What hath Bob wrought? Looking back at Cringely's 2011 predictions

Uh-oh, it’s almost time for my annual technology predictions but, as usual, I will begin by taking a look at my predictions from a year ago, which I fear were pretty dismal. Why I’m the only pundit to voluntarily go through this agony I don’t know, but a cursory look shows that I missed with several predictions that I still believe will happen but my timing was off.  Still, wrong is wrong.

In a rare bit of SEO-centrism last year I spread my predictions — right and wrong — over several columns.  This year might take more than one as well, because I have a few doozies. But first let’s look at how I did the […]

2011 prediction #10: Apple buys Time Warner Cable

My last prediction laid out a pretty aggressive 2011 computing strategy for Apple.  But it is just that — a computing strategy — not a media strategy, and Steve Jobs is clearly the most important media mogul on the planet right now, and maybe the most fragile.  This latter point is important, because Steve sees himself as having both a unique mission and a frail constitution.  He can’t wait to get things done, which is why the next couple years will be probably the most important in Apple’s history.

Who needs a 1,000,000 square foot data center? That’s big enough, I calculate, to support 800 million simultaneous users.  Who the heck needs a facility like that?  […]

2011 prediction #9: Apple's Carolina strategy

If you put together my 2011 predictions so far they create a world view of tech culture and business as I see it for the coming year.  Each prediction builds on the others until we get to these last two, which present a couple boffo conclusions, the big question being “What does Apple need with a 500,000 (soon to be one million) square foot data center in rural North Carolina?”

First we have Apple working to kill small hard drives.  We’ll shortly see Apple also killing optical drives in its notebooks. This is to save money, space, and weight, sure, but it is mainly to limit local storage.  We need local storage, but Steve doesn’t want […]

2011 prediction #8: Cloudburst

If 2010 was the year of cloud computing that means 2011 is the year we’ll actually start using it in earnest.  That further means 2011 will be the year that cloud computing lets us down.  Everything in IT fails eventually, though the big myth is that won’t happen with cloud computing.  Hogwash.

We haven’t seen a cloud virus or a cloud trojan — yet — but we will.  Imagine what would happen if the cloud became a zombie.  It is only a matter of time.

There’s also the issue of what happens when some cloud service goes out of service permanently?  These are startups, remember, and a good percentage of startups fail.  Some cloud computing outfit is […]

2011 prediction #7: Microsoft is the new IBM

Microsoft isn’t going away, but they aren’t going to do a lot of things right in 2011, either. The company’s leadership is stuck, complacent, and just a bit thick. We’ve seen a lot of flux in the executive ranks reporting to CEO Steve Ballmer and I think that’s mainly because Ballmer won’t get out of the way. There is no upward mobility path so people leave. But don’t expect Ballmer to leave in 2011, either, which means more mediocrity. So Microsoft will continue to be a huge presence, but not feared in the industry the way they used to be. They’ve become the new IBM.

Windows Phone 7 is almost there, for example, but almost isn’t […]