I’ve been reviewing a couple of the predictions and pieces of advice I’ve given people about tech in the last year, just to see how I did.
In April, I said don’t buy anything, because:
- Pixel Qi will start shipping their awesome screens in late 2009. As of now, they’re apparently cranking them out, but they’re not available at street level yet. They really are awesome, though, so I hope to see them soon; so not false, but definitely not timely advice.
- ARM processors are going to be all over. On this, a resounding sort of! They’re not everywhere, and not a significant player in the subnotebook/netbook space because you can’t run Windows on them. But they’re the go-to for the increasingly smart smartphones of the world, so there is that.
- nVidia’s ION platform is coming out. Which it did! And it’s also pretty awesome, and while it didn’t appear in a ton of portables, it did appearing in a bunch of “net-top” boxes and small-form-factor PCs. So, one unqualified yes.
- Windows 7 is going to ship and be good. It did, and it really is. Two! Two yesses, ah ah ah ah ah!
- Apple is going to come out with a next-gen iPhone, a tablet of some kind, and more affordable iMac. So, two for three there, with the cruel fault of logic being thinking Apple would aim for “affordable”, ever. The 3GS shipped that summer, and while it was much later, the iPad was announced a few weeks ago. Hardly timely, that last bit, for which I will award myself only part marks.
- Palm will be releasing the Pre, and the EOS, now called the “Pixie”. Which they did, go me. It depends on who you ask, but if you took away the App Store and the Apple marketing juggernaut, the Pre would be a legitimate contender in the smartphone arena. But you can’t, so they’re in the process of doing what scrappy underdogs usually do, and getting stomped in the marketplace. Which is a shame, because the Pre is a pretty good product.
- Nokia will ship something running Maemo. Which they did, also go me. It’s called the N900, and it’s pretty shockingly good except for the fact that Nokia strangely refuses to build enough of them or market them at all.
So, dropping a full point for Pixel Qi not making it to stores and half a point each for the general half-assedness of the ARM and Apple predictions, let us say five out of seven. And the “November or so” timeline I gave seems to have been born out for many, but not all of them – the iPad was came later, and didn’t use the Pixel Qi screen I’d been hoping it would. So, let us say 5.5 out of 8.
On the subject of open software, I also said that “unless Windows Mobile 7 is at least as good as iPhone OS 1, then the walled-garden fuck-you-and-your-freedom model wins. Which makes me really sad, because the alternatives to the Microsoft approach right now are way, way worse.” Windows Phone 7 as it’s now called is apparently not Windows Mobile at all – it’s slated to ship around Christmas of this year, won’t be compatible with any software from any previous version of Windows Mobile and the development environment for it was just announced to be Silverlight/XNA.
Which translated into English means Windows Mobile doesn’t exist anymore; this is a Zune Phone, but they’ve decided to stamp “Windows Phone” on it so it’s not associated with that boat-anchor of a media player. But why not build your own little snow-globe of a software ecosystem out of the leftovers of a failed media player a Flash knockoff?
I mean, who wouldn’t want that?
One thing I did say a while ago was that the Zune brand would continue to be an albatross around the neck of that company and that the management of their entertainment division needs to be keelhauled, which continues to be very, very true, and now they’re gearing up to throw the Windows Mobile development community under the same short Zune Bus they drove over their PlaysForSure efforts.
So all told that’s a relatively arbitrary 6.5 out of an entirely arbitrary 9, a little shy of a 75% success rate.