No need for set up on this posting. It's that time of the year and here we go with my tech predictions for 2010, suitable for throwing back in my face 12 months from now.
1. Apple's iTablet won't be called the iTablet. Steve Jobs will think of something much hipper. But a touchscreen tablet, mostly likely 10 inches in size, will be unveiled sooner than later (January 26th if you believe recent reports). Whatever its called it's going to blow away Kindle and all the other eBook readers. It may also save the print journalism industry.
2. Cloud computing will not just be a buzz term, it'll be a new buzz term - Cloudware!!!. There's going to be a lot of product, both software and hardware, enticing businesses to get on the cloud. Keep an eye on IBM, especially.
3. Exclusivity deal or not, iPhones (or more likely iPhone clones) will go on sale through other carriers in 2010. AT&T will protest outwardly and breathe a sigh of relief inwardly. Don't be shocked if big lawsuits follow.
4. Telcos will kill the netbook. It's already starting to happen. Mobile carriers are selling netbooks for a couple of hundred bucks with a two-year contract. Instead of selling unlocked netbooks at prices meant to undersell notebooks, the business model will shift to positioning them as a fat client alternative to the smartphone. Yuck!
5. Web conferencing will go from hot to flaming red hot. Have you flown anywhere lately? What's the alternative?
6. Everyone will write and talk about 3D television in the home, but good luck finding anyone who actually has it. DirecTV is supposed to launch a 3D channel soon. Apparantly, it will be their show piece at CES next week. It's coming... er uh, for the early adopters that is.
7. Blu-Ray we hardly knew you. I just don't think it's going to take. I, for one, am not buying another hard copy format of Gone With The Wind. I'm just not. I'd rather download my digital bits than store them in a dust cover. Plus, Blu- Ray is hell on battery power.
8. eBook Readers. This is your year. However, as mentioned, thanks to the arrival of Apple's touchscreen tablet. Memo to eBook manufactorers; figure out how to position it as a business tool if you want to survive on Apple's coat tails.
9. High Tech's pride in going green will get a bad case of the blues after finally taking a long overdue PR beating for its outrageous water footprint. The World's diminishing water supply is getting scarier and scarier. The High Tech industry is the 6th largest water waster and polluter in manufactoring (it's all those silicon wafers, folks, used to make microchps). As awareness about water heightens, Silicon will become a four letter word in the mainstream.
10. Social networking viruses, spam, worms and phishing scams will drive us all crazy. But, it won't kill social networking. With over a 100 million users on Facebook, Twitter growing at a rate of over 1000% some months, etc., social networking is the low-hanging fruit that can't be ignored by hackers and spammers. It's already begun. It's only going to get worse, much worse.