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. Attention everyone. A Ballmer ouster is NOT good news for Apple and the rest of us.

    The last thing AAPL holders need is for somebody to come into MSoft and fix it. Such a development would be a result of a Jobs-like genius (I know, I know – there aren’t any more of him out there) to methodically do each and every thing that Apple does with the result being there’s no longer for Apple to exist.

    I know most don’t believe the bloated bureaucracy will allow the company to copy Apple to the extent that Apple itself is threatened, but don’t be so sure.

  2. BTW, my brother is a manager of a European-owned investment banker and stock brokering company. When they buy outs of American companies, they try to get rid of “American-style managers.” You might ask “Oh… do tell, Greg L, just what is an ‘American-style manager’?”

    Well, they want intelligent people with analytic minds. When they are hunting and shooting the bad eggs, their mental image of what they’re looking for is “Ballmer: the bald ape who throws chairs.” Sooooo American, in their view.

  3. Nooooo, no no! MS PLEASE do not get rid of Ballmer, he’s just the right guy at the right place to do to Microsoft what it’s needed for a long time. I am all for Ballmer staying on at MS. I think we need a Save Ballmer as MS CEO petition!

  4. Harvey’s comment caused me to envision Ballmer in a ‘Three Stooges’ skit:

    One foot in the wastebasket, office chair glued to one hand, other hand glued to forehead, inadvertently placing other foot into bucket of mop water and falling backwards down three flights of stairs.

    The man would be a natural.

  5. John Sculley for CEO of Microsoft…

    Perfect for Microsoft. Someone who is not afraid of going against S Jobs. And he is a salesman like Ballmer.

    Besides, it might be enjoyable for Jobs to go against Sculley.

  6. 10. Google Faces Antitrust Suit

    I’d say this should be in the top 5 at about 2 or 3 of predictions as Google is the Biggest evil Monopoly abuser on the planet right now.

    Ballmer is not going anywhere as Gates and Ballmer control enough shares that he doesn’t need to worry. Not only that, could you fathom a Microsoft that don’t follow and copy every little thing Apple does or, that has a CEO that is not a all about leveraging the company’s Monopoly Powers and then abuse their customers so much that all the customers all suffer from Stockholm Syndrome!

  7. @ HughB,

    If you’d ever used Windows 95, 98, Me, XP before it was fixed with SP2 or Vista before it was fixed with SP2 (Windows 7) you would understand the animosity.

    Disclaimer: I have never used Windows 7, it may be shitty as well.

  8. @ Big Als MBP,

    In my opinion Windows 7 is not shitty, but I don’t use it every day. It’s certainly no OS X, but it seems to be a decent step up from previous versions.

  9. @HughB,

    “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.”

    It’s not that simple. For some of us there is serious pain caused by Microsoft. For example, do you have any idea how many hours/days of my life have been lost dealing with Microsoft’s unwillingness to follow web standards? IE6 versus taking a nice vacation with my family? I hate Microsoft.

    Likewise how many people friends/family/co-workers call me with a “how do I…” or “I can’t…” or whatever when the answer is “First step is get a Mac, the rest works itself out”.

    And the biggest reason why I wish “ill will towards Microsoft” is that whenever I go somewhere, it’s always a (rational) fear that using a Mac won’t be an option (job, library, friend’s house, etc…). There are a lot of superior apps that are no longer available because of Microsoft.

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