My 2006 Predictions
Since everyone else is doing it…
1) Intel will make a comeback in the CPU arena when they finally ditch NetBurst and start shipping Pentium-M based desktop processors with 64-bit support. They may even integrate a memory controller before the end of the year. The Apple partnership will help this.
2) Newsgator will get bought by, or closely partner with one of the major search/portal/blog players – or by someone that’s trying to become one.
3) The Windows Live brand will help some recent MSN products succeed in markets where they previously hadn’t.
4) The third-generation of search engine will emerge (Gen 1 was pre-Google, Gen 2 started with Google).
5) Google will struggle with their UI designs and look outside the company for help.
6) Hailstorm will reappear in pieces (and not all from the same place). But it will be given friendly names like “RSS”
7) The Playstation 3 will launch in Japan with huge success. There will be supply shortages but they won’t be as bad when Sony launches in the US several months later.
8) Sony will try to create an Xbox Live-like service for free with minimal success.
9) Soon before the PS3 launches in the US, 2 major titles (on the Halo 2 and GTA level) will launch exclusively on the Xbox 360 – which may even see a price drop at the same time. Sony’s US launch will be a painful experience for them.
10) Sony will put Europe last and Europe will put Sony last.
11) Internet Advertising will surge. TV advertising will take the brunt of the assault.
12) The TV industry will blame piracy for lost revenue. But they’ll adapt faster than the music or movie industries to changing demands.
13) Microsoft will make a strong bid to catch-up in the online music business, meanwhile missing out on the emerging online TV-show downloading business that Apple is already getting a head start on.
14) Being one step ahead as per the above, Apple will continue to dominate with the iPod – much to the dismay of those who want it to be an open platform.
15) A new kind of business will emerge, and Google started it. This new business model isn’t about Search though. It’s about tying content with advertising. For example, instead of advertisers going to TV stations, both the advertisers and the TV networks will turn to companies like Google, Apple, or Microsoft who will deliver both – and profit from both.
16) Companies like Comcast and Sprint/Cingular will show signs that they’re becoming more comfortable with the fact that they’re simple data pipes and that people want bandwidth, not bundled content or services that only work with “their network.”
So those are my predictions for 2006. Everything here is speculation and nothing more. If I think of any more tonight I’ll add them. Otherwise you can check back in 12 months and see just how right or wrong I am.