12 Sure Bets for 2011

With 2010 at a close, that can only mean one thing: Bloggers are conjuring up predictions lists so that they can take a few days off around the holidays. It's much the same here in Cringeville, but with one key difference: Unlike other prognosticators, I'm totally unencumbered by facts. That tends to make my accuracy much higher.

Here's what's going to happen next year. You can bank on it.

[ Check out Cringely's list of the 10 dumbest tech moves of 2010. | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

Apple will unveil new iPads, iPhones, and iWhatevers, instantly making all of our lives more magical and revolutionary.

The face of Steve Jobs will be seen on a tortilla; the holy bread product will later be donated to the Computer History Museum in San Jose.

Apple will apply for, and be granted, a patent on tortillas featuring the face of Steve Jobs.

Google will debut its long-awaited social networking offering, GoogleMe. It will immediately inspire a massive kerfuffle over some stupid breach of user privacy that could have easily been avoided if only Google engineers left the Googleplex every once in a while and went to see a movie or something. The company will quietly shut down its Facebook killer 24 months later, except for the Portuguese-language version, which will inexplicably thrive.

In a speech, Google CEO Eric Schmidt will declare that the new Chrome OS will be able to actually read your mind through your keyboard. He says Google will only use this information to anonymously serve advertising to your cerebral cortex.

Steve Ballmer will declare that the abilit

y to read people's minds through their keyboards has been present in Microsoft operating systems since Windows 98; it turns out people really do want their computers to freeze up repeatedly and run more slowly over time.

The population of Facebook members will surpass India's by late 2011. It will then apply to the United Nations for nation-state status but will be rejected when a majority of the governing body's members fail to click Like on its application.

Facebook will not announce an IPO (initial public offering). Mark Zuckerberg, however, will enjoy an ISE (initial shaving experience).

Google Android will surpass the RIM BlackBerry, and Apple iOS to become the most popular smartphone platform on the planet. Google will also announce new tweaks to the base OS that extend an Android device's battery life to an entire hour.

Question-and-answer-based social network Quora will become the Twitter of 2011. The most popular question asked on Quora: What the frak is Quora?

Yahoo will not be acquired by Microsoft. No one besides Carol Bartz will care.

Skype, Pandora, Tumblr, Groupon, Twitter, and Angry Birds will all announce IPOs, signaling the birth of a new irrationally exuberant Internet bubble. Time Warner will again allow itself to be acquired by AOL for a ludicrous sum.

The collective forces of Anonymous and 4chan will stop harrassing enemies of WikiLeaks and go after China in an attempt to tear down the Great Firewall. The Internet as we know it will cease to exist.

What do you think will happen in 2011? Post your predictions below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "12 tech predictions for 2011," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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