2010 predictions

Its a little hard to focus on IT issues, never mind spreadsheets at this time of year, especially after I had a banging skate session yesterday – I’d rather be predicting the tricks I hope to grasp. That and the fact we are now snowed in so I’m wondering how to get to the (also snow bound) airport.

This year I am going to break things out a little differently, instead of 10 or so points I thought I would write a paragraph or so about a few different elements of the IT landscape.


  1. Office 2010 will get released in the summer
  2. VS 2010 will get released at a similar time
  3. VBA development will decline, possibly freefall, as Excel is squeezed into the narrow presentation layer of corp data. Server based .net components and stored procedures etc will do much of the manipulations that traditionally were done in VBA. (larger orgs only – but Excel/C# will be the skill set that replaces Excel/VBA)
  4. Spreadsheets will continue to be (unfairly) seen as the enemy of quality
  5. Microsoft’s influence will begin to visibly wane, due to the move to the cloud and the move to hand held computing
  6. Spreadsheets still not sexy, may well become the technology whose name we speaketh not.
  7. I don’t foresee a big rush to O2010, but I do think 2010 will benefit from 2007 flaws, like Win7 has from Vistas crapness.
  8. Sharepoint will become the new End User Computing v IT battleground


  1. Apple will be the big name in 2010 with big success with the new iPhone and any new iSlate thingy. Gen 1 netbook upgraders and iPhone lovers will snap up any new Apple form factor (and not be worried about the zero control Apple customers have over the hardware they thought they bought, but Apple continues to control, rather firmly)
  2. Apples pc/notebook share will continue to climb at the expense of Windows


  1. A chunk of computing will move from the pc to the phone
  2. Android and the iPhone will become the 2 main phone operating systems
  3. Software spend is going to get big on these platforms


  1. OLAP/BI won’t make any massive headway as IT focus on security and regulation, and reduce the priority of user requests.
  2. Increasing regulation covering all areas of life
  3. Linux still isn’t going to make it on the desktop, although I reckon Android netbooks will benefit from the halo of Android phones, but in the 2-5 year span

What do you see happening/changing in the next 12 months?



11 Responses to “2010 predictions”

  1. Stephane Rodriguez Says:

    “I don’t foresee a big rush to O2010”

    Strong disagree. O2010 will be preinstalled on every new PC (i.e. same old anti-competition tactics). OpenOffice can only kill this declaration of war if they play dirty with shell association handlers. Probably won’t happen though.

  2. Dennis Wallentin Says:


    3 – Yes, I agree although I’m not happy with it.
    4 – SharePoint and the BI-movement give Excel (as a presentation layer) a far better reputation and move Excel to a better position on the centralized IT department’s agenda!
    8. It already exist for both SharePoint and all kind of business systems.

    Oh well, 2010 will be another new great year with new versions, new challenges and new clients!

    All the best,

  3. Biggus Dickus Says:

    “VBA development will decline, possibly freefall, as Excel is squeezed into the narrow presentation layer of corp data. ”

    Yes – this is one more nail in the coffin of real spreadsheet development – one step closer to Excel just as a BIG grid control. What a crock.

    “Spreadsheets will continue to be (unfairly) seen as the enemy of quality” – “Spreadsheets still not sexy, may well become the technology whose name we speaketh not.”

    Amen !! And it’ll be allowed to happen by those who MIGHT be able to do something about it but are unable to because it would conflict with their other business interests.

    “Microsoft’s influence will begin to visibly wane, due to the move to the cloud and the move to hand held computing”

    And they will be encouraging it – go figure (??)

    “Sharepoint will become the new End User Computing v IT battleground” – Yep – and MS won’t win that battle because they’re so confused about their own Client/Server story. Their client story embarasses them but without it SharePoint doesn’t provide enough value.

    “OLAP/BI won’t make any massive headway as IT focus on security and regulation, and reduce the priority of user requests.”

    Yes – I can’t help but think that is going to be true. I hope that PowerPivot might help make some noise in this area but it has to be sold and I really doubt that it will happen the way it needs to be done – yet again.

    I think 2010 will be less of a watershed year but more of a leaky boat springing more leaks for Office I’m afraid. The effort required to counter this trend just isn’t in the cards and those on the other side are just going to keep the pressure on because it’s so easy for them to do.

    Sad to see

  4. Harlan Grove Says:

    You mean your mountain bike doesn’t have snow tires?


    3. Depends on the relative mass of legacy VBA. If there’s a lot of VBA-enhanced spreadsheets in use, porting all of it to VSTO/.Net isn’t going to happen over night. And if the bulk of that code came from outside IT, I doubt IT would be eager to take on the porting themselves.

    5. Without a senior management shake-up (e.g., bye bye Balmer) I’d agree.

    7. Home users may finally revolt at shelling out for Office Standard, but now there’ll be Office Crippled, er, Home rather than Works. As for LARGE organizations, given the abject timidity of IT departments, it’ll take 2 years from the release of O2010 to start significant deployments. But I think it’s safe to say O2007 is now necroware.


    2. MSFT’s fault. Include a legacy Windows VM module to run old Windows programs, then make an entirely new Windows core. Too glib perhaps, but for me at least MSFT has done NOTHING with Windows since Windows 2000 that I’ve cared about. I use the (Windows 2000) classic theme under Windows XP, and I have no interest at all in wasting cycles to enable eye candy.
    Gotta wonder how much of Apple’s recent success springs from the lack of the Effluent UI in Mac software?


    2. Begs the question what companies with BIG investments in Blackberries will do. I suspect that just as there are hundreds of large organizations still using Lotus Notes, there’ll be hundreds of companies deploying hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Blackberry handsets (I may not have the correct terminology). I can say where I work that senior management must either be technophobes or just not into iPhones because IT has made it explicit that iPhones will NOT get access to the company’s systems. At least for the next year, we’re an exclusively Blackberry shop. Maybe just Android and iPhone for consumers.


    1. ‘reduce the priority of user requests’ – There’s still room to reduce?

    2. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to business air travel in 2010.

    If the company for which I work is an indicator, there may be the beginnings of displeasure/reconsideration of outsourcing. Don’t get your hopes up yet, but do realize that communication skills DO count for something even in software development and maintenance. And work hours within 2 timezones of your principle clients doesn’t hurt either.

    Recentralization of large organization computing continues apace. The key to .Net deployment may be running everything on Terminal Servers and merely interfacing with then via Citrix or similar. But that begs the question why client machines would need to be fully loaded with MSFT software if the only thing client machines need are e-mail clients, browsers and Terminal Server interfaces.

    I think there’s going to be a privacy backlash, at least in the US, sometime soon. Maybe not 2010, but before 2015. In typical US terms, it’ll involve a law suit and a corporation getting hit with huge punitive damages. The ‘ideal’ would be a company losing a DVD or laptop with unencrypted personal customer data FOR THE SECOND TIME, that is, triggering gross negligence due to high level employees willfully ignoring company data security policies introduced with some fanfare due to earlier bone-headed data security breach.

  5. Mike Staunton Says:

    At least in Numerical Methods, there’s a lot of interest in using games chips (GPUs) to make massive increases in calculation speed (x80) – still no clear choice of software to use this path but will get there soon (if not necessarily 2010) – will also require code to be re-written to make such parallel processing easier

  6. Jon Peltier Says:

    I predict Office 2010 will be accepted more quickly than 2007. Kind of like IT departments waiting for SP1 to upgrade, except SP1 and 2 still didn’t make 2007 quite usable.

    Spreadsheets the enemy of quality? Well, the best manufacturers know you can’t inspect quality into a product. But Simon’s take is right on.

    True BI will hardly get anywhere, though Xcelsius and DotNetCharts and Dumbas will continue to spread their beautiful chart junk through corporate reports and pseudo-dashboards.

  7. Marcus from London Says:

    “OLAP/BI won’t make any massive headway as IT focus on security and regulation, and reduce the priority of user requests.”

    {sigh} The first I got involved in OLAP technology was in 1997. I worked for a consulting firm that had their own OLAP engine which plugged into Excel as well as doing consulting work in Cognos, TM1 and Hyperion Essbase. I’ve been waiting for it to ‘really take off’ ever since. Most OLAP projects since could have been solved ( in half the time and for half the cost ) with a thoughtfully indexed, denormalised RDBMS solution.

    You’ve got my support on this prediction.

    Side note to self: My spell checker aptly suggested for denormalised the alternative demoralised.

  8. Biggus Dickus Says:

    I built an Excel application in 1994 for Citibank in NY that used Excel as a frontend to Sybase’s OLAP server. There was an OCX that allowed me to request data through COM using VBA. They could select their Dimensions, run their query and then drill down simply by double-clisking on a cell at the intersection of two dimensions – it then presented a new Worksheet with the child data.

    Worked GREAT for a couple of years and I converted it to a ASP model just in time for them to merge with Traveller’s – and everyone I worked for got let go :-( ……

    I have now been waiting for BI to take off for 15 years but I agree with Simon it ain’t gonna happen – even with PowerPivot (which I love but which seems to be missing some core BI functionality in V1). I don’t know exactly wahat the problem is because BI makes so much sense and can be so easy to provide value if done right. From what I’ve seen is often the clients don’t really know what BI IS…. and don’t want to know – thus costing excessive moneys and becoming too complex and impossible to support and maintain.


  9. Simon Says:

    the OLAP/BI story is as obvious as it is saddening.
    where is the value for IT depts in OLAP?
    its small to none, especially compared to implementing the next round of business crippling legislation, and its discretionary.
    if the real beneficiaries of BI had any influence VBA development wouldn’t be on its way to the fjords.

  10. Office Links for January » Code For Excel And Outlook Says:

    […] Murphy posted his 2010 predictions, he's pretty accurate so you should read […]

  11. 2010 looking back « Smurf on Spreadsheets Says:

    […] I just re-read my predictions for 2010 and I note I hardly went out on a limb, with most of them being either blindingly obvious or un-falsifiable. Here they were. […]

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