2010 looking back

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.

The big (IT) 2010 story for me is how Oracle and Microsoft fell in love. I totally didn’t see that coming at all. By destroying first the OpenOffice dev community, and secondly the Java community Oracle has hamstrung two of the few viable competitors Microsoft had. I’m not clear what Oracle get in return, MS maybe promised to keep Steve Ballmer in charge.

I’ll just skim over the predictions I made:


All the new stuff got released as expected, Office 2010 seems ok, they fixed some of the most obvious badness of 2007. VS2010 is the slowest, most bloated piece of pap I have ever used. I have 2008 and 2010 on my works machine and use 2008 wherever possible because you need a Cray super computer just to load VS2010 in under 3 minutes, never mind compile something.

I don’t think VBA went into freefall, it is still the user automation tool of choice (its a choice limited to one after all). But most financial services jobs are now looking for some C# in addition. Many seem to be trying VSTO and rejecting it though, and a lot of people I have spoken to recently are going the ExcelDNA route instead.

Sharepoint does seem to be hotting up, spreadsheets are ever more the scourge, Microsoft is becoming less relevant. There were quite a few spreadsheet risk/quality projects going on in 2010, they will be sharepoint clean ups in 2015.


Apple had a brilliant 2010 and that looks set to continue. The ipad still has no viable competition and they are flying off the shelves. Apple are reliving Microsoft from the 90’s before MS forgot that apps sell platforms. I can’t imagine Apple being too scared by the arrival of the Windows phone. I won’t get an iPad, but I could be tempted by the 11″ Air as a decent netbook to run Linux. Although rumours of an Ubuntu tablet in 2011 piqued my interest the other day.


Consumers are certainly living their lives more and more away from a pc on their ipads and iphones, not so sure about the corps? Blackberry still doing well.


I really hadn’t expected that you would have to be sexually abused in order to get on a plane, but I did forsee an increase in regulation. Luckily (?) with the change (?) in government in the UK the rate and intrusiveness of regulation seems to have slowed down, a little. Glad I’m not a banker though.

OLAP/BI seemed to stand still in 2010 as a lot of the column inches went on security and cloud fluff. Whilst we can argue about whether user requests could get a lower priority, I don’t think anyone would say they got higher in 2010.

Android seems to have picked up some credibility, although the Motorola Droid I have is the worst electrical device I ever owned.

Santa brought one of the kids a netbook for xmas but he gave up trying to find a Linux one and just got a windas 7 one. WTF happened to Linux on Netbooks?? They are as rare as rocking horse poop suddenly. Its pretty cool here though as all the kids want Ubuntu because it has the best games, so I’ll be replacing Microsofts’ finest with NBR 10.10 (no silly name this time?), obviously without caring about Ubuntu One.

So overall, many things seem to have turned out roughly as expected, a few haven’t (yet), some might never.

I’ll do my predictions for 2011 within the next few days, although from a spreadsheet point of view its hardly exciting.

What were your standout moments/trends/events from 2010?



5 Responses to “2010 looking back”

  1. Ken Puls Says:

    Hey Simon,
    Don’t know that I’d agree on the BI side totally. While I do agree that there’s been a huge push to the cloud (which makes me shake my head), there was a huge BI piece released this year in PowerPivot for Excel. (Yeah, there’s a Sharepoint angle to it, but that’s not the point here.) That software is still mostly unknown at this point, but I think it’s the foundation of something very big that, as corps upgrade to Office 2010, will put BI abilities into data analysts hands. Maybe 2011 will see more implementations, and hopefully a v2 with more functionality to really kick it off to the masses, but it’s nonetheless a big move.

    • Bob Phillips Says:

      Hey Ken,

      The more I play with PowerPivot, the more I think it is going to be difficult for typical Excel users. Having to understand table relationships, join types and the like will be very hard for them. I have been involved in a couple of discussions with Excel users in this context, just getting them to understand that one table has to have unique keys, join concepts and so on has been nigh on impossible.

      I am not sure what MS can do to alleviate that, but I don’t think they se the problem as usual, they spout that PowerPivot is simple to use (in simple form it is), and you can always store it in SharePoint (if I were to go to the Summit, I know I would end up screaming at the number of references to the Cloud and SharePoint).

      I have even seen people suggest that you pull cube data into PowerPivot, when no other data is added to it. Why would anyone do that?

  2. Simon Says:

    Hi Ken, Yep maybe I didn’t express myself well there. What I meant was people continue to ignore BI, regardless of the progress made. Rumour has it 2011 will be a big Office2010 migration year so maybe PowerPivot will stop people warbling on about cloud/facebook/security a bit.
    I was going to migrate to O2010 and VS2010 but VS2010 is so cumbersome I’m a bit stranded at the mo.

  3. Ed Ferrero Says:

    Hi Simon,
    I think you missed a couple of important developments;
    • Excel apps embedded in a web page
    This is pretty cool, and should have real-world uses.
    • Office 365
    Ok, this is cloud stuff, and I am getting sick of cloud stuff, but this could actually be useful for organizations that are widely spread out.

    Here’s a prediction from me. The popularity of SharePoint will lead to the adoption of some very dodgy data structures. Users will come to realise that many of their lovely SharePoint lists would actually behave much better in a relational database…

  4. Jim Cone Says:

    As usual, you have something informative/entertaining to say.
    Makes the trip here worthwhile.

    I do like to keep in mind Milton Friedman’s advice…
    “Predictions are extremely difficult, especially when they’re about the future.”

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