2007 was a pretty good year and it saw me end up with a lot of changes including starting work for Adobe in June. I've got some thoughts on what's in store for 2008 and also a summary of 2007 planned but I think it's best to first go back and look at my rich Internet application predictions for 2007 to see how I did. I made 10 predictions and I'll score either a yes or no for each one.
1. Vista is going to raise the bar for experiences across the board.
Well I thought Vista changed a lot of things but unfortunately Vista itself just didn't do well at all. In order for it to raise the bar I think it has to have sold a lot of copies and gotten people talking about new kinds of user interfaces.
Verdict: No (0 - 1)
2. Adobe's Apollo is going to be much better than expected.
It's hard to quantify "much" better but I do think that Apollo (now AIR) has had a successful year. A lot of developers have created applications and over 3 betas we've got a strong developer base. I thought it would go without saying that we'd have a 1.0 release by now, but I didn't make that prediction.
Verdict: Yes (1-1)
3. Microsoft is going to make inroads into the design market. Tough call. Expression Studio has done well as part of the designer/developer workflow in the .NET stack. Does that count as the design market? Then again is Expression Studio even targeted directly at the design market? Maybe to rephrase the question a year later I'd ask "are designers using Expression Studio" and they are.
Verdict: Yes (ish) (2-1)
4. The Designer/Developer workflow will get some mainstream press.
We saw a TON of attention to the designer/developer workflow with Blend getting a new version and Thermo coming out but the mainstream designers still aren't talking about it. Maybe this is one to revisit for next year.
Verdict: No (2-2)
5. Apple is going to make a play in Rich Internet Applications
Oh Apple, when are you going to step up and show us your RIA strategy? This year Apple did a lot and there is still a lot of energy and excitement around WebKit. The new CSS features and the video tag have moved WebKit closer to an RIA platform but Apple still hasn't made the play I thought they would.
Verdict: No (2-3)
6. Competition for technology in the online video space will heat up.
This is probably the one I got the most right. Silverlight was released, Flash and even Move networks all started competing for online video. The price of Flash Media Server dropped, Flash got H.264 support, and the content delivery networks started focusing on HD quality. It was a great year for online video.
Verdict: Yes (3-3)
7. Flex becomes the primary technology for building Rich Internet Applications.
Flex had a great year but is it the primary technology for building RIAs? I think at this stage of the game it's the most mature but primary is a strong word. One thing that's happened over this year is that the field of RIAs has really blown up. We've got Curl, Ajax getting more advanced and Silverlight/WPF applications in the wild. It's too tough to call Flex the primary technology.
Verdict: No (3-4)
8. "WPF/E" will have a higher penetration than Apollo.
I'd forgotten I predicted this and it actually gave me pause for thought. Would I make this prediction again now that I work for Adobe? Yup, I would. I have no idea what the actual numbers are but AIR isn't out yet while Silverlight shipped a 1.0 version. Combine that with the fact that Silverlight has gotten some attention on the Microsoft homepage and lined up some good partners and I think it probably wins the penetration game.
Verdict: Yes (4-4)
9. The Mozilla platform and Apollo will fight for the cutting edge Ajax developers.
Another tough one. AIR has done really well with Ajax developers for the most part and Mozilla has been very true to its browser mission. , the desktop runtime they released this year, speaks to that browser mentality and encourages Ajax developers to keep building for the browser. But in the prediction I used XUL as engine by which Mozilla would try to get the cutting edge developers. It didn't really materialize that way and I'm not sure the cutting edge Ajax developers have gone to AIR either.
Verdict: No (4-5)
10. OpenLaszlo is going to be a beacon for open source developers looking to build Rich Internet Applications.
Interestingly enough it wasn't OpenLaszlo that made the big open source splash but Flex. OpenLaszlo had a decent year but it was tough to rally the open source troops when 1) they didn't seem that interested in RIAs in general and 2) your biggest competitor also goes open source. OpenLaszlo did a lot to move closer to Ajax though, so they've broadened their appeal this year.
Verdict: No (4-6)
Ouch! only 4 out of 10 last year. Despite my abysmal record, it really was a good year for RIAs. Stay tuned this week for my yearly roundup. Expect the 2008 predictions next year after everyone gets back from vacation. How do you think I did in 2007?