Scoring My 2009 Predictions

For the past few years, my reading group has started the year by making predictions. These were mine:

1. This year I will finally see a Zune in the wild.

Unless there’s one at the New Year’s Eve party tonight, this gets scored as WRONG.

I’ve been puzzled and amused that the huge amount of marketing and advertising money that Microsoft has poured into the Zune has yielded a complete absence of the devices in my corner of the world, except on a few store shelves. Granted, I live near the Apple mothership, but I do travel, and do noticed what people are plugged in to. When I asked around, friends who had seen Zunes had only seen them in possession of friends of theirs who work for Microsoft.

2. There will be a very public failure of ‘Cloud Computing’.

This was a ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ prediction, since something, somewhere, was bound to happen. I was thinking along the lines of a cascading set of accidents involving a backhoe and a washed out bridge taking a data center offline, but the Microsoft/Danger/Sidekick fiasco lost a huge amount of ‘trust us, it’s safe in the cloud’ user data. This prediction gets scored as RIGHT.

3. Congress will step in, on the wrong side, to correct the Bilski ruling.

In re Bilski, the Supreme Court, in a moment of apparent sanity, threw a wet blanket on business practice patents. The ruling has since been used to toss out claims in several software patents.

I guessed that since so much money was on the line, and the players who stood to lose had so much political clout, that Congress would act. I underestimated both how long it would take for challenges to work their way through the courts, and how distracted Congress appears to have been by the huge food fight they’re engaged in.

I still think that Congress will get involved, but it’ll be a few years before this one makes it back on to my list of predictions. For 2009, unless I missed something in the news, this prediction was WRONG.