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. Android gets it’s first key-logger and popup virus. 2010 brings in the first anti-virus for phones.
    AppleTV gets live TV and DVR capability
    iPhone gets Google Wave
    HTML 5 becomes huge along with offline apps through Safari
    The Apple tablet is a success but magazine/newspaper sales
    are not

  2. I patently disagree about 5. movie downloads stalling bluray for two reasons:

    1. The quality of broadband that the VAST majority of people have and will have for the foreseeable future will not support the level of downloads required for HD quality movies

    2. A lot of people still love to actually OWN a piece of physical media. I know I do if for no other reason that no one yet has shown the ability to re-sell a downloaded movie like you can physical media.

    People are going to argue with me, but people here are on the bleeding edge. The vast majority of the consumer space is far slower adopting such radical tech as downloadable content.

  3. @Sir Gill Bates

    Has Ballmer with his snide dismissive comments and a huge salary to back him given Mac users any reasons to forgive and forget?

    @ AL
    Yea, Sculley would be an interesting choice.

  4. @ The Other Steve,

    Agreed. And I did say he’s brought it upon himself. But I was also talking about issues in general, not just Ballmer.

    And I must go along with the Sculley suggestion by AL. That’s definitely a humorous idea.

  5. What’s required at Microsoft is a total coup. Considering this fact:

    “…there’s no heir apparent on the management team…”

    … It’s highly unlikely to happen. Therefore, I predict: MS decay and eventual death.

    Hint to coders with creative skills at Microsoft: Jump ship NOW before the boat sinks, before your morale sinks, any further.

  6. This is what they really mean:
    No. 6 – Americans finally catches up to mobile trends the rest of the world are already using.
    No. 9 – After unsuccessfully finding and courting a suitable CEO replacement, MSFT hires Ballmer back.
    No. 10 – Google allows Silverlight and IE plugins in its Chrome OS netbooks to avoid anti-trust suits by Europe.

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