I have never done this before but I thought I would take a swing and making some predictions at what I think is going to happen this year with technology.
1. Smaller, faster, better. Duh. That is obvious but I think there will be some big improvements in “alternate” input for computers. Apple is rumored to release a multi-touch imac. Windows 7 has multi-touch support and is just waiting for hardware/software to take advantage of it. In 2009 I expect to see the biggest improvements in multi-touch software. Games will probably be first, with the iPod touch and iPhone helping with lots of ideas, and then we will get some cool browser and media solutions. I for one would love to see cooliris with some multi-touch support. After multi-touch will probably come touchless input but I don’t think that will gain a lot of ground in 2009.
2. GNU Linux will gain at least 1% (double) market share (putting it up to 2%) before the end of the year spearheaded by Ubuntu. At this point I believe every major computer retailer (except Apple of course) offers GNU Linux on at least 1 model line, and when people see the boot speed and stability improvements of the next Ubuntu release more and more people are going to start “giving it a shot”.
3. 2009 will be the year of Microsoft solutions. I know Apple is gaining on Microsoft’s market share and they still will for a good part of 2009. But I don’t think market share ever really tells a full story. All I hear about now is how Apple is the coolest thing since super cooled capacitors, but I sense a bit of a change in the wind. I think Windows 7 will launch in 2009 and will greatly restore faith in Microsoft as a company. I also think that the next version of Windows Mobile will finally catch Microsoft up in the mobile platform market. The Windows Mobile OS won’t surpass what is currently out with Android or iPhone but it will make it respectable in what it can do and how it looks. I also think that the Windows Home Server market will gain popularity and the Xbox line will continue to grow. Finally, I think Zune sales will skyrocket (mainly cause Zune media player will be in Windows Mobile 6.5). Right now the Zune is in spot 3 behind Scandisk and Apple. I think as more and more people become unhappy with their iPods but they don’t want to upgrade to iPod touches or iPhones they will turn to the Zune. Last I checked Zune had 5% market share, but by the end of the year I see that number doubling to 10% of the mp3 player market. A big jump but it is truly a worthy mp3 player in my book.
1. The Wii will crash. They have enjoyed a crazy amount of sales for far too long and they haven’t come out with any good software for months. I am so glad this day will finally come because I haven’t liked the Wii from the start. They will quickly be outsold for a few months by the Xbox 360 and the Wii will drop in price (my guess is to ~$180). Either way it will be hard to recover and it will probably just die out until Nintendo unveils the Wii HD or something ridiculous. By this time the Wii will not be “the console to have” and most people will finally see the console for what it truly is.
2. The PS3 will jump in sales. I already see this at my work. Two of my co-workers who previously bought Wii’s finally want to either A. Play real video games again or B. Watch Blu-ray movies. Their obvious choice was the PS3. Although the price is a big jump, people will finally realize all the features you get out of a PS3 and will start buying them mainly for Blu-ray players and eventually for gaming systems. The PS3 will also start to gain popularity because the Xbox 360 will run out of juice (aka. storage space) and the PS3′s potential will finally start to be tapped into. Sony will begin to push out better programming tools and maybe even Valve will come to the dark side and program their own crap for the PS3.
3. Online systems will be key this year. Xbox Live is fantastic but costs money. More and more people are getting tight on money and Xbox Live will probably suffer because of that. The PSN has been mediocre at best, but at the cost of free I think more people will sign up for this than ever before. Also Nintendo will realize the error in their ways in not offering a online service and will make plans for it with the Wii HD.
4. I think the PS3 will offer 3D gaming to some extent. Most people don’t realize their Samsung HDTV can display the 3D content and the market is ripe for the picking. I think the PS3 will be the only console that can really handle the amount of power it will take and storage space to contain 3D content.
1. February 17th will be a very dark day for a lot of people. Best Buy will be crowded as hell, and people will be very upset their antenna doesn’t work anymore. The biggest impact will be in low income/minority neighborhoods. There will probably be some bill passed to make sure they are not forgotten about in the future. HDTV sales will continue to decline until after February 17th when they will get a small kick in the pants until the economy levels out.
2. Because of the DTV transition online television distribution systems will benefit. Hulu, Vudu, Boxee, Apple TV, Windows Media Center will all see a lot more users than ever before. It is going to be a big quantity over quality issue but the amount of free content online will win in the end. After online distribution systems gain some ground they will start to push better quality to the users.
3. Displays are going to rock. Not just TV’s either. Laptop displays, computer monitors, projectors are all going to improve. OLED will make a big push (“organic” isn’t just for your foods) and I think we will probably see some sort of built in projector for a laptop this year. Pocket projectors will also finally become something worth looking at.
4. The internet will have a new awesome site. There will be some new MySpace/Facbook site for 2009 and it will include all the other sites in one. It will finally truly be able to combine your online accounts (at least social accounts) in one place. I have a feeling this site will be run in some way by Google (or at least bought by Google in the end). I think the first step to this will be Google NOT buying Facebook. If they do buy them then there would be no point in making an all inclusive social site. Their new site will easily tie in with YouTube, Blogger, Google Calendar, etc. The next step would be for Google to buy Twitter.com. As more people don’t have time to blog, they will turn to Twitter to allow them to blog on the go.
Well that is it. I know it was a heck of a lot of reading and I thank you for reading it (or at least skimming it). I will hopefully follow up 1 year from today to see how these predictions were met.
Let me know your predictions in the comments or if you agree/disagree with any of mine.