2004 Prognostications
Annual predictions of the year to come


Responses from
- Chang So
- Brian Fitzgerald
- George Sollman
- Dan Hankins
- Dave Lundell
- Derrill Stepp

Will continue to flounder in 2004. Dial-up business will
continue to decline and 'premium content' business sales, and
the product, will be mediocre.

Will become number one in IM. Any MSN new releases (e.g.,
search, personalization) will be second rate.

A monopoly. Will not significantly innovate. Numbers will
continue to impress.

Consumer Electronics:
Everyone is in everyone's business these days. Phone guys are
making cameras, computer guys are selling TVs, etc., etc.
Consumers will win with better products and lower prices
although there will be a glut of product solutions looking
addressing problems that don't exist (e.g., Epson's new TV with
a built-in printer).

iTunes et al.
Still amazing that consumers seem to be embracing this paradigm
of content consumption. That is, getting less for more. Think
about it you can buy a  CD, rip them yourself at the quality
level you want and play it on just about anything. Buy from
Apple get the quality level that they encode it at that only
plays on a Mac or iPod. It's the same with all the other
players. And Hollywood will wonder why piracy continues in 2004.

Bluetooth finally becomes useful in 2004 or maybe 2005.

Have you noticed how bad the search results are getting if you
search on a product? Spammers seem to have figured out how to
create circular networks to get their listings are the top. Can
Google fix this? No one will care about this at their IPO.

Voice over IP:
Everyone's in the business these days or at least announcing
plans to release a service (with the Telcos and cable guys doing
it to mostly avoid regulation). It's pretty 'real' with voice
quality and reliability approaching that of landlines (assuming
your broadband connection is reasonably reliable). As if it
isn't clear, this really makes the PC a communications device.
IM will become (maybe not in 2004, but soon) the value-added
layer on top of all communication modes (realtime, asynchronous,
text, voice, video, etc.). IM will be email, your speed dialer,
your presence indicator, your conference-call enabler, etc.
Consumers will win with better price and most importantly,
better features.

Spam will continue to ruin email. Perhaps the IM folks will wise
up to this opportunity and create 'IMail' in 2004? Why does IM
only have to be about real-time communications? Maybe MSFT or
AOL will get this? Yahoo? Come on they haven't released a new
client in about a year now.

*-and Lance will win his 6th Tour


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