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NewsForge: Looking backwards on 2000 predictions

Jan 03, 2001, 15:26 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)

"There's no point in reading predictions unless you know whether the author has ever been right about anything in the past. I stuck my neck out a number of times last year. I suggested that the fear of outages and hacks on the Web would slow the enthusiasm for Web commerce in many executive offices. I suggested that poor security in Canada would make that country a favorite venue for hackers, and that flaws in Microsoft's systems would result in incident after incident... and that nothing would change. I predicted that Linux services would be a good business, that WAP would be a blind alley, and that unglamorous back-end systems and next-generation telecom would be "killer" Linux applications."

"So how'd I do? It's still a little early to tell, but I think I've had better years, to be truthful. I was sure that Web services would proliferate and that Internet banking would be the next big thing. Alas, Web banks sucked, even more than the brick 'n' mortar variety, hard as that was to imagine. Web-based B2B services did grow explosively, and Linux based servers were a big element of B2B systems, but I had to admit that many of articles written by me and others about the triumph of Linux in this sector were a little premature."

"So it was a mixed year. I did get a few stories right; I suggested that the Cyberpatrol was damaging Mattel's reputation and management so badly that neither the relationship nor Mattel's executive team was likely to survive the mess. My suggestions about making Open Source part of any "technical" fix of the U.S. voting system did get picked up in the larger press. And, by coincidence, organizations like Safevote and the Internet Voting Technology Alliance have set specifications that now include Open Source code. I think my overall assessment of the Linux business model has remained just about right, for better or for worse. It was an interesting year. I'm glad I got to share it with you."

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