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12 Stupid Technology Predictions for 2012

Predictions are stupid. They're a waste of time for the predictor and for the, uh, predictees who pay attention to them. They're almost impossible to quantify, rarely very specific ("Virtualization will be important!") and generally forgotten a few weeks after some pundit sprays them all over the Internet.

Well, it just so happens that in what is not exactly the busiest week of the year, we at RCPU have some time to kill. And we feel compelled to kill your time, too. So, we're loading up a predictions entry that will undoubtedly be...stupid. Because all predictions are stupid. But here we go, anyway, based on nothing at all:

  1. Windows 8 will be Microsoft's best operating system yet -- and a huge bust. Windows 8 won't be Vista. It'll only feel like Vista when the revenue numbers don't start rolling in. Oh, it'll be a beauty of an OS, but it'll have a major problem: Windows 7. And another major problem: the iPad (and maybe the Kindle Fire, too).

    On the PC, without its touch-screen capabilities and so forth (which we still maintain would be ridiculous to use on a PC), Windows 8 won't look different enough from Windows 7 for businesses or consumers who just moved from XP to 7 to get excited about it. And on tablets, where it will look fantastic and work really well, Microsoft is already so far behind that it won't be able to catch its rivals, even with a borderline revolutionary OS. See Windows Phone 7.

  2. There will be a huge cloud backlash among enterprises. We here at RCPU were once snorting bulls when it came to the cloud. While we're not exactly growling bears (although we prefer the term Bruins) yet, we're starting to think that 2012 will be a year in which hype about the cloud in the enterprise will fade a bit -- as will the number of enterprise cloud implementations. Keep in mind that we're talking about outsourcing e-mail and other critical business functions here, not people putting their pictures on Flickr, which will likely continue apace.

    A few more high-profile cloud outages and a couple more stories of organizations having trouble getting their cloud implementations up and running securely will stop even some of the most resource-strapped businesses in their efforts to swoosh to the sky. A mini-devolution will make news as companies keep important applications on-premises, and cloud computing providers will have to reinvent their wares -- or just make them better -- yet again.

  3. Microsoft will kill Windows Phone. We're not saying that Microsoft won't have a mobile OS; we're saying that the whole Windows Phone brand -- and maybe some of the functionality -- will disappear after an unsuccessful run. Everything will get shoved under the Windows 8 umbrella somehow, making marketing for the new version of the flagship OS even more confusing. And the Windows 8 mobile edition, or whatever it will be called, will look great -- and fall flat. See stupid prediction No. 1.

  4. The Consumer Electronics Show will go the way of Comdex. Oh, wait, that's already happening!

  5. Microsoft's social network will be a massive success. It has a dumb name, very little hype and probably nobody interested in using it. It's coming out five years too late. It's hard to tell exactly what users are supposed to do with it. How could not succeed? It'll be the Zune of social networks!

This entry will run out of steam before we even get halfway through our 12 predictions, so the last paragraph of our list will just be a bunch of random, possibly nonsensical and yet duly numbered thoughts:

6) XP will still control at least 25 percent of PC market share by year's end. 7) Steve Ballmer will sweat profusely during a keynote. 8) Apple users will turn their smugness away from Microsoft users and toward other Apple users who haven't upgraded to the latest version of an iWhatever. 9) CEO Marc Benioff will say nasty things about Microsoft, especially after Google buys his company. 10) Microsoft Lync will have a breakout year with Skype integrated into it, but your editor will start having to put a shirt on for meetings when he's working at home. 11) Pundits will say that Microsoft is slipping, but the company will keep crushing revenue records. 12) Somebody will write a predictions blog entry at the end of the year...and it'll be stupid.

Have a prediction for 2012? No prognostication is too ridiculous. Send yours to [email protected] or leave a comment below.

Posted by Lee Pender on December 21, 2011