To quote Dwight Hansen, I do know a thing or two about a thing or two and as such I’m allowed, sometimes, to prognosticate. Even as we thrust our fists into the air triumphantly when we snag the last tattered box containing a Kung Zhu hamster value bundle, the IT industry never sleeps and, like a shark, it must keep moving to survive. Based on what we’ve seen this year, let’s take a look at what we can expect to see next year when we once again fall into the Black Friday Breech.
Chrome OS Laptops and Tablets – We know that Chrome OS is coming in 2011 and I wouldn’t be surprised if early versions start appearing at CES. Why is this important? Because Chrome OS is an OS for the everyman. It is “just” a browser which means, in theory, that the problems related to many OSes won’t be a problem here. It will, in short, be the ultimate “default” OS for beginning users and it will save us all from the Microsoft and Apple “taxes” simultaneously. If Android is any guide, the first versions will be garbage but by November 2011 they should be in the second release (Peanut Butter Cup or whatever they’ll call it).
Blackberry Playbook – We’ve been pretty hard on the Playbook because Matt and I don’t think Blackberry can make non-keyboard devices for a general market. The Storm, if you’ll recall, was a piece and the Storm 2 wasn’t much better. But a brand is a brand and a Blackberry device will sell. Best Buy even wants to sell it, which can make or break a device. Also look for an upcoming Palm OS slate from HP.
Impressive Playstation Phone – This came out of left field but it seems quite interesting. Sony Ericsson is working on a new phone designed for game players. It appears to be PSP compatible (we aren’t sure yet) and it will launch in February. Our own tipster told us that the screen and game playing experience were “incredible.” If they can pull this off and offer great games in the Android store SE will finally have a winner.
iPad 2 – MG created a speculative history about what would happen when the iPad 2 drops and it sounds pretty exciting. First, you’ll definitely get a front facing camera and a nicer screen and, if all goes according to plan, you’ll be running it on Verizon.
Google TV Powered Cable Box/DVR – Cable isn’t going anywhere, even with the rise of a la carte and general TV piracy. That’s why Google TV needs to end up in more devices and that’s why it needs to be integrated more deeply with a general set top box experience. If there’s one thing I enjoy about the Logitech Revue it’s how it plays quite nicely with the DISH box. However, if all of that were integrated into one uniform UI, you might be able to sell the device to more than just hard core geeks.
Nintendo 3DS – This year’s hot toy will be the Kinect. Next year’s will be the Nintendo 3DS. Like the Kinect, the 3DS is kind of a gimmick but it will breathe life into the DS platform and give Nintendo another piece of hardware to sell until they come out with a new console in about 2012.
The Kackel Dackel – Sorry. I just had to put this in here.