Newsweek: In 2010, Apple will launch tablet, Microsoft will oust Ballmer, and more

Apple Online StoreNewsweek’s Top 10 Tech Predictions for 2010:

1. Finally, Apple Unveils the Tablet:Officially, Apple has never said a word about making a tablet computer. Yet for months, everyone in tech has been talking and writing and arguing about the Apple tablet as if it’s already here. The product has already received more press than most products that actually exist. Bloggers debate its faults and flaws, its strengths and shortcomings–such is life in the weird and wonderful world of Apple. And this does not happen by accident. Apple orchestrates this stuff. It did the same thing with the iPhone, remember? For a year before the product was unveiled, rumors circulated and fake prototype photos popped up all over the place. It’s all about creating hype, and wrapping a product in a cloud of mystery and drama, so that by the time you do unveil it people are dying to buy it just to see what all the fuss is about. The great thing about Apple, however, is that usually the products live up to the hype. Certainly the iPhone has. Arguably, it is the single most important tech product of the past decade. Will the tablet be as profound? We think it will be. Amazon’s Kindle has pioneered the market for a portable reading device. But Kindle is far from perfect. Our bet is that Apple enters this space the way it did with the iPod and iPhone: it lets others do the pioneering work and make all the mistakes, then comes along with a product that blows the predecessors away. Better design. Better build quality. Better service. And a user interface experience that’s light years ahead of everyone else’s on the planet.

2. Murdoch Pulls Out of Google
3. Malware Disrupts Facebook
4. Starbucks Will Stalk You
5. Movie Downloads Stall Blu-ray
6. Your Phone Replaces Your Wallet (MacDailyNews Note: Our own SteveJack was a bit early on that one.)
7. Facebook Goes Public
8. Twitter Use Flatlines

9. Microsoft Pushes Out Steve Ballmer: Ballmer’s 10th anniversary as CEO of Microsoft arrives in January, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll be celebrating. Microsoft stock has dropped by nearly 50 percent on his watch, lagging not just other tech companies but even the Dow Jones industrial average. Distracted by the Windows Vista fiasco, Ballmer has missed every big new tech market of the past decade. Google won the race for Internet search and keyword advertising. Apple won in MP3 players and online music sales, and now holds the high ground in mobile phones, while Windows Mobile fades away. Microsoft’s Zune music player is a dud. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, will never catch Google. Ballmer is said to be a brilliant guy, but he got a black eye for the way he blundered and blustered and finally botched an attempted acquisition of Yahoo. He’s a screamer and a bit of a bully–not the easiest guy to work for. If Microsoft were any other company, this guy would be in trouble. But the catch is, Ballmer was put into the job by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and the two have been pals since their undergraduate days at Harvard. If Gates wants to get rid of Ballmer, he’ll have to craft some kind of graceful exit that lets his buddy save face. Another problem: there’s no heir apparent on the management team. Nevertheless, investors must be getting restless. Soon they’ll start calling for a shake-up.

MacDailyNews Take: May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft’s CEO for as long as it takes!

10. Google Faces Antitrust Suit

Full article (use Newsweek’s arrows as if you were a Windows user) here.

[Attribution: Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tom R.” for the heads up.]

56 Comments

  1. But why do we want to wish misfortune on Balmer or MS? What good does that do us? If you do not like their products don’t buy them. Taking pleasure in other’s misfortunes is not healthy.

  2. @ HughB,

    Many who frequent this site possess dark hearts. They have no ability to forgive or forget, nor to feel empathy or compassion for others. Their views and beliefs are the only ones to be accepted, and there is only one side to any story.

    That being said, Steve Ballmer has only himself to blame for all of the ill will that people have for him.

  3. Microsoft probably will get rid of Ballmer, but that won’t solve their most important problem: their internal structure. Microsoft created Word and Excel for the Mac and ported them to Windows after two years. They bought the company that made Access, the company that made FrontPage, the company that made Visio, and so on, and made Microsoft Office out of that mish-mash. Microsoft has to overcome a tangle of clashing corporate structures and cultures just to get a product out the door. One of the factors in the Vista debacle was their byzantine organizational structure.

    Microsoft’s next biggest problem is that they are sales oriented, rather than product oriented, and they certainly aren’t customer oriented. To them, a product is a means to a sale, and a customer is something the partner handles. That’s backwards.

    Microsoft walks with its foot in the wastebasket, its CEO throws chairs, its developers spit on the baling wire of Windows every day, and it won’t be long before that corporate image will become fatal.

  4. PHEWW!!! I will be sooooooo relieved when they axe Ballmer (ax him what?). I am deeply worried about Ballmer and his uncanny ability to outfox Apple at every turn. Getting rid of him, while no-doubt bad for Microsoft, will be good for Apple. Worried worried worried about that über-genius that is Ballmer.

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