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.
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 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 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).
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.
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.
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 .