Predictions for 2009

Every year I ask everyone I know to try to make some predictions for the following year.  Truthfully, I’ve never gone back and compared my predictions with reality (that would spoil the fun I think).  Well, here are my predictions for 2009.

  1. Deep / Long Recession:  2009 will be a year of change in the IT industry, sparked, of course, by the recession that started in 2008.  With every recession we face there will be challenges, but there will also be opportunities.  I predict that there will be a “weeding” out of IT organizations, those who will survive will be the ones who have adapted their practices even before the recession took hold. 
  2. Spark of Innovation:  Recessions always get us to think about doing more with less – and I think that this will further spark new ideas on how we can add value to business and industry as a whole. 
  3. Head in the Cloud:  Doing more with less, being nimble, cutting operational costs, reducing risks – these are all great reasons why I think cloud services will become much more mainstream.
  4. Too Many Damn Social Network and Social Network Aggregators:  2008 truly birthed social networking (I remember, this was something I did predict).  Social networking has proliferated throughout our societies entire online life – from our computers, to our mobile devices, and of course into the world of online gaming.  Facebook has proven to be a catalyst for them all – Twitter has truly taken hold – and there are dozens of others such as that can be used to help broadcast our lives out into the ether like never before.  These types of communities will reach a turning point this year.
  5. SharePoint 2010 will be announced:  (I’m speculating here folks) SharePoint will go through another revolutionary change – just as it has done with every release.  SharePoint will bring not only advances in document management but it will begin to truly leverage Silverlight from a user experience perspective.  I predict that Microsoft will also announce much of what we see in the new online Live services down into the SharePoint space – allowing organizations to have Micro-social networks much easier than we can today with the product.  I also believe that SharePoint will be “meshafied” – meaning, we should be able to experience SharePoint leveraging offline/synchronization functionality that mesh and the synchronization framework have. 
  6. Microsoft Groove will morph:… into the “meshafied” version of SharePoint.  We will have offline content of virtually all aspects of SharePoint – from the social network experience to document and list management. 
  7. Azurameshafication: Microsoft Azure offers cloud solutions, and many organizations will start to provide services using these core services.  That’s a given, however, I also predict that Microsoft Mesh will play a much larger role and savvy organizations will think long and hard about coupling a fantastic online experience with a P2P/Offline experience.
  8. 100 Gb of Online Storage for the World:  Today SkyDrive gives us 25gigs of free online space.  I predict that throughout the year, as the demand for cloud services increases, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon will jump frog each other providing more and more free online storage until each of us can get up to 100 GB of storage for free.
  9. Explosion of User Experience:  Silverlight 2.0 now makes it more realistic to build business applications outside of the traditional ASP.NET/WPF/Winform boundaries.  Today a lot of the Silverlight controls for business applications look very similar to Winform control – and I think in 2009 those organizations who will truly push these boundaries of user experience controls will truly make the biggest influence on how the world works.  I predict 1 or 2 vendors who will offer amazingly innovative and useful Silverlight controls that will allow us to express business value in ways we haven’t seen today.
  10. Windows 7 Hype:  I believe that Windows 7 will have a great deal more hype.  Software vendors will be biting at the bit trying to think of ways of providing multi-touch user experiences to their apps (see prediction #9).  Microsoft will announce limited multi-touch functionality to Vista SP3 scheduled  to be released the late part of 2009 or early 2010.
  11. Microsoft to announce Office 2010 Live will be pay per use:  I predict that Microsoft announce that they will give away base functionality for Office Live 14, and also provide greater functionality/scale/features/no-adverts to those willing to pay incrementally on either a pay per use model or a monthly subscription model.

Let me know what you think by posting your own predictions and linking to mine! 

Happy New Year everyone! 


  • Joel,

    The things you talked about under "User Experience" have only to do with user interface. It's another sad day in Microsoft culture when such an important topic is sterilized yet again in favor of materialistic toolkit fascination.

  • Scott... excellent point! My prediction shouldn't have indicated user experience rather more Silverlight controls. I do agree that a single "tool" is only one small aspect of User Experience.

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