As 2008 comes to a close, the bloggers of Google Subnet put aside the champagne (for just a minute) to look ahead to 2009 and what it may bring for all things Google. Here are our top five predictions for Google in the coming year.
1. Android: No bang, no whimper
Android Angle's Mark Murphy predicts: In the smartphone market, Android will have a solid, if unspectacular, 2009. With a bunch of new devices and new carriers, Android will be shipped on several million new handsets, continuing its climb up the rankings. It will be perceived as the platform with the most momentum outside of iPhone, as Symbian slogs toward open source, Microsoft ambles toward Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry continues to fail to capture developer mindshare despite shipping a large number of devices, and nothing else makes much of a dent.
However, the comparison will be made to iPhone, rightly or wrongly, and Android will at best keep pace with Apple's mobile juggernaut in 2009.
2. Google goes legit with greentech
Enterprise Google's John Brandon predicts: No more grand announcements and solar roofs that only power a portion of their facility. Google will press the issue of green computing even further in 2009, expanding its fleet of hybrid cars for employee use from just a handful to a real fleet of rentals, reducing waste and reporting more specifics, and partnering with alternative energy companies.
3. Privacy advocates gain concessions
Google subnet predicts: Google will keep getting hit on the privacy issue throughout 2009, and it will eventually make some key concessions. This won't amount to a major about-face, but instead will be more on the order of a me-too with Yahoo's three-month data-retention rule and probably an opt-out button for Google Chrome users who don't wish to send each and every keystroke back to Google.
4. Google buys something, but not Twitter or Facebook
Google subnet predicts: While the blogosphere continues to bandy about the idea of Google buying one or both of these key social media sites, Google is more likely to go the partnering route in this space. Instead, Google will look to buy its way into the enterprise realm. Taking into account the poor economy, it may just be able to snatch up a virtual management software start-up or services firm at a bargain price.
5. YouTube still can't make money
And Google subnet's final prediction? Google keeps trying throughout 2009 to squeeze some real revenue from YouTube, all to no avail. While the site continues to rack up huge numbers in terms of visitors and page views, its primary audience remains the under-18 crowd, which just doesn't have the deep pockets to support a strong business model.
Well, that's just a few of our predictions for 2009. Google Subnet is off for the New Year's holiday, returning Jan. 2, when we'll see if our predictions turn into reality as the new year unfolds. Until then, we wish you all a Happy New Year!
This story, "What 2009 May Bring for All Things Google" was originally published by Network World.