Fearless Predictions for the New Year

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2003-01-06 Print this article Print

It's been years since I've written a predictions column, and looking back at my efforts, I can see why I stopped.

Its been years since Ive written a predictions column, and looking back at my efforts, I can see why I stopped. Unfortunately, this is my one chance this year to look into my clouded crystal ball. So, here are my predictions, more or less ordered by their chance of success.

1) Microsoft CRM finally ships. The products interface lures people in. Its pricing is competitive. It starts to squeeze out smaller competitors, just before people realize its not all that it is cracked up to be. The cracked-up features hit late in 2004, but by then its too late for many smaller companies.

2) Intel slices and dices Itanium prices after finally getting the processor to perform at better-than-32-bit speeds. Intel continues to claim its not speed that matters as much as memory address space—not important until 2005.

3) Spurred by the Bush administrations peeping-Tom initiatives, dozens of firms gyrate toward getting government contracts. The companies win contracts but cant talk about them. Their products also dont work, so thats actually a good thing.

4) Commercial spyware becomes pervasive. Agreements and usage policies become embedded in EULAs. Spyware companies sell variations of their commercial products, which do work, to the government.

5) Ximians Evolution becomes the fastest-growing software package of the millennium. Corporations start rolling it out. A 32-bit Windows version emerges and begins to supplant Outlook as the common e-mail client.

6) Sun rolls everything into Solaris, then rolls everything into Sun Linux. Suns product SKU goes from thousands to a handful. The "systems" company becomes an integrator. Upon realization, it buys at least one large integrator.

7) Windows Media 9 launches. Its fantastic, but no one cares. Yahoos launch.com instead catalyzes Microsofts foray into entertainment media.

8) Grid computing sits out another year. Suns N1 and other automated self-healing computing initiatives struggle in 2003. The struggle allows the initiatives to get some things right, so well see good stuff in 2004.

9) Microsoft and Sun agree on more standards, including those emerging from OASIS and the WS-I.

10) National wireless fails to catch a break in 2003. No one cares about 3G. No one cared about Iridium. No one cared about 2.5G. Maybe it will happen in this decade, though.

Your predictions are going to be better than mine. What are they? Write to john_taschek@ziffdavis.com.

As the director of eWEEK Labs, John manages a staff that tests and analyzes a wide range of corporate technology products. He has been instrumental in expanding eWEEK Labs' analyses into actual user environments, and has continually engineered the Labs for accurate portrayal of true enterprise infrastructures. John also writes eWEEK's 'Wide Angle' column, which challenges readers interested in enterprise products and strategies to reconsider old assumptions and think about existing IT problems in new ways. Prior to his tenure at eWEEK, which started in 1994, Taschek headed up the performance testing lab at PC/Computing magazine (now called Smart Business). Taschek got his start in IT in Washington D.C., holding various technical positions at the National Alliance of Business and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he and his colleagues assisted the government office with integrating the Windows desktop operating system with HUD's legacy mainframe and mid-range servers.

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