First of all, I’m not going to predict the end of the world. I know, 2012 is the year that the Mayan long count calendar ends, on December 21st, to be exact, but somehow I doubt it will be terminal.
Really, our best shot at near term extinction comes from science. But so far the scientists have failed utterly to destroy the world, despite spending billions of dollars on a massive super collider which was predicted to create a black hole which would swallow the earth. Do not let the light hearted musical approach in the following educational video fool you; this thing was supposed to be a planet killer (Fox News wouldn’t lie).
Instead, they may have discovered evidence of the Higgs boson, or “God particle.” Some days it seems like they’re just a bunch of geeks who have no appreciation of how seriously we take them and the threat they represent.
Scientists will next attempt to destroy the world using a super-laser which will rip the fabric of time and space, but that doesn’t come online until 2017 at the earliest. So it looks like we’ve got another five years or more before Armageddon.
My prediction last year that Adobe Flash would be killed by HTML 5 has not come fully to pass, but as I wrote when Adobe themselves released their own HTML 5 authoring kit, the writing is on the wall, and remains so. Much depends on having a solid authoring tool — Adobe is still in preview with theirs (preview three), but even so, I will renew that prediction for 2012.
I also mentioned both Nokia, and Microsoft’s phone OS, but did not anticipate a partnership between them. That will be interesting to watch in the coming year. Nokia makes good phones, and is a world leader outside of the North American market. I’m not sure it really needs Microsoft’s OS, as it could have continued with its own, or adopted Android. The real question is: Will the association with Microsoft open up the North American market to Nokia in a way they just haven’t been able to manage on their own?
I have to say I really don’t know. It’s a powerful combination in more ways than one, but Apple still holds an albeit fading first-to-market caché and has a large and largely uncritical fan-base.
But not everyone was influenced by Jobs’ reality distortion field, and now that he’s gone, Apple may be in more trouble than people realize. Android looms large on the mobile phone front. Is there room for a third party come late to the game?
I won’t go out on a limb with this one, except to say it will be somewhat bad for both Nokia and Microsoft if they haven’t made at least something of a splash by summer. It won’t be the end of the world (that’s coming in 2017 at the earliest, remember) — Nokia has its success in the global market, Microsoft its still near monopoly on desktop operating systems.
I would like to predict an iPad killer, but I don’t know if anyone can do what apparently needs to be done. So far the competition doesn’t get it. It’s not enough to create a tablet as good as or better than the iPad. In fact, quality doesn’t seem to matter so much as price.
If a company out there can come out with a tablet with reasonable features (doesn’t even have to be brilliant) for half the price, it will take a big bite out of iPad’s market. HP’s Touchpad was a disaster at its initial price point, but they cleared them out in no time at a hundred dollars. The Amazon Kindle Tablet shouldn’t be any kind of threat to the iPad based on features, but at the price of $199, they sold a million a week this month. The formula is clear – price matters much more than features in the tablet market.
Here’s hoping Santa brought you what you wanted this year, and that 2012 will be good to you as well.