Predicting what may happen in the coming year is one of those entertaining traditions that lots of people like to maintain, so I felt I would join in! The danger of predicting technology trends is obvious of course, but I should be relatively safe with a 12 month timeframe! So, here goes...
- On its UK launch the PS3 will sell fairly well, but by the end of the year the Nintendo Wii will have the most units shipped. XBox360 will be in second place.
- The Zune won't sell well and will quietly be dropped. I mean... who owns one? The only one I've ever actually seen 'in the flesh' was owned by a Microsoft employee.
- Vista will finally ship (what is it... 3 years late?) to generally underwhelmed consumers. The only people who will bother with it are those who will get it bundled with their new PCs, but of course it will become the dominant OS by default. Meanwhile, Apple will release Leopard so that MS will have something new to copy (badly) for their next version of Windows. To be fair, Vista looks better than XP and will probably make my life at work (where I have no choice but to use Windows) easier, but it's very little very late, and hardly 'innovative'
- Consumer broadband connectivity will be high enough to really start eating into TV viewing. Channel 4 have their on-demand service already of course, and once the BBC service is running I predict that people will start to drop cable and satellite subscriptions. After all, these are mostly held for the convenience of 'something good being on' when you sit down to watch, rather than the number of channels.
- The fullscreen video iPod will launch, with moderate success. Technogeeks will love it, but most people don't want to watch video on small devices. Much more successful will be the video downloads from the iTunes store though - people can use this and still watch video on their monitors (and TVs, thanks to things like the iTV), and that's what they want. The new video iPod will simply be a channel to enable this.
- Hardware sales of desktops and laptops will rise, but more slowly than the last few years. Most people who want a computer already own one that is powerful enough for their needs. More gaming will take place on consoles, so the major driver for more powerful computers will be lessened. The MacOS will see a modest increase its overall percentage of OSs in use, as will Linux. Mac hardware will see a good boost since people can now run Windows on it, if they must. If Leopard really does run Windows apps seamlessly then that will help too since people won't have to install Parallels, or any other third-party software.
OK, there are my predictions. Let's see what the year brings!