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Revisiting my un-predictions 19 December, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in Uncategorized.

Way back in January (although it seems like yesterday)  I stupidly made a few predictions for the year ahead. So did any of them come to pass?

I’ll start on safe ground. Disenchantment with the Windows OS (its cost, security problems, new licensing issues etc) will continue a pace. Vista won’t live up to the Longhorn vision seen here (I love the “Coming October 2003″ line). Of course, loads of people will still buy it and it will a boon for PC and memory upgrade vendors.

    Well, a year and a bit after launch, Vista has a market share of just 1%. A high proportion of this comes from the pre-install market with lower take up for upgrades. The upgrade market for Vista seems to have featured an endless  procession of nightmare stories and of people switching back to XP. Although people who have had Vista as a pre-install or who wipe their drives first appear on the whole to be pretty happy with it. So broadly speaking, I got this right.

    As a result, PCs and laptops preloaded just with Linux (and a shed-load of open source apps) will begin to take off, probably with a new brand / sub-brand beginning to make a name for themselves by specialising in this area.

      The big news on this one has been Dell’s announcement that they will be selling laptops and desktops pre-installed with Ubuntu (with a server in the offing too). Admittedly, this is still a drop in the ocean and not what I expected but it’s still pretty cool and close enough for me.

      HD DVD will win the format war. Yes it’s early days but I think Blu-ray will suffer from Sony’s proprietary/lock in tendencies despite being technically superior (funny how every article about this brings up the spectre of Betamax).

        Well, in Europe, HD DVD now has a market share of around 70% – enough said.

        The Google brand image will wobble as it struggles to live up to the “don’t be evil” promise all while trying to utterly dominate the market. (As an aside, while people point to this mantra as something highly aspirational, I can’t help thinking that not being evil is the very least a brand can promise.) The Google OS and Google Office however will take off big time (see the Windows prediction above).

        And it was going so well. No real evidence of this happening,  Google’s brand doesn’t have the god-like aura it once did but they still dominate the world search market (about 75% share). The Google OS/Office has sparked many people’s imaginations but the issues over offline use represent a critical restriction.

          Social search (eg Wink and StumbleUpon) will become ever more appealing to many people who already trust their networks more than any old school search engine.

          Doh! Again no real sign here. Wink has become a people search service. StumbleUpon has over 4 million users but that’s about it. I still believe that, long-term,  this is a really interesting area – shame no one else appears to agree.

          Clean tech will be huge with the largest area being energy production. The big money will go into large national-scale projects but micro generation will become a growing political issue in a “let’s stick it to those blackmailing us over oil” kind of way.

          Well, overall this appears to be happening (if we believe the rhetoric).  Although too slow and too half-hearted. It saddening to see all the good words evaporate as soon as the “cost to our economy” phrase is evoked. It’s time to break out the sun-block and move to high ground.

          Last but not least, I will get my running time down to a regular 9min mile pace (yeah right).

          Move on, nothing to see here.

          Here’s to 2008. Have a good new year.



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