markedly, market share too. Not out of the woods, but apparently heading in the right direction.

Sony's problem is easily solved if only they had the courage - sell off all the content crap that is the millstone around their necks and go back to making the hottest, coolest consumer electronic gadgets on Earth. Tell Hollywood to go to hell with their Big Brother restrictions, DRM, etc. No region coding, no DRM, great design and compelling new must-have products. Offer Microsoft Sony Pictures and/or Sony Music, they need another loss-maker to add to Zune and XBox.

David S. | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:00PM

Regarding prediction#5 about AMD and Intel: I think this is ultimately where we will see one more reason why Apple allied with Intel. Mr Otellini stated clearly he looks forward to working with a software developer who will have the ability to implement their hardware advancements; something Microsoft (and therfore AMD as well) cannot do. Intel and Apple could easily win the speed wars for no other reason than Apple's ability to morph its OS to take advantage of their hardware advances.

Brau | Jan 06, 2007 | 8:45PM

Prediction #6 is wrong by definition. If the current bottleneck is blu-ray, then there is an oversupply of every other component. If Sony reads this column or fears a shortage of any other part of their PS3, then they could easily accumulate the inventory created by a normal production to at least meet their production target, especially if they must have committed to purchasing a minimum from their part suppliers. Then again, this is a guess just like the predictions of the (great) column.

Tomas Sancio | Jan 06, 2007 | 9:51PM

14) Remember outsourcing and offshoring? That tide turns for a bunch of reasons but mainly because a new class of CEOs will say the old class of CEOs was filled with idiots.

The reverse? New class of CEOs?

So, what you're predicting is that the technical jobs will no longer be outsourced and corporations will stop paying outrageous salaries because they can save gobs of shareholder money by outsourcing the CEO and executive positions to India.

Naw... That won't happen. It makes way too much sense.

David | Jan 06, 2007 | 9:53PM


Microsoft has already said that they are going to introduce Service pack 1 for Windows Vista when Windows Longhorn Server comes out.

So that one does not count.

They are doing this because of several different reasons.

1) They are upgrading the consumer OS with the new code that they are building with longhorn server.

2) They are upgrading to Direct3D 10.1 and a new versions of the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) version 2.1 which allows pre-emptive multitasking on the graphics processor (GPU).

3) Any small bugs that they find will be fixed in this service pack.

It is not rocket science. :)

Linux requires patches all of the time for bug fixes and security updates, so why wouldn't vista need the same?

TimStone | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:49PM

There won't be a second generation Zune. This is not one of those items that Microsoft will get right in three tries.
I agree with prediction eleven. Simply, many high cap companies will make poor purchase decisions and the directors will get lynched at the shareholders meetings and the CEOs will jump ship with boatloads of cash. Does the sun rise in the east?
I've completely missed Feedburner (what, you may ask, did I have my head buried somewhere all year? Probably.)So now I'm looking into it and see what's so hot about this technology or company or whatever it is.
I am puzzled why Google hasn't jettisoned GoogleVideo project yet. YouTube does the job way better and now Google owns the thing lock stock and barrel.
Is Steve Jobs waiting for Blockbuster's price to fall just so, before they can make a bid and get it real cheap to use the brand as video delivery service, or will Sears Holding come out of nowhere to Blockbusters rescue, only to snatch the real estate, dump management and employees and sell off the inventory at fire sale prices to Walmart? Don't be surprised about the latter, Apple would be better off having video download kiosks at its own stores and other retailers than trying to save a bleeding company that repeatedly stabs itself in the chest and belly.

Kevin Kunreuther | Jan 06, 2007 | 10:49PM

"AMD and Intel continue to beat the crap out of each other with customers gaining but wondering why there is no software that supports those new 8-way processors"

Ummm... there are a couple of HUGE reasons Intel and AMD are producing multicore processors. There *IS* software that supports them: Linux, VMWare, etc. We use 8-core (4-way dual-core) machines by the score, and are eagerly awaiting bigger systems.

DBotkin | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:10PM

Microsoft will take a beating with poor Vista sales and start work on a new OS built on Unix to get people off their back. SCO is in trouble, and is Microsoft's love child, so they will snatch it up to help them make the transition and because Microsoft doesn't innovate -- they copy features and purchase companies.

Super Mike | Jan 06, 2007 | 11:39PM

[Mike about Apple]
You can't be talking about the hardware company that makes better software than the software company (MS)...

I think he's talking about the company that has managed to corner less than 5% of the PC market with their superior hardware and software.

I know it's fashionable to complain about MS and Vista, but I honestly don't understand why they get so much crap. I have spent a fair amount of time using Vista and I think it's an excellent product. It's clearly not a huge leap forward, as it might have been with the more ambitious file system, but it's certainly just as good as anything else out there. MS will continue OS domination for years to come.

LA Guy | Jan 07, 2007 | 1:49AM

Vista will annoy the hell out of everyone.

The pc gamer generation will have grown up enough to understand the concept of spending money wisely. They will finally realize they should tell all their friends and relatives that they provide with free tech support to not but a new system and instead save money by switching Operating Systems.

Downloads of bootleg x86 OSX will skyrocket.
For profit linux distros will make money as people buy them for the feeling of having actual support from the company (something they never got from MS)

Other former PC gamers will be forced to put down their games and pick up a job. They will buy Macs to work on. Adjusting to the Mac will free their mind to experiment with Linux on their old PC.
They will tell their friend and relatives to no no longer expect any sort of tech support from them....unless they buy a mac or switch to linux.

Former apple programmers and artists will start a new linux distro that's somehow better than Ubuntu.

PC Gamers dying to get off windows will throw their support behind Sabayon Linux because it offers working 3d acceleration out of the box.

The open source community will realize the importance of PC gamers to the computing ecosystem and the threat that DirectX 10 poses by being so much better than OpenGL.
John Carmack will realize that he has enough money to never need to work another day in his life. He will lead an army of Carmack worshipers in a non stop coding frenzy to improve OpenGL to the point where it whoops DX's ass.

Game consoles will get great keyboards and mice. PC's will get great gamepads.

Disney will announce theatrical sequels to the lion king, the little mermaid, the haunchback of notre dame, beauty and the beast, alladin, and 3 new franchises. They will hire anime artists from asia to fill their needs.

XP and Vista flaws will be the source of massive security issues that finally make people realize that a pc with windows is like a car that needs maintenance and not an appliance. Mac users will continue to promote the Mac as an appliance. More people will switch to the Apple. Many decent pcs will be donated to schools. With all this high quality hardware in schools many more will experiment with running linux and using virtualization for the windows apps.

Young, idealistic Microsoft employees, disgusted with the crap they were forced to release in vista will start to assist with Wine and Cedega.

Google, Yahoo, Mozilla and the web development community will donate half a million dollars to the author of Firebug.

Hundreds of thousands of "how-to" videos related to linux and OS X will be posted to youtube.

Thousands of children tired of getting in trouble with their parents because of all the porn that winds up on thier computer will start writing to their local government asking for something similar to .xxx

Thousands of 18-20somethings from the US, UK, and Canada who wanted to join the army but didn't want to go to Iraq will instead enlist with a military volunteer group to go defend the refugee camps in Darfur. For some reason there are almost no african-AMERICAns in this force. Jesse Jackson will give a speech. Al Sharpton will perform a song with Lauryn HIll an Lady Sovereign.

Another highly publicized security issue with Vista will force the US and Canadian governments to provide Microsoft with subsidies while it focuses all of it's cash and manpower on fixing every known unpatched vulnerability. More people switch to alternative operating systems.

All Mozilla browsers and a popular photo sharing site add support for jpeg2000.

A group of hollywood special effects studios buy Autodesk Maya. It's no longer sold as an off the shelf product.

7 world leaders will be killed in their sleep by their daughters. They will all say an angel or other religous symbol told them to kill the "anti-christ"

Ocean thermal energy conversion will begin to become the standard source of power for all Caribbean island nations.

Dell, Gateway, HP and others will be taken to court and forced to streamline their process for refunding the cost of windows.

The RIAA will attempt to sue a number of deceased soldiers. The public will respond by not purchasing a single cd for 4 weeks. Every online retailer of music (especially itunes) will see a huge increase in sales. For 2 days, bit-torrent and other p2p traffic will make up 91% of all internet activity. Another 6% will be spam email. 1% RSS.

3 asian countries and 1 european country will each report that 1 of their main fish species seems to be near extinction in the traditional fishing ares. As a result they have been forced to sell and eat a deep sea species of fish that as far as anyone knows has never been eaten by man before.

2 never before seen diseases will emerge. 1 in asia. 1 in europe.

thinsoldier | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:15AM

I love this guy.
I think it's not important he's 100% or 25% right.
He makes us think a little bit deeper than usual about IT world.
And this is much more valuable that predictions themselvs.
In my opinion at least.
Thanks Mr. X and thanks to PBS!

Vincenzo Romano | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:39AM


I think what may happen in 2007 is a reversal of attitude. Its going to happen soon.

Everything we have, is invented by our generation.

I hope and pray that next year the generation we spawned takes it and kicks the fick out of us.

Like music and rock and roll, the future generation will rule.


skulty | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:44AM

Your Sprint-Nextel WiMax prediction may change.

Nextel is installing broadband fiber pipes scalable up to 1 Gbps from Time Warner Cable.

When they deploy WiMax they will have access to all of the internet bandwidth they will ever need.

They can just call us and dial up the bandwidth as needed for any given cell tower.

Also don't forget the Sprint and cable company consortium agreement which will only start bearing fruit in 2007.

Bob | Jan 07, 2007 | 4:13AM

I say, Cringely, thou art fair and even minded. But whilst thou predict my future? Will I one day be the writer of copy at the largest independent Web marketing firm on the globe? I beseech thee, return to me with thy response.
Love, and respect, Maggie

Maggie | Jan 07, 2007 | 4:52AM

What is Eric Schmidt doing on Apple's board? Here's one theory. Steve Jobs is positioning Apple to be bought by Google. Who at Apple do you see taking over for Jobs? If Apple sold itself to Google when Jobs steps down, the market will probably react favorably to both stock prices. Otherwise, Apple's share price will tank.

lelandusa | Jan 07, 2007 | 7:28AM

FeedBurner will burn the money of its buyer, according to your #11 prediction.
Stay consistent!

someone1234 | Jan 07, 2007 | 7:52AM

I am surprised to not see any mention of Virtualization. How do you think it will affect 2007? VMware/Xen will change the way data centers are architected. In the desktop market VMware, KVM, Parallels are providing interesting benefits too. As the virtualization practices become more mature, the OS and application boundaries won't remain the same as we know them today.

Jayesh | Jan 07, 2007 | 12:40PM

I keep looking for a reason why Eric Schmidt is on the Apple board.

I thought this one was easy and is even the subject of one of your predictions - those shipping containers loaded with GoogleTV need a device to interface the television to the Internet, and they need a company with an existing customer support channel to do it (and not suck at it either).

Although, I admit, the other commenters' theory of the combined Apple/Sun/Google with Eric Schmidt at the helm is more fun to imagine.

Bill McGonigle | Jan 07, 2007 | 1:45PM

Bob, it looks to me like several of your predictions are wrong because of timing.

This is a difficult part when making predictions. You know it's going to happen, but figuring out when is though. You expect a company to collapse anytime soon but it stats on life support for much longer.

It looks like it's a natural trait to predict things earlier than they will actually happen.

Laurent | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:07PM

#10: Define "crash". What video will show us is that "high-speed" is not defined the same across the net and that some sections will crawl while others zoom along, sometimes artificially (see the fight for Net Neutrality for more details). Video will bog the net (specifially at certain intersections), but not crash it. And alternative routes will sprout quickly, some with throttled back services for bandwidth hogs (streamed video gets a back seat to other protocols in a city-sponsored WiMax config, for example).

And what - no prediction of WiMax coops circumventing the tier 1 Internet? We're about to see the rebirth of the Usenet generation, via wireless. Surely the Cringley crystal ball sees that one coming, eh?

PS: Love the column. Keep up the good work.

Michael J. Hammel | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:28PM

I give you a better score for 2006 than you gave yourself. I understand that in your position you have to be hard on yourself otherwise you would lose credibility.

About 2007 #5, I predict that many old apps will show bugs when run on multicore chips, this may be a worst problem than Y2K, and may negatively affect the sales of these CPUs. What's your take?

serge | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:32PM

What about the SarbOx effect on going public? Could it explain a decided lack of IPO activity?

Maybe the tech IPOs move to Hong Kong or Singapore?

Otis Wildflower | Jan 07, 2007 | 2:32PM

You missed the DST mini-crises of 2007. Most companies still don't realize that versions of Java prior to December 2005 still use the "old" Daylight Saving Time rules. These changed with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, so Daylight Savings will begin on March 11.

Y2K was easy, since everyone knew it was coming. This will catch a lot of people by surprise.

Honest Abe | Jan 07, 2007 | 9:09PM

> wondering why there is no software that supports
> those new 8-way processors

Enter virtualization (for the masses).

Pierre Lefranc | Jan 07, 2007 | 9:09PM

You missed the DST mini-crises of 2007. Most companies still don't realize that versions of Java prior to December 2005 still use the "old" Daylight Saving Time rules. These changed with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, so Daylight Savings will begin on March 11.

Y2K was easy, since everyone knew it was coming. This will catch a lot of people by surprise.

Honest Abe | Jan 07, 2007 | 9:10PM

Conspicuous by absence -- Sun Microsystems futures.

Even though anything can happen at any time, the following
makes techno-sense:

- Apple's Mac OS XI uses the Solaris 11 kernel, so the merger rumors revive.

- Google actually places non-trivial orders for Sun gear, as
they admit they are an ad company, not a hardware systems design house.

- RedHat is completely defanged when Sun's Unix goes GPL3,
showing that Unix clones now have little reason for existence.

retiarius | Jan 07, 2007 | 9:22PM

I doubt #14

david | Jan 07, 2007 | 9:30PM

(0) Sorry for those last line breaks, not visible in comment preview -- more predicition noise:

(1) Nonvolatile phase-change memory (Samsung PRAM, aka Ovonic OUM) finally hastens a collapse of the orders-of-magnitude gulf between mechanical rotating memory and DRAM/Flash.

(2) Much lithium battery car hype.

(3) About that Google/Sun cargo container cult -- today's
S. F. Chronicle (subject ex-Google millionaires)

reveals much from a former Google engineer about "timid managers", "creeping conservatism", "fear-based design" (!) and other Dilbertian crimes against techies causing the server project failure. hmmm ... looking forward to "Google's grand plan"
at The Pulpit.

retiarius | Jan 07, 2007 | 10:15PM

"Conspicuous by absence - Sun Microsystems futures."
Because there isn't any future for SUN.

SUN afficianodos think a huge fervent contributing community will spring into place over night once SUN goes GPL3.

Guess what? Most of "Linux" Software already runs on SUN's -- And nobody cares. They run Linux on Intel. Nothing is else is cheaper to buy, nothing else is cheaper to run/operate. Further more - by not being HUGE expensive honking proprietary (but still intel, like SUN) systems, you get finer granularity for handling load balancing and for load changes during single system failures.

So what will happen when SUN goes GPL3 ? Same thing that happened when Open Solaris was released. Almost nothing.

(Yes Google is ready to order some SUN stuff. If I were sitting on some Billion$ in cash I'd buy some SUN stuff too, and some IBM mainframes as well. Hey, Gimme some ipods and one of those new Nokia Internet tablets that aren't supposed to be for sale yet too.

Could it be that SUN hardware fits into Freight container based "mobile data centers" that plain intel stuff? maybe....

joej | Jan 07, 2007 | 10:33PM

re (5), if game developers can make use of the multi-processors, there's a guaranteed market!

mick | Jan 07, 2007 | 11:43PM

RE: 2007 being the year of Linux

I think that it is quite possible for Linux to have a huge year, the main reason being (of course) Vista.

With all the delays and worries about Vista, I can see that many end users will be primed for "something new". Take my Dad for example. He's running a medium (60+ employee) sized tree nursery, and his POS system is about 20 years old. He NEEDS something new, but the best options out there for him are Windows based. He hates Windows (as should many retailers) because of the fear of downtime during critical times. He wants something else, but it doesn't really exist. So he just keeps on truckin' with his HP-Unix server and dumb terminals running over big fat serial lines.

What Linux needs is a salesman. If someone can convince people to use it, they will. Otherwise it will continue to remain in its place as an OS for enthusiasts and niche corporations.

If someone shows up and sells the heck out of Linux, there will be plenty of people willing to give it shot while they wait a year or so for Vista to become "stable".

Preston | Jan 08, 2007 | 2:19AM

RE: 2007 being the year of Linux

I think that it is quite possible for Linux to have a huge year, the main reason being (of course) Vista.

With all the delays and worries about Vista, I can see that many end users will be primed for "something new". Take my Dad for example. He's running a medium (60+ employee) sized tree nursery, and his POS system is about 20 years old. He NEEDS something new, but the best options out there for him are Windows based. He hates Windows (as should many retailers) because of the fear of downtime during critical times. He wants something else, but it doesn't really exist. So he just keeps on truckin' with his HP-Unix server and dumb terminals running over big fat serial lines.

What Linux needs is a salesman. If someone can convince people to use it, they will. Otherwise it will continue to remain in its place as an OS for enthusiasts and niche corporations.

If someone shows up and sells the heck out of Linux, there will be plenty of people willing to give it shot while they wait a year or so for Vista to become "stable".

Preston | Jan 08, 2007 | 2:20AM

What an ego! Don´t try to get out of this 60% slot by indicating things might happen soon. Try to remember this is an annual thing!

roy roesel | Jan 08, 2007 | 3:26AM

Pridiction: Bob will delay NerdTV until September to coincide with the fall sweeps.

lelandusa | Jan 08, 2007 | 3:53AM

1)Just checked out Feedburner. These guys ARE gonna generate more cash than the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. When that happens, I will be surprised if no one drops a spurious IP lawsuit on this company. It is almost de rigeur now among successful companies making boatloads of money.

2)Vista is so damn slow, yet people WILL continue to drink the Kool-Aid, just not in so many numbers. Vista may prove to be the new Windows Me, inspiring defections back to many iterations of XP, Macs and OS X and fave Linux distros(dream on BeOS users, Haiku will forever be a hobby among your thousand or less users,sniff sniff). Yet, Office 2007 is very spiffy, I hate to admit. Bill Gates has assigned the woman resposible for Office 2007's interface the job of creating a new interface for the next Windows - if Office 2007 is a success (I am not doubting that) the next Windows may have many users forgiving Microsoft - by that time Gates and Ballmer will be out of the picture (Ballmer definitely!) - but will it matter?

3)Will desktop operating systems finally be superceded by the network? It won't matter to Apple because it always sold cool machines - it's a hardware company. It will always be supported by a bunch of effete technosnobs that buy into Apple's hype. I have and still do on occassion. I succumbed and finally shelled out USD339.00 at Fry's Electronics for a black 80GB video iPod (yes, Fry's were able to sell all iPods it had on inventory this Christmas for $10 less than Apple's recommended price).

4)In the next three to five years, I can imagine a couple of hundred million OLPCs spread over the globe, a quarter to a half of that number will ironically be in Canada, the United States and Mexico and Europe, you can't beat the price and the performance. They'll sell like Commodore 64s and TRS-80 Color Computers, but have a longer shelf life and children will not be the primary users,though that childlike intuitive interface will undoubtedly, rest assured, be copied by Microsoft and Apple. China will be stamping out buckets of it's own OLPC versions. If internet connectivity truly becomes universally ubiquitous, this worldwide distribution of OLPC would be the single most revolutionary event of the first quarter of the twenty first century. After that, the next life shattering event we would have to prepare or pray for protection against would be an unscheduled EMP event, from either a series of overhead nuclear explosions or an asteroid or a extremely large meteor impact, or an unexpectantly large solar flare, now that we have a weakened ozone layer (human civilisation has only been on the electric grid for barely over a hundred years, now, it is not even remotely unlikely this type of EMP event will happen). The loss of data, communications and services from such an event will undoubtedly be universally traumatic, the great humbling, the universe rewards human hubris; afterwards, people may divide in two camps, those who continue to pursue communications and services via electronic and digital technologies, and those spooked enough by the first great EMP event to rely on earlier, slower but less ethereal technologies, those not adversely affected by electromagnetic impulses. How long that Amish approach could last is anybody's guess, for digital technology and its fruits are infectious and irresistable.

OKAY, I'm gonna stop now, I could be writing and publishing an essay on my own blog!

Kevin Kunreuther | Jan 08, 2007 | 4:08AM

Actually I will condiser you correct on items 1 and 2. Apple DID announce content deals with Disney, the iTV was announced and Mac OSX DOES run on generic Intel hardware although Apple does not support it. The iPhone (iPod phone) was delayed because of tech difficulties with the touch screen so it will have invisible buttons on the side.

ogun7 | Jan 08, 2007 | 5:00AM

What does Google generating cash have to do with stock splits? Stock splits do not require cash. It's like taking an 8-slice pizza and cutting it into a 16-slice pizza. Same pizza, smaller slices. Google management won't split the stock because they are fans of Warren Buffett, who has never split his stock ($100,000 per share Berkshire Hathaway).

Re #13: Sand Hill Road is now on the renewable energy bus. Internet companies are so 1999...

doug | Jan 08, 2007 | 9:09AM

2007 Prediction 14. I would love to see it, and I agree that 2007 is the year that offshoring and outsourcing lose luster. I personally predict it for a different reason. The labor isn't that cheap anymore. The demand has outpaced the supply and job jumping and higher salaries are now common. And due to the job jumping the experience level and expertise is dropping. Offshoring is only attractive if the cost savings are better than the lost time. We're approaching the point in 2007 where it isn't.

You also have to ask a question. Why is that Wal-mart understands their information is their business, and other companies don't?

Jim | Jan 08, 2007 | 9:56AM

I would like to hear all you know about Akamai and other Near Edge delivery solutions. I would like to hear from anyone who has experience with them. THanks.

Don Moore | Jan 08, 2007 | 10:58AM

I would like to know what happened (or where is) your old-is-new hard drive technology partnership. Where are the products? Lets not let the NAND Hybrid drives get all the press.

Phillip | Jan 08, 2007 | 1:16PM

I can't say if IBM will have trouble w/ Cell or not, but it is a very high priority for them.

As for customers revolting, that seems to be false, yet you claim it as true. Perhaps you know some customers who have revolted, but IBM continues to grow revenue and profits, and continues to sign new customers. Perhaps their services group slows, but their software portfolio continues to improve and is one of, if not the, only companies that provides the broad capabilities they do. Still no where else for customers to go to get the total solution that IBM can provide.
Again, you may know some unhappy customers/employees, but the market disagrees, as IBM stock started 2006 at $85 and is now traiding at about $98/share, an improvement of 16%.

Collin | Jan 08, 2007 | 1:25PM

Anyone who is a long term IBM shareholder is a fool

Mo Money | Jan 08, 2007 | 4:08PM

"14) Remember outsourcing and offshoring? That tide turns for a bunch of reasons..."---We'll see, Bob, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for my job to come back from China.

Chris | Jan 08, 2007 | 4:56PM

Nah, just kidding. Anybody who could really spill the beans is either beyond immunity or already dead, so the worst-kept-secret of the last 100 years or so shall remain uninvestigated.---hey, is this guy in a cage in Gitmo yet? Cause if he isn't, somebody in W's Secret Police Force, isn't doing their job.

Chris | Jan 08, 2007 | 5:03PM

Maybe in 2007 some mobile phone mfr will ask why anyone who's mobile enough to need a mobile phone should suddenly become obligingly sedentary enough to watch TV on it, broadband, streamed or whatever ...

And maybe the new class of CEOs will ask where's the percentage and what direction is the likely profit trend in offshoring into -- and thereby inexorably raising the living standards and (hello?) long-term COSTS in -- low labour-cost countries ...

WalW | Jan 08, 2007 | 10:43PM

Re: (10) Thank goodness someone (trust Bob!:))has said this. It seems to me that all the ISPs are basically overstating available capacity. I already see marked slow-downs of my Broadband connection here in the UK. Pouring out more and more bandwidth-hogging content is bound to clog the system. Though I'm an Apple and iTunes fan, there are times in the day when I cannot complete or download my purchases due to "network-stalling".

Nigel | Jan 09, 2007 | 6:00AM

I must be getting old because I went to and I can't figure out what they do.

boxlight | Jan 09, 2007 | 9:03AM

My take on this:

1) Apple releases new products. Obvious. Will be popular with Apple fans (of course), but no support for Linux, and grudging support for Windows users. All will use DRM, but Apple fans will make excuses for this, as usual.

2) Apple settles with Burst.who ?

3) Apple drops Akamai in favor of a different edge-serving CDN (content delivery network) -- and who cares ?

4) No one DRM technology emerges as the winner and the RIAA begins to back off as it loses a few legal cases. Still, no Internet-only song wins a Grammy or is even recognized as existing. I agree with this.

5) AMD and Intel continue to beat the crap out of each other with customers gaining but wondering why there is no software that supports those new 8-way processors, as both compilers and third-party developers fail to keep up. Probably. But dual/quad cores are still pretty useful.

6) Sony solves Blu-ray laser diode problem just in time for IBM to suffer production difficulties with the Cell processor. More bad news for Sony. Disagree. IBM have the time and capability to start stockpiling cell. Why shouldn't they ?

7) The situation with Sony is probably not as bad as you make out (see 6). PS3 will do well next year, especially after the European launch, and will slowly catch up with the 360.

8) Speaking of Microsoft, Windows Vista SP1 ships in June despite the fact that Vista structurally shouldn't require service packs. Except it will.
Agree with this, except of course new problems will be found as soon as SP1 ships. SP2 will ship in December.

9) Zune 2.0 appears, isn't brown, but still nobody buys it. Disagree. Microsoft will give up on the Zune, since nobody is buying it.

10) The year the net crashed (in the USA). Video overwhelms the net and we all learn that the broadband ISPs have been selling us something they can't really deliver.

The net won't crash. There is plenty of unlit dark fibre.

11) Disagree. Google will do well, and will buy some small companies. Microsoft will do relatively poorly, will partner with some companies, who will all get shafted. Business as usual.

12) Some smart or lucky company will buy FeedBurner. Again, who's Feedburner ?

13) Never heard of Sand Hill Road, so I have no opinion on this.

14) Outsourcing and offshoring. The tide must turn, since there is nothing left to outsource or offshore, except the outsourcing and offshoring departments. Once this happens, the cycle will begin again. So agree.

15) Google's Grand Plan is finally revealed, explaining all.

Google has no grand plan. They will continue to introduce piecemeal services, but there is no overall strategy, else we would have seem glimmers of it already. They are making tons of money, and there is no reason for them to change. They may buy Yahoo if it seems like a good deal.

And a few more:

16) Linux desktop use, particularly *buntu, more than doubles in 2007. A couple of high profile companies decide to switch over all their desktops. More governments switch.

17) The OLPC project is a big success, and more than a million laptops are shipped.

18) The Open Graphics Card is ready by the end of the year, and starts taking consumer pre-orders.

19) Some company is sued because of DRM problems - either the DRM doesn't work, or it works too well and causes unforseen problems.

20) Still no clear winner between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Most publishers produce dual-format disks.

salsaman | Jan 09, 2007 | 9:29AM

Re: 10
Thanks Bob for validating this belief! I thought it would have happend by now as I have been incorrectly predicting it for some time within my own realm. It is true, broadband providers have and continue to over-sell bandwidth and its not just the link from the nearest node to the home/last mile that is oversold but the pipe from the ISP to the backbone as well.

Eric | Jan 09, 2007 | 9:35AM
RoyBoy | Jan 09, 2007 | 11:12AM

You were only 9 days off on number 1 from 2006!
The sample says Cingular. Wonder if Tmoble will have a version?


TC Carr | Jan 09, 2007 | 3:28PM

I guess you were right about waiting a week for the Apple iphone. Congrats, most speculation I've seen had written off this product ever seeing the light of day.

Michael Light | Jan 09, 2007 | 11:10PM

I predict computing in 2007 and beyond won't be driven by computers as we know them. iPhone's and such will be driving our new everyday computing needs outside of the office.

Brian | Jan 10, 2007 | 12:18AM

The sad part of all this, is that we now have to wait for a whole year to see the results.

JeePee | Jan 10, 2007 | 7:30AM

I think you are basing your "Internet crash" scenario on the idea that Apple's iTV will do what all other services don't. I just don't see that happening.

I predict HVD technology will anounce readiness AND a partnership with at least one significant studio, effectively loading the nail gun that seals HD-DVD and BluRay's fates.

Rob Roy | Jan 10, 2007 | 3:51PM

How can you take credit for "more bad news for sun"
when the stock is up about 30% for the year
and on a tear the second half of the year.

MelJM | Jan 10, 2007 | 4:22PM

Hmm more bad news for Sun? Have you not noticed their stock price gains? Have you not seen the success of their X64 product range? What about the awards they won for best server, best java ide?
Please qualify what you mean by this.

mjl | Jan 10, 2007 | 8:26PM

4. "Still, no Internet-only song wins a Grammy or is even recognized as existing."

Already wrong: April 2, 2006, BBC: "Crazy by Gnarls Barkley has made pop history as the UK's first number one song based on download sales alone."

This thing went straight to #1 from download sales alone. It was only made available for a few weeks and then withdrawn (don't know why) before it ever appeared on disc, by which time it was falling down the chart.

Pay attention, Bob

Jim | Jan 10, 2007 | 8:29PM

So in #4 you had "More bad news for Sun. That's true." --- what's bad about Sun getting its mojo back? What's bad about increasing sales and profit margins?

Gotta be asked, Bob, why are you so down on Sun?

James | Jan 10, 2007 | 10:51PM

Jim, I think Bob meant that no song that should have got a Grammy will. It went to number 1 and was dropped coz the guy's who wrote it were sick of the song. The Grammy guys are protecting the record companies.

Jesse | Jan 11, 2007 | 4:00AM

Re. 4. "Still, no Internet-only song wins a Grammy or is even recognized as existing."

I mentioned above that Gnarls Barcly's 'Crazy' went to #1 last April solely on downloads.

Just to show it's not a one off, here's another from this week:

Download Only Song to Crack the Top 40

These new guys are unsigned which is a bit of a distinction because "Gnarls Barcly" was a one-off pick up band of already established musicians.

Jim | Jan 11, 2007 | 4:23AM

Bob, feel free to delete this posting and use as link instead for any future column on digital muisc distribution
I got this from my ELO mailing list (Showdown) moderated by Lynn Hoskins. The storey is from Rueters:
U.K. pop charts set for radical overhaul
Fri Jan 5, 2007 9:20am ET
By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - The British pop chart will
undergo one of the biggest shake-ups since its
inception 54 years ago on Sunday when any song
downloaded from the Internet will be able to
compete for the number one single spot.

Up to now, only songs which were physically
available for purchase in shops counted toward
the weekly chart.

Downloads could be included, but only a week
before an actual CD single went on sale and for
two weeks after it stopped appearing in stores.

However, with downloads now far outstripping
over-the-counter sales, the Official UK Charts
Company (OCC) has changed the rules meaning this
Sunday's number one could be any track whether it
has been sold in stores or online.

It said the "dramatic development" would be more
reflective of what music Britons were buying, and
could mean that old tunes, tracks by unknown
artists or unreleased songs on albums hitting the
top of the charts.

"This new ruling changes the nature of a single
and puts the consumer in the driving seat," said
OCC director Steve Redmond.

"Literally any track can be a hit -- as long as it sells enough."

Downloads from Internet Web sites were included
in the national charts for the first time in
April 2005 in a bid to make them more relevant as
traditional single sales fell to record low
levels, partly because of illegal downloading.

A year later when download sales could be
included before a single's physical release,
Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" made history when it
became the first song to reach number one based
solely on sales of digital purchases.

"For a long time we've wanted the chart to
reflect what the consumers are actually buying,"
said a spokesman for the BPI, the British record
industry's trade body.

He said time would tell whether the change would
benefit unknown acts or the established stars.

"It means any track when it's available digitally
it can chart. To that degree, there's a real
level playing field there," he said.

The OCC said the singles market, which
commentators had written off a few years ago, had
boomed since downloads were brought in.

In October 2004, Swedish DJ Eric Prydz topped the
charts after weekly sales of just over 23,000
copies, the lowest ever for a number one single.

However overall singles sales have rocketed from
32 million in 2004 to more than 65 million last
year, thanks mainly to almost 52 million download

The first British singles chart was published on
November 14, 1952 when Al Martino became the
first ever number one act with "Here In My Heart".

Copyright � 2007 Reuters

Kevin Kunreuther | Jan 11, 2007 | 11:12AM

While I usually think your predictions are a load of bollocks, you were actually too hard on yourself this time. 1 turned true, and 2 and 14 can be claimed as true as well. Yahoo did surprise us... in a way.

Avery | Jan 12, 2007 | 1:27AM

Could anyone point out any source of information on this allegation that Microsoft, fearful of antitrust in the gaming industry, is actually strategizing on behalf of Sony?

Donny Viszneki | Jan 14, 2007 | 6:41PM

Bob, quite frankly I am disgusted with you for what you write in this article. For two years running, you have misrepresented your Sun prediction in order to claim that you got it right.

Your prediction was "Still no good news for Sun".

You then say in this article that you said "More bad news for Sun".

Where are your journalistic ethics?

You got it wrong. 'fess up Bob


Alan Hargreaves | Jan 14, 2007 | 7:01PM

Part of your #4 prediction is already off. See the story at where a download-only (ie internet-only) song hit the top forty chart in the UK.
That would seem to qualify as "recognized as existing."

Oliver Holloway | Jan 15, 2007 | 10:26AM

Wow, there was even more weaseling in your 2006 prediction results than you're letting on. In a number of cases you ignored key bits of the prediction or even considered some lead-up to the main prediction to be the main prediction and then claimed victory even though the real main prediction didn't come true.

Also, why are you referring to the iPhone in your prediction about Apple product announcements? Your 2006 column said nothing about the iPhone.

Dan Harkless | Jan 16, 2007 | 1:37PM

This is really quite funny and charming.

Too bad various responders are taking it more seriously than they have to!

I'm trying to compare it (internally) to my own predictions, but I find my self suspiciously editing "correctward" as I go.

Jonathan | Jan 16, 2007 | 6:06PM

Eric Schmidt on Apple's board...well i guess now we know it's partly due to Maps on the iPhone. But I see something deeper. While it hasn't caught on yet, Google's Office suite of products gets better every day, and mac keeps making computers that are smaller and less typical of the power hungry computers of yore. Not to mention Apple really has no great, cohesive Office suite of their own. I see Apple building the first successful internet terminal, some cross between iTV, the macMini, and the Airport that will start to turn the focus to web based applications and using your TV to access the web. Or maybe I'm just crazy.

Chris Powers | Jan 19, 2007 | 8:59PM

Hey don't forget YouTube videos are going to be available on AppleTV. Whoopee.

Dave Malhotra | Jan 22, 2007 | 10:59PM

Every creature needs to rest. Giraffes, little babies, elephants, dogs, cats, kids, koala bears, grandparents, moms, dads, and hippos in the jungle - they all sleep! Just like eating, sleep is necessary for survival. WBR LeoP

Pharmaceutical | Jan 30, 2007 | 5:37PM

Regarding prediction 5: At least for the Java community...

Wrong already, Bob. Sorry, no problem with 4, 8, 16 or 48 core chips here.

Pervasive DataRush

j2xs | Feb 01, 2007 | 6:22PM