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Thomas Claburn
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IDC Predictions Fail To Surprise

Business advisory service IDC issued a series of predictions for 2010 on Thursday and managed to say nothing at all that's surprising.

Business advisory service IDC issued a series of predictions for 2010 on Thursday and managed to say nothing at all that's surprising.Perhaps IDC recognizes that predicting the future is a futile exercise, but that doesn't excuse failing to try. Really, the silliness of soothsaying demands predictions that are outrageous, unexpected, or at the very least specific.

For example, why not go out on a limb and state, "In 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will sign up for Twitter to keep customers informed about forthcoming products."

At least that's going for it.

Instead, we have IDC saying, "The most important transformational force in the IT market will be the continuing build-out and maturing of the cloud services and consumption model."

So cloud computing will become more important? Astounding.

Then there's, "Mobile devices will also exert a powerful transformational force on the industry as they increasingly compete with PCs as the primary client platform for developers and users alike."

Mobile devices will be important too? Incredible.

IDC's prediction that Apple will introduce an iPad tablet computer is about as bold as the list gets. Too bad every media outlet covering technology pretty much considers the Apple tablet a given.

The firm also anticipates that mobile devices and video will strain public networks, something that has been a concern for years.

There will be a mobile app explosion, IDC says, "with the number of iPhone apps tripling to 300,000 and Android apps surging by a factor of five or more."

Too bad there's no acknowledgment that iPhone app statistics lack the specificity to make them meaningful. If someone wraps a PDF in an iPhone app, should it be called an app or cloneware? And what does the app count say about the emergence of programming frameworks that simplify app creation?

Alas, the interesting questions about the future are left unanswered. Instead IDC suggests, "[T]he transformation agenda will drive a fresh round of mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships as vendors pursue profitable IT and business solutions and power positions in the cloud."

Mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships in 2010? Where does such wild conjecture come from?

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