1) Google Drive aka 'Gdrive' or 'Platypus' will be released -- Wrong
Platypus rumors crept up a few times throughout the year, but it remains an internal Google project that I've haven't heard anyone talk about coming to the public since the economy took a turn for the worse. AOL is closing Xdrive, it's online storage solution in a few days.
2) Microsoft and Google's next big battle will be over who gets the rights to purchase at least part of Yahoo -- Right
Arguably no story was bigger this year than Microsoft trying to buy Yahoo -- which started just a couple months after my predictions. As I expected, Google got involved early, first with just words against such a deal, then actions, by offering Yahoo an out with a search advertising deal, which they eventually dropped amid pressure from the U.S. government. I still suspect we haven't heard the end of all of this...
3) Blu-ray will finally defeat HD-DVD thus ending the format wars towards the end of the year -- Right
I said "the end of the year" but it happened very early on in the year. Still, I'm going to give myself credit, because I wrote: "However if Blu-ray is able to woo Warner Brothers to their side exclusively, it will be all but over." That happened, and then HD-DVD, as expected, died. Some analysts thought this war would go on for years -- those analysts were stupid.
4) The Nintendo Wii will continue its dominance in videogame wars but Sony's PS3 will outsell Microsoft's Xbox 360 for the year -- Half Right
The Nintendo Wii utterly dominated the game console space this year, even while some thought it would flop after initial success. But while the PS3 was outselling the Xbox 360 for much of the year after Sony finally cut the price, Microsoft came on very strong at the end with its own price cuts (and cool features like Netflix compatibility) to edge out the PS3 in sales for the year by what looking to be only about 600,000 units worldwide.
5) Flickr will launch its video service - but it won't be meant to directly compete with YouTube -- Right
While it was an easy call to say Flickr video would launch (even though it was several months after the company said it would), the company did make a definite decision not to have it compete with YouTube by limiting lengths to 90-seconds and giving it only to premium members.
6) Google's OpenSocial will fail to capture the excitement that Facebook's Platform did this year -- Right
OpenSocial made some headlines this year for partnerships, but we have yet to really see anything of any significance come of it. Google is clearly working on it, but as I said in the prediction, rather than being like a "social blanket" that's easy to spread, "this could turn out to be like painting an old brick wall - hard to get all the little spots."
7) Social Network Aggregation is going to be huge -- Right
This isn't a slam dunk "right," but I think it's fair to say that FriendFeed has caught on much more than it was at this point last year. Also, we now see Facebook aggregating items from other sites like I predicted.
8) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be the biggest film of the year -- Wrong
When I said this, who knew that it would be a rather mediocre movie? Still, it was the number three movie of the year overall with $317 million at the box office -- behind Iron Man by only $1 million. And who knew The Dark Knight would becomes the 2nd biggest box office money maker ever with over $530 million? I was more excited for it than any other movie, but I didn't realize everyone else was -- or that it would be that good.
9) Apple releases a new kind of mouse with multi-touch capabilities -- Wrong (for this year)
Patents were unveiled that indicated that Apple was definitely working on something in this field (bonus points?). And this news recently blew up again when someone did a kick ass mock-up of what it could look like. The Mighty Mouse still sucks, I fully expect this new mouse in 2009.
10) NBC goes back to iTunes -- Right
The two sides finally figured out that they need each other. It was meant to be.
11) Microsoft really starts hyping the idea of 'Windows 7' as Apple continues to grow more quickly and Vista continues to be an albatross -- Right
This is probably my favorite prediction because I'd say this is completely what happened. I feel like I've hardly heard the word "Vista" in months, as all I hear now is "Windows 7" -- and a lot of it now is from Microsoft itself, which even gave out an early build this year!
12) Microsoft will enter the mobile phone market -- Wrong (this year)
This is another one of those predictions that is wrong for 2008, but I think will be right in 2009. There is a lot of smoke out there about what exactly Microsoft is doing with the Zune, project "Pink," and its purchase of Danger -- the company that made the Sidekick. Additionally we have one source at VentureBeat that claims to have seen a prototype of a Microsoft-built phone -- but perhaps that is just a prototype...for now. I still believe this is just a matter of time. Microsoft needs to make a move here.
13) Digg will finally be bought - by a major player -- Wrong (but almost right)
Google was very, very close to acquiring Digg this year, but pulled out at the last minute. After that fell apart, the company raised a new large round of funding and is pushing for expansion in 2009 despite losing a bunch of money.
14) Blockbuster will make a last ditch effort to save itself via Movielink -- Right
The company finally launched a website that could stream movies with Movielink's technology, but the funnier stuff came when Blockbuster's CEO said it was in no rush to make a set-top box -- then came out with one a couple months later, after everyone else already had. I haven't heard much about Blockbuster's set-top box since its launch, but everyone sure seems to love their Netflix on the Roku, Xbox 360 and various other devices.
15) GPS will be all the rage in consumer goods -- Half Right
The iPhone 3G has upped its popularity, and it is popping up in more cameras and I'm seeing more cars with it, but it's not exactly everywhere -- yet.
16) Yahoo makes a bid to buy Twitter -- Half Wrong
So this is a tricky one. I've heard from two separate sources that Yahoo did in fact approach Twitter about an acqusition, but that is was before all of the Microsoft takeover stuff, so it very well could have been sometime in late 2007. Still, I'll go with technically wrong until I find out more.
17) The Beatles will FINALLY be on iTunes -- Wrong
Even Paul McCartney thought it would be a done deal in 2008, but alas, it wasn't. Legal issues remain, but I'd definitely bet on 2009.
Overall, I came up with 9 for 17 as my total score. That includes the "half rights" as half points, but doesn't include my "half wrong" for any points. I'm pleased with getting more than half right for such a long list, but I'm more pleased as how close I seemed on nearly all of them -- even the ones that were wrong.
Watch for my 2009 list in the coming days.
[photo: flickr/valerie everett]