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Predictions for 2010

  1. Facebook will take the bold step of moving entirely into the cloud and shutting down its own data centers. Later it will be discovered that the cloud-provider they chose had, themselves, moved entirely into the cloud and shut down their data centers. After a few more recursive steps, it's learned that the guy at the end of the chain had moved his operation into the Facebook cloud, and the entire service is hosted on thin air

  2. Somebody will invent another Methodology for software development, everybody will blog about it for 4-6 months, and nobody will remember it in 2011. The conference organizers will refuse to refund anybody's money, though

  3. Microsoft will invent a new programming abstraction layer that unifies all of its previous ones under a radical new paradigm that ships as a service pack to .Net 4.5. It will look suspiciously like REBOL

  4. Google will add special features to its Maps and Street View that highlight red-light districts and the best places to score some crack. They will then follow-up with the current locations of police speed traps and random DUI checks. This will all be largely ignored by the press until Google comes out with it's "Megan's Law View" that pinpoints the homes of registered sex offenders, at which point the media coverage will go-on 24/7 until Google is forced to retract the feature

  5. IBM will try to resurrect OS/2 as a smartphone OS, but will do it through a hardware partner that everybody forgot about years ago, like PSION. It will be as successful as the Atari Jaguar

  6. XML will continue to be a better choice than JSON or YAML for the same reason that McDonalds is a better choice than Arby's or Hardees

  7. One "Enterprise" software company will realize that charging $12,000-per-core for licenses is starting to look ridiculous when even OLPC's are going quad-core and the new iMac has more parallel processing capacity than the Storm Botnet. Their defection to an honest-but-blunt "we'll just read your 10-K filings and make up a number" pricing policy triggers a reverse price-war, where everybody quadruples their prices and the annual support contract includes a technician who moves into your office and sleeps in the parking lot. Unsurprisingly, this becomes the IT hit of the year

  8. The TARP bailout is extended to Microsoft after it's discovered that the entire banking industry is held together with Visual Basic 6 and Excel macros. Microsoft uses some of the money to license the rights to Ronald McDonald as a replacement spokesperson for Steve Ballmer

  9. Someone inspired by Michael Osinski will create a program that combines High Frequency Trading and Flash Orders to create financial products based on "App Store Futures". Developers will be able to buy the future profits of somebody else's iPhone app as insurance against having theirs rejected. Ironically, the program gets rejected for using a copyrighted image of a barrel, a naked man and a broom handle as the icon

  10. An open-source clone of MySQL will be made, called "See-Q-ALL" and financed by a hardware company that eventually gets acquired by Oracle, who rename it to "Fu-Q-ALL"

  11. OpenOffice.org, who for a while thought it was clever to name their product the same as their web address, will forget to renew their domain name and--after an ensuing "land rush" by squatters--have to change the name of the office suite to "MyOpenOfficeNet.ddns.co.au/~openoffice"

  12. Information Week closes its doors forever and sells the brand name to TechCrunch. Somebody notices that the transfer of assets includes the rights to "BYTE" and Michael Arrington resurrects the old hobbyist's monthly. Letting it all go to his head, he grows his beard out, starts wearing robes, practices folk-dancing, playing the pennywhistle and coding in LISP

  13. Google will buy E-ZPass and proceed to log all of the toll-road traffic in the Northeast. Later that year in the Google Zeitgeist, they will reveal that the land-speed record was set by a 2004 Honda Civic with a fart-pipe completing the run between Exits 11 and 3 on the New Jersey Turnpike in 65,535 milliseconds

  14. Haskell and Erlang will be the languages that get you laid, but F# programmers will remain virgins. Python and Ruby programmers will start to notice something's amiss when their Internet Dates on World of Warcraft defect to other guilds

  15. The government will pass a law mandating Network Neutrality, but the fine print will make it inapplicable to wireless networks. Suddenly, WiMax base-stations appear everywhere overnight--almost to the minute that a mysterious virus knocks out Cable and DSL service nationwide

  16. Stackoverflow.com will introduce a new software testing service inspired by Amazon's Mechanical Turk, where developers upload their programs and testers find bugs in exchange for a micropayment. Somebody then does the obvious and connects it to a Mechanical Turk task that gets one bunch of monkeys to write code and uses the second bunch to test it. A reasonably good clone of Windows 7 is banged out over 8 months with a budget of about $4,000