2010 Technology Predictions

Well, another year, and heck …. even another decade and 2010 is going to be such an important year, or kick-off year for technology that I thought I would take a stab at making some technology predictions on what I think might happen this year. Technology always has these “next thing” items coming forward that it is really hard to even really know what is for real. Technologies might be quite good – but it will also take additional things like community ground swell or true behind-the-scenes business backing to get them to take root. In some cases, you do need that perfect storm.

Well, as a self-educated weather man in this area, I’ll give it a go. Here is a list of predictions in no particular order.

#1 - Microsoft will release a compelling and revolutionary new mobile OS based upon Silverlight

Well, a little guess work and a little connecting the dots here. Honestly, this doesn’t take much looking in the crystal ball to see. But Microsoft is currently getting killed in the mobile space by the likes of Apple and Google. The Apple device was something that really got people interested in true mobile computing devices. The fluidity of the OS and the applications that ran on it were a dream come true to everyone. Google has quickly jumped into the picture with their own offering – Android.

The new Microsoft OS will completely abandon what they have done with previous mobile OS versions. They will stop forcing the mobile OS to be even similar in workflow to that of a desktop OS. For instance, we won’t see a silly Start button in the lower left hand corner! The new OS will have the fluidity like the other Apple and Google mobile OS options. The reason for this is that Silverlight is exactly that! There will be presence, an accelerometer, multi-touch, Bing maps, a good set of core games, camera support, Bing search, voice “Sync” capabilities, and more.

Microsoft will create a new app store to attempt to rival Apple’s. The Microsoft mobile solution will be considerably easier for developers to work towards than others such as Apple’s or Google’s. The reason is that to build an application for the MSFT Mobile device, you will be able to simply use Visual Studio 2011 (coming), C# or VB, an outstanding set of emulators, and then you will be able to easily deploy the applications to the Microsoft store or elsewhere. Microsoft will offer a better profit sharing deal to app owners that will create excitement in getting these apps built and developed.

So – connecting the dots? If you go back to the Ray Ozzie 2009 PDC Main Messages – you will see that his message was about Silverlight EVERYWHERE! You can see that there is a nice mobile device on the left side of the picture. It is also interesting that Scott Guthrie then introduced a lot of new Silverlight features that would work quite nicely on a phone. For instance, camera support. Another interesting message on the Internet is this from Microsoft India - http://www.microsoft.com/india/msidc/tools/mobile.aspx. Here you see that there is a group dedicated to the Microsoft Silverlight initiative for Windows Mobile. Cool.

Will Microsoft succeed? This is tough to say. There is some heavy competition here, but the future of Microsoft depends upon staying on top in the device, laptop/netbook, game console area as these items are more and more starting to merge and the winners in this space will own the world.

#2 – Digital books will outsell print books for the first time

This has already happened on specific shopping days. Amazon has seen some days that have seen more Kindle sales than what Amazon sold in print versions of the books. What I am predicting is that when looking at the entire 2010 year, digital books will outsell print and e-book readers will become the must have device for readers everywhere as prices start to drop with increasing cheap competition.

#3 – A community fight will occur over using ASP.NET Web Forms or ASP.NET MVC that will cause Microsoft to take some steps back in their messages

Microsoft will push ASP.NET MVC as the default way to build ASP.NET applications with default explanations in documentation and training. Though nice, the larger community won’t be ready for making the change and many will still cling hard to ASP.NET Web Forms causing fear of losing the core ranks of web developers that have helped drive Microsoft to its current success.

#4 – Microsoft will realize that they cannot send Scott Guthrie to speak in every country in the world

I swear that every time I looked at ScottGu’s blog or twitter account, I would see that he was speaking at this place and that. I think in 2010 someone will realize that killing him won’t help the company. I think they will then create an army of ScottGu-ettes that will spread the Gu love around the world on his behalf.

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#5 – Azure adoption will move slowly

The world will take a wait and see approach with Azure during 2010. It will require a good story in 2010 before some people start coming on board in 2011.

#6 – IBM will make another last ditch effort to take over the enterprise

IBM will continue to use their wealth to acquire companies. Their growth by acquisition will mostly fail as they attempt to bring their disparate pieces together.

#7 – WPF and Silverlight adoption will go through the roof on new projects

As companies look to build new products in 2010, they will mostly turn to building them in Silverlight or WPF. Though this will leave the question of which one to use? Customers will come out in waves seeking guidance on the path they should take. Prism and Unity will become the #1 framework that customers will use to build enterprise applications for either Silverlight or WPF.

#8 – Microsoft will come out with a competing product to Mint.com

Microsoft didn’t just end their Money product for nothing. Microsoft instead will come out with a competitor to Mint.com and Intuit. This will be a Silverlight-based application that will, like Mint.com, connect to your remote accounts and provide analysis. More and more users will actually start using these types of services after more trust is made with these types of applications actually holding your bank account login information.

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Well, there’s some technology predictions for 2010 for you. Let me know what you think and what your predictions are.

Feel free to follow on twitter at www.twitter.com/billevjen.

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