Microsoft in 2008: 10 Predictions

Microsoft in 2008: 10 Predictions

Summary: ZDNet's "All About Microsoft" blogger Mary Jo Foley makes 10 predictions about what's coming from Microsoft in 2008.

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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  • It's pundit prediction time again. Here are ten predictions about what I think we'll see in Microsoft land in 2008.

    First up: Expect "Fiji," the new version of Windows Media Center, to resurface. Fiji, which probably now has a boring codename like Windows 6.5, will reemerge from information lock-down in early 2008. I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft field a private test build of Fiji as soon as January (timed with the Consumer Electronics Show). Because Fiji allegedly requires Vista Service Pack 1 to work, a public beta is probably unlikely until spring. Final Fiji release: I'm betting late summer 2008 (in time for Holiday 2008 preloads).

    Photo Credit: Rickabbo. CC 2.0

  • Apple is none too happy when it can't maintain its shroud of secrecy. That's why Apple still hasn't announced -- even though it would make many business customers happy -- that it licensed the ActiveSync protocol from Microsoft that will make it easier to sync the iPhone with Exchange Server.

    But Apple can't hold off forever. CEO Steve Jobs might admit Apple inked the licensing agreement with Microsoft at Macworld in January. Or he might wait until later next year to acknowledge the deal. But in 2008, Apple will admit publicly that it has sought Redmond's blessing, yet again.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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116 comments
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  • As my rep says, 2008 will be great!!!!

    My rep and I are continuing our year end strategy sessions and 2008 will be another banner year. We just finished figuring out different ways to procure financing for more product licensing. Here are some more predictions to add to this list:

    1. Microsoft puts Nintendo out of business with an XBOX 360 handheld. This will combine the raw and unbridled power of the XBOX 360 with the form factor and popularity of the Zune. Bye-bye Nintendo DS

    2. Apple will ask Microsoft for permission to move the iPod platform to Windows and eventually will give up on iTunes and the iPod completely due to the popularity of the Zune.

    3. Linux and UNIX will completely die under pressure from the powerful Windows 2008 server. Linux distributors who have signed IP agreements with Microsoft will be allowed to survive but Red Hat will go away.

    4. Vista will end up being the single most important technological innovation since Bell said "Hello Watson".
    Mike Cox
    • Heh...

      "4. Vista will end up being the single most important technological innovation since Bell said "Hello Watson"."

      That's Dr. Watson, to you!
      Techboy_z
    • 9.95 -

      Mikey,

      That was PRICELESS... Too funny..!
      Wolfie2K3
    • Bell

      What Bell failed to mention to Watson was that it was a collect call.
      professordnm
    • 10!!!

      Best one in a looooooong time, Mike!!!
      JLHenry
    • When will Bill's big fear come true?

      He always claimed that Microsoft had to play rough because it could be out of business almost overnight.

      If software consumers were rational, MS would be reduced to a Gaming Machine and Software company. If the feds understood technology there'd be new laws that would make Windows2000 public domain by 2010, and they'd have split up MS 10 years ago.
      FlatAffect
      • Say again Commi?

        Any if you new anything about the constitution, you might know whay I think you are a communist.
        waldens1
    • way off

      you and your rep where way off!
      itchy8me
  • Microsoft Will Hail The Launch Of Its Most Successful OS To Date

    Windows XP....

    or is that re-release?

    PC World named Vista as the technical bomb of 2007, so it can only get better from here.

    Repackage XP, give it a shiny new label, and I'm sure all those people who had to suffer through Vista will be purchasing it in droves.
    itanalyst
    • They also pointed out that the iPhone

      and Leopard where 2 of the top 10 biggest disapointments of 2007.

      Just repackage Tiger, slap the next OSX revision number in line on it, and the Apple faithfull will leap at the chance to spend 129.00 dollars for it!

      The iPhone, well just rename it iPod, and people will want to buy it again for 599.00 :)
      GuidingLight
      • I don't know if I could

        even list 10 noteworthy new products in 2007, much less name the 10 worst.
        Michael Kelly
        • I am in agreement with you there

          Nothing of the past year was overly impressive, nor terrible enough to make me want to return it for a refund.

          The year was what it was: just another year.
          GuidingLight
        • I don't know if Ubuntu Fiesty Fawn came out in 2007, but OLPC did (just)

          I personally like the look of the iPhone. I personally wouldn't
          buy one for myself for the following reasons:

          a) I don't care about mobile phones. In fact I consider my
          quality of life infinitely improved without one. Of course I
          have one, but I charge it and turn it on about 3 days each year.
          I used to have top of the range phones, but I got bored with
          them. Same think with PDAs.

          b) It's a bit expensive.
          c) It's tied to one carrier.
          d) DRM.
          In fact, I'd much prefer the chinese "copy". (runs linux, half the price, unlocked, half the thickness).
          Having said that I still think it's a great product (just not for me).

          The OLPC on the other hand, I want. I like the sofware concept, and I think this will be a huge platform in coming years.

          Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and Gutsy Gibbon, what can I say, marvellous.
          My kids and I have even been playing the network First Person Shooter Urban Terror on our PCs (under ubuntu). It's based on the Quake III engine apparently. On this FPS you don't get the vehicles you get on Halo2, but it doesn't seem to matter much.
          Halo2 online we got bored with very fast. Somehow you get less people per map in Urban Terror, and it's just better. (with voting to kick people etc): In the same way that SOCOM is better online than Halo.

          I gave away my copy of Vista, I found it far too laggy, and where we use Windows, we've stuck with XP. (SP1 with ZoneAlarm firewall, Spybot S&D, Grisoft AVG). It's amazing how fast XP SP1 is even with the above security products. If the PC is secretly owned, then the overall effect is less of a problem than later service packs!

          Oh and if you can call an Internet shop a product, Amazon selling MP3s is one of the best products ever! no sucky DRM!
          I bought a LOT of music, and I haven't done that for many years.
          (you shouldn't have to buy a CD these days, but DRM music is just awful. I lot a bunch of stuff from MSN Music club, and I'm never going down that route again.
          stevey_d
    • Jesus

      There hasn't been a release of windows that wasn't a technical bomb since win95. Why innovate when there are no other choices. Just wait for someone to come up with good ideas and do a bad job copying them.
      usmcdvldg@...
      • Wish I could talk

        Wish I could talk through my hat like you. Momma always said, if you ain't got nothing good to say (and you haven't) keep it shit...
        Blogsworth
      • ReactOS is coming along well

        www.reactos.org.

        This could prove to be a rocket up the a*s...
        stevey_d
    • Right on the mark!

      Vista was/is indeed the 2007 "bomb" (isn't that when everything goes KABOOM! right in your face?

      10 predictions?
      Here are 10 for you: there will be 10 (or a multitude thereof) new holes plugged in 2008.
      ba943@...
  • My predictions.

    1. Microsoft has learned a hard lesson in hoping others build products using Windows. I expect to see Microsoft move into hardware manufacturing in a much bigger way than the past.

    2. They will have to fight law suits over their "authentication certificates" for code signing, possibly a class action suit. (Hiding behind VeriSign won't protect them.)

    3. Windows 7 will be accelerated for release due to the poor showing of Vista sales. (Sorry but XP is still the clear winner on the Windows desktop.) The other driving force is that Windows Vista and XP (and Windows apps) can't take advantage of quad (or more) CPUs in any meaningfull way and the hardware is leaving the software behind.

    4. Microsoft Office (14) will be a half step in using the .NET programming language and WPF which will leave users scratching their heads on why they are running into problems. Especially where backwards compatibility is an issue. (VBA development will be a nightmare and alienate even more devlopers than the current version has.) (Also see number 2)

    5. They will face more anti-trust suits in the EU and I suspect the US DOJ and State AGs will ask for extending oversight and possibly bringing new charges concerning monopoly abuse.

    6. Economic pressure will force a major reduction in the cost of Windows OS around the world, including the US.

    7. OOXML will be ratified as a "standard" despite all the whining over it.

    8. Microsoft will find the new Democratic President and staff to be a lot less friendly than Bush and company. Gawd help'em if Hilary wins.

    9. The Microsoft MVP program will undergo huge changes or be eliminated. It simply isn't working out as MS hoped and these folks are getting sick of MS trying to "control" them. (I get that from a couple of MVPs. Not crtain if they are correct but it sounds like trouble in the love fest.)

    10. The Expression Suite will undergo huge changes and in a year you won't be able to recognize it compared to todays offering. Expect some heads to roll in that business unit.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Re: #8 & #9

      Regarding #8, while I agree that Hilary has the potential to be harder on MS than Bush, personally I think she has bigger fish to fry. The only question is what MS will do after the consent decree expires. If they keep the status quo, I think Hils will overlook them, but if they go back to their pre-decree ways she may bring out the hammer depending on the state of the world at the time.

      Regarding #9, it's a shame that MS could potentially ruin their best asset (by far) in their fight against Linux and open source software. I've never had a whole lot to compliment MS on, but the MVP program (and the MVPs themselves) is one thing I do complement them on. They need these ladies and gentleman in their back pocket every bit as much as they need their cache of Windows platform developers. The MVPs and the developers they assist are what keeps MS on top (it sure as heck isn't the OS package itself that keeps them on top).
      Michael Kelly
      • Further thoughts...

        "The only question is what MS will do after the consent decree expires. If they keep the status quo, I think Hils will overlook them, but if they go back to their pre-decree ways she may bring out the hammer depending on the state of the world at the time."

        The thing is that MS has "out foxed" the courts in that the courts are still looking backwards instead of forward. Vista has a number of issue that will land them in anti-trust suits in the near future. Examples: Vista's digital locker for storing software registration keys that can only be used if you sell software via Windows Marketplace. The way they are controling who may or may not install software with an "authentication certificate".

        "I've never had a whole lot to compliment MS on, but the MVP program (and the MVPs themselves) is one thing I do complement them on."

        I am getting it all second hand so.. well you know. But the feeling is that MS is trying to manipulate them into being MS evangilist instead of simply being there as a technical resource for users and many don't care for it.
        No_Ax_to_Grind