My 2010 predictions were a little tame I think, so I’m going to go more out on a limb this time around. I’ve covered a broader area this time too. I normally limit myself to spreadsheets and software, I’ve had a pop at some more general stuff this time.
- Google will overtake Microsoft in market capitalisation (190 v 240 currently)
- MS won’t bid for Adobe.
- MS is fading fast as a general brand, especially with consumers, this will continue and probably accelerate
- Apple will pick up most of that consumer mind share in computing and software.
- I think someone might bid for HP this year, possibly Oracle if they can digest Sun in time. I don’t see too much anti competitive hassle from this and Larry has been softening them up with body blows for a few months
- Yahoo will surely disappear, I’m not sure how they survived this long
- Once people get bored of facebooking about facebook surely it will do a myspace?
- Linux won’t do much in 2011, I really thought netbooks would do it 2009/2010, but I was wrong. I don’t see a better chance in 2011. Tablets? I’m not convinced this time around.
- Phone and tablet software will be massive in consumerland. iOS and Android (and Blackberry), not Windows phone.
- PC consumer software will be a non story (in the general media)
- MS Office is in a death spin where no one understands the value it can generate so no one invests so no one discovers. MS will continue to fail dismally to market Office. They will cut marketing spend so they will send less of the wrong messages to the wrong people.
- Quite a few corps will start to migrate to O2010 in 2011 as many skipped 2007 and 2003 will be 2 years out of mainstream support. They won’t leverage many of the new features though, as its ‘just Office’ not an integrated part of strategic IT infrastructure like it should be. (message/people…)
- I think Windows 7 may be due for deployment in a lots of companies too.
- We will still be undervalued.
- We will still be loved by users and loathed by IT, who will continue to prevent us from using the best tools for the job.
- Office will continue to be userland so VBA still key, although job ads will request a knowledge of C#, but then not let you have Visual Studio.
- Microsoft will still not have a plausible .net/Excel development story. VSTO isn’t it
- .net developers will continue to abuse Excel as they don’t understand the object model or native code.
- Access will still be looked down on as a zero credibility toy – an image which hampers SharePoint uptake as Access is a million times better for managing lists than the 1970’s web UI. I’m currently calling my Access development Jet development to avoid raising the Access Alert.
- Office 15 Beta 1 will probably make it out of the door before the end of the year. Expect the ribbon to be nearly as good as 2003 toolbars, lots of unusable lock-in to server components that corps won’t deploy. Beefed up power features like cluster udfs in 2010 (perhaps performant .net udfs???). More eye
candycabbage/inappropriate intra suite standardisation. Closer Excel/Access integration may be on the cards, even as many corps seek to ban Access altogether, it may cheat death once again.
- Plenty more vacuous ‘spreadsheet control’ projects will start in 2011, although most will be tick box half hearted affairs. The crash knocked a bit of the wind out of the compliance gravy train sails. (can I mix methaphors like that?)
- there will be plenty of opportunities in financial services for folks with Excel/VBA/business – this market is hotting up after being depressed for 18 months or so – so many devs will have moved on.
- LibreOffice will continue where OpenOffice once went as the leading Office competitor, before Oracle alienated the whole dev community. Still won’t be much of a competitor though, sadly. OpenOffice will be gone by the end of 2011 imo, at least ‘gone’ like StarOffice.
- Java will lose some light as it has been scuttled by Oracle, I think this will cause more of a general splinter rather than a mass migration to .net for example. Ruby, Python etc will likely be winners on the web/server, but maybe C++ will find some love, it has done with MS in VS2010.
- Or maybe there will be an unbreakable Oracle Java?
- Silverlight is doomed, so VS2012 might be useable. Silverlight is the Access of UI. MS just don’t know what to do with it. Smart devs will steer clear till they decide. Gone by 2012 imo.
- Objective C will probably be a worthwhile skill in 2011 (not a great synergy with VBA though :))
- F# will get plenty of buzz, but not a lot of actual traction, just because OO is inappropriate for whole swathes of software doesn’t mean it isn’t deeply engrained (as the ‘correct/best/professional’ way of developing anything)
- Well derr – tablets will be a big news story in 2010
- Netbooks will be replaced by tablets, in news, if not physically.
- The march to smartphones will make iPhone/Android/Blackberry development a very viable business model, especially compared to banging your head against the office dev wall.
- If the Ubuntu Tablet appears I’ll buy one ASAP.
I try not to be a ‘Microsoft watcher’ blogger partly because lots of people already do that, and partly because its hard to hit the right tone between sycophant (I earn my living in their tech after all) and irrelevant moaner. But…
- MS is in a cost control phase at the moment. That means every investment/spend needs justifying.
- Plenty of possibly viable techs have been axed after massive investment over the past few years
- some of those have been brave (or mad – depends your pov) decisions
- This means very little is unquestionably safe – its perceived cost benefits, financially, ruthlessly.
- I think MS have lost the consumer space so they will focus more on the enterprise (which seems to work well for Oracle for example).
- Tight Office/.net integration? cost? benefit in increased unit sales income? – unlikely then…
- Windows phone? If it goes well in the next 6-12m then maybe, if not its out. Microsoft could exit this whole market with no obvious income loss (short term at least). (imo gone by 2012)
- Silverlight? compelling benefits or the next VB script? (imo gone by 2012)
- VSTO? essential .net/Office bridge? unfinishable unloved bodge? (imo VSTO will survive for a while as it joins a couple of cash cows)
- VBA? trusty workhorse? or poor implementation of a bad design? (imo safe as houses, there will be nothing that could be construed as a hint of retirement plans for this utterly vital (to MS) tech. Unless you take the complete lack of investment and development of the IDE as a hint of future plans of course)
- VSTA? remember that? VS editor in Office. Hmmm… I really don’t know if better .net/Office is coming to Office, If you pushed me I would say no, I don’t think O15 will have an integrated C# IDE.
- No double dip recession (if anyone thinks we are out of the last one yet) just a slow (er than reported) creeping recovery.
- 2011 will, in line with solar physicist predictions (again), be colder than 2010 by any reasonable measure.
- The Urban Heat Island effect will get some attention to try to explain the gaping void between what global warming ‘scientists’ say and what normal people see and feel.
- We will see more climate comedy – where a council or org has made a big business decision based on promises of global warming, only to be totally shafted by actual weather. Step forward Geneva canton and Lytham council – both allegedly sold their snow clearing equipment in recent years then struggled last winter and this winter. (could we include Heathrow?)(we can take UK road salt supplies as a consistent snafu.)
- Financial market volatility will increase, especially on the down side as algorithmic trading gets more aggressive safety cut outs.
- 2011 will be even more fad-tastic than 2010, game shows, reality tv, shit music, phone apps, blankets with sleeves…
- No big UK bank failures
- Another couple of Euro zone rescue plans will be required, someone might even notice the state of the UK economy.
- A Euro will almost certainly be worth more than a pound, although they are both in a race to the bottom at the moment.
- More intrusive security pantomime mischief will make air travel even more unpleasant but no more secure.
- Did I mention that spreadsheet development will still not be cool?
That’s about it for now, I need to go out mountain biking now the snow has melted. Sorry this is so long!
What do you see as the big news stories of the next 12m?
All the best for 2011