Let's try this again
January 10, 2005 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Robert X cringely's tech predictions for 2005 Discuss.
posted by delmoi (16 comments total)
Deja vu all over again.
posted by fenriq at 12:11 PM on January 10, 2005

posted by sbutler at 12:12 PM on January 10, 2005

*discusses amongst self*
posted by The God Complex at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2005

For those of you who don't know, this post was deleted due to a self link, although a few people said that they'd like to discuss cringely's predictions, rather then the fate of the user named 'asianmack', see the metatalk thread here
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2005

opps... or maybe the previous attempt was lame for the wrong reasons. sorry.

on preview: what delmoi said
posted by sbutler at 12:15 PM on January 10, 2005

didn't cringely predict asianmack's ban, too?
anyway I think Numero Uno has already shot down Cringely's thing as uninteresting
posted by matteo at 12:20 PM on January 10, 2005

8) Desktop Linux will finally make some serious inroads as Linspire sets the trend for how to make Linux more user-friendly.

... and does so by running everything as root, to get around those pesky security precautions! Linux's lack of mainstream applications combined with Microsoft's lack of security - a recipe for success!
posted by chundo at 12:33 PM on January 10, 2005

6) VoIP will continue to shatter the telephone industry with the arrival of WiFi phones, which might finally be the killer app for hotspots.

I hope so. And I hope they just don't become the same assholes I'm trying to get away from in the phone industry.

His prediction for Apple seems more like a wish or a rationale. I'm hoping the device Apple may introduce tomorrow is a media center and not a Mac, per se. It would still be fluff since my "digital hub" really needs to manage my bills and my communications, not my music, pictures, and video, but something that could make my teevee watching more efficient would be very helpful. I don't know who he thinks Apple might buy. Didn't they buy up a bunch of software companies last year?

And number 1 isn't so much a prediction as it is pattern recognition.
posted by effwerd at 12:34 PM on January 10, 2005

I'm very interested in the $100 personal pbx joint he talks about, I'd like to learn more about that.

The trend of repurposing Linux-based consumer electronics devices through revised firmware will expand dramatically as people realize the cost-benefit advantage,... The next killer app in this space will be a cut-down version of the Asterisk Open Source PBX. Imagine a $100 box that manages your telco, VoIP, and mobile phone lines, making them appear as a virtual three-line phone with common dialing rules and always choosing the cheapest route for each call.

I'd hate to speak for #1 but isn't ok to still talk about it? I thought he meant he found them uninteresting.

Back on topic:
I think he thinks the headless $500 Mac is a gimme, but Apple has always been scared of price cutting moves and while I bet it comes off, I worry that they'll fuck it up. In general, I'm happy to get one interesting idea out of lists like these.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:38 PM on January 10, 2005

Hmmm, I remember when I thought Cringley was clever and perceptive. I think it was about the time I was buying PCs from Zeos. Ah, halcyon days, halcyon days.....
posted by mojohand at 12:59 PM on January 10, 2005

The 'underprice the headless Mac' suggestion is crazy, but it might just work. Apple doesn't seem to have the phrase "loss leader" in its vocabulary though. I don't think it has the supplier agreements in place to produce that kind of volume of product either.

Still, the idea of ten million new Macs in people's homes is strangely compelling...
posted by lowlife at 1:00 PM on January 10, 2005

A bunch of obvious stuff mixed in with a dash of nonsense.

Last year I predicted that computers would be faster, software would be bigger, microsoft would spend a bunch of money on lawyers and evil alien robots would take over the world.

And I scored 75 percent on those predictions. So bow before me you lesser mortals.
For I am ...
posted by seanyboy at 1:03 PM on January 10, 2005

For example...

"Microsoft's entry into the anti-virus and anti-spyware businesses will be a disaster for users."
Obvious, but only because
- Microsoft will have trouble with learning a new skill set
- fighting off competition will be difficult.
- the phrase "disaster for users" is flexible enough to mean anything / nothing.
- microsoft never get anything right 'til version 3.

"Apple will take a big risk in 2005."
- like the iMac
- or the iPod
- or the move to OSX.
It's almost as if this man had the power of seeing into the future.

"The Recording Industries Association of America will continue to sue customers "
- ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
- ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

"widespread adoption of the wireless networking technology will take at least another two years"
- vague.
- obvious
- see every other change in tech. (USB, bluetooth)

" The trend of repurposing Linux-based consumer electronics devices through revised firmware will expand dramatically"
- Like it is doing.
- This is like saying ... "a growing market will continue to grow"

I'm bored with this. I disagree with a couple of his wilder accusations. It's 50/50 if Burst will win, but at the end of the day I don't think he's right. Even if they win a few rounds, this one is too big for Microsoft to lose in the end.
posted by seanyboy at 1:15 PM on January 10, 2005

Two words, "Tek War."
posted by drezdn at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2005

What I'm missing here is much thinking about how portable devices may develop.
OK, he talks about the WiFi VoIP thing, but that prediction does not convince me much. Why? Because almost everybody has a cellphone these days. Of course, a WiFi VoIP handset would enable cheaper calls, but would you really like to carry two phones with you, for when you are far from a hotspot? No, I don't think so. Of course, cellphones with WiFi VoIP capability could be a possibility, but considering that most cellphone sales are subsidised by the operators, I don't think they'll be in a hurry to pay for their demise. Conclusion: there is no such thing as a free lunch.
He doesn't address at all the future of portable media devices à la iPod or of PDAs. I think that Apple should watch out, as several competitors (Creative, Archos and MSI, for instance) are issuing superior and cheaper products. In particular, they are starting to offer video capability, and you can store quite a few movies in 20 or 40 GB. Apple only has got as far as the iPod photo, and this could place it at a disadvantage in the European market, for instance.
And there is also a technological convergence between those devices and the PDAs. Harddisk-equipped PDAs with a reasonable battery life could put the iPod in trouble. Maybe that is why Apple is thinking about acquisitions: PalmOne would be an interesting match.
And what about the convergence between PDAs and "smartphones", especially 3G phones? Well, gagdet fiends may wet their trousers at the prospect of a 3G cellphone-PDA-iPod, but right now the result would be too bulky for a phone, too energy-guzzling for a PDA and too complicated for a media player. I expect cellphones to become smaller and lighter above all.
posted by Skeptic at 1:59 PM on January 10, 2005

PalmOne would be an interesting match.

That'd do me.
posted by piskycritter at 2:58 PM on January 10, 2005

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