This post originally appeared on theconnectedwire.com
The year has come to a close, which means it’s time to lay down the predictions for what next year is going to bring. So without further ado, these are my top 5 predictions for the next year in tech.
1. RIM is going to be too late releasing BlackBerry 10, and is the next cellphone company to fall
The rumors are circulating that RIM won’t be able to get out the next version of its operating system until late 2012, by then it is going to be too late, and RIM is going to lose a tremendous amount of market share. They are going to lose so much that they will have no choice but to sell off to another company. I think that Dell is a likely candidate, their phone division hasn’t been doing well, and they desperately want to get in to this space. Also, Amazon and Microsoft have been poking their noses in and seem interested as well. I think Amazon could buy them, since they are increasingly trying to push their way into the consumer electronics market, especially since they have the fire out now, they might want to sell a phone as well. Lastly, Microsoft could be a good option since Windows Phone 7 isn’t gaining the market share they hoped, and RIM could give them much more clout in the market, especially with the enterprise customers. Though I think that Microsoft is more likely to make a deal with RIM than outright buy them, much like they did with Nokia last February. Also, by this time next year, RIM will have new people in charge of the company, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie will be out.
2. Ballmer will no longer be the CEO of Microsoft
Microsoft’s stock has been very stagnant for almost 10 years, and it doesn’t seem like that is about to change. This will be Steve Ballmer’s last year as CEO of Microsoft, and he will resign by the end of the year. There is no chance that Bill Gates will come back to take over the company, which he has made clear, instead I think that Steven Sinofsky could be a likely candidate to take over the reigns.
3. Apple will release a TV
The rumors about Apple releasing a TV have been circulating for several years now, and I think this will finally be the year. In the Steve Jobs biography, there was a small segment about the TV.
And [Steve Jobs] very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant. ’I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ’It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It would have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’
There’s no doubt he was referring to a TV that Apple seems very close to releasing this year. My guess is it will be announced at WWDC in June, but won’t be named iTV, it will either go by Apple TV, or have another name entirely.
4. Google will strip the patents from Motorola and sell the rest
Google bought Motorola this year, most likely for the patents so they can protect other Android manufacturers. For the time being Motorola is being operated as a separate entity, and is continuing to make phones. Once the deal is finalized Google will take all the patents and get rid of the rest. Google isn’t going to start making its own hardware, so they are going to sell all the parts they don’t need to someone else, or spin it off, though I think that is less likely.
5. Windows 8 sales will be mediocre or Microsoft will change its mind about Metro
Microsoft is going to release Windows 8 this summer, and after playing with it extensively, I doubt it is going to be extremely successful. It will be similar to Vista and will largely be considered a disappointment. This will be because of the omni-present Metro start screen, which may work ok for tablets, it doesn’t translate to the desktop at all. Consumers won’t want to upgrade, and Enterprises definitely won’t, unless Microsoft changes their mind and allows that screen to be optional, or completely limited to tablets. I also think that Microsoft’s tablet push will be extremely unsuccessful and it won’t gain any traction.
Those are my predictions about the next year in technology. However, this industry can be very difficult to predict. This time last year no one thought that Motorola would be owned by Google,Apple would no longer be run by Steve Jobs, WebOS would be dead, or the government would try to ruin the internet. Who knows what next year will bring?