Predictions For 2007
Well, last year's predictions of this year were a little too vague, a lot of it was pretty obvious, and some were just plain wrong. You can see for yourself which were right, close to right, wrong, or straight out of the Twilight Zone. So let's make things a little more interesting this time around. Here are our "Top Nine Predictions" for 2007:
- Google polishes it's "golden code": Watch as a lot of Google services come out of beta with increasing speed. YouTube starts to earn Google ridiculous amounts of money through embedded ads in/as videos. Mobile is Google's next biggest target for everything from ads to zeitgeist. Oh, and look for Google to gobble up an entity that makes even more sense than YouTube (Digg, Second Life, Pandora, or Netvibes anyone?). Some possible new services from Google: Google Radio, Google Life, and Google Games.
- More Linux powered mobile devices emerge, but none of them will become the runaway success story that Nokia is in the process of writing with the Internet Tablet platform. However, there will be some very good developments in the embedded Linux camp that will carry over to future attempts at building mobile Linux platforms. And don't be surprised if you see Internet Tablet hardware from other companies announced that adopts the Maemo platform. Also, watch for innovative new user interface techniques via cameras on mobile devices.
- Sony hemorrhages a ton of money with the PS3 throughout 2007, but somehow manages to keep a weak pulse in the consumer electronics industry never the less. It's been said by some that this is Sony's last console, but if they're going out, they'll do it in a very big way. Watch for a "changing of the guard" to occur really soon and an attempt to refocus several of their product lines. This will be the year of desperation for Sony as they continue to make stupid mistakes even as they try to clean up the mess they made over the past few years.
- Apple will begin to grow more quickly in the computing space now that they've moved to x86 architecture, and watch as they continue to expand the entertainment and communication markets with tech such as iPod and iTunes, iTV, and yes the iPhone. Apple will begin it's lean towards the mobile device market more with the iPhone, but that's just the beginning as they begin to embrace wireless options to connect a lot of the Apple products together for the first time.
- Of course Nokia will launch it's new Internet Tablet, and I'm betting they will sell more units than the 770 within a year. The Maemo platform is maturing very nicely, and more people will warm up to the Internet Tablet idea as a result. Developers will come up with amazing uses for the new built-in camera, creating unique UI experiences. Applications for the Maemo platform will continue to become more sophisticated and the Maemo.org site will get an update* which will greatly improve the way users install programs on the Internet Tablets.
- Nintendo climbs it's way back into the game, so to speak, with the Wii as it's much needed edge. They've got a great gaming concept and it will very likely produce amazing new ideas. Their success will come from its encouragement of creativity. A new Game Boy handheld will be announced but will launch late in the year or early 2008.
- In 2007 the failure of the Zune will be the least of Microsoft's concerns as they struggle to keep Vista and Office 2007 from becoming rotten apples (no pun intended). Three factors play a role in Vista's and Office 2007's demise.  Ubuntu Linux is growing fast to becoming a viable competitor, and it will be much cheaper alternative to Vista.  Now that Apple has crossed over to x86 architecture, they have more room to grow into Microsoft's once dominant space.  Google is coming for Microsoft with a vengeance with online applications that will continue to eat into Microsoft's Office suite profits, also providing a cheaper (even free) alternative. Good thing they've got Xbox 360, right?
- Google will finally announce some sort of web OS product that will unify all of it's productivity and entertainment services into an easy to use interface. The service will tie your offline and online data together in a way that just makes sense, and you'll even be able to access your local data remotely over an encrypted connection. Of course you'll have easy access to the service via your mobile device as well.
- Watch for the beginnings of deals between mobile manufacturers, carriers, banks, and credit card companies to provide mobile integrated payment services in the US towards the end of 2007. Think Motorola/Cingular/American Express/Bank Of America, Nokia/Verizon/Visa/Wachovia, Samsung/T-Mobile/Master Card/Washington Mutual, or other combinations of the sort. [see NFC]
"Don't let the future happen, make it happen."