Microsoft in 2008: 10 Predictions
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Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Fiji resurfaces
It’s pundit prediction time again. Here are ten predictions about what I think we’ll see in Microsoft land in 2008.
rnrnrnFirst up: Expect “Fiji,” the new version of Windows Media Center, to resurface. Fiji, which probably now has a boring codename like Windows 6.5, will reemerge from information lock-down in early 2008. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft field a private test build of Fiji as soon as January (timed with the Consumer Electronics Show). Because Fiji allegedly requires Vista Service Pack 1 to work, a public beta is probably unlikely until spring. Final Fiji release: I’m betting late summer 2008 (in time for Holiday 2008 preloads).
rnrnPhoto Credit: Rickabbo. CC 2.0
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Apple finally admits it licensed Microsoft ActiveSync
Apple is none too happy when it can’t maintain its shroud of secrecy. That’s why Apple still hasn’t announced — even though it would make many business customers happy — that it licensed the ActiveSync protocol from Microsoft that will make it easier to sync the iPhone with Exchange Server.
rnrnBut Apple can’t hold off forever. CEO Steve Jobs might admit Apple inked the licensing agreement with Microsoft at Macworld in January. Or he might wait until later next year to acknowledge the deal. But in 2008, Apple will admit publicly that it has sought Redmond’s blessing, yet again.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Games group housecleaning continues
Ever since Microsoft brought in Electronic Arts executive Don Mattrick to run its Interactive Entertainment Business, there have been a lot of changes on the gaming side of Microsoft. That’s no coincidence: Mattrick is cleaning house, sources say. And one of the next casualties could be Shane Kim, Corporate VP of Microsoft Game Studios. Expect more game-related shake-ups at Microsoft in 2008.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Microsoft throws more dev weight behind FaceBook
Now that Facebook has opened up its development platform to other social-networking vendors, it seems obvious that Microsoft would want to get onboard. So far, other than fielding a Facebook development toolkit, Microsoft hasn’t talked about its dev strategy for Facebook. But in 2008, watch for the Redmondians to announce more tools to help Facebook combat Google’s (still-vaporish) OpenSocial. (And don’t be surprised to see some patent-sword rattling by Microsoft regarding OpenSocial, in the process.)
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Windows Mobile phones get Zuned
When Roz Ho left her post as head of the Microsoft Mac Business Unit earlier this year, she disappeared into the depths of the Mobile and Entertainment Division. Word is Ho is heading up the mysterious “Pink and Purple” project, which is all about bringing Zune features and functionality to Windows Mobile devices. It sounds like Ho also is part of the oft-denied skunkworks project to create a Microsoft ZunePhone. Word is some of the new Windows Mobile music features will see the light of day (in beta or final form) in 2008.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Office 14 hits beta
Even though Windows 7 isn’t expected to ship until 2010, word is that Office 14 is still on track to be released to manufacturing in 2009. If Microsoft sticks to schedule, the company could field Beta 1 of the product in 2008.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: More Microsoft-hosted enterprise services to debut
Microsoft is slowly but surely fielding more Microsoft-hosted enterprise services that it is marketing to large enterprises. In 2007, Microsoft made a push for Microsoft-hosted Office Communications Server, SharePoint and Exchange. In 2008, expect Microsoft to add Forefront security and a business-intelligence bundle to its Office Online price list.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: OOXML will get the ISO nod
In February, Microsoft’s Open Office XML will be up for ISO standards consideration. Despite the best attempts of Microsoft’s adversaries and critics to derail it, OOXML is finally going to get the ISO nod. That doesn’t mean the OOXML vs. ODF/CDF battle won’t continue, given that big government contracts stipulating “open” formats are at stake. But one more hurdle for OOXML’s acceptance will be behind Microsoft in the new year.
rnrnPhoto Credit: Billogs. CC 2.0.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: No Windows 7 news is good news
Windows 7 exists. Folks inside Microsoft are running early builds already. Does that mean we can count on seeing test builds of Windows 7 in 2008? I bet not. I’d be very surprised to see any kind of broad tech preview out next year. The only thing that would surprise me more: Istartedsomething.com blogger Long Zheng being appointed as Microsoft’s new Director of Windows Client Disclosure. Bottom line: If you’re hoping to see 7 in 08, don’t hold your breath.
Microsoft Predictions for 2008: Former Adobe CEO chief joins Microsoft
Bruce Chizen, Adobe’s CEO who abruptly resigned in 2007, has been mum on his future plans. But sources say Chizen is going to join Microsoft to run the Expression team in the new year. As Microsoft watchers know, Adobe and Microsoft are competing head-to-head in the design-tool space. If the sources are right (and there are no non-competes in the way), Chizen may have a new roost to rule soon.