In this umpteenth list of 2010 predictions I turn my attention to others. Read on for a sort of best of list of 2010 tech-related predictions for next year from around the Web.
The most highly anticipated product of 2010 is without a doubt the much-rumored, and still unproven Apple tablet. But the wait may be over on is said to be holding a special event, presumably to launch a new product. No one is really sure what tricks Apple has up its sleeve, but with rumors of Apple buying the domain name iSlate.com, specially developed magazine formats for touchscreen devices, and more opinion and rumor than you can shake a stick at, the tech world has pinned its hopes on a device that may or may not exist. Will we see the famed tablet this January? It’s less than a month until we know for sure.
The claim has been made previously, but Newsweek is betting that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be out of a job at some point in the next 12 months. Newsweek’s reasons for Ballmer’s ousting are numerous: a dropping stock price since Ballmer took the helm, the “Windows Vista fiasco,” losing ground to Google (search and advertising) and to Apple (cell phones), and anemic products like the Zune HD. Of course, these criticisms ignore Ballmer’s achievements in the enterprise market, the success of the Xbox, and new products like Bing and Office 2010 online. Keep in mind this is not the first time that rumors of Ballmer’s ousting have appeared; besides, is the tech world really ready to give up on Ballmer’s alter ego aka “Monkey Boy“? I don’t think so.
If Ballmer really does get toppled he may have some company if IDG News Service’s prediction comes true. IDG is betting that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, Ballmer’s negotiating partner in the Microsoft-Yahoo deal, will be kicked to the curb as well.
London’s Telegraph argues augmented reality will take on more importance in 2010, and the world will be awash in people wandering around the streets holding their smartphones in front of them. Okay, maybe that last part has already happened, but with augmented reality it could get even worse. Augmented reality is when a data overlay is placed on top of a video or still image giving you added information about whatever you’re looking at — meaning you can walk around with your phone and get directions and information about landmarks in real time.
Analyst firm IDC, owned by PC World parent company IDG, predicts that 2010 will be the year of the cloud.
“Cloud computing will expand and mature as we see a strategic battle for cloud platform leadership, new public cloud hot spots, private cloud offerings, cloud appliances, and offerings that bridge public and private clouds,” IDC says.
Security company McAfee believes 2010 will see an assault by hackers on the new Google Chrome OS, according to Sam Masiello, McAfee’s director of threat management. “Since Chrome OS is new, it’s going to be of interest to security researchers, and it’s going to be poked by cybercriminals as well,” Masiello said.
Another one from the folks at IDC: 2010 is all about the apps. The metrics firm believes iPhone apps will triple, Android apps will quintuple, and new devices will increase the desire for more and more apps.
This isn’t a new rumor, but Newsweek is betting News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch will pull the trigger next year and . “Murdoch is a savvy businessman who just might lead an industry back into the reality-based community,” says Newsweek. After Murdoch’s daring stand, Newsweek believes other publications will follow suit. If true, then 2010 could be the year of the Balkanization of the Internet where you have to choose a search engine based on available content instead of quality of the search engine or plain old personal preference. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.