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Cringely predictions for 2005, and his batting average for 2004 January 10, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Bob Cringely has a new article for his readers on his predictions for 2005 and his hits and misses for 2004. Was he right on some things, Yes and no. Im going to go through is list of 2004 predictions and see if he was right,

” I wrote that Microsoft would make a bold run for video game leadership, which to me meant a boffo xBox2, which has been delayed, so I was wrong there. It is much easier to know WHAT is going to happen than WHEN it is going to happen. I still expect Microsoft to take a huge gamble on xBox2, but I also expect it not to put either Japanese company out of the game, so to speak.”

Wrong on the XBox 2 but adoption of XBox has increased astronomically this year. the XBox has better games and is a better system than the PS2. Even games that were on PS2 first are being ported to XBox, RockStar games has released GTA Vice City and GTA III on XBox and GTA San Andreas is supposed to be along sometime this year from the reports I have heard.

“I predicted that we’d see no major example of cyber-terrorism because the bad guys prefer to kill real — not cyber — people, but that theft and extortion would both increase. Right on all counts there.”

Right there but even for 2005 I doubt we will see any major strikes against the the US through Cyber attacks in 2005 either.

I wrote that spam would get worse, that there would be useless laws passed to stop it (Can-Spam, anyone?) and that Microsoft would propose proprietary technologies (Purported Responsible Address) in an attempt to take advantage of the situation and increase its power over the market. I was right, but fortunately the IETF shot down PRA”

Right and wrong here, the IETF did shoot down PRA but many people are still planning to use it, IETF certification is a plus but not a killer. Personally I think PRA is a definate winner and is a standard that should be embraced. There are no suitable aletrnatives out there, not eve from the Open Source community.

” I predicted that all kinds of software companies would abandon support for older products, thus forcing us to upgrade to new operating systems and new hardware. Bingo. “

I dont know if this prediction can be attributed to a trend in the industry or just common sense. I think its more common sense. Most of the software products that support was cut for were more that 8 yrs old. While we would like for the status quo to continue, it would be nice but unfortunately rewriting decades old software or trying to patch it for the here and now is ungodly expensive and you might as well rewrite the damn code.

” I said that there would be a crisis in the Linux community thanks to the SCO threat, and that some new governing structure would emerge as a result. At the time I wrote that, I thought Open Source Development Labs was stepping-up to take some semblance of control of Linux through its hiring of Linus Torvalds. This one is hard to call, but I think I got it more right than wrong. Certainly, Linus’ move to OSDL was prompted mainly by the SCO lawsuit, since OSDL offered to pay his legal fees and Transmeta, his former employer, did not. So the SCO link is definitely there. And OSDL, as a result of having Linus on staff, has doubled its corporate membership and is taking a much more influential role in vetting Linux distributions. So while it didn’t go as far as I’d hoped, I’m going to claim this one.”

I wont give him this one because it varies from case to case. I personally know a lot of business users who are holding back from deploying Linux due to the SCO case. So yep, matter or perception.

” I wrote that the SCO legal case against Linux would implode and it did.

Like the people involved in the Linux community, WRONG bucko. SCO’s case has not imploded or made much more of an advance. SCO’s Daimler Chrysler case was not about Linux, unlike what the Billy Grahams of the Open Source community (Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens) would like you to believe. The Daimler Chrysler case was about a violation of contract, DC when they moved to Linux refused to certify with SCO that they had completely removed SCO UNIX products from their infrastructure. SCO in that case did not sue for Linux but more or less, DC was in violation of their licensing agreement, and while many consider it a loss on SCO’s part, I found it to be a win because SCO got the letter of certification they required, the final step is to involve the Feds and BSA to raid DC’s Information Technology department to make sure they told the truth. What SCO lost was its damages that they were looking for and since no one could say Daimler Chrysler was still in fact using SCO products, I thought it was reasonable.

” Here is a contentious one. I wrote that IT outsourcing would become an issue in the 2004 Presidential race. One reader claims that’s not the case, but since it was an important subject in two of the debates and in many Kerry speeches I think I was right. Just because Bush ignored the issue and won the election doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an issue.”

Wrong again, IT outsourcing was never introduced in any presidential debates, outsourcing in general was brought up but they never focused on IT or industrial, so Cringley was wrong in this one.

Here is one 2005 prediction that I am going to respond too.

“8) Desktop Linux will finally make some serious inroads as Linspire sets the trend for how to make Linux more user-friendly. There will undoubtedly be other players in this space, but they’ll just be emulating Linspire (formerly Lindows). Now if Linspire could only manage a one-click installation of MythTV.”

I have heard about the emergence and total domination power of Desktop Linux since 1998, it hasnt happened yet and while growth has occurred I doubt it will be on the grandscale of things to occur in 2005. Once again, we will just have to wait and see.


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