2009: The year in preview

2009: The year in preview

Summary: Welcome to 2009 and chances are we'll close the year with more than a few big surprises. Nevertheless, we amateur soothsayers give it a go every year.


Welcome to 2009 and chances are we'll close the year with more than a few big surprises. Nevertheless, we amateur soothsayers give it a go every year. Without further ado, here are the top 5 items I think 2009 will bring us.

5. Enterprise technology customers will revolt.

Couple a terrible economy with software business models that are built on milking existing customers for more revenue and what do you get? Some serious pushback. SAP is already seeing it. Rest assured that customers will increasingly push back on their vendors.

4.  Enterprise 2.0 as mass disruptor.

You can spend a million bucks and basically try out every newfangled Webware offering. Some of these experiments will fail miserably. But all you need is a few hits. The race to replace your fat--maintenance cost inflating--apps is on.

3. Microsoft will generate some legitimate enthusiasm for an operating system release.

Let's face it Vista was a bust and a lot of IT managers are rolling the dice and waiting for Windows 7. When Windows 7 launches sometime in late 2009 there will be a pent-up upgrade cycle waiting for it--unless Microsoft screws it up.

2.  Yahoo--whatever remains of it--will be acquired.

Yahoo isn't a search company. It isn't a tech company. It's a media company that aggregates eyeballs better than any Web player on the planet. Yahoo knows content. It knows how to dominate categories. And it has a Web presence that other companies can only dream about. That said, Yahoo--new management or not--may not have a future as an independent media company. My hunch: Yahoo becomes a part of Disney, which could do a lot with Yahoo.

1. The netbook gets a do-over.

I've  been playing with a netbook for a few months now and there are simply too many compromises. However, there is a need for a device that resides between your laptop and smartphone. The big question is what this pup should look like. AMD is focusing on ultra portable laptop market. Intel acknowledges that netbooks aren't perfect. Ideally I'd have some kind of origami type thing that would unfold into a laptop. Perhaps, Apple rides in to save the day. Mac Tablet anyone?

Topics: Software, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Windows, Social Enterprise

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  • Apple should acquire Yahoo!

    I think Apple should acquire Yahoo!

    This would essentially create three strong companies (Google/Apple/Microsoft) with similar technology, service & talent ecosystems. Excellent for competition!

    It would benefit Apple because:
    - they would gain excellent web assets (Flickr, Yahoo Mail/News/Finance/Music/Video, ...), to integrate with their current Mac/iPhone web services.
    - they would get access to the hundreds of millions of current Yahoo users, to promote Apple products.
    - it would diversify their revenue stream (adding search, advertising, ...).

    It would benefit Yahoo because:
    - they would gain the disciplined and visionary leadership they need.
    - the Yahoo/Apple corporate cultures would mesh more easily than the Yahoo/Microsoft cultures.
    - Yahoo shareholders would receive Apple shares, which have a better upside potential than Microsoft shares (especially after a merger like this).
    • Yes, exactly! Been saying this for years!

      The price is right and there is minimal overlap. Apple could get a real platform (and it's BSD) for .mac/mobileme and do interesting things with consumer and commercial applications. Has Yang ever approached Jobs with the idea. It is not nuts.
  • Except that it is outside of Apple's business model

    Apple makes hardware and software that helps sell hardware. Acquiring Yahoo will do neither.
  • Netbook Origami

    I would predict the first one to introduce similar to this will take market control.


    I also see price creep starting to hinder the market. IMO, the Aspire One with Linpus at $279 is probably one of the few keeping the netbook as it was originally, a cheaper than laptop portable decive. The EEE line, more expensive than low end laptops.

    • Oops, until MS patents it. (nt)

  • RE: 2009: The year in preview

    Larry, like the thoughts on #1 and #2, they fit nicely with our own predictions (http://www.appirio.com/about/pr_predictions-09_121808.php). We're seeing more and more enthusiasm within our client base for alternatives to traditional software. The main question on CIOs minds seems to be where they should start and how they can develop a cohesive roadmap to the cloud.

    While your point on one or two hits being sufficient is right on, companies should be careful not to implement SaaS in siloes. I think there were 2000+ best-of-breed SaaS vendors at last count, so companies can quickly get into a rabbit-hole of siloed SaaS islands that give some benefit but only a fraction of what they could realize by committing to platforms like Force.com and Google at the enterprise-level.

    The other big challenge for companies before they can realize value from moving to cloud-based apps is making sure that they don't under-estimate the organization and skill changes needed. Rolling out Gmail in a week may be possible but it will surely not be successful!

    Anyway, here's hoping #1 and #2 come true in 2009!
  • RE: 2009: The year in preview

    Larry, perhaps I am missing something, but your items #5 and #3 seem to be in conflict and almost "mutually exclusive". Item 5 indicates that customers are increasingly resisting proprietary models that milk them for money (via upgrades ?)..........And Item 3 then flies in the face of this and says that there will be a "pent-up release" of upgrade fever over the release of proprietary closed code of Win7........Ummmmm......I am not sure you can have both.....Frankly, unless Win7 offers remarkable improvements on WinXP/SP3, I cannot see firms in the current climate even wanting to consider the sorts of outlays required for a new OS, especially if it is 'warmed over Vista' and full of DRM. But, then, what would I know ? I am just looking on.
  • My Prediction

    Apple will continue its growth into the consumer market reaching 20 percent by the end of 2009. They will also make huge inroads in the enterprise environments as we see the hostile attitude towards Apple computers by CTO's wane and the Macintosh is added as an option and choice for corporate users. Vista was the best thing that ever could have happened for Apple and is making this possible. We won't see Windows 7 until the second quarter of 2010 at the earliest. Building on their iPhone platform, Apple will come out with the first viable netbook. My final prediction is Apple will acquire Yahoo.