Zeth has blogged his predictions for 2008. I thought that I would post up a reply here, rather than leaving a comment!
There are a few of his predictions I wanted to challenge (so, when January 2009 comes round, I can either have egg on my face or, preferably, point and say “I told you so”!)
A single Linux distro, probably Ubuntu, will have more users than Apple OS X.
I doubt this will happen. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any statistics, but I believe the Mac market share is ~5%, and the Linux market share is <0.5%. For Linux — and not just Linux, one distribution — to climb up the rankings that much would require a seismic shift in the market (Ok, I probably shouldn’t use the word ‘market’, but I just did, so there :p) — the likes of which have never been seen before in the Linux world.
I don’t think this will be the year of Linux just yet, and although I think Desktop Linux will catch on – gradually – I don’t think we’re ready just yet to overtake OS X.
By the end of the year, more pre-installed Linux desktops will be sold than Macs.
See what I said regarding the last prediction. I don’t think Linux is going to grow that fast, particularly as there isn’t really a market for pre-installed Linux desktops at the moment. How many Linux desktops have Dell sold so far? Around 40,000. How many Macs do Apple sell? This page would seem to indicate it’s around 2,000,000 per quarter. So we’ve got a fair way to go.
Social networking will become a protocol.
I’m not sure whether Zeth here is a little confused as to what the meaning of ‘protocol’ is, or perhaps I’ve just missed something important about Web 2.0. But in my understanding, TCP is a protocol (cunningly demonstrated by the use of the word ‘Protocol’ in ‘Transport Connection Protocol’). IP is a protocol, HTTP is a protocol. But social networking? Not a protocol on a level I’m used to dealing with.
The dictionary defines protocol as ‘a set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between computers’ — not as ‘a set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between people’.
Now, I can see some elements of social networking websites becoming (for want of a better word) “protocolised”, but I think to say that ‘social networking will become a protocol’ is meaningless. Having said that, maybe I should have waited for Zeth to come up with his more detailed post on that one before making a judgement 😉
Well, that just about wraps up this critique of Zeth’s predictions for 2008. And if you’re reading this after 2008 – I told you so. I hope.