Scoring My 2009 Predictions

me.jpgSo, it’s the end of the year which means it is getting close to prediction time for 2010. 2009 was a crazy year on many levels and a wait and see year on many others. As I’ve said many times before the tech industry is becoming like the Chicago Cubs, always promising wait until next year. I doubt that will ever change. Before I make any bold or stupid predictions on what’s to come, check out how I scored with my predictions for this current year after the jump.

Netbooks

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. (Mostly correct. We are seeing both higher and lower price points now that Windows 7 is out, but the average is about what I predicted.)
  • We will see more subsidized Netbooks. (Correct)
  • 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. (Correct)
  • 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. (Mostly correct. We do see Windows 7 on Netbooks and it runs pretty well. We did not see any stickers.)
  • We will see more touch screens on Netbooks. They will continue to be a novelty. (Mostly correct. We’ve seen some, not a lot. They are still 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. (Mostly correct. The thin and light ULV range is gaining some steam and there is a move to create a higher end market, there are also quite a few notebooks on the market under $750.)
  • Netbooks will be the most returned electronics gadget throughout the year. (Not correct. Although quite a few were returned that rate seems to have declined.)

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. (Mostly incorrect. We saw some new Tablet PCs, but mostly updates of current models to handle Windows 7. Nothing really new or ground breaking. The digitizer question is not only still a question, but becoming a black hole.)
  • HP and Lenovo will continue to dominate the Tablet PC space. Toshiba, Dell, and Fujitsu continue to slip. (Correct)
  • We will not see any new Tablet PC applications of any significance in 2009. (Correct)
  • Inking will continue to take a back seat to touch. (Sadly, correct)

Mobile Computing

  • The US will continue to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speeds. (Mostly correct. We’re seeing moves that will come close to correcting this. But that’s a wait until the next few years thing.)
  • Apple and Google (and Google’s Android partners) will dominate the news about Mobile computing. (Correct)
  • 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. (Correct)
  • AT&T will continue to frustrate customers on all levels leading to strong calls for Apple to end its exclusivity arrangement. (Correct)
  • Sprint will continue to loose customers but hang in there, betting on WiMAX, which still won’t be prevalent enough to make a difference. (Correct)
  • 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. (Correct)
  • Broadband companies will use the poor economy and the planned vision by the Obama administration for an excuse to up rates. (Incorrect)
  • Nokia will continue to dominate in Europe and Asia, but will begin to fade in the US. (Mostly correct. Nokia is beginning to lose market share everywhere, but still is dominant in areas other than the US)

Apple

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  • Steve Jobs will step down from Apple. (Incorrect)
  • 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. (Correct)
  • The Apple App Store will become an even more dominant story both for good reasons and for bad reasons. (Correct)
  • There will be a next generation iPhone in 2009. (Correct)
  • Apple will begin to feel some heat from continued releases of products that have problems. (Mostly correct. Apple has taken some heat but it isn’t enough to tarnish the image)

Microsoft

  • Microsoft will continue to garner good (and deserved) early notices for Windows 7. (Correct)
  • Microsoft’s marketing will find a way to screw up all the good will they earn in the run up to Windows 7. (Mostly correct. Some efforts were great, some were just a waste of money.)
  • Microsoft will continue to confuse customers and itself with all things Live. (Correct)
  • Microsoft will unveil touch applications prior to the end of the year geared for Windows 7 and multi-touch. Not many will care. (Mostly Incorrect. We didn’t see much from Microsoft. No one cared.)
  • The next version of OneNote will not get any real boost from Microsoft marketing. (Mostly Correct. The next version won’t roll out until 2010 officially even though it is available to all in Beta. Microsoft continues to keep this a secret.)
  • Someone will through a shoe at Steve Ballmer. (Incorrect)

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. (Correct)
  • We’ll hear more and more about the real-time web. We won’t get close to having anything like it. (Mostly Correct. Moves are being made but only the real web geeks are paying much attention.)
  • Google will introduce or begin talking about an Android OS for devices other than phones. (Correct)
  • CES 2009 will be called a disappointment. (Correct)
  

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