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IT Confidential: Better Late Than Never: 2005 Preview

I know I'm late in offering up predictions for 2005. I was going to leave prognostication to the experts--the consultants--but rumors and innuendo have been flowing so thick and fast these days that I thought I would share a few of the choicest previews.

10. Apple Gets Down To Business. Hoping to capitalize on the success of its wildly popular iPod music-download device, Apple will offer an enterprise-resource planning version, called the "iPlod," that will allow business-technology managers to download ERP data anytime, anywhere. Each data point will cost 99 cents.

9. Marriage Made In Heaven. Spam purveyors will target the blog community with a new technology, called "FLOG," that responds to each entry in a blog with a customized message: "Good point, NAME HERE, and did you know that you can get Viagra at the low price of ..."

8. Turnabout Is Fair Play. India and China will start outsourcing IT work to the United States. Wait, that's 2006. And it's not a prediction.

7. The Medium Is The Message. Oracle will make a hostile takeover bid for the Fox television network. After hearings by both the FTC and the FCC, Oracle will succeed in acquiring the conservative network, just in time to launch CEO Larry Ellison's bid for the 2008 presidency. Oracle president Chuck Phillips will replace Bill O'Reilly.

6. Can You Hear Me Now? In a related development, FCC chairman Michael Powell will declare voice-over-IP technology obscene and unconstitutional. Telecom vendors will fund his bid for the vice presidency in 2008.

5. Good, And Good For You. A startup vendor will develop RFID chips that are really ... chips. Called "indelible edibles," the RFID chips will serve to let retailers know what consumers are purchasing at grocery stores--and help local hospitals prepare their operating rooms for heart surgery.

4. It's Called Optimization. In answer to an aggressive lobbying campaign by the open-source community, Microsoft will agree to steriod testing of its software developers; CEO Steve Ballmer will claim ignorance of the company's daily "code cocktail" ritual.

3. Does Business Matter? Consultant and best-selling author Nicholas Carr will ignite a firestorm of controversy with an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled "Business Doesn't Matter," which will explode the myth of the free-enterprise market.

2. Pro Bono. The popular band U2 will ditch pitching for Apple and instead sign on with Microsoft for a series of TV ads with the theme: "Windows Equals Love."

1. Windfall. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office will grant an Oklahoma librarian a patent on "The Process And Methodology Known As Reading." The subsequent surcharge on all books, magazines, Web sites, software, and movies (with subtitles) will fund his bid for the presidency in 2008.

That's it for now. You might have your own best guesses for the coming year--or an industry tip. If so, send them to or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about the chances of the Red Sox repeating or where Sun Microsystem's stock will stand 12 months from now, meet me at's Listening Post:

This story was modified on Jan. 18 to correct Chuck Phillips' title.

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