Wednesday, January 2, 2008
So we made it, 2008 is 2 days old and here is my obligatory preview of the year. The year started well for me with fireworks over San Francisco which are visible from my apartment building. As you can see, the emerald tower (The Infinity - Luxury condominiums) blocked the view somewhat but we were still able to enjoy them. Now I don't gamble much because I am spectacularly bad at it, I can't resist that 500-1 outsider, even though I know it will never win I can't resist that value. So in that spirit here are my long shot predictions for 2008 in no particular order:
1) Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, reddit and all the similar services will be bought, merge or become irrelevant.
I have been playing around with them and apart from Del.icio.us don't find them helpful at all. What I want is feeds and access to my friend's feeds and why do I want that in multiple places? I can either use my social networking tool of choice, such as facebook to monitor what my fiends are looking at and what they like. As the rise in social networks tells us, people care about what their friends and contacts are doing, we don't care that 600 teenage girls digg some Justin Timberlake video (unless I am a teenage girl perhaps) so put the 'diggs' of my friends in facebook where everything else is thanks and that drives the ad revenue to facebook.
UPDATE: del.icios.us was acquired by Yahoo in 2005, let's see what happens with the others if they are not already acquired - sorry for the oversight.
2) Amazon will buy Salesforce.com
I know Jake is predicting Google will buy them, but what about Amazon? Amazon to consumers is an online store, but in reality they are a technology company and the moves they have made into web services may just be the start of a more aggressive push in that direction.
3) Yahoo! will remain number 1 internet destination
Google, myspace and facebook are all gaining fast, but I think they will hold on to top spot. I have always liked Yahoo! and been a long time user, they have acquired some nice real estate recently such as flickr and upcoming that they are knitting together nicely, I love the new Yahoo mail (better than gmail) and Yahoo maps always gives better routes than Google maps [UPDATE: this is my perception - not hard facts]. If they can either fix Yahoo! 360 or buy a decent social networking site they will continue to be a very compelling destination.
4) iPhones sales will beat all estimates
I got an iPhone for Christmas after my months of procrastinating my wife made the decision for me, she knew I would love it. Given am a big apple fan and I have three macs at home (including the unpopular cube) I'm not sure why I doubted that the usability and access to the real web would more than compensate for not having 3G and being with AT&T. With the 3G version rumored to be months away and all the zealots like me preaching the good news I think many people will be won over.
So that's all for my way our predictions, I have avoided speculating on who Oracle will buy because I don't want anybody thinking I have inside information (which I don't), but I do wonder if Red Hat is still a possibility?
One last point on the iPhone. It took me 6 calls to AT&T to get mine activated - is this a record? How was activation for everyone else?