I guess I could rehash my 2008 fails but I’ll try instead to cover some new ground. Here is what I reckon will happen in 2009
(note this is what I really think will happen, that is not the same as what I WANT to happen, or HOPE will happen):
- (90%) Office 14 beta will be out
- (80%) Office 14 will not be released in 2009 (O2007 had 12m+beta, I think?)
- (80%) OpenOffice.org will hit 2 3 3.5 million downloads a week (regularly) (they hit 2 in Oct, 3 in Nov/Dec)
- (60%) Apple won’t release a Netbook, and will keep their ‘quality’ niche.
- (70%) News of commercial/enterprise Office 2007 deployments (client tools) will start filtering through the on-line communities
- (60%) Some people will actually try Excel services (not easy…)
- (70%) More netbooks will come with Ubuntu/ mainstream disties rather than manufacturer-specific Linux variants
- (80%) Microsoft will not address the fail that the ‘Gargantur’ UI of Office 2007 basically precludes its use on the only growing PC segment (netbooks)
- (80%) OpenOffice will continue to be the defacto standard for netbooks.
- (70%) Somebody that the airheads listen too will finally help them see the futility and pointlessness of much of the cloud BS and the web 2.0 BS we have endured for the last year or so.
- (80%) Companies whose business plan does not indicate a way to actually generate an amount of cash at least of the same order of magnitude as their costs will finally struggle to access capital.
- (70%) There will be some more consolidation in the spreadsheet compliance tool space. Expect to see 1 or 2 follow Compassoft to the fjords.
- (70%) Microsoft will report some pretty grim financials, worse than the Wall street numpties are expecting. But not surprising to anyone connected with the real world. (I’m thinking sub 15 USD share price in 2009)(The rest of tech will also take a bath)
- (80%) .net will continue to be largely irrelevant for most Excel/VBA devs
- (100%) Spreadsheets will still not be sexy.
-  (70%) Sun will get bought or go bust, and I think a close look at the financials of many tech firms would show a high risk of failure.
I think 2009 will be pretty lean, which I welcome in some ways, as a lot of time and money wasters will be outed. It may also focus attention on productivity and effectiveness. 2 areas where frankly Excel and VBA deliver (when used wisely of course (and classique of course)).
My main focus, from a commercial view will be more migration and compliance tools for sale via codematic. For interest I’ll be updating my (light) Sharepoint knowledge to 2007 and getting to grips (a bit) with Excel services, and VS2008). And I intend to release some new C/C++ xlls. I may also release some E2007 compliant versions of my add-ins and tools.
I would like to say I’ll migrate a bunch of stuff to OpenOffice, but I remain to be convinced the returns are there. Unless you know different?
Further afield I have been doing a little (very little!) Linux dev in C, I’d like to continue that, but I suspect time will be short for that. I’m dreaming of doing some Android dev on the Google phone. But that’s a pretty big leap!
We have an MS Office Developers Advisory Council meet next spring, so maybe I’ll be buzzing about Office/Excel 14 (All under NDA of course). I might try the early adopter path rather than the luddite path I followed for O2007. Although being off that hamster wheel for 18 months was a sound move I think. It gave me chance to focus my energies in other more directly useful areas.
I am undecided if open source will make big inroads v proprietory stuff (as some commentators are suggesting given the financial climate). Logic says it should if it represents better value, but history suggests many companies like paying for vendor support services. So I expect the status quo to be the big winner in 2009, not any kind of change.
There are rumours of a new Windows in 2009 too, I can’t decide if this is a big thing or not. If MS marketing is as effective as they were with Vista then this will have zero impact. If they get their act together then it could be big.
So in summary:
- Netbooks – BIG
- OpenOffice – BIG
- Mainstream Linux Disties – Medium
- MS Office – building
- Cloud – small and insignificant
Thats my predictions, what are yours?
What do you agree/disagree with and why?