Among the panelists attempting to predict the future of technology were Brad Stone from The New York Times, Connie Guglielmo of Bloomberg, USA Today's Byron Acohido, WIRED's Steven Levy, GigaOM blogger Om Malik, the Wall Street Journal's Ben Worthen and Matt Marshall from VentureBeat and the DEMO Conferences.
Some of the predictions were tame and, well, predictable, such as the companies to watch in 2010: Apple, Google, Amazon.com, FaceBook and Twitter. No one went out on a limb there. Many of the other predictions, however, were insightful and thought-provoking. Here are a few:
- The Motorola Droid running Google's Android operating system over Verizon's network will crush Apple's iPhone; there is a rumor that Apple will release a new version of the iPhone on the Verizon network in 2011. From firsthand experience, I doubt this will happen.
- M&A activity will increase leading to a smaller number of bigger companies. As result of the M&A activity, companies will become stronger and more profitable while at the same time laying off more employees increasing the level of unemployment not only in Silicon Valley but across the world.
- Venture capital money will be very scarce with few, if any, companies receiving significant funding.
- The "buffet" of free news on the Internet will end as newspapers, magazines and even some blogs will begin charging a fee for their online content. There may, however, be an uber-site that allows users to pay a single fee to access content from many news organizations, if the FTC decides to allow such a practice.
- Apple's iTablet, or whatever it ends up being called, will finally become a reality, thus blurring the lines between smartphones, netbooks and laptop PCs.
- Twitter will go out of business.
- Twitter will figure out a way to make money.
- Twitter will be acquired by Google.
The debate among the panelists as they gave their predictions for technology in 2010 was lively and for the most part informative.
What predictions for technology do you see for 2010?