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In 2007…

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The “Weekly Rant” column was featured in the PC Mechanic Newsletter since 2005. Topics relate to some aspect of technology, which include opinions on hardware, software, new technology, technology companies, and computing standards.

Last year, I made a list of 10 predictions in the world of tech for the year of 2007 in PCM Newsletter #172.  I predicted 4 would ring true.  Let’s see what happened!

1.  A solid state alternative storage device will emerge as a viable replacement to current hard drive technology.

Results:  While there have been some interesting developments here, there’s been nothing completely viable yet.

Conclusion: Not this year.
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2.  To break the gridlock between the Blu-ray/HD DVD format wars, a third party will develop and release a combo drive that supports the reading both formats.

Results: Neither Blu-ray nor HD DVD are taking any obvious leads in the format wars.  Most people appear to be waiting this out to see who the winner will be.  There are, however, enough titles out now so that you won’t run through the entire selection under a week.  As for the combo drive, there were a few put out on the market, but pricey, as expected.  Here’s one example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136133

Conclusion:  50% Correct.  Combo drives did get released, but it didn’t tip the balance.
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3.  The recording industry will lose a lawsuit, thus prompting a review of their lawsuit practices.

Results:  This one is a can of worms.  This year certainly marked the beginning of the end for the recording industry, which resulted in a number of wild and desperate attempts that resulted in one step forward and two steps back for them.

Conclusion:  50% Correct.
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4.  A social networking service will die in a big controversy over the battle for privacy.

Results: Nobody went under yet, but there was an uproar over Facebook’s “Beacon” service somewhat recently.  It’s also become well know that employers are checking out potential employee MySpace and Facebook pages.

Conclusion: Close, but no cigar.
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5.  MySpace will fail and will be shut down, and/or revamped into something completely new.

Results: The only thing really new is that more and more organizations have been putting up MySpace pages.

Conclusion:  Not even close.
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6.  After multiple attempts at purchasing social networking services, Google will finally introduce a new social networking service.

Results: Orkut was unveiled and the OpenSocial API was released.

Conclusion: Right on.
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7.  RFID tags will start coming into mainstream use, but not without a few incidents of the theft of personal information.

Results:  While RFID tags are now included in US Passports, they’re far from becoming mainstream.

Conclusion:  Perhaps another time.
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8.  Due to performance, security, and DRM issues in Windows Vista upon its release to the general public, sales will stall and it will undergo a major overhaul to make the Operating System more end-user and administrator-friendly.

Results:  While there are still a large number of things to be ironed out, Vista hasn’t completely failed.  The general consensus is to stick with XP until Vista SP1 is released, then revisit it to see if it’s worth using.  While the SP1 public beta has shown promise, it also brought in an entirely new set of problems for the O/S.

Conclusion: Inaccurate, but Vista hasn’t swept too many people off their feet.
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9.  A new web technology will evolve to overcome some of the (annoying) limitations of AJAX.

Results: We’re still using AJAX.  However, there have been a number of strong pushes for web development standards with the different browser rendering engines.  Microsoft’s IE engine, of course, being the odd man out.

Conclusion: Wrong
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10.  A web-based, go-to alternative to Microsoft Office will emerge as the new affordable office suite.

Results: Google came out with Google Docs, which included a word processor, a spreadsheet application, and a presentation application.  While this was a big step forward, it’s been a useful tool for collaboration, rather than an all-out replacement for Microsoft Office or the opensource application, OpenOffice.

Conclusion: Close, but no.

As you can see, while most of these predictions weren’t completely correct, a number of them were leading in the right direction.  That, however, still left me with a total of 1 fully correct prediction.  I did much better with 2006’s predictions.

What will we see for 2008?  In keeping with the tradition, our current PCM Editor-in-Chief, Tyler Thompson, will be bringing you those predictions.

(Originally published in the pcmech.com newsletter)