Assessing 2009 Predictions

December 30th, 2009 6 Comments

Photo by Nelson D. from Flickr used under Creative Commons

Photo by Nelson D. from Flickr used under Creative Commons

Not entirely sure why I decided to predict events for 2009, probably because I did for 2008, which isn’t really an answer. I don’t recall why I ever decided to do predictions, but now it seems like a tradition.

Anyway, since I did, why not dissect them and see how I fared in 2009?

To recap, I predicted:

I also dumped some random thoughts:

Like any good prognosticator, I chose a lot of statements that cannot be quantified and therefore, cannot be declared incorrect.

Let’s breaks them down individually.

Twitter will finally announce its business model.
Win.

Twitter did sign deals with both Google and Microsoft to include tweets in search results for both companies. Expect these two to continue an arms race for the best real-time search into 2010, with Twitter and Facebook as the primary beneficiaries.

Not surprisingly, Facebook has only signed a deal with Microsoft, not Google, to push its data into Bing’s results. Facebook has its own problems populating that stream though, as they struggle to convince users to make their News Feeds public.

Back to Twitter, not only did they rake in $25 million from these deals, but in a surprise last week, they announced they made money in 2009.

The search deals are obviously not the only way Twitter plans to make money. There have been rumors that they are also considering ads (surprise) and charging for official corporate accounts, a rumor furthered by recent beta-testing of a new feature called Contributors, which allows a by-line to be added to a tweet.

Presumably, this feature allows a single account to be managed by multiple users, which definitely paves the way for business accounts.

Microsoft will acquire Facebook.
Fail.

Not only did this not happen, but Facebook raised more money from other sources in 2009, further diluting Microsoft’s investment. Signs point to a Facebook IPO in 2010, which would return a nice profit to Microsoft, but loosen its interest even further.

Yahoo will open source itself.
Push.

Not sure how to score this one. Yahoo continues to be a proponent and contributor to open source, even after its restructuring in 2009. I couldn’t remember any major announcements about open source, so I went through Reader to find a few.

Pro

Con

Push seems pretty accurate. I’m guessing more will be jettisoned or open sourced as Yahoo continues to restructure in 2010.

Businesses will get open. Consumers will not.
Push.

Again, this one is impossible to score, by design.

I don’t recall many big stories about businesses going open source in 2009, but there were many federal, state and local open source announcements, which makes sense.

I suppose you could point to Firefox’s share of the browser market as proof that consumers are starting to understand open source, but I stick by my original assertion. In fact, I’ll go one better: consumers will *never* get open source, never-ever-ever.

Random Thoughts
Now, to score my random thoughts.

IE 6 will still be the top Microsoft browser by percentage in 2009, even after Windows 7 launches with IE 8 installed.
Win. IE 6 is still the top IE version at 22% as of November 2009. Oddly, IE8 has passed IE7.

All flavors of IE will lose market share primarily to Google Chrome, not Firefox.
Fail. IE fell from 69.72% to 63.62% between January and November. Chrome rose from 1.52% to 3.93%, and Firefox rose from 22.11% to 24.72% over the same period.

The majority of the 6.1% that IE lost went to those two browsers, with Firefox picking up slightly more, 42.7% vs. 39.5% for Chrome.

Chrome will top 10% as it becomes Dell’s de facto browser.
Fail. Chrome finished November at 3.93%. I may let this one ride for 2010, especially with Chrome OS looming.

Linux will take more of the the O/S market from Windows than Mac will.
Fail. Windows market share only fell about 1% in 2009, with most of that going to OS X. Linux only rose about 0.1% over 2009.

Windows 7 will be better and more expensive than expected.
Push. I’ve heard good things about Windows 7, and not just characterized against Vista’s epic fail. The cost of an upgrade seems about in line with what I remember from XP, plus a little overhead for inflation. Maybe someone with more experience can score this.

So, my final score is more fail than win, by a smidge, about what I expected.

Care to correct me or add your own prognostications? Find the comments.

Stay tuned for the 2010 predictions.


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6 Responses to “Assessing 2009 Predictions”

  1. John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises) Says:

    Regarding tech predictions, the fascinating part isn't WHETHER the predictions were right or wrong, but WHY they were right or wrong.

    Take, for example, your random thought that Chrome would become Dell's de facto browser and thus gain a much wider adoption. It didn't happen, but it will be fascinating to see if a major computer line does choose to bundle Google Chrome, or some new product that hasn't been bundled before. (I'm thinking of the United States here, not Europe.)

    Twitter's business model (one you got right) is equally fascinating, especially when you consider that Twitter's first crack at monetization wasn't from selling something to its users, but by effectively selling its data to two companies that are engaged in their own war for supremacy. Perhaps that's the new startup model – instead of developing a product and selling it to Google, perhaps future entrepreneurs will enjoy success by developing a product and selling it to Google AND Microsoft.

    As for me, I shy away from predictions unless they're really really safe (“Oracle will buy more companies”).

  2. Jake Says:

    Interesting point, especially as it applies to Twitter. I remember thinking along those lines, and I should have blogged something at the time.

    You're correct; it is a new path to monetization. They've been fortunate that their backers have allowed them to stay 1) independent and 2) on the path to building usage vs. veering off to create immediate revenue. Somehow I don't think that's a very replicable model though.

    I like sharing opinions, and this time of year is good for it.

  3. robertbielenstein Says:

    If I was to share my two cents, I'd say location-based services are coming on big in the mid-term future. Maybe not in 2010, but soonish. Nokia for instance is investing a lot in that direction already.

    And I'm curious upon Chrome OS and it's impact, and cloude computing in general. I'd say thin clients and centralization of computing power is what's going to happen. But – we'll see! ;-)

  4. Jake Says:

    You might want to check my 2010 predictions post, since one is about geo. I'm expecting a lot of investment, but very little adoption.

    I stayed away from Chrome OS b/c it's not likely to be ready until late 2010, at least according to Google.

    I also stayed away from cloud computing, but I expect you're right. It'll keep growing, despite more data and security failures.

  5. robertbielenstein Says:

    If I was to share my two cents, I'd say location-based services are coming on big in the mid-term future. Maybe not in 2010, but soonish. Nokia for instance is investing a lot in that direction already.

    And I'm curious upon Chrome OS and it's impact, and cloude computing in general. I'd say thin clients and centralization of computing power is what's going to happen. But – we'll see! ;-)

  6. Jake Says:

    You might want to check my 2010 predictions post, since one is about geo. I'm expecting a lot of investment, but very little adoption.

    I stayed away from Chrome OS b/c it's not likely to be ready until late 2010, at least according to Google.

    I also stayed away from cloud computing, but I expect you're right. It'll keep growing, despite more data and security failures.

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