Everyone (well not everyone) seems to have a forecast for 2007, as it pertains to everything – the new Internet (Web 2.0, if I may be so bold), technology, gaming, world peace, and politics. Well I’m going to join the masses and put my foot in my mouth. I’m writing this while in a rush, so my tone may sound a little hasty and rushed. Forgive me! Hey, now I haven an excuse when my predictions turn out to be crap. Here goes it:
MMOGs will take center stage: Games/destinations like Second Life and World of Warcraft will continue to evolve and develop even larger communities. MMOGs may even be attributed for redefining the new Internet in years to come. I firmly believe that these virtual worlds are just the beginning of what we’ll see online in years to come. I can only imagine what they’ll be celebrated for in 10, 15, 20 years. But my prediction is only for 2007.
Longhorn and Office 2007: Microsoft will be disappointed, as will consumers and businesses. Longhorn will be adopted by, who else, early adopters. Office 2007 too. Ultimately, the general business and consumer populations will not go wild over Longhorn as predicted by some, and as compared to Windows 98. I just don’t see it happening. MS has fallen short too many times and has been in the spotlight too often over the past couple of years. People will be wary. And frankly there’s just nothing really all that compelling about Longhorn and Office 2k7 to make it very desirable. Of course there are some nice GUI and UX changes, but I just don’t see that as being enough. Time will tell and in later 2007 I think we’ll see more momentum.
Google will take it on the chin: With the recent Orkut outage, the skeptism over Spreadsheets, Google’s arrogance, and with Yahoo! making interesting moves, I think Google is going to get bit by reality pretty fast in ’07. Something, I don’t know what, will hit them – perhaps a big lawsuit, perhaps competition, perhaps a failed product or acquisition of high profile will take Google of their high perch. Granted, they’ve got the cash, but in terms of general perception out there, I see a trend. I agree with Michael Arrington’s strong position on this as well. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a tipping point though. I think their best days are yet to come.
Social Networking will shake out: I think we’ll start to see more of these vertically specific social networking services disappear. I don’t see social networking sites for sushi lovers taking off or being profitable businesses. I don’t get a lot of them. Yet they get funded. Call me traditional, but I think the hype will start to fade. Social networking will continue to appeal to very large audiences with less super-niche focus. I do think niche is good, but come on – some of these super-niche social networking services out there just make me giggle.
Widgets: Here they come. Watch out! They’ll start to make sense soon. I look forward to having better widgets than I currently have in DesktopX. I look forward to more practical uses.
First amendment (1/17/2007): See here.
Yahoo! steps back in the ring. MSN/Live still struggles: Yahoo! will come back into the limelight and really shake things up. MSN and Live will continue to struggle and stagnate.
Local Search: Local will continue to be all the rage in ’07, and a couple new players will take center stage (preferably Citysquares.com). Local search will change somewhat. Those with more editorial content and social elements will prove to have the strongest legs, especially those who are able to monetize their traffic. Merchants are going to be looking for more meaningful value prop than just eyeballs – an interesting reality check for those big boys out there. The current, larger players out there will continue to struggle selling to the local merchants. They just don’t get it.
Xbox kicks ass, PS3 stuck in the mud, Wii is just plain fun: Sony screwed up, big time. And the xbox is just a better product. The wii appeals to leisure gamers, less hardcore gamers, and is simply a lot of fun.
iPods get boring: Yep you heard me. Apple will do what they always do. Create a very cool, pop culture product but ultimately Jobs will get his head stuck up his ass and someone (Creative Zen?) will do it better and Apple will start to lose their grip on market share. People are tired of iPod already. Trust me on this.
RSS: Continues to be adopted by just about everyone and anyone. More and more content simply becomes syndicated. Someone will figure out a really cool way to make a lot of money with their syndication. Honestly? Keep your eyes on NY Times. Call me crazy! No really…
World Peace: Not a chance on Earth. Sorry folks. The religious wars are just beginning. You may start to here chatter about WWIII. Sorry to sound so dooms day, but really, the war with Muslim extremism has just begun. It won’t end for many years. The real opening salvo of our time was 9/11. But I believe that worse is yet to come – maybe not on our soil here in the US, but elsewhere for sure. Iraq will continue to worsen until a new US President is elected. While the new President, much like the current, will have a major agenda, the global conflict with Muslim extremism will take the spotlight.
Politics: I think we’re done with the major scandals for a few years. But I see things really heating up between Barack and Hillary. McCain and Romney will go at it too, but Mitt will be less relevant come primary season. Keep your eyes on John Edwards – he’ll do well in Iowa and gather more love from the ladies. He’ll be a contender. A new republican will show up too – no more neo-cons. This one will be a new kind of republican. He’ll do well but won’t go all the way. But he’ll inspire a new generation of republicans.
Sopranos: Will be the talk of the nation! It will be confusing, it will be strange, but it will be a total shock fans all over. I don’t think Tony will die. But I think something big is coming. I just hope it doens’t end like Seinfeld. I get the way Seinfeld ended, I really do, but I think David Chase has something real special for us.