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2010 prediction roundup: From outlandish to likely

Ian Paul | Jan. 4, 2010
2010 may be the year of augmented reality, 3D video, and the demise of the Web as we know it

It's time to turn the page on 2009 and look into a crystal ball to the year ahead. PC World's own prognosticators have declared 2010 the year of the tablet computer , year of the Droid , year of the Mac and some even think 2010 might be Blu-ray's time to shine. But enough about PC World.

In this umpteenth list of 2010 predictions I turn my attention to others. Read on for a sort of best of list of 2010 tech-related predictions for next year from around the Web.

Most Obvious

The most highly anticipated product of 2010 is without a doubt the much-rumored, and still unproven Apple tablet . But the wait may be over on January 26 when Apple is said to be holding a special events, presumably to launch a new product. No one is really sure what tricks Apple has up its sleeve, but with rumors of Apple buying the domain name , specially developed magazine formats for touchscreen devices and more opinion and rumor than you can shake a stick at, the tech world has pinned its hopes on a device that may or may not exist. Will we see the famed tablet this January? It's less than a month until we know for sure.

Most Gossipy

The writing has been on the wall before, but Newsweek is betting that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be out of a job at some point in the next 12 months. Newsweek's reasons for Ballmer's ousting are numerous: a dropping stock price since Ballmer took the helm, the "Windows Vista fiasco," losing ground to Google (search and advertising) and Apple (cell phones), and anemic products like the Zune HD. Of course these criticisms ignore Ballmer's achievements in the enterprise market, the success of the Xbox and new products like Bing and Office 2010 online. Keep in mind this is not the first time that rumors of Ballmer's ousting have appeared, besides is the tech world really ready to give up on Ballmer's alter ego aka 'Monkey Boy '? I don't think so.

If Ballmer really does get toppled he may have some company if IDG News Service's prediction comes true. IDG is betting that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz , Ballmer's negotiating partner in the Microsoft-Yahoo deal, will be kicked to the curb as well.

Most Unreal

London's Telegraph argues augmented reality will take on more importance in 2010, and the world will be awash in people wandering around the streets holding their smartphones in front of them. Okay, maybe that last part has already happened, but with augmented reality it could get even worse. Augmented reality is when a data overlay is placed on top of a video or still image giving you added information about whatever you're looking at. Meaning you can walk around with your phone and get directions and information about landmarks in real time.


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