Where the Rubber Meets the Road…

…or (really) where my gut meets the treadmill…

Fitness-page-imageI’ve been doing a lot of spewing over the past few months about the quantitative self. I talked about it in my 2015 Predictions and in my big write up about smartwatches.

I also recently purchased an MS Band (usage article and review pending). I’m also likely going to have a review unit of the Fitbit Surge show up in a few weeks and will have a review on it. Needless to say, when Apple Watch is released later this year, I will also likely purchase one of those and will have a review of it; and ultimately a roundup of MS Band vs. Fitbit Surge vs. Apple Watch published shortly thereafter.

Yeah, I’m gonna be quantifying myself all over the place, and I figured that if I didn’t start having a workout program going, I’d find myself wanting and needing some sort of common ground needed. The whole idea is to have a standard work out setup so that I can rinse repeat with all of these devices through the same kind of activities for the same durations. At least that way, I will be able to say with a bit of confidence that “this” device performed this way during my standard workout and “that” device did that, etc.

So, the new job that I got near the end of last year has a “Biggest Loser” competition every year and this year, I am participating. I’m doing this partly because of the reviews and articles I need to write, partly because of the devices I have and will have, partly because I’m new to the company and need to get to know more of my co-workers (the company has about 200 people…), but mostly because I’ve lost sight of my shoes and my pants are harder to zip up than they were last year.

Yes… I need to lose about 25 pounds (ideally). More would be better.

So, I start working out this week. I plan to work out after work with my wife, and will also try to join some of my Biggest Loser team mates in the office gym during lunch. I’m not sure which days I will be where yet; but suffice it to say, that my goal is to really slim down this year. I’m tired of the clothes not fitting right…

And who knows, I might learn something cool about the smartwatches I’m looking at in the process. Stay tuned, kids. I should have something to post on the process in the next week or so.

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2015 Predictions

Here are my technology predictions for 2015…

Businessman Consulting Glowing Crystal Ball

If there’s one thing that you can count on every year, its that nearly every website and [tech] publication will have a best and/or worst of the [outgoing] year feature as well as a [my] predictions for the coming year feature. In fact, in many cases, it can be laughable. Many have come to expect both of these types of articles; and in fact its something that I’ve tried to embrace as much as I can, believe it or not.

While I haven’t done a best/worst of the outgoing year set of articles here on Soft32, I do enjoy making predictions for the coming year and then reviewing those predictions at the end of the year to see how I did. Those micro-look backs can be kinda fun. A lot can change in a year.

So without too much pomp and circumstance, here are my predictions for the coming year of 2015.

2015 Makes or Breaks Wearable Computing

A lot has been happening in the Wearable Computing category over the past 12 or so months. While there’s been little to no news on Google Glass and one can likely (thankfully??) declare it pretty much dead, wearables have taken off here at the end of 2014. There are a boatload of new fitness bands out there. There are also a great many new smartwatches hitting the market and while you can’t figure out what’s what without a program, its clear that something is about to happen.

2015 is going to be the year that either makes or breaks this computing hardware category. Period. This middle of the road, undefined but possibly probable burgeoning market gets defined in 2015. Remember, it’s the year that the Apple Watch is going to get released.

And that’s the lynch pin.

Apple’s Apple Watch is either going to totally set this market on fire where we see a TON of companies trying to jump on the me-too wagon, or I think the category kinda just fizzles and cools off. If Apple Watch can’t make it, I don’t think anything really will.

Wearable computing has been sorta hanging out in the background waiting for something to define it. Fitness bands like the Nike Fuel Band or any number of Fitbit bands, for example, have been out there for a while, and while the quantitative self is big in just about every mobile OS on the market today, if tools like Apple Watch don’t hit and hit big, then I think the whole category of computing devices just bombs.

Cost may be the biggest contributing factor to all of this, too. Apple Watch starts at $350 bucks; AND you have to have an iPhone to pair it with, at least in the beginning. That’s a big investment to make on top of your new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, or even iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s, the latter two, just now can be considered, “paid for” or fully depreciated. Spending an additional $350 bucks on top of either a subsidized or financed iPhone may be difficult for some to shoulder.

However, suffice it to say, that if Apple Watch doesn’t kill it, you can pretty much count on the rest of the market dying and this computing category fading away.

Phablets become more Relevant, but not in the US (yet)

Most computing users I know, want a bigger screen than what can be found on their phone or tablet. Maybe is the crowd I’m hanging out with as I *AM* getting a little older; but while tablets and smartphones are GREAT for computing on the go, most everyone that I talk to or associate with prefers having a bigger screen to compute on. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why phablets are becoming so popular.

Phablets are huge in the Asian markets. Many people there have one computing device and only one computing device, and having something WITH a big of a bigger screen is where they’re headed; but they still need a mobile phone. This converged device, if you will, or the phablet, gives them the [mobile] computing power they want and need; but also keeps it [mostly] affordable and provides that bigger screen.

In the US, while phablets are gaining in popularity, and I expect that to continue somewhat even here, many people consider them to be a bit too big. In those Asian markets I mentioned where a phablet may be a user’s ONLY computer, I can certainly understand their popularity. In the US, where most have access to a smartphone and a secondary computing device like a tablet, notebook or desktop PC, the urgency or need for a phablet isn’t as high as it is overseas.

I don’t see this trend taking any real hold, here in the US. Phablets are cool. Some of them are very usable, but I don’t see them eating too much more into the smartphone or tablet markets here. Phablets run in the 5″ to 6″ screen size range, and I don’t see users leaving their 7″, 9″ or 10″+ sized tablets for a 5″ or 6″ screen. Especially when we have access to another device, likely with an even bigger screen. We just don’t have the need. I don’t see those market conditions changing much in 2015, and such, the phablet, while an interesting and amusing dalliance here, won’t cannibalize the US tablet market too much more than it already has.

There is a possibility that this may change, as devices like the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 4 gain in popularity, but I just don’t see it.

Mobile computing trends here in the States will likely stay the course in 2015.

Mobile Broadband becomes More of a Need than a Want

Mobile Broadband will see a HUGE gain in 2015. I think we’re going to see a big uptake on usage and you’re going to see carriers like AT&T and Verizon struggle to keep up with T-Mobile’s whole, no-contract, Uncarrier thing.

If Apple Watch takes off like I think it will – and I think it will end up being huge (and therefore the wearable market will also get bigger as everyone tries to jump on to ride the wave), you’re going to see more and more people need and want mobile broadband. I think we’re going to have issues going forward in this category. Mobile traffic is going to get congested, and there’s going to be an even bigger demand for additional mobile spectrum, beginning in 2015.

Competition is going to heat up and I think we’ll see the bigger carriers begin to shift away from prepaid and begin offering better postpaid (pay as you go) plans, as people find that they don’t want to be tied to contracts so much anymore.

Anyway you slice it, or how ever it happens, there’s going to be a huge push for bigger, better, faster, and MORE mobile broadband in 2015. Given the current spectrum allotments in the market that I’m in, I think mobile speed performance will also take a huge hit as a result. Its going to get slower before it gets faster with more available spectrum as the swim lanes get crowded with more devices and more mobile users.

T-Mobile Overtakes Sprint as the Number 3 US Wireless Carrier

I gave this its own prediction instead of piggy backing it on top of the last one simply because I think its big enough to deserve its own, separate prediction. T-Mobile is doing all the right things. I see them getting more and more popular in the bigger, more densely populated, metropolitan areas. As such, I see Sprint continuing to struggle to keep pace and T-Mobile will overtake the number three carrier spot, albeit, late in the year.

Microsoft Super Hypes Windows 10 Release, but it gets a Luke Warm Reception

It’ll be the thud heard ’round the world.

Microsoft is going to work their butts off unifying the Windows platform in 2015. There will be some really good things that will happen in the Windows 10 space before the replacement OS is finally released to the public in late 2015 (as in October – or Q4 – 2015).

I think Windows 10 is going to be a decent OS. I think its going to be better received than Windows 8 was. I think it will be preferred over Windows 8.x; but I’m not sure how much its going to matter.

Microsoft is making their apps and services available on other platforms – like iOS and Android – and doing so a lot quicker than on Windows. For example, Office for iOS and Android was available long before Office for Windows tablet or Windows Phone.

With Microsoft unifying the Windows Platform to include Desktop AND Mobile (Phone and Tablet) into one OS, I don’t see it being as relevant or as important as a Windows release may have been in the past. On the consumer side of the world, its not as critical as it used to be for me to have a Windows PC at home like I do at work. I can create and/ or modify documents for Work not only on my home PC, but on my personal tablet or smartphone, and those devices can be just about any device I’ve got. Microsoft no longer cares.

While Windows 10 is likely going to be a much better desktop OS than Windows 8.x, its not going to matter. IT departments are still not going to jump on the OS right away. They’re going to stick with what they have (most likely Windows 7) and continue to deploy that OS with new and existing hardware in the Enterprise. I also think Microsoft is going to unify development of Office versions for other platforms so that the same “version” is going to be available everywhere. It won’t matter what device or platform you’re on or using. Microsoft is going to have a version of what you’re needing to get work done on any and every platform so you don’t have to worry if what you’re updating at home is going to be usable or readable at work.

Computing is going to be a bit simpler as a result, and the emphasis is going to be taken off Windows as a platform. Windows 10 is going to be a good OS. Its going to be easier to use than Windows 8. Its going to have less issues than previous versions of Windows. However, its not going to matter as much, and as such, much of the thunder of a decent Windows 10 is going to be stolen by none other than Microsoft itself. When I say, “thud,” I don’t mean bad release. I mean, it ain’t gonna matter as much as it did in the past, because Microsoft is going to cannibalize their own market.

What do you think of my predictions? Am I on track, or off my nut? Will wearables fizzle out, especially if Apple Watch is a dud; or will it be a success even without Cupertino’s much anticipated contribution? Will Phablets be a big deal in the US, or will they continue to be a niche market here in the US? Are we going to need more mobile broadband beginning in 2015 or will usage remain flat? Will Sprint relinquish its number 3 spot in the Mobile Carrier market? Will T-Mobile become more of a success in 2015; or will things there maintain the status quo? Is Windows 10 going to be a big deal or will Microsoft sorta shoot themselves in the foot because they’re supporting all platforms, including desktop and mobile versions, of just about everything that matters to the world – meaning mostly Office in 2015; or will Windows 10 be a huge hit, breathing life back into the Windows PC market?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these and any other computing trends you think are going to take off or die in 2015. Why don’t you meet me in the Discussion Area below, and give me your thoughts on the year in tech to come?

 

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2014 Predictions Scorecard

I made some predictions back in early January 2014. Let’s see how well I did…

Predictions

The end of any year always has us taking a quick look back to see where we’ve been to help us figure out where and how far we want to look ahead. 2014 was no different; and in fact, after I assess my awesome skills of prior, predictive, prestidigitation, I plan to make additional predictions for the new year. Stay tuned to Soft32 for my technology predictions for 2015.

So, I found my predictions for 2014… and again, you have to understand that many of these are nothing more than a SWAG – a silly, wild, <beep!> guess. Technology is like water – it flows where it wants, and predicting just where and what gets wet is more of an art than a science. You’ll need to have a couple different browser windows open for this, for everything to make sense. To get the best idea of how I did, you might want to have this column in one window, and last year’s predictions open in another.

I’m going to run down how I did on a scale of 1-5, 1 being low, 5 being high. The best score I can get is 20, as I only made four predictions for 2014. Let’s take a quick look at how I did.

1.   Wearable Computing Still Doesn’t Take Off

Yep. This WAS an easy one; and I’m going to give myself 5 points here. While the Pebble Steel finally did make its appearance in 2014, it was 3-4 months behind schedule; and while it may be timeless, I’m certain many will agree that it didn’t hang the moon. The Apple Watch won’t be released until sometime in 2015; and with a $350 entry point, I’m not certain how many people will jump at the opportunity to own one. Other smartwatches like the Galaxy Gear and the Galaxy Gear S, again while nice, are also expensive and a bit too restrictive – you have to have a specific kind of Galaxy S smartphone for these to work. The Moto 360 also hasn’t sold well. Most everyone , I think, will agree that wearables are still, unfortunately, confusing.

2.  Blackberry Totally Folds – Sells off its Assets

Ok, I blew this one and take no points at all for it. Blackberry did fade, but didn’t fold. I haven’t heard or seen anything on it in the news in quite a while, and that may be their plan for right now – lay low. Regroup. Come back with a better strategy. I still think they should be looking for a buyer. Microsoft might be a good home for them; but I’ve also been saying that for a while, too.

3.  Apple and Samsung Still Can’t Get it Together

This is the love-hate relationship that everyone hates to love and loves to hate. These two still haven’t gotten it together, but tensions have at least cooled if not quieted down some. The trial isn’t over, the appeal is still up in the air; and while they may be resigned to working together, given the opportunity I think that there’d still be blood on the playground if left to their own devices. I’m going to take 4 points here, as I think I was really close, but not quite dead on.

4.  Microsoft’s Next CEO is

I had a bit more than half of this right. I had it down to either Allan Mulallay or Satya Nadella. I’m going to take 3 points here, as I couldn’t quite dope it all out, though I did pick Nadella as a finalist for the right reasons.

My final score is 12/20 or 60%. It’s not a great score… but it’s not a bad score either. The Blackberry thing totally did me in. Instead of dying, they kinda faded into the background. We’ll have to see where CEO Jon Chen takes them in the future. I still think the best thing for him to do is look for a buyer, and to look to Microsoft for that purchase. That might be a huge pill for Blackberry to swallow, however, as Microsoft and their Exchange ActiveSync has always been a huge competitor for Blackberry, and selling to a competitor may be seen as admitting defeat… I don’t know; but Microsoft’s money is just as green as everyone else’s.

Did you make any predictions for 2014? If so, how did you do? Did you bet on the wearables market taking off; or were you in a wait and see mode? Did you think Satya Nadella would be named Microsoft’s third CEO, or did you pick another candidate to take the helm? Did you think that Apple would not only release a larger iPhone, but release a complete phablet as well in the iPhone 6 Plus? There was a bit to choose from, and not everything came to light near the end of 2013 in time to actually make a prediction for the entire year.

How did you do on your predictions though? Were you close? Were you totally off; or were you dead on? I’d love to hear how you did with your 2014 predictions. Why don’t you meet me in the discussion area below and tell me how you fared?

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2013 Predictions Scorecard

I made some predictions for 2013 just about a year ago. Let’s take a look and see how I did…

2013prediction

Nearly every technology website I know of or frequent takes a stab at tech predictions for the New Year.  Some try to be bold. Some stay close to reality.  I tend to lean that way, myself. If I’m going to put myself out there, I’d rather analyze the trends and use that as a basis to make predictions from.  As such, I have been no different over the years. I try to prognosticate around those trends and then put it out there. However, like most of the other sites, I often fail to go back and see how I did.  Did I get it right?  How accurate was I?  Was I even close??

Well, this year, I found LAST year’s predictions and I’m gonna run through them quickly and then grade myself on how well I did. I had 5 predictions last year (6 with a bonus gaze into the crystal ball…) and I’m going to give myself a max of 2 points per prediction depending on how right, or (more likely) how close I was to what actually transpired.  I’m using a 2 point system simply because it’s easier to grade myself that way. I don’t want to make this too complicated.  Let’s dive in and see how things went.

  1. BB10 Fails – I get 2 points here. BB10 made its debut and quickly went…nowhere. The OS was so poorly received that it caused a major issue for the company. Blackberry (still RIM to many people at the beginning of 2013) reported a loss of over $4B USD last quarter of the year, as well as a CEO switch. Blackberry’s outlook for 2014 doesn’t look any brighter, either.  They’ve farmed the manufacturing of devices out to FoxConn in China and are instead going to concentrate on the OS. This may prove to be a challenge for Blackberry, as they’ve let a great many of their development staff go.  Retaining current or acquiring new development resources is going to be a challenge for them, as I’m not entirely certain they are a safe bet going forward.
  2. RIM Declines, is Purchased by Dell or Microsoft  I get 1 point here.  The company did tank, and they were nearly purchased; but it wasn’t by either Dell or Microsoft.  Blackberry has decided to focus on their enterprise customer base, but unfortunately, I was right about many enterprise users seeing that Blackberry doesn’t have the exclusive lock on Push that it did back in the day.  As such, enterprise users have a wide variety of choices available to them when it comes to mobile messaging.  I think those customers would be smart to bypass Blackberry and choose one of the other options. Getting in too deep with Blackberry could be problematic at this point. I don’t see them sticking around much longer…
  3.  Microsoft Surface RT Products Don’t Survive 2013  I am going to give myself 1 point here. Again, I was close, but it didn’t quite happen the way that I thought it would.  Microsoft took a $900M charge in 2013 , fired Ballmer, totally reorged the company and killed the Windows RT brand, in large part due to the issues and problems with Surface and Windows 8.  However, Microsoft, instead of killing the product line and marching on with something else, has decided to respin Surface, and made very quiet, but strategically sound, partnerships with organizations like the NFL and CBS.  If you watched the NFL Wild Card playoff games on CBS, you’ll notice that each NFL analyst had a Microsoft Surface 2/Surface 2 Pro device, with Type Cover, sitting in front of them.  That, along with the strong 2013 Holiday sales that Surface 2/ Surface 2 Pro enjoyed, may just have saved the product line – and Microsoft for that matter – from an early demise.
  4. Windows 8 is Declared a flop  Yeah… unfortunately, I get 2 points here. Windows 8 is a total disaster; and despite the success that Surface 2/ Surface 2 Pro enjoyed over the 2013 Holiday Sales Season, Microsoft has very quietly admitted defeat with Windows 8. They brought back the Start Button, and gave users the ability to boot straight to the desktop; but that wasn’t enough for most users who are too entrenched into the Aero way of life. Microsoft killed the Windows RT brand and has announced that it will bring back the Start Menu (to what degree remains unknown as of this writing) in what is being currently called Windows 8.1 Update 1, sometime in the Spring of 2014.
  5. No Public Jailbreak of iOS 6 will be Released  Yeah… I blew this one. Before I upgraded my iPhone from iOS 6.x, I jail broke it for, like all of 27 seconds. I quickly put it back, because Cydia and its contents are a hot mess, and there really isn’t anything that I could find from the alternative software store that I wanted or felt safe installing on my iDevice.  However, a public jailbreak for iOS 6.x did get released. It took a while; but it happened.
  6. Competition between Apple & Samsung heats up with Revamped Apple TV  I don’t get any extra credit, either. I really thought that Apple would release the iTV, or what ever it would have been called, last year. Unfortunately, I’m leaving this prediction in the past. I don’t see this happening any time soon, as there are a number of content provider issues that must first be ironed out before this hits the market with any real success, and unfortunately, I really just don’t see those deals getting done.

At the end of the day (or year) I scored 6/10, or 60%.  That’s not too bad…its better than some of the other prediction recaps I saw or listened to in the past week or so.  How did you do?  Did you make any tech predictions last year?  Did they come true/were you accurate?  I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments, below. Why not weigh in and tell us how YOU did?

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Predictions for 2014

Here are my tech predictions for the coming year…

predictionsGazing into a crystal ball isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially in the tech world.   So much can change so quickly, that guessing what may or may not happen is, at times, nothing more than a SWAG – a Silly Wild <BEEP!> Guess.   Figuring out what is and isn’t possible vs. what is or isn’t probable, I try not to get into. It simply doesn’t make for good journalism in many cases, because so much can and usually does change so quickly in the tech world. In most cases you either end up with a, “well THAT was way off,” a “close but not quite,” or “keep trying… you’ll get it eventually.”   If some journalists DO get things right, it’s usually not because they made the right level of analysis, it’s usually because they were fed or had access to inside information, or the guess was so totally obvious that most anyone who follows the news could have guessed it and been right.

Well, I’m going to try to hit on all of those and I’m going to give it a go anyway. I figure that I haven’t got anything to lose. As I said, I’m either going to be way off, or I’m going to hit the no brainers.   Be that as it may, here are my tech predictions for 2014 in no particular order.

1.    Wearable Computing Still Doesn’t Take Off
This is really an easy one. The Samsung Galaxy Watch isn’t selling well. Having a wearable that does nothing more than pair with your phone and mimic some of its functionality when the device is in range of its Bluetooth 4.x radio hasn’t been received very well. In fact, the watch isn’t selling well at all.   Samsung may have gotten to market first on this, but despite being heavily anticipated, the watch hasn’t delivered much to its users except a high price tag.

Apple has hung back on this, and hasn’t released its highly anticipated wearable, popularity thought to be called the iWatch.   If it does nothing more than what Samsung’s wearable does, you can pretty much expect it to be a dud too.   I think this, more than anything else is why you haven’t seen Apple release this device yet.   If you remember, Apple released the iPhone in 2007, after it had been rumored to be in development for at least 4 years.   At the time, Steve Jobs KNEW that he had one shot at this. If he didn’t get it right, then the iPhone would have been an iDud, and the tech world would be very different today, indeed.   I think Apple is doing the same thing with the iWatch.

The iWatch needs to be innovative. It needs to be elegant. Most importantly, it needs to be affordable.   Having an additional $300-$500 iDevice accessory added on to your already expensive iDevice isn’t going to do your checking account any favors. Not only will it need to do everything that the Samsung Galaxy Watch does, but it will have to do much, much more.   While it might be nice to have fitness, activity and sleep monitoring built into it, it’s going to have to do much more than that as well. It may be that figuring out exactly WHAT else it needs to do is the key holdup in the device’s release – no one really knows exactly what else it SHOULD DO, especially since the Samsung product hit the market with a clear and solid thud.

It’s for this reason that I don’t think wearables take off in 2014.   In fact, it may be the end of the concept as well.   If Apple can’t figure this one out, then the whole device concept may just fade and –uh hem… – wear itself out.

2.    Blackberry Totally Folds – Sells off its Assets
I’ve been pretty bearish on Blackberry, formerly RIM, for quite a while.   I had a good feeling that the one serious buyout offer it had wouldn’t fly, and that its (former) CEO, Thorsten Heins, would end up on the outside looking in.   Like most of what its known for, the actions that the company took were too little, too late to garner any serious buyout candidates.   Blackberry’s new CEO, John Chen really has one chance to get it right, and if he’s on top of things, then he will act on the TRUE best interests of the company and forget the restructuring and rebuilding of the business and just sell the company’s assets off to the highest bidder(s) he can find.

The organization’s time is over; and while farming out the manufacturing of their handsets to FoxConn may have been a good idea, like the rest of what the company has done, it is also a development that is very late in coming to reality. If John Chen is smart, he’ll realize the company is too far gone to breathe serious life back into and will just sell off what he can to retrieve shareholder value back before the company has to declare bankruptcy and then its assets are worth just a fraction of their worth.   The biggest problem the company has is that it can’t afford another loss like its last quarter.   It doesn’t have another $4.0B to lose.

3.    Apple & Samsung Still Can’t Get it Together
I’ve seen a number of articles that point to the fact that Samsung and Apple are headed back to the arbitration table in 2014 before their trial is set to restart in 2015.   The two organizations don’t have a track record for cooperation or doing things on the cheap. Given this, and the fact that Samsung is totally on the hook for a HUGE wad of cash, I don’t think they’re going to agree to disagree, let alone agree on an appropriate settlement between them. Given all this, I think it’s a decent bet that Apple and Samsung will drag out negotiations up until the trial date and then put the bulk of the matter back in Judge Lucy Koh’s lap…and she’s prolly gonna have a cow.

To put it bluntly, this is going to extend well into 2015, and then it still won’t end well for Samsung. They’re going to have to come up with a great deal of cash to resolve the issue; and they aren’t going to be happy about that.   With extra scrutiny on them and their design processes, I think that many new devices that come out of Samsung will be viewed as Apple iPhone copies for many, many years. I also think they will likely have trouble coming up with new, innovative designs, as they haven’t really done anything original since just before the release of the iPhone in 2007.

4.    Microsoft’s Next CEO is…
Satchin Mulally.   I mean Alan Nadella.   Yeah… this one isn’t any easy call.

However, I believe it’s going to come down to one of these two candidates. Nadella has the history and familiarity with Microsoft and its products; and probably has enough juice within the organization and familiarity with the Board to get the level of support he would need to be successful. He also has YEARS of tech experience. The one thing he doesn’t have – experience turning a large company around…

Which Mulally has…   Ford was in an awful mess.   It took a lot not only to turn public opinion of the brand around, but a lot to get the company back on track.   Windows in and of itself isn’t a bad brand. Neither is Microsoft, for that matter.   They’ve got brand management issues to be sure, but with the right CEO, I still think Microsoft can turn it all around.   That’s what Mulally can do for the company.   Not only do I think he’s up to the challenge, I think it would be interesting for him to take on the role and see what he could do with it.   If he could do the same thing for Microsoft that he did with Ford, then the remainder of his career would be set. He could go where he wants or stay at MS and retire a very happy, VERY rich man.

Unfortunately for Mulally, he has absolutely NO tech experience what so ever, and would have to rely on his executive staff to provide him with the support he would need to drive the company.   This could also be a good move for Nadella, as his level of autonomy could grow and he could basically have his way with his divisions, providing ample evidence that he can run the entire organization once Mulally does decide to retire, marking him as the heir apparent. For Nadella, this could be a win-win.

What do you think will happen with these four issues?   Am I off my nut, or did I hit some of these on the head, or merely come close? Do you have any other predictions that you think might or might not come true? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the discussion below.   Why not join us there and give us your thoughts on these and other tech predictions for 2014?

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Top 5 Tech Predictions for 2013

Technology-Predictions-For-2013Here are my top 5 predictions for 2013:

2012 was a changing year for technology. Mountain Lion, Windows 8, the iPad Mini and Google’s release of Jelly Bean are among the hot releases of the year. There were obviously a great many more.

2013 is going to be pivotal for technology as a number of other developments capture the lime light and bring Nerd-dome into the average American home. In no particular order, here are my top five predictions for 2013.

1. BB10 Fails
Despite its best efforts to right the ship, RIM’s much heralded Blackberry 10 OS and associated devices are met with lukewarm to no public interest. Enterprise sales never take off, as users are more interested in using their own iOS or Android device at work.

2. RIM Declines, is Purchased by Dell or Microsoft
Because BB10 flops, interest in RIM’s associated new devices dwindles to next to nothing. Once their existing enterprise customers see how the new devices are received, many more jump ship for greener iOS and/or Android pastures. This dramatic drop in enterprise revenue is going to get a lot of play by the tech media and press and Wall Street’s reaction won’t be kind. Their stock will drop sharply, making them an easy target for acquisition. Likely buyers will be either Dell or Microsoft, the latter will be interested in RIM for their IP/patents. Dell, if successful in purchasing RIM, will try to make a go of it as RIM Part Deux, but that will fail too, as the whole BB BIS/BES model has been obsoleted by Exchange ActiveSync and other sync options offered by both Apple and Google.

3. Microsoft Surface RT Products Don’t Survive 2013
Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is having trouble with adoption. While its thin and light and very portable, consumers don’t understand Windows RT and Enterprises are interested in a 1.0 version of ANYTHING. As such, Surface RT dies as Microsoft can’t justify sustaining the product in the consumer market. As such, Microsoft abandons Surface RT near the end of Q2 2013 in favor of the much more enterprise friendly and consumer understood Surface Pro, but its price-point is set so high (starting at $899), that consumers ignore it for more affordable, traditional Windows 8 laptops or ultrabooks. By mid-2013, Microsoft will begin drastically discounting Surface Pro tablets in order to generate interest and sales. Eventually, MS will discover that they aren’t making any money on the devices and will announce and/or discontinue them before the end of 2013 as well.

4. Windows 8 is Declared a flop
Sales of Windows 8 have been less than impressive. Consumers don’t understand it. Microsoft has “moved their cheese.” Enterprises won’t adopt it until much, much later. Many companies are still using Windows XP, let alone, Windows 7, and it’s been out for more than 3 years. 2013 will be a huge sales target and opportunity missed for Windows 8, as it doesn’t do well without a touch screen, and most legacy hardware doesn’t have it. Legacy styled laptops won’t incorporate them, and so, sales of Windows 8 will go nowhere, thus creating a bigger flop than WindowsME or Windows Vista.

5. No Public Jailbreak of iOS 6 will be Released
Every published jailbreak of IOS shows Apple exactly what bugs have been exploited in order for RedSn0w to work any of its Cydiaic Magic. It was recently announced that a jailbreak was created by the DevTeam; but wouldn’t be immediately released. The DevTeam wanted to hold back a bit, as iOS 6.1 is scheduled to be released soon, and usually with every new release of iOS, the current jailbreak is broken, requiring rework by the DevTeam to rejailbreak it. Given that it’s getting harder and harder for the DevTeam to jailbreak the mobile OS, I predict that the DevTeam will likely hold back releasing any jailbreak for iOS 6 until iOS 7 is released; or at least until they get a better understanding of where Apple is taking their mobile OS and can see how difficult it will be for them to continue to provide any kind of support, OR if it would be better to branch out and pursue another to-be-determined direction.

BONUS. Competition between Apple & Samsung heats up with Revamped Apple TV
2013 will see competition between Apple and Samsung reach new levels in and out of the courtroom. Apple will most likely take competition with their Korean rivals to the next level by releasing a TV with an enhanced version of their popular set top box built-in, an enhanced update to their popular set top box, or both. Apple will cut some new content deals with a few low-end content providers, but the larger ones – cable companies, cable operators, etc.) will still be missing. Apple will get close enough to cracking this nut to kick off another new round of anti-trust/patent litigation with those that don’t sign with them or with other competing companies like Samsung, Sony, etc.

I have no idea how accurate these will be. We’ll have to revisit them near the end of 2013 to see how accurate or out to lunch I was.

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