Here’s my take, hunches, best guesses, and coin flips for 2008.
- Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) will dominate the conversation for the first half of the year. What happens in the 2nd half is anybody’s guess.
- Call it Ultra-Mobile PC, call it UMPC, call it Origami. Call it what you will, but by the end of 2008 call it in its dying throes. The ultra mobile vision will remain, but in other devices.
- Unlike Rob, I don’t see Dell re-evaluating their price point on the XT Tablet PC so soon. The high price point is consistent with the markets they have been targeting from the beginning. If the prices drop it will be a year from now at the earliest.
- Apple will not market a Tablet PC in 2008. Instead it will be a communication device that takes advantage of the iPhone’s features as well as the Back to My Mac features for users to grab their data on the road. Because it will have a touch interface and be able to take advantage of InkWell, Tablet PC aficionados will call it a failure.
- Touch will again be a dominate feature and news story. The real question is will anyone develop an application that makes it more than a fancy way to play media, turn pages, or manipulate photos. Or is that enough?
- Multi-touch is still a ways off. Someone, somewhere, needs to develop a real use for it on the Tablet PC and mobile devices.
- With the exception of the MID and whatever Apple will do in 2008, next year’s headlines will be about technologies that change or provide new content delivery methods, similar to the Amazon Kindle.
- Microsoft’s marketing will continue to be mediocre at best and miss the mark more than it will hit.
- DRM will continue to cripple operating systems and content delivery methods. Most consumers won’t notice. Those that do will root for Amazon, Walmart, and Independent music producers to keep putting the pressure on.
- New releases of new products across the board will slow down in 2008. Some consumers will remember Apple’s iPhone price drop form 2007, companies will try to get a better handle on delivery inadequacies. Consumers are starting to notice that their voices can be heard, and companies will start to slow things down a bit, to hopefully improve on what they eventually release.
- The word ““openÃ¢â‚¬Â will get bandied around a lot. As in Google’s efforts to make mobile devices more open with its Google Android mobile OS. The word open will lose all meaning in the marketing miasma.
- OneNote 2007 will continue to remain a secret.
- The Asus Eee PC story is just getting started. It will have much more impact in 2008.
- The companies to watch in the mobile space who will have the greatest impact will be Apple, Nokia, HTC, Asus, and Google.
- HP, Toshiba, and Lenovo will continue to dominate the consumer Tablet PC space, although we probably won’t see anything really new until 2009. Fujitsu nees to make some noise here.
- Inking on Tablet PCs will continue to remain the ultimate niche in a niche product.
- There will be a major Internet outage or Bot Attack in 2008, prompting all sorts of chaos and howling. This will lead to a renewed interest in client apps vs. the cloud.
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