We hate soothsayers. And we hate this time of the year when we are bombarded with ridiculous predictions for the coming year. Post-Christmas parlour games are a way to fill the pages of the Sunday papers or justify the ravings of the anorak brigade. We've had almost a full month of these ramblings. So, as the news is still admittedly thin on the ground at this time of year, we will take the easy option and take a look back at some of my predictions for 1998 and demonstrate why we were totally wrong in our bid to be the official Oracle of the industry.
Last year we said that the Net Computer (NC) was dying a death. We predicted its demise. This was only partially true and not true at all for the cousin of the Net PC - the real thin client. In fact the NC and its various hybrids have carved out for themselves a very lucrative niche market. The mistake we made was to get upset with Larry Ellison and Oracle for the (now understandable) hype they churned out and believe that it was anything resembling reality.
Once the wiser heads at Oracle had worked out that the NC was core business three times removed, and the marketing strategy was corrected, the NC began to take its place in the corporate hierarchy.
The thin-client has also proved less of a bogeyman than we predicted.
Yes, the PC power-maniacs are in their corners fighting the good fight for the PC, but Citrix WinFrame and Wyse Winterm have fought their way into resolutely corporate environments where they were undoubtedly outsiders and turned the story around tremendously.
Dataquest was claiming at the tail end of last year that the windows-based terminal would sell only half a million units in 1998 but over one million by the year 2002. So it looks like the long-heralded return to centralised computing is well on its way.
Now let me make a prediction. Internet trading will increase in quantum leaps this year ending in a record year for the likes of Amazon.com. Happy millennium.
You must do your own checks to make sure that your data is secure
Liquid metals behind battery technologies becoming more widely available and affordable
Demand driven by not only R&D projects but the emergence of real-world applications
Artificial Intelligence Exploration programme will make AI justify its actions