It was a family tradition to always read the predictions from a tabloid magazine on New Years Eve as a form of entertainment. It seems that predictions are going around, it’s always fun attempting to guess the future, and I’m currently in-between rounds of Dayquil and Nyquil; so I’ll give it my best shot… for entertainment purposes only of course.

  1. Scooblog will be Slashdotted again. It’s inevitable. I can’t predict what for, but I’m sure it will happen when I least expect it.
  2. It will be a banner year for Smartphone development. There is currently a ton of untapped software potential in these devices and we’ll be releases our best set of Mobile Device development tools ever with enough time to make an impact on this year’s development. This influx of potential utilization (isn’t that just fun to say) in 2005 will set MS up nicely in 2006 to make a big dent in the mobile phone market. Even I’ll be releasing a Smartphone app in 2005 after the VSCmdShell project wraps up. The hard part is predicting what this app will do. J
  3. Microsoft will NOT open source a major project, but you’ll see a steady diet of smaller projects with real customer/Microsoft collaboration released from “early adopter” teams. The momentum of shared source collaboration will be similar to blogging two years ago. I bet we even provide some documentation.
  4. AT will disagree with something I say… more than once.
  5. New blog growth at Microsoft will start to slow by the end of 2005. There may even be less active (at least one post for each month) bloggers by the end of the New Year, but the blogs that remain will be more useful for customers. More people at Microsoft will be actively participating in other online community activities like Podcasting, Wikis, forums, chats, shared source projects, etc. Blogging just isn’t for everyone.
  6. Gretchen will read my blog and say “PIXELS!” to herself.
  7. Our dogs will start a Moblog. One of them will help teach children to read.
  8. The Windows Media teams won’t listen to Scoble, but will finally make me wish I hadn’t been locked into iTunes… and I’ll admit when it happens. In the end it won’t matter because the RIAA and record labels will choose to adopt only one digital media distribution format in order to end customer confusion and potentially break all existing players as if they were made for Betamax.
  9. Someone will leak dirty laundry. It won’t make a bit of difference.
  10. Myself, and a few million others, will buy Xbox 2 because it will come bundled with Halo 2.5. We’ll think to ourselves that it’s a cheap ploy to sell more consoles, but it won’t matter because Halo 2.5 will rule and I’ll be too happy to publicly complain.
  11. Devices will start talking to one another in meaningful ways. You’ll still want to have a separate phone, media player, camera, and GPS device; but when you take a picture your camera will use your phone to record a podcast style annotation, post the pic to your private MSN space with the annotation, a map of where you were, and what song you where listening to at the time. Then the picture will be automatically uploaded to your portable media player and synch with your media library as you pull into your garage. Yes, I know all this is possible now, but it will start to be more mainstream.
  12. Someone will refer to me as “Mr. Gretchen” after telling me how great my wife’s blog is.
  13. Digital picture frames will be the hot gadget next year and you will no longer have to say “Cool” when you see one. Look at the explosion of digital camera sales this year. Hell, I’ve even started seeing photo development shops begging people to get digital prints “developed” in order to “free them from cyberspace”. Why do that when you could have a cheap frame that rotates pictures instead. But rather than listen to the lengthy tale about how it was built on an episode of junkyard wars and hooked up to a home network with the most elaborate of custom perl scripts, you will instead sit through the owners’ explanation of every picture just like the old days of cruise picture slides. PIXELS!
  14. Wiki style technical documentation will take off as more people find useful ways to leverage wiki concepts. MSDN will leverage Wiki technology. Wiki spam and defacement prevention technologies will lag woefully behind.
  15. I’ll finally be contacted by a recruiter from another company who read my blog. They’ll just ask me if I know anyone good who currently works on Visual Studio. Thankfully, I also predict that I won’t be fired.
  16. Bill Gates will start a blog. I’m not the first one to say it and I won’t be the last. Microsoft will have to hire at least four more assistants for him to sift through the comments, “constructive” feedback, and deal with the “cosmic buddies” he is sure to attract. A cosmic buddy will find true love while in communication with one of the assistants whom he or she first believed to be Bill himself. The wedding will be available as a podcast, but Scoble will still complain that the blogging community failed to capture the true enormity of the moment a cosmic buddy found true love and gave up stalking other bloggers.

That’s all for now. I may have more as we count down to the New Year.