01 January 2010

10 Microsoft Predictions For 2010

*Update*(02/01/11) Results for this post predictions have been posted.

Microsoft Logo

2009 was a bittersweet year for Microsoft because it was full of hits and misses. But i think that 2010 should be a better year for Microsoft. Here are my predictions for 2010:

1.-New Money Makers.

When people read on that, a thought is usually associated with Sharepoint. But while Sharepoint will continue to be growing like weed as Office 2010 also hits release. It is not a new thing. It has been Microsoft breakthrough hit for the last 2 years. When i mean new, i mean new in the sense that they may have been doing fine, but from 2010 on they should be doing great or surprisingly great.

I.-Microsoft Automotive

First it started to make car appliances to integrate msn derived services and later it expanded to do some simple car media managers. While most don’t know it, It is quite likely that your car (if it was made in the last 3 years) is running Microsoft Automotive in one way or another. All based around  specially modified Windows CE 3.0-5.0 (usually). But then it came up with Microsoft Sync for Ford to great success and just now it has struck a partnership with Kia called UVO. That is without mentioning the new Carputers based in Win CE 6.0 and Microsoft SYNC 2 that are also going to be released.

But maybe that is just not all of it and new announcements or partnerships get to be too.

So 2010 should be the year where Microsoft Automotive products jump out as something recognizable in people minds.

II.-Microsoft Robotics

It had a actual very good 2009. The SDK has been downloaded already around 1 million times (counting from all sources) and that is a insane number if we consider it is being used to control Robots…it is not a software that anyone but those studying or working in robotics can use.

The reason i say it will have a even better 2010 is because it will be the year when it starts making money based on activity that is going to be mainly centered in Asia. As they are pumping up bigger initiatives left and right, private and public to accelerate as much as possible Robotics development starting in 2010.

III.-Windows Server HPC and Windows Home Server.

Both have done OK, but it is just about to start showing up more and more as something labeled “Of Interest” in the Windows Server part of Microsoft. They are part of the spectrum ends in the Windows Server biz. From the super high scale operations for Windows Server HPC to the personal server for Home ( and Small Businesses too even if not supposedly intended) they are getting new releases in 2010 and they will meet a lot more success that in 2009.

IV.-Windows Media

IIS7 Media Pack, new Media Center services & capabilities thanks to Windows 7, SmoothStreaming, Zune Video, MSN video, Microsoft TV and last but not less important:

Mediaroom.

If Microsoft is finally going to do a hard push for Windows Media is going to be in 2010 as Windows 7 consolidates marketshare, as it prepares Windows Mobile 7, deploys Zune Video, pitches media around Silverlight and it also finally extends Mediaroom into next gen Cable Top Boxes and Internet Enabled HDtv’s.

So that is why i think it should be a big year for Windows Media.

V.Silverlight

This is of course the safest of the predictions in this entry. Silverlight 3 will be consolidated as it passed over the 51% of Marketshare with the Winter Olympics and goes beyond that with many exclusive events that are on the line for each month of 2010 all around the world, New line of business and Enterprise RIA solutions are developed and all kinds of consumer apps go hybrid (they can run in the browser and in the desktop) and cross platform with Silverlight.

Silverlight 4 should reach out in final form by mid year and Silverlight for Mobile could be announced anywhere from CES to Mix010. It is going to be the biggest year yet for Silverlight as a it is also unveiled for devices and Moonlight 3 reaches parity with Silverlight 3 and parts of Silverlight 4.

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These new buzz generators and many things more are the reason why Microsoft is more Future Proof than most give it credit for.

2.-Search War Escalates And Results Add Up Slowly But Surely

The battle for search with Bing will not be a breakout success in 2010 as Google starts fighting back, but Microsoft should be able to reach anywhere from 20 to 30% in 2010 thanks the Yahoo deal and Google getting distracted with Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and the development of their next generation plugins and also because antitrust clouds will start forming over Google.

3.-Office 2010 Will Have Silverlight Based Counterparts For The Most Important Components By The End Of 2010.

The Office Web Apps were first unveiled as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.  I think that at least Outlook,  a Sharepoint component and a client to manage Office Live Workplace should get the Silverlight treatment and get released in some form. But publisher and project would also be good contenders to get the makeover too.

4.-It Will Be WPF Breakout Year.

WPF is very cool and while many are calling for its end because of Silverlight 4. WPF is a high scale program platform in both power and looks. Silverlight is not anywhere yet able to replace WPF any time soon.

Thanks to the release of WPF 4.0 with .NET 4.0. WPF will show really great advances and will be seen a lot more. The release of Visual Studio 2010 and Expression 4 (Both WPF apps) are only part of the why.

5.-The .NET Framework Goes Places.

.Net has already displaced Java in the consumer desktop side. Silverlight that is a .NET derivation and simil will allow .NET to displace Java a lot more in the Enterprise via LOB and ERIA solutions. .NET 4.0 with WPF 4.0 will allow it to continue gaining ground in many new ways. .NET CF 4.0, ASP .NET MVC, MONO,Moonlight, etc, etc will also help a lot to get .NET everywhere.

6.XNA in Mobiles, Desktop And The Browser In A Official Form.

It is unclear how, but either via Silverlight or via .NET. XNA and the games from Xbox Live Arcade will start appearing officially beyond Xbox Live. They were already showing up in those places thanks to Silversprite (Browser via Silverlight), WPF-XNA (Desktop via a WPF app) and Mono.XNA for MonoTouch (Mobile in the iPhone)

7.-Windows Live Will Ship New Apps and New Services Besides Solid Updates.

The biggest problem about Windows Live is Brand Confusion and Poor Marketing.

Thanks to the association with Windows 7 and the reorganization in Microsoft that now put Windows and Windows Live together under Steve Sinofsky as the Windows Client and Windows Live Services division. I think that those previous problems will start to dissipate.

I have read and been alert of any kind of Windows Live rumors and they are very disjointed and extreme. But i do believe that 2010 should bring 2 new Apps to the staple of Windows Live and some new web services additions.

I unfortunately got no clue on what exactly they will end up releasing so i will not even try. The Windows Live team have been the most unpredictable group at Microsoft for the past 4 years.

8.-Microsoft Surface 2 Will Get Released in New Forms And Surface 1 Will Be Available For $5K

Microsoft Surface is right now the size and height of a kitchen table because it works with projectors and laser scanners that make it big. Surface 2 according to some rumors comes in more than one form and it will be less that half the height of Surface 1. Minimum price should start below 10K.

Surface 1 units are very likely to get discounted and resold by first buyers for $5k or less.

9.-Microsoft Will Get So Aggressive In The Cloud That Will Quickly Match Or Surpass Everyone Else.

I have read many takes saying that Azure “Is not enough” or that “It is only as good as Amazon Web Services” which is nonsense.  People saying these things are either not technical enough or forget that Azure is not the only thing Microsoft got to fight in the cloud.

Windows Azure is the most important piece. The center of the cloud strategy but people often forget that they got Microsoft Online Services and that they are now getting ready to offer all kind of Software As A Service without the need of native installs. These new kind of app are installed for the session in a way alike to  .NET ClickOnce or Silverlight OOB.

The combination will prove to be enough to gain a dominant role against AWS. Microsoft worry in the clouds don’t lies in IBM, Amazon or Google. They will come from surprising offerings and partnerships that VMWare will come up as it will fiercely join the fight for the cloud, servers and even the desktop.

But whatever happens a price and feature war will be fought.

10.-Windows Mobile Will Be Fine And WM7 Will Surprise.

Looks like almost every big blog is calling for the death of Windows Mobile and its supposed lack of relevancy in 2009. They were wrong in 2009 because it took to the very end of the year for the iPhone to pass Windows Mobile in a set of surveys that got a divided opinion. And as much championing of Android and Palm WebOS as there was. Windows Mobile is still 8 times bigger than Android and over 15 times bigger than Palm WebOS. It is not realistic to say that Android will manage to grow 10 times its size in 2010 and even if it would. Windows Mobile would have to stand flat for Android to be able to surpass it in a year time. In the case of WebOS surpassing Windows Mobile…that, that is just a pipe dream.

Windows Mobile 7 is a big question mark in everybody’s mind. But the possibilities based on the whispers around it are quite incredible and if true it would change the game:

Windows CE 7.0

(Weird because WinCE 6.0 is still fresh)

Silverlight 4 UI-UX based

(Some say that this is the why it was delayed. There is also videos around that show Silverlight 3 based UI-UX development for mobiles)

.NET CF 4.0

(Makes sense, but what this will be used for if it is going to be SL4 based?)

XNA as the gaming platform.

(Would be fitting if it is going to be SL4 based. Both use XAML)

Azure Connected

(How exactly?, maybe is for sync services or it refers to Outlook, Office and Windows Live. No one knows)

Whatever happens i am sure that Windows Mobile 7 will be worth the wait and that it will meet success in the long run.

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We will see how right or wrong i get to be in a year.

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4 comments :

jose said...

Agree with everything, thou you forgot one MASSIVE product. NATAL.

This thing will be game changing not just for gaming BUT for natural user interface scenarios for desktops, embeded systems etc.

Avatar X said...

Yes, but i am quite sure that Natal will be delayed and will not reach stores by the summer as promised and will slip to late september.

If so Natal ramifications will not be felt in 2010 but in 2011 when it comes to Hardware and PC interaction for spatial user interfaces and so on. But i could of course be very wrong.

It is not that i forgot (trust me) but that i find it hard to predict its impact in 2010.

But i will still be doing a 100 general one or two liner predictions for all companies and things. So please visit again :)

Matt R. said...

I'm extremely skeptical about windows mobile, with all of they're carriers going to the android they're on some pretty thin ice..

Avatar X said...

Matt: You need to relay on the numbers. will android is going to grow the 800% it would need to reach Windows Mobile in a single year?.

If so, is WM going to remain flat or fall even with new WM 6.5 updates, new phones and WM7 on the horizon?. That is what i don't feel can be possible.

But i do know that Microsoft is going to push as hard as it can for Mobile because they have to.

Silverlight 4, WinCE7, .NET CF 4.0 and XNA sure do look like the saving graces that would put WM not only at par but over anything if well executed. But that is the big IF. But i know that my next smartphone will stil be a WM device because of what i am able to archive with it. ;)

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