2010 – Where did it all go right(ish)?


It's been almost a year now since James asked everyone in the office to come up with predictions of "things to look out for in 2010". We'll be announcing our predictions for 2011 soon, but in the mean time Steph thought it would be interesting to take a retrospective look at what we got right (and not so right) last time. Here are my bits:

The Prediction: Google phone, Android and Windows Mobile 7

The rumours of the first Google mobile phone are no doubt causing mild palpitations at Apple HQ. Google’s Android operating system is already proving to be the hottest thing since sliced bread with dozens of new Android handsets promised in the first half of 2010. Microsoft will be hoping they can regain some ground with their long overdue operating system Windows Mobile 7, and I don’t expect Apple will be resting on its iPhone laurels either. 2010 promises to be an exciting year for smartphones and mobile web browsing.

What actually happened?

As predicted, Google launched their “Nexus One” mobile at the start of 2010, helping cement the runaway success of their Android mobile operating system. Android continues to go from strength to strength, though some analysts are starting to question whether Android could become a victim of its own success, already experiencing platform fragmentation issues due to its aggressive release frequency. One thing’s for sure, Android is unlikely to stagnate as we move into 2011.

Elsewhere, Windows 7 was generally well received, though it may be a case of too little, too late for Microsoft. Perhaps deals with major hardware suppliers will improve this in 2011. And Apple shows no signs of being left behind, releasing version 4 of their ubiquitous iPhone.

All of this has reinforced the trend away from desktop browsing and towards mobile web browsing devices, be they phones, tablets, or who knows what next!

The Prediction: Silverlight 4

We’re already up to version 4 of Microsoft’s take on Flash (though I don’t think the folks at Redmond like to hear Silverlight described that way!) Until now there’s been no sign of Silverlight upsetting Flash’s position as the ubiquitous technology in this space, but with the hotly anticipated version 4 just around the corner, 2010 might just be the year that Silverlight comes of age.

What actually happened?

2010 saw the final version of Silverlight 4 released to market, and its impact on the wider web has been minimal. Certainly not the Flash killer many were predicting. More interestingly, towards the end of 2010 Microsoft announced that they would be changing the focus of Silverlight development away from the web – an area where they see HTML5 dominating – and will instead be pushing Silverlight in the direction of mobile and embedded operating systems. So while your favourite website may not be using Silverlight today, don’t be surprised to see it popping up tomorrow on your phone, games console, media server, etc.

The Prediction: Chrome OS

Web browser as operating system? For me personally this feels like a step backwards in time, not forward. Anyone remember dumb terminals and mainframes? No? Anyone? Ok, just me then. But if anyone can pull it off its Google, so I’ll be keeping my eye on this. If nothing else it might result in increased usage of Google’s Chrome web browser – yet another platform to test against!

What actually happened?

No sign of the Chrome OS in 2010. Though Google’s Chrome web browser has had a bigger impact than many predicted. Chrome OS is still in development, and promised for 2011, so watch this space…

Read the full article here.