Editorial

Review of My Predictions for 2011

Last year I decided that, as many others do, I would make a list of predictions for the year. My predictions included such products as Windows 8, Windows Phone 7, and even Chrome OS. So why don’t we take a look at how I did.

Windows 8

I said that we wouldn’t know much about Windows 8 until the summer time of last year, but I was wrong on that count. It wasn’t until BUILD in September that Sinofsky got on stage and gave a very detailed presentation of Windows 8. Even now, there are a lot of questions to be answered about Windows 8 — such as its launch date, or even a time frame for the launch.

I also said that there would be a beta release, that would only be available for desktops. Microsoft released a Developer Preview, with the Windows 8 Beta release coming sometime early this year — so I was wrong there. I guess I was somewhat right, as the ARM version of Windows 8 was not available and that version is primarily targeted at tablets, but then again the x86/x64 version is just as capable of running on tablets as well (so long as Intel gets their act together).

No surprise: Windows 8 did not RTM this year, as some predicted.

My final prediction was the further compartmentalization of the Windows operating system, and that the tablet version would remove the GUI and legacy support. This is indeed the case for the ARM version (it is still unclear as to whether the desktop would be disabled on x86/x64 versions if they were put on tablets), but that’s because the applications would have to be modified in order to run on the ARM architecture. Microsoft has said they have absolutely no plans to allow older applications to run on ARM, so in a way, they are removing legacy support.

 Windows Phone 7

“Microsoft will continue to not get it,” that’s what I said last year in regards to Windows Phone 7. By that I meant Microsoft would not update the phone as quickly as they should in order to catch up with the competition.

In a way, they certainly didn’t get it… It wasn’t until late September that Windows Phone “Mango” was finally released, which was an entire year after the original product launch. Also, it took a couple of months before any phones designed for “Mango” came out, which is awfully slow — but some did appear to be Windows Phone-specific phones, not Android phones running Windows Phone 7.

Sales also remained dismal, and they will until Microsoft gets their act together (and rumors about Microsoft and Nokia’s plans seem to address the current sales issues), so I was definitely right that “Microsoft will continue to not get it.” But that’s not surprising, as it takes Microsoft awhile to get it.

Bing

Bing did pretty well this year (not financially), growing from 11.8% market share to 15%, and with Yahoo! included the duo went from 28.2% market share up to 30.1%. The growth of the two doesn’t seem so great, which is due to Yahoo losing a couple percentage points in their market share. I predicted that by now Bing alone would be at an 18% market share, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.

I also said that HTML5 Bing would have been out 6 months ago, with that cool video background and instant search along with other updates. That never happened (the video background has happened, though), but a few people (including me) did start to see the new Bing, which then disappeared not long after.

Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer remained at Microsoft, also not a surprise. A few months ago approval ratings of Microsoft executives were taken, and Steve Ballmer received a 92% approval rating. That doesn’t seem too bad, except for the fact that the previous year that number was at 95% (Bill Gates has a 99.1% approval rating).

PC Sales

We kept hearing news article after news article last year of the forecast of PC sales being “slashed,” it was the hot topic of the year, after all. But in reality, PC sales did not stop, and they did not stagnate — as some seemed to think was happening or was going to happen. Sure, the growth was only around 3% year-over-year, but when you sell some 350 million+ computers every single year, 3% of that number is 10.5 million.

iPhone

I was completely wrong in every regard here. The iPhone 5 didn’t come out, it was the iPhone 4S (but it didn’t have LTE, as I predicted), and it came out on multiple carriers in the U.S. as well.

Chromebooks

Google hasn’t given any details on Chromebook sales, but according to ZDNet they sold horribly (in the range of only tens of thousands, if that). But who would want to buy a $500 machine that can only surf the web and be valuable if connected to the Internet? Apparently very few.

So there you have it, a review of my predictions from last year. I didn’t miss all my predictions, but then again none of them were very extreme… Maybe I will make some more extreme predictions next time ;-) .

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  • ChrisTX

    I somewhat have the feeling that Windows Phone will grow somewhat this year, but until Microsoft really “gets it” as you say, that is probably not before Windows Phone Codename “Apollo”. Even though 7.1.8107 (which I am still waiting for, since not all language packs that I have are done) seems to indicate LTE support in a very narrow timeframe.

    Now if they added Skype, a proper PDF/XPS reader (Adobe Reader 9 on WP7 is the biggest pos I have ever seen, terribly slow and badly integrated), and added more games (especially Angry Birds variations – although I dislike the game, I regard it necessary) it might even have a serious chance this year.

    Knowing Microsoft a little, I’d say not until Apollo for a serious chance for WP7.

    • http://www.todayinwindows.com/ Ian Aldrighetti

      Windows Phone should be LTE capable before we know it… Especially seeing as there are rumors that The Nokia Lumia 900 (or whatever it will be called, the “Ace”) will have LTE.

      I thought XPS was dead? Or are they still pushing it?

      I agree, though. If Apollo is anything that most seem to think it is (Windows 8 based), it will be very successful. Enterprises would probably love such a phone, because it would undoubtedly be managed just as a Windows computer, so it would be very familiar in that regard.

      Thanks for commenting, glad to see someone is reading ;-)

    • ChrisTX

      Not sure whether XPS is still being ‘pushed’. However, I’d like to be able to properly open XPS and PDF files, which Adobe Reader really cannot be said to do. I mean, it’s not as if that was too hard to do, and I do have my hopes up that this “modern reader”  ( http://bit.ly/hkLgeE ), which has been spotted in Windows 8 builds makes it onto Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It’s a shame that the experience of the Office hub is degraded by a simple lack of a proper application for that.

      Apollo will need to switch the kernel anyways – Windows CE 6.x does not support dual cores after all, and somewhen Microsoft will be required to make WPs dual-core capable. I don’t know whether it’s really going to be MinWin, but it’s definitely either Windows NT 6.2 or Windows Embedded Compact 7 that we’re going to see.

    • http://www.todayinwindows.com/ Ian Aldrighetti

      But can’t Word open PDF files? I know it can save them, so I would think it would be able to open them. But I haven’t used Office on Windows Phone, so I don’t know what kind of capabilities are available there.

      If Apollo was going to be based on Windows NT 6.2 (which is what Windows 8 runs on), then it would indeed be using MinWin as well. MinWin isn’t an operating system in and of itself, it is a subsystem that Windows depends on. The idea of MinWin is to put something else on top of it (e.g. Windows, and Windows Phone) and let MinWin deal with the hardware specific stuff while the top layer simply makes calls to the MinWin subsystem (according to Wikipedia, previous to Windows Vista, Windows had a lot of dependencies on different components of the operating system, and if something was turned off or disabled stuff would screw up, which was the idea of MinWin, to make all components independent of one another so such issues wouldn’t occur and would [so I am guessing] allow them to just shut off certain components of the system and they would know that the rest of the system would continue functioning normally).

    • ChrisTX

      No it cannot. Not on the desktop, not on the phone. Office Mobile also does not support exporting to PDFs.

      For all that, you need Adobe Reader, which hasn’t ever been updated on WP7. It’s still the original release from October 2010.