PCs

10 Things Call for Feedback: What are the dumbest tech predictions for 2012?

It's that time again: January, when the tech world is inundated with predictions for the coming year. Which ones win the prize for most idiotic?

Now that we're safely into the new year, you've probably read plenty of punditry prognostications about the tech developments that lie ahead. From VDI moving from 10% of the desktop market to a staggering 60% in one year to the prediction that Apple will release three different iPad models, there is a lot of fodder out there just waiting to be proven false.

What do you think are the dumbest one or two predictions you've seen so far for 2012? Share your opinions in the discussion below or email them to tr10things@slowe.com. I'll compile the 10 best entries and wrap them up with some commentary.

About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

35 comments
cd003284
cd003284

For me, it's not just whether a prediction of mine turns out right or wrong, it's the prediction itself, and whether I would be right or wrong about something that will be good or bad. I'd rather be right about good things coming to pass, and wrong about bad things. Whenever I consider the likelihood that that PCs - my great big, heavy, noisy, and decidedly non-mobile computers - will eventually be replaced by smaller devices, I can't help looking at the medical consequences of our unfortunate relationships with technology and hope that we aren't headed for a future when adolescents and post-adolescents will suffer even more of the diseases and conditions we we used to associate with middle- and old age. We're already on that road, seeing epidemics of musculoskeletal and neurological problems in younger people. Their futures, in the absence of medical intervention, are perfectly clear. I'm also concerned about our withdrawal from face-to-face human contact and the relationships that require it, and the consquences of virtual lives. So when I'm thinking about predictions, sometimes I'd love to be right, but often I'm hoping I'll be wrong.

bboyd
bboyd

Just hope that its two good years.

lassiter12
lassiter12

I read Steve Jobs' essay in 2000 and could not understand how everyone could have their own phone number and be reached anywhere. Now I only buy shirts that have pockets to carry my iPhone in. No way to guess what will happen five years from now (except by the people working on closely guarded secret stuff).

djjammaster
djjammaster like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

- That the world will end in 2012.

ScarF
ScarF

As anyone could see watching Back to the Future (part II), the world is fine in 2015 and there is no talk about anything catastrophic happening in 2012. (I can hardly wait 3 more years to watch Jaws 19 in Real 3D).

radleym
radleym

- that MS will bring out a Windows 8 that will seamlessly scale from smartphones to desktops, at a competitive price - that Android tablets will only succeed at under-$200

mbkavka
mbkavka like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

This is becoming the same prediction every year, and honestly, the cost of Bandwith is too high for this to become reality. I deal with companies that moved to the cloud and are moving away from it because everything was too slow.

dcwhitworth
dcwhitworth like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Every year Linux aficionados predict that THIS year will be the one when it cracks Window's hold on the desktop. Wake me up when it happens . . .

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

However, I haven't actually heard this one in 2012. What I'm hearing from the Linux crowd is that the desktop is irrelevant, and that Android is winning the tablet wars (from those who are willing to acknowledge Android as Linux).

SKDTech
SKDTech like.author.displayName 1 Like

As it has been for many years. Truth be told, until Linux is distributed preinstalled on desktops by multiple manufacturers I doubt it will gain much traction. Most computer users give little enough thought to what their OS is that thoughts of an alternative never stray beyond the Mac platform. I applaud anyone that looks at Linux or BSD as an option and makes the leap but that is far beyond the amount of thought that most users give to their computers.

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

That went over real big with the first netbooks to hit the street. I had one user that bought their notebook (ok, it wasn't too bright on their part) and then wondered what the hey was this Ubuntu stuff on their computer! Linux is great on the server, I run several of them, but it just ain't gonna catch on on the desktop.

yorkshirepudding
yorkshirepudding like.author.displayName 1 Like

This was on a BBC documentary in the UK looking at the demise of paper books and some intellectual pundit suggesting that books would stop being fixed items that we consume, and that everyone would be interacting with their e-books and choosing the endings. What a load of rubbish. I have just got an Kindle, but I still like to consume the books - this is someone's work of literary art, and I cannot see any situation where I wouldn't want to know how John Grisham or Jeffrey Deaver ends the story.

meski.oz
meski.oz like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

What I'd like to see on the Kindle app is a way of submitting corrections to Amazon for typos and grammar errors. Akin to Wiki editing, but with an Amazon approval in between. An incentive might be 5c per approved correction to your Amazon account.

Info Dave
Info Dave like.author.displayName 1 Like

Any thought that Microsoft will recover in 2012 is optimistic. The prognosticators have willed Symbian market share to Windows Phone 7. So far, Symbian continues to lose market share while WP7, well, it doesn't have much market share to lose. Besides, WP7 is dead as soon as Microsoft can get a phone working on Windows 8. Speaking of Windows 8, any thoughts of having a full lineup of computers and tablets for Christmas this year will remain wishful thinking at the end of the year. Moving Windows to ARM is a non-trivial task that seems to be trivialized by the tech media. Windows ARM tablets remained in the glass cases at CES. Look, but don't touch. You can't use the Windows 7 development schedule to predict the Windows 8 schedule.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

...or rather its proprietary data; and pay 'cloud storage solutions' to have access to it. I rather expect that 2012 will see the first few debacles/disasters of "Enterprise in the Cloud", and the predicted rush to its use will be replaced by a bit of corporate prudence as most businesses will wait for 'somebody else to go first'.

Try2BWise
Try2BWise like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

Big, beautiful HTML 5-based tiles are a nifty idea that looks and works great on Windows Phone and might work on a tablet. But ... the idea that the Metro interface will become the default (or even dominant) interface for Windows is far-fetched. Windows users (and Mac users, too), both consumer and business, are married to the traditional desktop and Start menu (or Dock) combo to make a immediate jump to a substantially new interface.

mheath3
mheath3 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 7 Like

It's all totally irrelevant, since the world is going to end 12/21/2012 anyway. LMAO.

jkameleon
jkameleon

It's like the end of the world prediction: Always looming but never occurring.

majorhl
majorhl like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 8 Like

The forecast that tablets will replace laptop and desktop systems is way out of line. Thesy just came out and are still in their infancy/growth stage. Maybe in 5 years they will have developed and the wi-fi/4g backbone to support them will be in place to make them viable.

lassiter12
lassiter12

I don't draw that firm a distinction between laptops and desktops. When I retire my last desktop, which is now a secondary source, I will replace it with this laptop as I get a new one. Most of the time I use the laptop as a desktop, plugged in to save battery life, and so I can type more easily. I don't understand why anyone would buy a desktop anymore except for office use when you don't want anyone taking it home. At home, I use a tablet in the recliner, and leave the laptop plugged in at my desk. On trips, I sometimes take both if its more than a day or two.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't need portability, and desktops are still cheaper than laptops. Why pay for mobility I don't want?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

was from Dell's 'Scratch & Dent' outlet (with full warranty, Vista Home, 2 gig RAM, 80 gig HD) for between $250 and $300 three years ago. They offered comparable laptops, but none less than $400. You wondered why anyone would buy a laptop. I'm cheap.

lassiter12
lassiter12

If you prefer the desktop, fine. Cost depends on what you buy. I got my wife a new Toshiba 17 in laptop at Office Depot last yr for about $450. Seems adequate so far.

lassiter12
lassiter12

I've had an ipad for over a year, and I now do most of my reading and short replies on it. In fact, I spend more time reading on it than I do the laptop. The biggest pad problem is the virtual keyboard. It's much more difficult to use than one on the laptop. I'm a fair typist on the latter, but on the tablet, I'm always accidentally swiping a key that appears in the message. It's also more difficult to correct by placing the cursor exacly where you want it. I expect to continue using both.

Slayer_
Slayer_ like.author.displayName 1 Like

I for the fun of it, looked up Telus's current deal from Manitoba. It is so laughably pathetic. http://www.telusmobility.com/en/MB/clear_choice_voice_data/index.shtml?INTCMP=HomeILCC3winnipeg 50 dollars a month, and they are still going to charge you 40 cents a minutes for long distance calling, and in Manitoba, almost everyone is long distance. Oh, an 3 voice mail... could they spare it.... http://www.virginmobile.ca/en/plans/plans.html?itcid=NAV:7&dType=deviceType_smartphone 50 bucks a month at virgin gives you 500mb of Data, wow..... This is the best I could find, and its from MTS http://www.mts.ca/mts/personal/wireless/wireless+plans/smartphone+plans/talk+email+and+surf+plan They will at least give unlimited data usage if you are in your in Manitoba.. but only 250 weekday minutes

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

those tin cans and strings need a lot of maintenance in MB... weather is tough on them ;-)

Justin James
Justin James

... and then then desktops, once good,universal docking stations are available to overcome their limitations for "sit down work". It will DEFINITELY not be on the "this year" timeline... we're talking 5 - 10 years if I had a guess. J.Ja

meski.oz
meski.oz

They don't seem to offer a lot that isn't available on the laptop. Particularly laptops with Thunderbolt/Light Peak. Look at Thunderbolt peripherals for 2012, I'd say.

Justin James
Justin James

... better OS for most people (not you, not me, but most people), better security (via OS's that allow apps to do very little and have no low-level access... which also increases reliability), the ability to be used standing, in a weird spot, etc. because the UIs don't need pointing devices or keyboards. The "convertable" PCs were actually an excellent idea, but they were too expensive to catch on... if someone brings them to iPad or netbook pricing, then I'd expect them to catch on well. J.Ja

maharawj
maharawj like.author.displayName 1 Like

Many people are under utilizing a laptop. They only check mails and watch videos. That can be done on a tablet and even the Samsung, NOTE/MOTO RAZR type of phones. They offer better battery backup than the laptop. Even Applications have tablet and mobile apps. The desktop will be there until laptops companies start using 6000mah batteries and the price of SSd drives drop so that we can have affordable 1TB to 2 TB drives. And you need 1080 HD display or else graphic designers will never let go of their 24 inch monitors.

meski.oz
meski.oz

But I see a certain percentage of users going for multiple 'docks' that you can drop a laptop into, consisting of multiple monitor, mouse, keyboard. If you look at upper end laptops, they're capable of giving anything below a high powered workstation a run for its money.

dogknees
dogknees like.author.displayName 1 Like

The forecast that if MS don't get significant phone market share this year, they never will. Why don't the bloggers here go back and look at their predictions from this time last year and tell us how they went?

meski.oz
meski.oz

Given that their phone market share has been dropping. I'd forecast that they will be included with 'other' by end of year.

dogknees
dogknees

If they aren't, they "NEVER" will be? It's the use of the word never and the short time frame that frustrates me.