2009 Predictions: Warner’s Take

me Here we go with my predictions for what we’ll see, what we’ll talk about, what’ we’ll laud, and what we’ll moan about in the coming year. If I do say so myself, I did pretty well with my 2008 predictions, but that is no guarantee that I have any great leg up on what I’m sensing in 2009. After all, with the world still struggling to understand what the ramifications from economic news may or may not be, who really knows what we’ll be dealing with throughout the next year. The one prediction I’m sure about though is that by the end of 2009, there will be predictions for 2010.

That said, here we go (after the jump) with my predictions for 2009. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.


Netbooks will remain a dominant story throughout the year. That’s actually easy to predict. What’s more difficult is what the story or stories will be. I’m predicting the following:

  • Prices will stabilize with $500 being the high end and $300 the low end. We’ll see a few at lower points but they will be quickly dismissed.
  • We will see more subsidized Netbooks.
  • Sales of Linux based Netbooks will continue to drop, with XP continuing to be a user favorite. Even Microsoft recognizes this as they keep extending the life of XP.
  • Microsoft will continue to tell us that Netbooks can run Windows 7. OEMs will tell us Netbooks will run Windows 7. We will not see Windows 7 Capable or Windows 7 Ready stickers on Netbooks.
  • We will see more touch screens on Netbooks. They will continue to be a novelty.
  • As Netbooks continue to proliferate we’ll see fewer and fewer notebooks in the $600 range. Low price Netbooks will usher in a move to the $750-$1000 notebook by OEMs.
  • Netbooks will be the most returned electronics gadget throughout the year.

Tablet PCs

  • We’ll see new Tablet PCs as we get closer to Windows 7. Most will feature multi-touch. The question is with what digitizer: Wacom or N-Trig. I’m betting on Wacom.
  • HP and Lenovo will continue to dominate the Tablet PC space. Toshiba, Dell, and Fujitsu continue to slip.
  • We will not see any new Tablet PC applications of any significance in 2009.
  • Inking will continue to take a back seat to touch.

Mobile Computing

  • The US will continue to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speeds.
  • Apple and Google (and Google’s Android partners) will dominate the news about Mobile computing.
  • Intel will continue to make noise about MIDs. We’ll see a few more entries in 2009, but it will be too little too late.
  • AT&T will continue to frustrate customers on all levels leading to strong calls for Apple to end its exclusivity arrangement.
  • Sprint will continue to loose customers but hang in there, betting on WiMAX, which still won’t be prevalent enough to make a difference.
  • The continued push to deliver HD content over broadband will continue to be frustrated by old school business models and poor decisions that were made years ago.
  • Broadband companies will use the poor economy and the planned vision by the Obama administration for an excuse to up rates.
  • Nokia will continue to dominate in Europe and Asia, but will begin to fade in the US.


  • Steve Jobs will step down from Apple.
  • There will not be an Apple Netbook or an Apple Tablet PC, instead we will hear about a new device that will tie more directly into Apple’s delivery pipeline.
  • The Apple App Store will become an even more dominant story both for good reasons and for bad reasons.
  • There will be a next generation iPhone in 2009.
  • Apple will begin to feel some heat from continued releases of products that have problems.


  • Microsoft will continue to garner good (and deserved) early notices for Windows 7.
  • Microsoft’s marketing will find a way to screw up all the good will they earn in the run up to Windows 7.
  • Microsoft will continue to confuse customers and itself with all things Live.
  • Microsoft will unveil touch applications prior to the end of the year geared for Windows 7 and multi-touch. Not many will care.
  • The next version of OneNote will not get any real boost from Microsoft marketing.
  • Someone will through a shoe at Steve Ballmer.

Other Stories

  • Cloud computing will continue to be a dominant story. Users will continue to do more with less until companies begin looking for revenue streams from all those free services.
  • We’ll hear more and more about the real-time web. We won’t get close to having anything like it.
  • Google will introduce or begin talking about an Android OS for devices other than phones.
  • CES 2009 will be called a disappointment.