Cybernaut 

Call me Nostradamus

 

At the end of 2008 I decided to do what a lot of tech reporters do at the end of a calendar year and make a bunch of predictions for things that would happen over the next 12 months. I reached a little too far in that first attempt and my score on those predictions was a solid "F."

So at the end of 2009 I decided on a slightly more modest approach to my tech predictions, and I have to say that I did pretty well. Like B-plus well.

Google did release its own phone, although the Nexus models were kind of a disaster. They're trying again in 2011, this time keeping things simple. And yes, one of the big selling points of all Google phones is VOIP through Gmail - one of my favourite new technologies this year. Free long distance? I'll take it.

And Apple did release a new iPod Touch with a camera and multitasking (although it didn't work too well until the 4.2 iOS update). No rooting to the directory yet, but it's coming.

Microsoft did not release a Zune Phone, but their Windows Phone 7 platform is getting some pretty good reviews and, yes, it does contain Zune software.

On the legal front, I predicted that the music industry and online retailers would make their peace, and it is happening. The iTunes store is now DRM-free, Zune Passes are selling like hotcakes where they're available (not Canada yet, and Microsoft wouldn't tell me why or when). Internet radio is finally legit. In the U.S. you can buy songs online everywhere from Amazon.com to Walmart.com, so there's real competition as well. Meanwhile the illegal file sharing sites are being methodically shut down, and ISPs are starting to crack down on traffic as well.

I also predicted that Microsoft would settle the Office-killing lawsuit launched by i4i, but the tech giant lost the first ruling and it's now being appealed.

In gaming I predicted that the biggest game of 2010 would be Starcraft II, and I was partially right. The game sold over three million copies in the first month of release, and has probably sold another 1.5 million copies since then. But then Call of Duty: Black Ops hit the shelves on three platforms and sold over five million copies in its first month - a new record for the gaming industry. And Starcraft II might not even be the best selling PC game of 2010, as World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold 3.3 million copies in the first few weeks and could easily sell a few million more between Christmas and Boxing Day sales. The sales picture will be a lot clearer in the New Year, and I could still be right when all sales are tabulated.

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