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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.


  1. davidm

    12/21/2008 at 10:01 pm

    Excuse me for saying this, but these are very December 2008 predictions.

    Cloud OS will be the big story of 2009, notebook, netbook, MID, smartphone designations will be less and less important, as will the brand of the OS, creating a big opportunity for commodity oriented OS such as Android. APIs to translate location and gestures to apps will become important, hopefully there will be some consistency.

  2. bmhome1

    12/21/2008 at 11:59 pm

    Predictions for Q1 & Q2 2009 are spot on. Beyond that is impossible anymore. Average Joe won’t be embracing Cloud as fast as geeks think. Same reason Linux Netbooks bombed.

  3. Gavin Miller

    12/22/2008 at 3:19 am

    @Davidm…..but it is December 2008…..

  4. Medicd

    12/22/2008 at 3:49 am

    I am shocked to hear such melancholic predictions. I can predict this will certainly be a boost for the pharmaceutical industry. No complaints there for them in times of economic crisis!

    For those putting on an independent view to the current economy, 2009 could pleasantly be a time to put on their own thinking caps, using what has currentlly inspired us to put through new ideas. I think, in line with the above mentioned predictions, that smaller third party software developers could put out inking software that could compete with current monopolies. Software development kits are up for grabs for those who know how to use it, and smaller groups could make their own tablet pc software and inking software for the masses. Just recently nokia anounced it’s own handwriting calculator (which has similarities to the upcoming W7 version) coming out now (!

  5. davidm

    12/22/2008 at 8:04 am

    The majority of the market is either low end Windows systems, or medium-high end Macs. The Android consortium has become quite large, with Motorola, S-E and others tying their fates to it (and let’s not forget Google’s interest), the giant Nokia is focusing on Symbian, RIM on their devices.. Adobe has got their AIR suite, which along with the new fast launching, more modular Java release is designed to create seamless local apps launched from the web. Once these work on Linux (Q1 2009) they will make Linux based devices more practical for regular people off the cloud.

    Ultimately Microsoft has really got to get their act together. The Vista solution is stop gap. Microsoft is holding back an entire industry of computer manufacturers dependent on them. During my last set of courses, both people using Vista computers were confounded by the OS in the middle of a presentation. Is Windows 7 in 2010 going to be enough?

    While Linux netbooks bombed, it is still a substantial foray and ground has been gained. Because of Microsoft’s inability, many companies need a Windows alternative.

  6. tablettutor

    12/22/2008 at 2:31 pm

    I think you will see a merging of netbook and tablet PC technology. In elementary education, inking is clearly a better interface than a keyboard. There are several applications on the threashold for inking including a pen based math drill program, pen based spelling training and pen based cursive handwriting training. These will be discussed and offered for trial download through during the coming months.

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