So just to wish all of you a very happy new year and a big thank you for sticking with the blog over the last year. It’s been a very exciting year to be a blogger. 2008 was the year of the iPhone 3G and smartphones, the Facebook redesign, innovative new sites to obtain and listen to music, the US presidential election, the Beijing Olympics, the Large Hadron Collider… But it was also the year where we all felt the effects of a global recession and the credit crunch. With the dawn of the new year, it’s unlikely that we’ll see anything changing straight away – the first big change will probably be the inauguration of President Obama on January 20.
So let me go out on a limb and make a few predictions of what 2009 might be like…
- I don’t think we’ll have much more action on climate change. Obviously the global recession means that governments don’t want to implement policies which could further harm the economy on the short term. But a new president in the US does offer a glimmer of hope. But given most scientists and governments now agree on the urgency for action, we could see some moves towards environmentally-friendly policies. I would like to be proved wrong on this prediction!
- MySpace is gonna die out. Sorry, but MySpace is already on it’s last legs. Meanwhile, OpenSocial has made no inroads. Facebook will dominate social networking in 2009. Get used to it.
- Internet services on the mobile phone are going to be a lot more popular. Smartphones make the internet much easier to use and I think the combination of the “social web” with mobile phones is a killer. 3G comes of age.
- More people will buy netbooks. Netbooks are awesome and given so many things now live on the web, there really is no reason for many people to lug round heavy laptops with huge amounts of processing power. Meanwhile, laptops will make further roads into replacing desktops.
- Better weather. Not a hard prediction to fulfill as 2008 was terrible…
- We’ll see some light at the end of the tunnel for the global recession. I know economic analysts say the recession is likely to last through the whole of 2009 but I’m optimistic: I hope we’ll get over the worst of it in the first quarter of the year.
- We’ll get some data in from CERN but nothing particularly exciting.
- Google Docs & Spreadsheets won’t take off. It’s still nowhere near a viable replacement for Microsoft Office. And given the huge discounts Microsoft now sells Office at, it’s unlikely to get displaced by any free alternative either.
It’ll be a good year for Google Chrome which will gain in market share. Firefox will still be unrivaled as the best browser though, and some of the stuff going on at Mozilla is very, very exciting. Mozilla is one place to watch over the next year.
- Twitter – I still don’t understand it, or see why people like it so much, but it’ll go from strength to strength. Maybe get gobbled up.
- Microsoft Windows 7 info will be largely ignored and derided. The fact is, all of the exciting development work now happens on the web platform. Microsoft’s future is in consumer applications such as Office, Surface and so on.
- Gordon Brown calls an election to take advantage of positive public perception of his economic policies. Fingers crossed!
All the best for 2009 and I hope you will continue to read the blog in the new year!