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I, Cringely - The Survival of the Nerdiest with Robert X. Cringely
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December 16, 2008 -- End Game
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Let me be the first to thank you for 11 great years, and many years before that at I.W. I hope the next several weeks will be very relaxing for you. Clear you mind. Have some fun. Then sometime early in 2009 a great opportunity will present itself and you will be able to take over the world.

John | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:19PM

I always enjoyed your column.

will | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:36PM

Bob, thank you for all your great years of insightful commentary on our wonderfully chaotic industry of ours. Your column will be missed. Shoot for the moon good sir!

Eric Pell | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:44PM

Thanks Bob!

We look forward to where you land next. Thanks for all the thought-provoking columns over the years.

PBS will miss you as an innovative spirit in their arsenal, I am sure. Though I suffer no delusions that you will be out of sight for long.

See you in your next incarnation.

Keith | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:46PM

"our wonderfully chaotic industry of ours".....

Now there's some great writing! I need to work on the proofreading a bit more

Eric Pell | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:47PM

Let me also thank you, have always looked forward reading what you have to say. Hoping you'll continue in some way, shape, or form.

PXLated | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:50PM

Me too; Thanks Bob!

Gozman | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:56PM

Thank you for many very insightful, provoking and entertaining columns. Good luck in your new endeavor.

Peter | Dec 16, 2008 | 9:58PM

Looking forward to Cringely 2.0. Thanks for all the years Bob and PBS

Tim | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:07PM

Looking forward to Cringely 2.0. Thanks for all the years Bob and PBS

Tim | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:08PM

Thanks Bob, I'll be watching your website for more insightful commentary. BTW, right on about Apple, bought a Mac two years ago and sold all my Windows PC's. With OpenOffice, that exorbitantly priced Office is off all my machines as well.

Larry T. | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:20PM

Good luck getting NerdTV Season 2 out--I'm sorry to hear you probably(?) lost some money on that. I guess we won't ever get to see that... but what of the new book you mentioned almost two years back? And foil disk drives? :)

Best of luck in your new ventures.

Derek | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:24PM

Best of luck for your new gig(s) Robert... if we can still call you that. :-)

UnSub | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:31PM

Thanks Bob,

"I Cringlely" has been my must-read for several years now, but I've never bothered to comment before. Your insight + humour = the best tech industry blog out there. Good luck for the future, and thanks to PBS for giving you this forum for so many years.

I think you're spot on about the rise of community banks - here in Australia, Bendigo Bank is opening up community banks by the dozen, and by all accounts they're taking market share from the "Big 4" banks in every town that they open shop.


Dave Mitchell

David Mitchell | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:35PM

Bob, I've read your column every week for all of those 11 years. I always appreciate your unique view on this industry and I look forward to what's next. Thanks for everything, and good luck in your future endeavors.

Casey B. | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:37PM

Where were the 'free converter boxes? Yes, I got the coupons, but that didn't pay the entire bill.

charting | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:41PM

I've been reading since just shy of the first article. I've tuned in weekly since then. I got a kick out of the visual of you climbing a tree trying to get a decent signal, back in your California days. I've particularly enjoyed your annual predictions. Over the years your Microsoft columns have been must reads for the insight. I can recall specific details of columns from years ago, like the fact Gates abandoned his car at the airport risking certain towing, in order to win a simple bet. I think that's the best compliment I could pay you since I've relayed that anecdote countless times since reading it initially.

I'm going to miss your weekly column Bob. For a while, when the PBS board just wasn't working out I tried running an independent forum for discussion of your weekly columns. It was short lived by virtue of the fact I was still in school at the time, and the fact I quickly learned how trifling some of your readers can be. A few vocal malcontents can really put a damper on motivation quickly. That short lived effort only gave me a deeper appreciation for the way you put yourself out there week after week, year after year.

Bravo Zulu Bob. Job well done.

I've bookmarked your site, and hope to be reading much more from you on into the distant future.

Until then, fair winds, and following seas.

Thank you.

Hector | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:43PM

"The world is unsettled. It's not just this damned financial nightmare we have to deal with but also a sense of between-ness, like something has just ended yet still lingers slightly though it is obvious that something new is about to arrive."

This is really a simply profound statement in many, many ways; Bob's last I, Cringley Column, No More Apple at MacWorld or Steve-Notes, GM and Chrysler Teetering, A Government Corruption scandal with the vortex forming in Chicago, a New president with legislative branch support that could lead the country in some dramatically different (and possibly yet unknown) direction(s), consumers who are petrified at new and unnecessary spending, Baby Boomers revising their retirements(which will keep them as expensive labor/Employees and keep Govt Employee costs up) and strain those organizations even more than they already are, etc, etc, etc.....

The winds of change are blowing very strongly right now.

Gozman | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:51PM

Good luck in the next stage of your career, I've read your stuff since the early 90s. I may disagree with some of your conclusions but you always made me think, which is an important thing to be able to do. Thanks for the memories.

Paul | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:51PM

Good luck where ever you go.

HR | Dec 16, 2008 | 10:58PM

What most of the computing community wants is OS X, not Apple hardware. Although Apple will, no doubt, continue to experience modest growth in the computing side of the house, its influence on computing will be indirect. Perhaps someone else will take the hint and put their own GUI on free BSD and distribute for the rest of the world. Perhaps Canonical's professed objective to duplicate the OS X user experience (with Ubuntu) will come to pass...then again, maybe not.

Simply put, Apple does not produce (computer) hardware that suits the needs of many business (or consumers). Apple's rigid (and sometimes pointless) inflexibility constrains the user from doing what they want in many instances.

RB | Dec 16, 2008 | 11:48PM

i'm going to miss you, cringley!

dane | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:05AM

Good luck
and success

elviejo | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:29AM

Apple will never be a true major player because they are obsessed with control. They're too greedy and paranoid to allow others to win as well, besides which the substance behind their products is less than half the hype.

James | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:34AM

Ill miss you!

Jordan Wyatt | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:47AM

Being controlling, greedy and paranoid certainly didn't stunt Microsoft's growth, did it?

It's ironic you make such a statement on Bob's site. If you've read his columns for any length of time, you'd realize why.

Skeptic | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:56AM

Bob, thanks for all the years of writing and sharing your thoughts. You've always provoked us to think and were never shy in sharing your ideas, no matter how far fetched. Best of luck in your next gig and we'll keep looking for your outbursts online - c'mon, we know you can't keep quiet forever.

Johnny Lee | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:36AM

Great predictions Bob as ever. I am glad you are continuing with, it would be shame to not be able to read your columns anymore. They might not always be correct but they are always entertaining!

I hope we hear more about the moon shot on the new site.

I must make some 2009 predictions of my own now I'm in the technology column business.

martin@talkingfuture | Dec 17, 2008 | 3:27AM

Subscribed that. :-)

Domiziano Galia | Dec 17, 2008 | 3:42AM

see you on!

Akpome | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:06AM

This is my favorite time of year, as I like to throw out my own predictions, observations and stuff based on gossip I've heard from certain "customers".

1.)If I didn't know any better, I'd swear you already knew that, separately, Bill Gates (with investor Warren Buffet) and Paul Allen are contemplating getting into the banking business. Bill Gates' bank will be geared towards philanthropic enterprises but Paul Allen is toying with the very idea of an investment bank for IT. The Gates/Buffet entity may be sometime coming down the road, at least until after The Great Recession.

2.)Apple is going to successfully go after Microsoft Office? (snort!) To do that, Apple would have to significantly upgrade the Mobile Me experience and present an affordable cloud productivity suite that uses ODF (open document format), is very intuitive, sexy and is WYSIWYG. Essentially, it would have to put out of business (too bad, no tears from Cupertino) while snatching away 30% to 50% of Microsoft Office business. It's not beyond Apple to achieve this, but this would be hafta' be a real throw down the gauntlet, no more playing nice type of move. Attacking Office and thus significantly reducing Microsoft's revenue stream is an act of thermonuclear war that may leave no survivors in either camp. Google Docs may come out on top in the end. See point three.

3.)Google's Chrome isn't going to be the IE killer (that's Firefox's job). It's going after Safari. And watch Google conduct its own cold war against iTunes and MobileMe. Google will strike deals with H-P, Lenovo, Dell and loads of generic OEM PCs, laptops and netbooks to add the Google Pack of free apps on their machines, while further developing Chrome for Android. Android will eventually be either #1 or #2 platform for mobile devices.
Google will debut an online music service that will (in the beginning) be very basic, but elegant in its simplicity and ease of use. The service will feature movies and video through Google's Video and YouTube features.
In several years, once Chrome becomes established as an effective and competitive browser, Google will drop its financial support of Firefox, which will essentially kill Mozilla Corporation like a bullet 'tween the eyes.Firefox will continue to carry on through avid volunteers, but will over time find itself shunted to sidelines and eclipsed, forgotten and eventually fall into the same hole of oblivion as Netscape Navigator 9. (Astoundingly, Sea Monkey will still be up and running and gaining some single percentage point ground among small and medium businesses and some college-age students).

4.)To survive into the teens and twenties, Microsoft will divide itself into separate companies, probably after both Ballmer and Ozzie are history. Operating systems as a business will be history. Most OSes in use will be free, both free as in free beer and free to change and customize and free to redistribute without any restrictions or encumbrances. Apple OS X won't be free but it will still be construed as reasonable. There will an entertainment based Baby-soft, an online services/search portal Babysoft, an enterprise class Baby-soft, and an R&D Baby-soft.

5.)Yahoo! as we know it, as a lot of people suspect, will be history, probably within three years. It will be transform itself by becoming a modest but successful online business services company. The other ephemera that made up the company will be acquired by a Pacific Rim investment consortia or possibly even AT&T and be rebranded.

6.)Paper bills and coins will disappear as money, except as annual uncirculated premiums and proofs from government mints for numismatists and investors. Money in most parts of the world will be electronic, you will have one unique credit and debit account, accessible by you at all times. Unless you have certain privileges or are very sneaky, most people will not have separate accounts for different things. Tampering with your personal account or another person's or entities account will be considered a felony with very stiff penalties. In some countries it could mean death, in other countries, you could be declared a non-person, and have your accounts wiped, being given a specie or script lump sum and forced to live in the unregulated economy. Banks as we know them will be gone, replaced by online entities, managed as a quasi-government institution. Your value will be determined and fluctuate according to services you can and do provide. This can, by your own choice, be either fixed for periods of time, evaluated after each term, or be floating and fluctuating on free market of exchange. You can elect to take your value and services off and on the market at any time.

7.)The two biggest growth industries in the next twenty years will be online security and encryption services, and health and maintenance care for the aging baby boomers.

8.)By 2011, economists will declare that officially, the U.S. and various parts of the world economy has been in a depression since January 2009. The U S Mint will officially stop producing one cent and five cent coins for circulation, as too many people are melting them down or selling to scrap merchants, despite 2007 law forbidding practice. Ford survives as a smaller company, but GM and Chrysler are out of business. Democrats manage to retain control of the House but margin in Senate lessens. Rumors of President Obama's health (i.e., suffering from lung cancer) reach fever pitch and triggers a world wide economic panic that deepens current depression.

10.) Sometime in next five years, it will be announced that an affordable method for changing one element or combination of elements into another element, i.e. changing silicon or silicon dioxide to gold, copper, aluminum or platinum, for manufacturing purposes. Mining stocks plummet. The commodities exchanges are in an uproar. The scrap metal business retools itself and flourishes.

11.)The United States and Russia employ considerably less soldiers in the field. Terrorists, aggressor agents, enemy leaders in field are taken out by airborne drone craft, operated remotely by personnel based in mother countries. Most soldiers in the field duties are reduced to police duties in occupation zones. The new soldier will be less of a killing machine and more of heavily armed college educated policeman, settling disputes, keeping the peace, protecting local population from insurgents, gangsters, minions of warlords, etcetera. Field soldiers will be older, trained in dealing with local populations, integrate as positive members of local community. Actual battles will be fought by remotely activated robotic vehicles and aircraft.

12.)A nuclear weapon between one and five kilotons will be exploded in a populated area in the United States by either a local or foreign terrorist group. This target will most probably be the most unlikely or nonstrategic area imaginable. That's because most terrorists think with their hearts and not their heads. They think they will be sending a message of fear and possibly send the morale of the target nation into the toilet because we are spoiled and decadent. Killing a lot of innocent civilians is stupid. It makes the rest of the surviving civilians mad as hell and rush out to nearest army recruiter and harass or even hurt, rape and kill immigrant families. I would expect this home-made A-bomb to go off in a place like Dallas, Texas or even near Washington, D.C., perhaps Baltimore or even Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Declaration Of Independence. Dumb. If I was an angry, crazy but smart terrorist with a couple of home-made A-bombs, I would hurt the United States where it counts, economically. Two things drive this country's economy, trade and energy. Two thirds of the coutry's trade goes through the port of Los Angeles and a good fifty percent of the energy (read:petroleum) through the port of Houston. Take out those two ports, and I do mean ports, not the downtown areas, and you could conceivably cripple the country for months, possibly years (I hope Homeland Security is reading this and taking notes because those are this country's two most vulnerable spots to a terrorist attack of such magnitude). But, as I have pointed out, terrorists think with their emotions and not their brains. Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida is nothing more than an irritating annoyance that has nothing more going for it than psychological ground. They got lucky that there was a change in America's government to an administration that dropped the ball and proved their own leaders were jerky, half-assed dreamers with no thought out plan for following through - just like Al-Qaida. Hijacking those planes and crashing into the World Trade Center (and the Pentagon) was tragic but not very strategic - the only payoff was that the U.S. wasted its resources getting bogged down in a regional conflict - a smarter, less emotion-prone, more thoughtful administration would have sought retribution in a more clandestine but efficient way and nipped the terrorist operation and others like it in the bud.

Kevin Kunreuther | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:13AM

I'd like to know how many of your predictions would have been correct if you'd not made them public. And if we'd not been hit by the credit crunch.

aidan | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:30AM

Thank you for your honest assessment of matters technical for the last decade and a bit. I've been reading them since the Frog.

Simon McGarr | Dec 17, 2008 | 5:28AM

Here's a future column: what is the meaning of Apple's exit from MacWorld - the retirement of Steve Jobs, the now and future ubiquity of Apple products, who needs the expense of a trade show in a perilous economy

Kevin Kunreuther | Dec 17, 2008 | 5:57AM

Farewell Bob, and good luck. Hope to see your work again at the new site.

longtimereader | Dec 17, 2008 | 6:03AM

The selling of Nerd TV:The Unseen Second Season

This not either/or choices, I recommend distribution via all choices:
1.)Sell through iTunes, Rhapsody, etcetera
2.)Adopt South Park method: solicit sponsors, stream episodes on net, break up episodes with single 30 second message, after ten to fourteen days, withdraw episode for six weeks, while posting new episode every week. After sixth week, re-post episode permanently with rotating single sponsor messages.
3.)Sell entire season bundled with season one as a DVD set online at,, etcetera.
4.)License to PBS, cable networks.
5.)Post episodes on You Tube or Google Video with sponsor messages.
6.)Offer to high schools and colleges computer sciences and math and business departments.

Happy Holidays and good luck!

Kevin Kunreuther | Dec 17, 2008 | 7:32AM

I wish you all the best bob - you'll find a job that fit's your needs and talent - I'm sure!!!

Thomas | Dec 17, 2008 | 8:27AM

Hi Bob, I ve enjoyed your views for many years - have fun with your new venture - crazy time to start - but if was easy everyone would be doing it

George O'Connor | Dec 17, 2008 | 8:41AM

As another long time reader, I want to say thanks for all your great work and best of luck on your future endeavors!

Marc | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:03AM

I too thank you, Cringester #1, and salute you. And I am glad that I'll still be able to catch your 'swing for the fences' style of IT-speculation on the new site.

As far as this year's look back at 08, I'd like to ask why you think that the 'shift away from PCs to mobile devices' began last year, and not the year before, or the year that Blackberry addiction became noticeable? And why do you call a netbook (most of whose selling units run MS-WinXP as the OS) not a PC, when they would be super-specced laptops if they had come out 7 years ago?

An idea for a future column for the new site: will tablets ever take off the way Bill Gates always dreamed? It seems that the keyboard really is refusing to die easy.

s pond | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:09AM

Bob, I've been a faithful reader for all eleven years. Thanks for the insight and wit. I'll look forward to more.

Michael | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:11AM

Good luck Bob, always enjoyed your column (ooer) and your books. Please keep writing!

tonelander | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:19AM

It is somewhat astounding, for me at any rate, to contemplate that the death of daily newspapers may suddenly be moving from "inevitable" to "happening right now."

Then again, I'm 30 and haven't had a proper daily paper since I moved out of my parents' house a dozen years ago. (And compared to others my age and younger, I tend to stick with older technologies...)

I've thought over the years that I would LIKE to have a daily paper, if I had money to burn. But... for practical purposes, there's just no need. After I finished reading a newspaper, with information several hours old (at best), what would I do?

Obviously, I would go over to my Mac and check in with news sites to learn what's actually going on in the world.

I don't need the funny pages, or high school sports... obviously, local news coverage suffers, but... I don't really care that much. Given how much people move around these days, I doubt I'm alone, either.

All of which is kind of sad and worrisome, in a way, but what is to be done.

Cheers Bobbo.

Matt K | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:36AM

NO, thank you Cringely. Your column has always become a welcomed treat each week.

Arturo | Dec 17, 2008 | 10:20AM

Thank you for your courageous vision. To hide in the shadows of obscure generalizations and safe ideas founded on pre-released, privileged information is common and weak. I truly value your writing and am glad to know that it will live on in another form. I hope that your new format will liberate and empower you. You've said nothing of the sort, but I'm reminded of the flexibility you found once you stepped away from the X-Prize foundation and implemented a business model to continue to pursue your unique vision of the moon mission. Success! and thank you deeply.

Josh | Dec 17, 2008 | 10:47AM

Best of luck (skill?) to you, Bob. I've always enjoyed your column and your specials. I'll definitely bookmark your new site.

Thanks much!

John Longawa | Dec 17, 2008 | 10:48AM

We'll all miss you and your column! I hope you keep writing elsewhere.

If the daily newspapers had more journalists with your honesty, insight, and sense of humor maybe they could squeeze out a few more years.

Tim M | Dec 17, 2008 | 10:57AM

Thank you for many years of interesting reading and insights into the IT world. I too shall bookmark the new site and continue to follow the "man".

Barry Winters | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:02AM

All the very best of luck Bob, it's been a fun ride over the last 11 years and I'll sure miss my Thursday column!
It really does feel like the ending of one thing and the beginning of another!
Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

DaleO | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:06AM

Thank you! No one does technology market forecasting and kibitzing better!

Steve | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:06AM

All the very best of luck Bob, it's been a fun ride over the last 11 years and I'll sure miss my Thursday column!
It really does feel like the ending of one thing and the beginning of another!
Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

DaleO | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:07AM

I have read your column here for over 10 years. I have already bookmarked your new site. As far as your predications for this year, don't worry. A significant number of people were wrong about things this year.

We forgive you...


Steven Jones | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:08AM

Thanks for the past and I'll be looking to see your future.

JEE | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:08AM

I am happy to see you are continuing to educate and enlighten. I am a long time reader and look for to your artcles for years to come. Thanks Robert.

Harvey Beaudette | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:08AM

Thanks Bob. Best of luck in your next adventure.

Greg Franks | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:10AM

Good luck - I'll still follow you. With the loss of Ed Foster, you are our last, best critic of the industry.

George OConnor | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:13AM


I think you were wrong when you said that XP would die and had missed that prediction. You were not looking at netbooks.

I just bought an MSI Wind U100 netbook and my wife is delighted; I think I am also. The delight is immediate for both of us; the "I think" will depend on how dependable it is.

But for the subject of my comment, my MSI netbook came with XP and so do many others; I would not have bought it otherwise. XP is still alive! It has just fallen into the netbooks. I claim you can score on this prediction.

I am a dedicated Mac owner/user, but I am bi-lingual and have a home laptop PC for certain personal applications not available on the Mac and have "Parallels" for work as needed. The MSI thing got my attention as my wife really needs a lighter weight thing to drag around with her. The MSI (just bought) seems to fit that description. I repeat, I reserve judgement on the particular hardware depending on its long-term reliability. But I almost thought of getting a "his" to match hers, it is such a nice product; the list of capabilities is just about what I would have specified. I decided to wait to buy one for myself because we have too many computers anyway. However if the rumor that the Jan '09 MacWorld will announce a similar Mac-produced netbook, I will be on it like a cheap polyester suit.

As another topic while I am here, I think that Microsoft is working hard to shoot themselves in the foot. It appears that they are working hard to upset Office users as much as they have done with Vista for operating systems. A friend of mine "upgraded" to Mac Office 2008 as recommended by our company's IT organization and and he has many complaints and few compliments. I'll let you look into that and expand on it in some column you may write someday.


Albert Whittlesey

Albert Whittlesey | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:18AM

Bob, thanks. I've been following your progress since the days of Revenge of the Nerds, when I used to show the video series to my high school classes each year. I've always enjoyed your writing, your insights, and the way you manage to take big ideas and make them easier to understand. Bad luck about your predictions from last year but as the last commenter said, at least you're willing to give it a go with some real predictions and not just wishy washy ones.
Good luck with the new venture and with wherever it takes you. I'll be following with interest.

Chris Betcher | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:22AM

Lots of good reads, thanks v much.....

Skaffen Amtiskaw | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:29AM

Thanks, Mark. It's been a great run. See you at the other site.

Randall Newton | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:30AM

I think you missed the boat on number 7 because of the "WalMart" effect. Up until about June of this year, it looked like Target was on the trail to replace WalMart much as WalMart had earlier replaced KMart. But with the change in the economy AND the folks at WalMart waking up and smelling the coffee, things have quickly turned around since WalMart was still the 800lb gorilla. I suspect 2009/2010 will see Microsoft pulling the same trick.

EwanG | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:37AM

Bob, thanks for the insight and introspective analysis of the IT industry. You've been dead on a lot more than not, or some would like to admit. Keep it up on your new ventures we'll see you at your new site.....or when you deliver my pizza.

Jeff Barnard | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:38AM

Thanks for the columns and making technology easy to understand.

Ir seems that age discrimination will also peak, I'm 37 now so it's becoming a personal issue...

Martijn Koldijk | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:39AM

Why are your predictions on different than what you wrote in this article? I guess you can pick which predictions to showcase at the end of 2009 in order to improve your score.

Anyway thanks for all the articles, they were always interesting if not accurate.

A couple typo corrections in caps:

This is a slow process as I said it would be but generally I think I was correct. Sales growth for PCs slowed in general while growth for smartphones and NOTEBOOKS increased.

It's not like starting Cisco or Dell, but a 10-bagger business model that can be replicated over and over again while actually helping TO MAKE SURE the nation can't fail.

paulwesterberg | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:44AM

You are definitely correct about the continuing "undead" Win XP! I have recently purchased an Eee PC netbook and an Acer Aspire - both with XP. I have FIVE Win Vista PCs that have been "upgraded" to Win XP. (something about DRM, Blu-ray dics that worked on XP, but won't on Vista.. yada yada).

Best of luck in your next venture! (I still prize that coffee cup.. from your previous "gig" )

Bob Randall | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:49AM

Listen to the song "The New World" by the band X. They had it right in 1983. Amazing prediction.

TonyR | Dec 17, 2008 | 11:56AM

Thanks Bob! I've been enjoying your column for years and am happy to see you're continuing over at (Bonus there's a new column there already!).

There have been many times where your thought provoking ideas have given us a glimpse of the possible and profane in the industry. I hope you and PBS can team up for future projects as you seem like a good match philosophically.

-Greg Peterson

Greg Peterson | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:04PM

So long Bob, and thanks for all the pulpits.

Look forward to reading on on your own site.

Daniel | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:14PM

Thanks for all the columns, Bob. I'm glad to hear you'll be continuing.

Leif | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:17PM

I think Microsoft is allowing XP to continue. I installed it on another machine and used the license from an old computer and it didn't give me any trouble. I think you're wrong about Apple though. They might be successful away from the pc and like you said the pc will collapse for them, but Microsoft will continue to dominate pcs. Their next system will probably be better and they might push out Mac for good. Apple has done well with more expensive items but that strategy is not going to work now. They might get a big share of the phone market but only if they go cheap. Their stock is going to suffer.

Frank | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:17PM

Hey Bob, I've been reading your columns for all of those 11 years - after being a fan of Triumph of the Nerds. I'm sorry to here your finishing on PBS, glad you didn't get fired this time too! Will be looking to for future updates - good luck fella. Warm Regards Jim

Jim Clover | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:22PM

So long, and thanks for all the fish Bob. :)

matt | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:27PM

Secure Computing® TrustedSource had your site marked as a spam site so it was blocked by company proxy.

Have put in request for re-evaluation.

Dave | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:30PM

Concerning Microsoft, I liked your idea of gifting the xbox with PCish abilities. The vast reservoir of unpatched PCs has proven hazardous to businesses on Windows, putting casual users on a different OS could make life much quieter for business users. Of course, all those users migrating to Mac could accomplish the same thing.

Tim Harness | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:36PM

I am not in the securities business, but your column has been one of the few places where I have found a significantly deep analysis of the business. I have been reading your columns regularly since the late 80s and your humor is unique.

davidjensen | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:39PM

I take issue only with prediction number 10, specifically with the "Then what's up? Apple!" portion.

Apple has, if anything, reached the point where the "cool" factor is wearing off and people who use the products that Apple produces are now willing to step outside the "cult of the Mac" and admit that there are in fact often problems with the devices. In addition, Apple remains overpriced and in a falling economy will no longer be able to command such a (marketing driven) premium price. And to top it all off, Steve Jobs (who really is Apple) may well be on the way out. In fact, my prediction for 2009 is that Steve Jobs will not be the head of Apple in 2010.

Roman Berry | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:43PM

Good luck with whatever you do next Bob, really enjoyed your column (pardon the pun)over all these years. I,Cringely has been going the length of my working life so its sad to see it go. here we come!

Thurstan Johnston | Dec 17, 2008 | 12:44PM

TO KEVIN K. Please start a column!

Will C. | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:00PM

Thanks for the columns! It was entertaining.

Guillaume | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:02PM

Thanks for many years of wonderful articles!
Best of luck Bob.

J J | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:17PM

I predict we haven't heard the last of Robert X. Cringely predictions.

And I am thankful for that.

John R.

John R. | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:26PM


I've been reading your columns since 2000, back when they had Gates and Jobs at the top with the tagline, "He dared challenge the planet's monster rulers". Thanks for all those years of interesting reading. I'll look up your new site, and I hope you'll do a follow-up to your two "Nerds" documentaries. They inspired me to go up to Silicon Valley myself - though unfortunately, it was right when the bubble burst. Next time something as interesting as that revolution takes place, I'll try to get a quicker jump on it when there's more time to enjoy it.

Best regards, and God bless.

Chris Ross | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:31PM

I'm really gonna miss your email announcements for your columns... any chance PBS will let you migrate your mailing list and you can keep spamming me?

Really really sad to see you go - thanks for 10 great years!

c.wright | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:35PM

Bob, best wishes to you and your family. Your work in documenting the ongoing history of the personal computing industry is a tremendous legacy. Thanks. I'm changing my bookmark right now.

Steve | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:00PM

Thank you for all the insights and fun

Benjamin | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:01PM

Sometimes your columns were insightful, sometimes they were flame-bait, but they were always entertaining. I'm kinda sad this place is getting mothballed. Good thing it isn't too hard to get a blog on the internet these days. Oh look, you've already got one.

See you on

Vishal | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:07PM

I'll be looking for your new site to bookmark! I've been a reader of yours since your work for one of those weekly tabloids whose name I can't remember. I was doing some MIS teaching at a college then, and I found grist for my mill in your columns.

Your words will be missed in THIS space! Thanks for all of them.

Jim S.

Jim | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:08PM

The best office product on the planet is MS Office 2008 for the Mac. The worst is MS Office 2007 for the PC. Apple's iWork is OK but I much prefer to use Office 2008. I don't think Apple can produce an office product that can match what the Mac developers at MS have done. Of course MS may re-assign those developers to other projects and thus ruin their Mac product, but barring that, I don't think you will be right with your prediction that Apple will go head-to-head in the office arena.

Robert F. | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:15PM

Take care, "Bob". It's been a fun ride reading your columns!
Regards, Jim

Jim Jerzycke | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:32PM

Thanks for all of the thought provoking columns over the years. You did your part to help people with the DTV transition with your TV special.
I look forward to your next adventure.

Ed G. | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:36PM

Hello Cringely. Sorry to see you go--I've seen you on PBS since your first installment of "Triumph of the Nerds" back in the Win95 era of computing. Remember how dismal life for apple was back then? Well, I think that Apple's recent pullout from macworld is a very risky move for apple, and it doesn't signal wise decision making on apple's part. Apple is right to say that they have many other ways to connect with potential buyers and that they don't directly need the public forums anymore, but comparing apple's withdrawal from macworld to a political strategy, it would be like a politician trying to run an internet-only campaign without any public speeches, town hall meetings, or kissing of babies. In other words, the end of macworld will cut apple's ability to generate excitement amongst NORMAL people that don't pay special attention to apple's website on a weekly basis. While macworld cost a few million$ to put on, it also generated tens of millions of dollars worth of excitement--the kind of excitement a high-margin tech company with uncompetitive pricing needs in early January after the christmas shopping season. Without macworld, that exciting forum will be gone, and everybody from college students to their grandmothers will no longer be excited about apple's upcoming year. I know I won't pay attention any more. If he leaves apple, THE steve will have this downturn in publicity conveniently shifted to his heir to sort out, and just maybe people won't be as willing to pay $1400 for a $700 laptop anymore. Steve won't get blamed for his mkistake, though. And microsoft won't share these poblems, I think. What do you think?

James | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:43PM

Thanks Bob, for all the insights. Your articles were entertaining, educational and thought provoking. Made me feel like I actually had the scoop (sometimes!).

Mark | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:54PM

I've enjoyed your columns for many years. Thanks for all your hard work. I wish you luck with your future projects.

Randal | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:54PM

Your column is one of the few places I go for insight and comment on the tech industry. I hope I will still be able to get my fix through your own site.

Best of luck

Dominic | Dec 17, 2008 | 2:55PM

Bob, thank you for the insightful columns and Nerd TV episodes you've posted in this space. And while I'm at it, Accidental Empires was loads of fun as well.
Best of luck with your new ventures.

J-M. | Dec 17, 2008 | 3:03PM

Thanks for all the columns Bob. I look forward to what you do next.

The bank prediction seems spot on. I just switched away from a big bank to a smaller one because of poor customer service and fears the bank would go out of business. I think another area that would do extremely well is a bank that issues credit cards with no hassles. A bank that is upfront about charges and interest rates. No hidden gotchas, no hidden fees, just be upfront and work with customers. That credit card would do extremely well with anyone screwed by credit cards offering no hassle, but in reality are a huge hassle.

Wally Glenn | Dec 17, 2008 | 3:51PM

I don't have much faith in any of your apocalyptic Apple/Microsoft predictions. Not one of them has ever panned out over 11 years but I am still going to miss your PBS columns.

Thanks for eleven years of informed entertainment.

Have a great holiday season and keep us updated with your new plans.

Ian Stewart | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:04PM

I'm not really gonna miss your columns. Your material lately has been somewhat stale, uninteresting, and off the mark. You're right, you have lost all credibility, and not just from your dismal 35% prediction hit for 2008. Let's hope the change of venue improves your content.

Bill | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:28PM

Bob, thanks for the columns, the books, the documentary videos... I STILL tell people how you managed to extend DSL ten miles to your old place in California by using two AirPort access points and Yagi antennas and a willing "neighbor"... or the Linux-powered 'movie server' in your minivan. Good times.

Feel free to drop in a few guest editorials to PBS, as well as sites like ZDnet, C/NET, or even Microsoft. Someone has to keep these young bucks on their toes.

George Erhard
IPTV Operations, AT&T U-Verse
Irving TX

P.S. No worries about the predictions. At least if you had a doom and gloom prediction, you told us about it, instead of ignoring the signs hoping that they're wrong, like most of Wall Street!!

George | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:30PM

Bob use a email newsletter service and ad a link to it on your blog. I like receiving notification of your weekly posts versus going to a blog and checking.

TJGodel | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:38PM

Thanks for all the columns, Bob...I've followed you since the Infoworld days. I've either shared my copy-or gotten folks to buy a copy of Accidental Empires-many times since the early nineties so they can get a sense of what the early days of the PC universe were like-the youngsters these days have no clue what things were like before PC's became really big business.

It doesn't matter if you have been right or wrong-when you've been wrong you've owned it...and regardless, you've always been a good read.

I'll be following you in the future-but for the closing of this era on PBS: So long and thanks for the fish! ;-)

Gary Bren | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:39PM

I think these Cringely columns are like spoiled milk: despite knowing better, you have to give it a whiff.

That said, thanks for 11 years of spin.

True, you have lost a lot of credibility, not so much from predictions (they are just educated guesses) but more from your all knowing attitude and inability to admit real failure - like the ludicrous "moonshot" spin on a failed idea.

Steve Yakoban | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:44PM

Having followed your column from when I had to visit the local IT library to get access to the Silicon Valley rag where it then was printed, be sure I am staying with it when you move. One of the comments says your stuff has become tedious lately. There is a _very_ slight element of truth in this, but its not you, its that the branch has become more stable and tedious, as the giants choke all the new, small innovators. My respects to Pammy, if you ever see her these days.

Don | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:47PM


Many, many thanks for your regular insightful, provoking and entertaining thoughts.

Good luck with your 'new suit'; they tend to be a bit tight and constricting at first but comfortable with time.


Phil | Dec 17, 2008 | 4:49PM

Bob -- You may have slipped a notch from the heady ComputerWeek days but you are still a great read.

One category missing from your predictions.... What do you think the possibilities are for someone like Apple to come out with a real usable PVR -- what Apple TV should have been? I think that would be a category killer as the growth of video content is extraordinary, and no one has come up with an elegant way to manage all these growing assets. And isn't the future of entertainment going to be in the living room, on all those larger and larger LCD TVs ??

Paul B.

Paul B. | Dec 17, 2008 | 5:10PM

Thank you, Bob.

I've already bookmarked the web site. As a reader since the Infoworld days, I value your "take" on the world in general and the IT world in particular.

Keep on keeping on!


Phil Kuhn | Dec 17, 2008 | 5:50PM

Well, I haven't heard the "small bank" model much, but I notice VC getting interested in alternative energy. T. Boone Pickens is in it for the money, and the market for energy is far huger than the market for tech. Those giant windmills pay for themselves in a year, I have heard, and last for decades.

That gets to break-even faster than most startups and the multiples will be as good as software; because like software there is a near-zero cost of goods sold.

Similar things hold true for ocean, thermal solar and geothermal. Pickens isn't the only one that thinks we have hit peak oil, and if OPEC gets its members in line, oil will be back at $90/barrel next year. I kind of doubt the VC will settle for banking (especially with a ton of new regulations in the pipe) when they can still be hitting home runs in a field much like the 80's and 90's for software: Nobody knows what they are doing, and a few million thrown at a small team of engineers with nothing but a cool idea and an empty lot can grow into a powerhouse. Literally!

Tony C. | Dec 17, 2008 | 6:07PM

I have enjoyed reading your columns here at PBS and look forward to reading them wherever you go. You are a brand all by yourself.

Stephen B. | Dec 17, 2008 | 6:18PM

Bob predicted Apple would not just bring multitouch to computers, but use it to replace the mouse. Their multitouch pads are just an extension of the pre-existing multitouchpads (two finger scrolling).

Ephilei | Dec 17, 2008 | 7:31PM

Bob, I am sad to you see you leave.

Ephilei | Dec 17, 2008 | 7:37PM

Thanks for the interesting writing!

mike | Dec 17, 2008 | 7:43PM

First thing, thanks, and I'll be along at the new place.

Re. #11, might take a look at this Bloomberg piece today. Of course, the guy is/was a banker to begin with, but note where his venture bucks are going to go. (No relation to the president or the car company.)

Bill Warren | Dec 17, 2008 | 7:48PM

What is the chance that you'll actually publish season 2 of nerd tv? And is that part of the reason you're leaving PBS?

eric | Dec 17, 2008 | 7:50PM

Thanks for the years of insights, rumors, crazy predictions(why bother making any other kind?) and humor. And thanks to PBS for hosting. I'll be checking out the new site, keep up the good work!

Russ Born | Dec 17, 2008 | 8:29PM

Yes, thank you for all the years of columns, Bob. So often interesting, and you are brave enough to say what you imagine - it is not a problem not always to be right with honest imagination, is it.

Will certainly follow you to the new home, and in fact it's already in my Google Reader, with your opening article.

Best of the season, to you and your family,

Narr IB | Dec 17, 2008 | 8:59PM

Well Bob so long and thanks for the fish. Glad to see you're not vanishing entirely, and thanks too for your final predictions. Now I know 2008 is complete. And while I'm at it, thanks for the various series you've done esp. the original Nerds. That's handed me back my mojo at times I've needed it most. I will follow you on A merry Christmas and 2009 to you and your family.

Dave | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:22PM

Thanks for your years of great work, Bob. Good luck in everything you do.

Steve McKisic | Dec 17, 2008 | 9:46PM

I think you already got #10 wrong ("Apple will certainly continue to grow its Macintosh market share."). Sales of Apple's Macintosh computers in the U.S. were flat in November, while sales of PCs running Microsoft Windows grew 7 percent in November, according to a report issued by market researcher NPD Group. (

B Meacham | Dec 17, 2008 | 10:02PM

bye Bob.....I am gonna miss ye.

Zippy the Hippy | Dec 17, 2008 | 10:21PM

good luck, Bob. Your prolix was always the highlight of my week...catch you on the dotcom side.

David Weil | Dec 18, 2008 | 12:15AM

Thanx for the reeds Bob

Alvaro Guevara | Dec 18, 2008 | 1:17AM

TO KEVIN K. Please start a column!
Will C. | Dec 17, 2008 | 1:00PM

Thanks for the compliment.
I'll still be following Bob.

Kevin Kunreuther | Dec 18, 2008 | 1:23AM

Generally you get it right, but this time #1 thru #7 are right off the news pages from the last couple of weeks!

C'mon Bob, you can do better.

regularReader | Dec 18, 2008 | 1:51AM

Whoah, eleven years... am I that old?
Anyway - thank you Bob for being such a wonderful guide through the IT maze.
And don't forget that your "fanbase" here in Germany is bigger than you might think.

Armin | Dec 18, 2008 | 1:54AM

Thank you and hopefully not good bye for a wonderful colomn. I personally will miss it. Good luck in your new (ad)ventures :-)

Paolo | Dec 18, 2008 | 3:01AM

Thank you for your column and best of luck in the future. Regarding the predictions I believe you are mostly right except for pts. 7 and 10. It looks like your hedging your bets by predicting a decline for a company that has only gone up throghout the whole history (not including the share price). The logic being nothing grows into heaven. The logic is OK but who knows where heaven is?

Regular reader

Alexander | Dec 18, 2008 | 4:01AM

Cheers Bob.
Good luck on the next venture.

As for Apple... take in account Jobs might be leaving (illness or otherwise; why isn't he at the final macworld apple attends to?) and I wonder how succesfull apple will be.

Also take in account the terrible lock-in apple provides with their iTunes and they have a couple of lawsuits on their hands.

I wonder about Apple.

The shifts to mobile: yes, the peak of Microsoft: perhaps, unless they have something brilliant coming up; the rest: I'm clueless.
But I'd like to see the outcome.

Thanks for the 11 years. btw is it a coincidence that the number 11 is 'the fools number'? In The Netherlands it is anyways.

Charlie Mason | Dec 18, 2008 | 6:03AM

Thank you for an insightful, smart and funny column that I always looked forward to reading. I hope you continue your predictions in one form or another in the future.

Conor Nash | Dec 18, 2008 | 7:43AM

Nice predictions, my points:

1. An AMD acquisition will not happen because under their terms of the x86 architecture licensing agreement with Intel, the license is void upon change of control at AMD (meaning if they are acquired, or there is significant new ownership, no more x86 clones for AMD). This is very significant, and explains why they are stuck and have been for a few years now.

2. With venture capital funds, there are strict investment guidlines when the funds are established. When A VC raises a fund from LP's, they raise the money under the condition of these guidlines (which include size of investments, areas, company size, conflicts of interest). These guidlines are there specifically so that VC funds can't just go off and invest in real estate. The partners are startup capital investors, if the LP's in a fund wanted their money invested in banks, they would have made the investments themselves or found a more appropriate vehicle. That being said, the cash that a fund holds is usually stored as bonds or some other flexible investment mechanism when it isn't being invested in startups - but the guidelines here are very, very strict in terms of where the money can be deposited and where it lives.

Also note, that in the total scheme of funding availability, VC's (especially tech VC) provide only a very very small drop in the ocean, esp when compared to hedge funds and other vehicles. They can place the fund on ice, or re-invest in their existing portfolio to keep it alive (this is more likely to happen). I would say that there will be a lot of existing portfolio companies raising new rounds in the next couple of quarters for the purposes of acquiring struggling startups in whole, or as asset transactions. VCs are more inclined to top up their portfolios during tougher times so that the better companies and models they have already invested in can survive the 12-24 month winter period.

3. Do not agree on Microsoft. The majority of the groups there (office, dev, enterprise, windows) are still some of the most profitable businesses in the world. They need to get live up to scratch, which I expect they will over the next 12 months now that we are starting to see the fruits of Ozzie's work there (Mesh, Azure etc.). Microsoft will buy some chunks of Yahoo, most likely search, Flickr, answers and the ad serving tech. They will probably pay a fraction of their previous offer (around 6-8B is my guess). Search would be a deal structured over a 4-6 year period so that Yahoo can also hold onto their own core property.

4. Apple wont be able to grow fast enough nor develop fast enough to keep up with its market opportunities. It took MSFT decades to become a sausage factory for profitable applications. Google only have a single profitable product out of the 80 or so they have released (they also wont be finding additional revenue streams in the next 12 months - so their PE will remain around 15-20, effectively locking them in as a media company until they do). Apple aren't close to producing a competitive office or productivity suite internally, that being said though:

a) they may jump on the OpenOffice bandwagon, as they have a history of leveraging open source to accelerate new product releases (Safari, Darwin, etc.). They could either distribute OpenOffice (unlikely, since the product isn't up to scratch for Apple standards), or fork the project, simplify it and attach a new Apple name to it

b) they could go the web-based office suite route by acquiring companies or building internally. Tying in desktop documents with iDisk and MobileMe. Like, or, but all Apple.

n | Dec 18, 2008 | 8:03AM

Best of luck Bob, I have followed your work since your excellent "Accidental Empires". Keep up the good work!


Philip Kearns | Dec 18, 2008 | 9:23AM

Everything wonderful is going away! Bob, thank you for sharing your amazing brain with us. I feel a megabit depressed!
Also, I wish I knew how the PBS thing works, but they never answer any of my mail. I fear that they too will soon depart the scene with their bazaar way of doing things.
The only constant is change...for a dollar.

Peace, James Atha
Carrollton Texas

James Atha | Dec 18, 2008 | 5:09PM


Thank you. :)

tomg | Dec 18, 2008 | 5:51PM

Have been enjoying the weekly columns for the last 5 years. Thanks for the your great and sometime slightly absurd insight.

All the best in your next endeavour.

And thanks to pbs for keeping with it for so long.

Eric Lussier | Dec 19, 2008 | 7:50AM

I'll miss your podcast!!!!

Thank you for all the info. I don't always agree with you but I do agree that the opportunity for real medical progress (specially treatment efficacy) will be missed in the US. And the computerization will undoubtedly cost triple what any other country would pay and work a third as well. PeopleSoft and Oracle will be fatcats and thus will confusion and chaos continue to reign.

Wishing you well in future ventures.

jk | Dec 19, 2008 | 8:50AM

It seems strange that PBS would get rid of this column since it appears to be very popular. I went to your site You should put some Adsense stuff on there. It should produce some income for you since it will get plenty of hits.

No One | Dec 19, 2008 | 11:27AM

One of my favorite columns since the print days and on into the days. Much love to you Bob and will be visiting you at (how about a mailing list so we don't miss the updates, eh?!?)

Rob | Dec 19, 2008 | 4:28PM

...And BTW, first Spencer F. Katt retires and becomes a consultant. Now Cringley is retiring...should we in the industry take that to mean that there's nothing intresting worth covering anymore or that the rats are leaving the sinking ship???

Rob | Dec 19, 2008 | 4:38PM

So Apple is in the news a lot, so things will continue on linearly and they'll take over the world. Microsoft looking frail, so likewise draw a straight line. Worst type of prediction. Time to short Apple ;)

Ego still intact from Cringely - " gift to you, America and the world" LOL, yeah sorry every man & his dog is looking to start a bank (in many countries all over the world) because of the new govt guarantees. Ya didn't invent that one sunshine.

obo | Dec 19, 2008 | 5:42PM

Creating small banks and readily flow of small credit line has been the best economic development plan in developing countries, and the back-bone of middle class success in countless old countries in Eurasia for centuries. My favorite story right now has to be the Tower of Babel. There's no better parallel for the current financial meltdown. There is something to be said about financial 'vehicles" and "products" that are so huge and complex that no one person anywhere can understand or explain it. Ponzi schemes so large no one questions. Is it any wonder they failed? So who will fall next? Just look at which companies are the fat, lazy, complex machinery.

Deanston | Dec 19, 2008 | 9:50PM

I'll take a large pepperoni with green olives and mushrooms!

Good luck in your "retirement". Always enjoyed reading this column.

Dan Marois | Dec 20, 2008 | 6:52PM

great post i cant wait to see the showdown i prefer mac anyways over windows but my favorite right now is linux ubuntu def my favorite you dont have to worry about any viruses, after i just spend almost $50 on

for a virus software

Tech Buster | Dec 20, 2008 | 9:22PM

Hey Cringley,

I'm glad you will still be writing--have to have my cringley fix!! You provide excellent content and drove me to provide some internet content--many thanks to you!!

Harold | Dec 21, 2008 | 1:11AM

Thanks for the eleven years at the PBS site. I will continue to watch for your wisdom and follow you in your other life. : ) Perth, Western Australia

Paul R. | Dec 21, 2008 | 4:13AM

Thanks for this last round of predictions. Although I only read about a hundred from the 603 post you wrote at PBS, I can say that while you may not always hit a bullseye with your predictions, they are never very far from actual reality.
Will love to read further at cringely,.com, thanks for the link.

Csaba | Dec 21, 2008 | 1:30PM

Thanks Bob, and good luck.

Ashley Stephens | Dec 21, 2008 | 6:47PM

I, too am convinced that Microsoft is going to lose serious ground to Apple. I also think that the recession will be one of the forces that sours big companies usage of Microsoft Office.

Mike Williamson | Dec 21, 2008 | 7:04PM

Apple is licensing DisplayPort? 1/2 point?

Vic | Dec 21, 2008 | 7:06PM

Your columns have been a staple of Sunday afternoon reading for years. You will be missed. Thanks a million, Bob.

Jeff Duncan | Dec 21, 2008 | 8:02PM

Gee Bob, I hope your web site will continue with the same content with equal amounts of alacrity and humour.

- Should try to buy Adobe
- Should then make their safari work with all Adobe web development products. (Someone's got to make a web page development package that renders in a browser like a book... you know... Home page, Index, then numbered pages with page-tabs down the right side. It should be Apple.) They'd blow everyone out of the water! Grannies would be able to use the net!
- Should move into TV design and production (with an Asian partner obviously) and the end game should be to knock off Windows Media Server and to dominate the family den.
-Should pencil agreements with companies like Disney, Universal Studios, Pixar and the likes of Google's YouTube for content.
-Should acquire an accounting software company and start moving into business world. It should be someone like Softrend Systems Inc. of Canada
-Should acquire, if they can't build a company like it.
-Should ask Santa for all the money required to do all of the above. :-)

Sandy Milne | Dec 22, 2008 | 1:22AM

603 columns, huh? And to think--I read each one, from first to last.

Gabriel | Dec 23, 2008 | 1:03AM

Hi Bob,

Many thanks for your weekly blogs, I have enjoyed them very much and, hopefully, you will continue your musings on your web site so that we can all continue to enjoy them well into the future.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and successful year in 2009.

Roger Adams | Dec 23, 2008 | 9:44AM

Bob, how many of us would have to sign up for DVDs of NerdTV Season 2 at ... $75? $100 per DVD full-season DVD set for you to break even on the production costs?

The insight NerdTV provided me is worth much more than $100, but let's say $75-$100 to catch as many as possible...

Anyone? Anyone?

Happy holidays and best wishes again.

Derek | Dec 24, 2008 | 9:05PM

OK, I'm in. Let's get those community banks going now!!!!

courtney benson | Dec 26, 2008 | 1:57PM

Four predictions right and 11 wrong? That's still better than economists and Wall Street analysts.

dg | Dec 27, 2008 | 10:41PM

The general move towards laptops and online content replacing the windows box and windows apps is probably what helps apple the most. The only reason to buy a generic windows box is for office and games; and a mac will differentiate you -- it's all advertising; just like soap. A good thing, i think.

Besides, Office functionality has become generic (i do fine with apple software). The kicker is probably exchange.

Much more interesting is how Apple captured the pc-in-your-pocket market. That is where the real growth is :)

tor | Dec 28, 2008 | 9:51PM

The vaporware award for NerdTV Season 2 is in the wings...... Where is it? I submitted NerdTV Season 2 as Vaporware to Wired's list of VAPORWARE. I recommened this to many people to have it just go away.

What gives Cringely???

Jeff Grayson | Dec 29, 2008 | 1:27PM

I don't have a lot of hope for a Jobs-less Apple. They have proven they can't do it in the past, and what has changed?

Apple is still largely about ooh-shiny. They can benefit from the decline of MS, but not solely. The opportunity carcass will be split among several.

Here's a hat tip - I made some bucks on AMD on the way up, from your predictions about Intel's 64 bit fiasco. Lost it on the way down, but that's my fault.


Hackney | Dec 29, 2008 | 1:27PM

Thanks for the many great articles and insights! I'll be updating my Google bookmark from this column to your webpage, and I expect to see some more insightful articles there in the near future! Don't get lazy on us!

Brian | Dec 29, 2008 | 2:37PM

The fact that Apple pulled out of MacWorld is the most telling sign of things to come you will ever see from the company. On this surface this seems to mearly mean that Steve Jobs may be sick, wants to spend time with his family, whatever the reason it doesn't really matter because the result is the same. No Steve at Apple in the near future. Maybe not today, maybe not in six months, maybe not even in a year, but soon. The scope of this is profound.

1. If you are Steve Jobs and you are the only human being in the world that REALLY knows what is about to happen then you have to assess your priorities. Do you spend the rest of your time left building the team and the tools to continue the march on MS without you? Do you say "screw it" and move Apple into another field entirely? Do you assume the company will go down in flames without you and burn everything to the ground and leave nothing left to destroy your longest standing enemies? Do you turn philanthropist and dedicate yourself and your company to the good of Earth? If history means anything, Steve Jobs can never be trusted to do anything but the grandest of egomaniacal plans. Sometimes you get the Sistine Chapel, sometimes you get the Titanic.

2. Apple isn't sticking with computer tech. Now most people know this on some level but don't expand on what that means. Apple survives solely on building ecosystems that feed back into itself. Without this they would have been ground into the dirt by now. To carry this practice into the future they are going to need products. Lots of products. Unfortunatly, Apple doesn't make a lot of products and and been very coy about introducing new lines due to the fear of failures eroding the public perception of the company's genius in product design. How do you combat this? How do you take the best computer designers in the industry and move them into non-computer related markets? If you're Apple, you don't. You make the other industries move to making products your people know how to dominate. Example 1: iphone. Don't make a phone that does computer tasks, make a computer that does phone tasks. Everyone else: please follow. Example 2: Apple TV. Don't make a settop box that can connect to itunes, make a computer that does nothing else but itunes. Example 3: The Apple Television. Now this product doesn't exist you say? Yes, it does. Simply combine products one and two. You will see the beginning of this next year at CES. This, will be Steve Jobs swan song.

3. Steve Jobs isn't crazy, but he does play one on TV. Steve Jobs biggest problem between now and the grave is Steve. How does a man like this exit when the time comes that he really does want to leave? Everyone seems entirely too focused on whether or not Apple is hiding the fact that he is immensely sick to check on whether or not he is really sick at all. Obviously by his appearance he HAS been sick but what if the details about this are kept hidden and the public is simply ALLOWED TO BELEIVE that he has one foot in the grave. Technically this is not lying but would give the company and HIS STEVENESS an excellent opportunity for THE GRAND EXIT.


Now this will be something to see. Steve Jobs and his ego at their best. If Steve was going to leave the company based on a singular product he would have done so after the release of the iphone. The iphone was a stunning success, a technological marvel, and will cement his place in tech history. He could have left and Apple would have shuddered but moved on to continue their dominance of the tech world's mindshare. He didn't. He let the bright lights around the iphone dim somewhat. He let the Apple TV seem to flounder a bit. He let blu-ray pass by. He let netbooks pass by. Tv's. Touch screens. Gaming. Nothing but toes in the water for Apple. Why? Because Steve has something bigger in mind. The iphone? A remote control for the big idea. The Mac? A portal of entry for the big idea. The Apple TV? An experiment for the big idea. Multitouch? Nothing more than a part of whats coming. Mobile Me? Also an experiment, but of the most grand implications imaginable. Apple doesn't want to be your place to buy gadgets. Apple doesn't want to be your place to buy programs. Above all, Apple doesn't want to be your place for stuff. What Apple wants, is to be your place to buy ideas.

Apple assumes you are generally an idiot but some idiots (mainly people that purchase Apple products) can be forgiven and therefore worthy of being steered to the promised land. This promised land being Apple's soon to be dominance of data. What computer are your using? Won't matter, your data is going through an Apple service. What kind of phone are your using? won't matter, it's connected to Apple's cloud. What kind of tv do you have? Won't matter, its got chips inside compatable with Apple's design to connect it to Apple's cloud online. The iphone as your remote control. The Apple TV is a set of chips inside everyone's new HD's. And Apple doesn't even have to make it. The TV people are already starting to do it for them. The Mac? The Mac is nothing if not for the software. This software will remains Apple's baby. And it will be EVERYWHERE. How? Just connect your new wi-fi HD tv you just bought to the internet and log into Apple's new online serive. Use your multitouch iphone to control everything your see on screen. Log into itunes, which is now an online locker for all of your media no matter where you are. Connect to your favorite website using Safari, which is now a non-client located web browser. Talk to your friends with ichat using the camera you plugged into that USB port on your TV. Buy and play your favorite game since it's running on their system and simply sending the display bits and controls back and forth now eliminating the need for a standalone computer at all. This is the future of computing and Apple knows it. Microsoft knows it. Larry Ellison has known it for 30 years. Steve Jobs knows it, and he is going to take everyone kicking and screaming right into the thick of it before he heads into the sunset. And we will all be the better for it, whether you like him or not.

Eric Lawrence | Jan 14, 2009 | 9:53PM

Wish you'd blogged a little about WHY you left PBS.

bashful | Jan 19, 2009 | 9:32AM

It's taken me this long to realize how much I miss you. Thanks for the columns--and please keep it up (somewhere)!

Amy | Jan 19, 2009 | 9:54PM

Don't forget Bob is now at

Conrad T. Pino | Jan 24, 2009 | 4:44AM

A GENERAL attack for the benefit of the younger folk who don't know any better, and to put those of you older (and whom should know better) richardcraneums that don't know their arse from a digital black hole in their place...
I've been reading Cringely since day one, and I'm here to tell you this guy is a non-pretentious GENIUS.
I myself had a "feeling" that the market would tank about a year to 1.5 yrs ago. Did I pull my stock out of my company, who is in the automotive industry? NOOOOOOOO! So, I lost as much money in my 401K as it would have taken to buy most of your houses... if not, your lives from BO's undoubted personal perspective.
Does that mean I dont know anything and am Mr. False Pretense? Hell no.
It means I wasn't a "duck and run" KITTY.
I've said that to say this: NO ON can see the future unless they have the power to SET the future on it's COURSE.
Robert has been on the mark MANY more times than not. Those of you nay sayers can only WISH you could claim that fame...
Robert - Keep up the good work!

THEMan | Jan 31, 2009 | 1:11AM

Is the Apple-Adobe merger still impending? :)

Nathan | Feb 03, 2009 | 12:51PM

Are we not due another TV show? A lot has happened over the last 10 years.

I look forward to the big MS, Apple fight. I've always felt that Apple have been doing the Ali rope-a-dope and that MS may now be out of steam.

Point 11 is genius. You da man.

Jeetesh | Feb 05, 2009 | 5:36PM

See ya Bob !
Thanks !

marcos | Feb 05, 2009 | 7:42PM

The way the financial world is leading to sure makes it easy for us to guess that there maybe more nightmares involved.

Thompsom@Cheap computer | Feb 18, 2009 | 1:36AM

These reports of Microsoft's decline are greatly exaggerated. I started out as completely skeptical of their .NET initiative, but have finally seen the light. It is a truly massive reworking of the software infrastructure from the ground up. .NET *has* the biggest technical cajones of all for hosting the next generation of software. However, *ecosystem*-wise it still lags behind some of the technologies it is going to compete against. (We plan to put up further blog articles expounding on this on The Web Press)

Time will tell whether .NET, only Microsoft's 2nd big gamble since DOS (the first was Windows) will pan out the way Windows did. Remember that Windows 1.0 was released in 1987 and it took 8 years to reach Windows 95's maturity and another 6 years before Windows XP.

Once people start to see how the software landscape unfolds in the coming years, I think people will see that Microsoft was pretty much thinking 3 or 4 moves ahead in this chess game.

The Webmechs Press | Mar 17, 2009 | 8:12PM

Bob, Farewell.

Eric | Mar 25, 2009 | 11:39PM

Actually it was the CSIRO that came up with wifi. You're getting confused with firewire.

Chris | Apr 10, 2009 | 6:45AM

windows PC have such a cost advantage over Apple it is hard to see that as anything less than a dominate factor in a stagnate economy

davidg | Jul 13, 2009 | 7:54PM

So many comments,My god!

eq plat | Aug 10, 2009 | 3:52AM

First off, if you want to truly understand where things are going in the Technical world, you must understand where this country is going. Google Video "The Obama Deception". We are not in a recession, Bob, we are in an infaltionary depression that is very unlike the depression of the 1930s. The -entire- powerbase behind Obama are the ones behind the banker-bailout. There are no industrial/technical titans in his close circle - It's all elitist bankers.

Understanding that America is run not by the figurehead politicans in place but by very powerful banking regimes who control these people.
I think that when people wake up to the fact that they've been robbed by the central bank (privately owned and operated with no books to speak of) they are going to want an Audit and in fact people are already demanding it.

The people who truly run America despise America and what it stands for. Same too with innovative technologies in the hands of the masses.

My prediction is this:

The intentional destruction of the economy will continue and the PC market will continue to decline with it. Nobody is going to have money to spend on a flashy new PC.

The mobile market will continue to surge as cheap mobile devices will flood the market so people can check their email and facebook while they are on the road. This is both a good and bad thing. I'd like to see more innovative mobile devices out there but unfortunately, most of what we will see will be cheap garbage from China flooding our market. People will buy these pieces of garbage because that's all people are going to be able to afford.

Finally, the cyber security piece of the pie will continue to grow. Expect some amount of real cyber-terrorism but most of it will be false-flag terrorism carried out by our own government and corporations to get you to go along with what they truly want - Not a Level Playing Field. They only want you reading their mainstream news which is of course rife with lies and spins on just about every topic you could imagine. Free Speech will continue to be trounced upon and you will see more and more software to monitor and catalog what you say. I predict that in 2009 there will be no free speech in the cyberworld. In 2009, people will be charged with "hurting each others feelings" or "hate-crimes". This is the kind of stuff that's coming down the pipe. Don't believe me? Just watch, some of it is already in place!


Doug Ryan | Aug 12, 2009 | 2:13PM

Does anybody really believe that Al-Quessidillia was responsible for 911 without the help of the people that run our governments? I mean come on! Really!

You still don't see it, do you?

Once you understand False Flag terrorism and read about the Golf of Tonken, USS Liberty, Operation Northwoods, Reicshtag fire etc etc etc you begin to see the formula.

Governments run on this: Problem, Reaction, Solution.

They either create or let a problem happen, the people react and low and behold, there the government is for the perfect solution to end your woes! This is clearly what is going on.

For those of you who can't believe what is happening, WAKE UP! Call for an audit on the privatetly off-shore owned Central Bank. People just don't understand how we are being robbed by inflation and how our economy reall works.

WAKE UP AMERICA, Before it is too late!

Doug Ryan | Aug 12, 2009 | 2:21PM

Uh-Oh. Here come the conspiracy nuts!

Timmo | Aug 15, 2009 | 5:37PM

By The Way:
Inflation is absolutely critical to a healthy economy.
Right now we are in a period of DEflation. So, what were you talking about again?

Timmo | Aug 15, 2009 | 5:57PM

Inflation of currency and inflation of assets is completely different.

Go read some history.

Doug Ryan | Sep 04, 2009 | 5:40PM

Inflation of currency and inflation of assets is completely different.

Go read some history.

Doug Ryan | Sep 04, 2009 | 5:41PM

France and germany have already recorded a positive quarter and are out of the recession i thin uk and america need to take note. Our affiliation with the middle east war is seriously costing us!

Craig Cartwright | Sep 07, 2009 | 11:40AM

Something new is coming all right - it's called World War 3 - the war between the haves and have-nots. This is what Obama meant when he said "Give someone else a chance". The rest of the world is jealous that America always wins and they plan to put a stop to it.

Mike | Dec 12, 2009 | 7:20PM

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