2006 Prognostication Look Back

As I do every year, I made a bunch of (primarily tech) prognostications last year.

Before I do my look ahead at 2007, let’s look back and see how I did on my prognostications for 2006:

  • Google, Google Everywhere: Along with this, I said I expected Google to roll out one huge project. OK, it was a Google everywhere year (doing deal with NASA for picture storage/search, buying the old NASA complex in Mountain View, CA, continuing with the book project etc). The big project rolled out was actually Google’s purchase of YouTube, which – while a defensive move – still validates that business model (yes, that model still isn’t defined yet, agreed). So I got this one.
  • Another Bad Year for Security: Between companies/the government spilling personal information and the crack attempts moving from script kiddies to more sophisticated criminal enterprises, this was a bad year for security.
  • Another solid year for Apple: Remember the Zune, Microsoft’s iPod killer? No? I’m sure you passed by a whole aisle of them at every store you’ve been in recently. Apple continues its dominance of the music download/portable player markets, and is making slow inroads into the desktop. Again, I got this one right.
  • Privacy concerns grow: Terrorism watch lists, warrentless wiretapping, stolen laptops and so on. More was discovered this year about the existence of various programs designed to allegedly keep us safer, but I don’t feel safer. I just feel violated. Maybe Scott McNeally was right when he said something to the effect of “You have no privacy; get over it,” but it’s not a pleasant realization. Got this right.
  • Web Services Gain Focus: They didn’t. Web services, for the most part, as right where they were at the end of 2005. More companies – such as Yahoo and Google – are developing APIs and so on, but – for the most part – the whole Web 2.0 (whatever the fuck that means) space is still essentially empty space, mainly filled with hype and vaporware. I was wrong on this one.
  • Bold Prediction: Microsoft Vista will be released this year: Hey, you usually can’t lose by betting against Microsoft’s timetables, but I took a chance, and the Business Edition of Vista did hit the mark in November. Not the home version(s), but MS still (barely) made it. I got this one.
  • Online Advertising Will Continue to Kill Traditional Advertising: Sure, like shooting fish in a barrel. But this year, basically everyone – including the advertisers and traditional advertising vehicles (radio, TV, newspapers) picked their collective heads out of the sand and made some small steps to join the 21st Century. Nailed this one.
  • Intellectual Property Rights Will be Hot Issue: While the whole SCO debacle is the poster child for IP issues, there was more press coverage this year that basically said – in relation to many threatened/litigated IP cases – that IP and copyright issues are, as a matter of fact, a big problem. And copyright in software is especially problematic. Yes, right again.
  • Another Internet Growth Year: I put this in the context of capital moving into internet projects, and this was the case. Just look at the buzz around Google’s $1.65 BILLION purchase of YouTube, Rocketboom’s former anchor’s, Amanda Congdon, segue into mainstream media or the different sites/business plans that revolve around delivering content – new, music, video and so on – over the internet. You know, these internets might just catch on. Another on-the-money guess.
  • People Hang Up on Dial-Up: I would not want to be in the dial-up business today. Hey, when’s the last time you got an AOL disc in the mail???? I think, for the most part, the only people with dial-up are those who can’t get any kind of broadband and have no access to the internet from work. Because if you work, most businesses have broadband access. So drop AOL, set up a Yahoo Mail or Gmail account and check it at work. Dial-up is, essentially, dead.
  • Blu-Ray Wins over HD-DVD: The jury is still out on this one for two reasons: The late entry of Blu-ray, and because both formats are so young that there is no clear winner. I thought Sony’s introduction of the PS3 would tip the tables, but Sony seems to be going out of its way to shoot itself in the foot. Late to market, in short supply, getting its butt kicked by Nintendo’s (much cheaper/more innovative) Wii. I’ll call this one too early to call, but I was incorrect in thinking there would be a winner by the end of the year.
  • Digital Cameras Improve: I was right in both things I said about digital cameras: 1) They will improve in quality (yes); 2) They will still remain so hard to use that only the geeks/persistent will be able to discover all they can do.
  • Linux Will NOT Make Significant Inroads on the Desktop: This is correct.

While I did pick a lot of obvious areas to comment on, I still got 11 correct, one wrong and a too-early-to-tell on one.

Not too bad; it’s going to be hard to top that this year.