19 Dec Reader predictions would make 2007 quite a year
Last week, I gave you my predictions for the coming year and asked you to send along yours. If even a few of these predictions come true, 2007 is going to be a very interesting year, indeed.
From Jonas Lamis, founder of Singularity University, a community of technology futurists:
Virtual worlds get real; Amazon gets worried. Second Life becomes a credible next-generation platform for consumer and business commerce. With an immersive collaboration and shopping experience and a strongly appreciating currency, Amazon gets worried.
The rise of the agent. Next year, will see the emergence of personal, cross-platform software services that will act as a proxy for the user. From sorting e-mail to scheduling travel, more administrative tasks will occur in the background. HAL, please book me a round trip ticket to Mars.
IT management software is set free – Watch out IBM, HP and CA, as a wave of nimble new IT management software vendors offer advertising-supported solutions to better manage the business of IT.
From Justin Kitch, CEO, Homestead.com:
Web 2.0 companies wake up. A feature does not a business make, and (as they say in Rumsfeldese) it’s time to pull up their socks and get to work on the heavy-lifting part. Many folks will not like this part, or will be ill suited for it, and the sexiness of Web 2.0 will wear off and we’ll be left with the real entrepreneurs, just what happened with the last cycle. This will lead to much more quality innovation, which will in turn create services consumers and businesses actually need, and there will be much rejoicing.
From John Jordan, Penn State University:
“Services” computing blurs boundaries, breaks business models. Answering the timeless question – “Who owns the data?” – is harder than ever in the age of XML, as ownership implies more responsibilities to outside constituencies. Without clear distinctions between network, application, and data, how are services like Google Maps managed, especially en masse? How can application software companies realistically bill their customers in a) virtualized and b) services-centric (both SOA and SaaS) scenarios? Will 2007 be the year when we can clarify some of the many meanings of the word “services”?
The electronic privacy meltdown will cause a drama that spurs meaningful action. While a $160 million supplemental appropriation request for the projected damage from one laptop stolen from the Veterans Administration should have done the job, it will take some still more stupendous bungle or criminal act to drive Congress, institutions, and individuals to act.
Physics trumps marketing. For all the advances of Moore’s Law on the computational front, battery life, antenna reach, and power consumption cannot get much better than they are now; no improvement comes without a tradeoff. With cloud computing, several new wireless networking technologies and mobility still are prime areas for innovation, and we’ll see promising innovations sidetracked by the inescapable forces of radiation-related health concerns, interference, heat, or battery-related difficulties.
The empire(s) fight back. AMD has dented Intel, Apple owns the consumer electronics franchise Sony wishes it had, HP is bigger than IBM and beating Dell in worldwide PC market share, and Microsoft’s new OS launch has done little to remind the market of Windows 95. All of the deposed industry leaders have aggressive turnaround efforts in place, but it’s too soon to tell whether the wounded giants can recover their previous mojo. Intel, for example, may have turned the corner but Sony piles up misstep upon misstep (see prediction three regarding battery issues, for example).
The developing world makes news for innovation, not just cost arbitrage. This was one of my 2006 predictions that I’m sticking with because it came true in dramatic fashion: a Nobel Prize for microfinancing in Bangladesh. Similarly, Brazil’s alternative fuels industry is in far better shape than most anybody else’s. Notably, both examples represent innovation in organizational rather than technological realms. Less positively, some oil-enriched regimes around the world appear to be breaking new ground in the consolidation of political power.
From Graeme Thickins, Tech Surf Blog:
Online community marches on. Not only do wikis continue their inevitable domination of corporate intranets (no small business), but social and/or networking sites improve our lives in many more ways, professionally and otherwise. The tools get way better, social network interconnects like MyBlogLog become the mode du jour over the stand-alone MySpaces and LinkedIns. Online interaction – meeting and befriending people who matter to you – becomes more human, more like real life. Doggone if the kids didn’t start something really big here.
Jim Forbes, ForbesOnTech:
Google targets Intuit. Google’s immediate target isn’t Microsoft, it’s Intuit and its small business and individual user base. Google telegraphs its intentions with fuzzy deals with consumer banks.
Accelerating consolidation among VCs. At least one big-name firm will sell off some of its companies and eventually shut down. Newer firms will just quietly disappear.
Sales of Microsoft Vista will be slow. Vista’s memory requirements and thirst for video and processor cycles are out of synch with current corporate and consumer PC hardware. Are you ready for 4-6 GB of memory?
From Dharmesh Shah, author:
RSS finally spreads to the masses. With the release and adoption of Vista, millions of users will finally start using RSS as a way to subscribe to interesting content.
Users get paid for user-generated content. The economics of user-generated content starts to catch up with services like Yahoo. The most popular content creators stop giving their content away for free to large, successful companies like Google. Something like AdSense kicks in so that individual content contributors on mainstream services can get a cut of the action. It worked for blogs, why not other forms of content, like video?
Cost per action (CPA) gets traction. The evolution from CPM to CPC continues and the beginnings of CPA start to take hold. Advertisers begin paying for ads that generate some type of user action (e-mail signup, RSS subscription, registration, demo download or [gasp] even a purchase).
Recent articles by Chris Shipley
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Shipley has worked as a writer and editor for variety of technology consumer magazines, including PC Week, PC Magazine, PC/Computing, and InfoWorld, US Magazine, and Working Woman. She has written two books on communications and Internet technology, has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was named the No. 1 newsletter editor by Marketing Computers for two years in a row. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demoletter/index.html.
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