PC Gaming will make a comeback. Gaming consoles have been all the rage for the past decade, because they delivered a superior gaming experience and graphics. But the battle for device space in the living room has caused consoles to move into PC territory, offering streaming video and Internet access. At the same time, PC-based “media centers” have become more prominent as part of the living room entertainment mix. The arena in which PCs do not have superiority today is gaming. Look for PC software manufacturers to pushing harder in gaming to take on competition from the consoles.
App Stores will become a thing of the past. Once Apple proved that it could stock iTunes with superior products and get a superior price, the market exploded with app stores. Virtually every company build castle walls and moats around their content, trying to achieve Apple’s levels of profitability. It did not happen. Instead, many companies found that by making their content proprietary they were simply driving customers toward…well, Apple and its products. Look for companies to dismantle their own app stores, instead rallying around a central store for which they can attain some shared revenue. Sounds like a good deal for Google, or Amazon.com.
Other tech news in the coming year is likely to include, for the first time, taxes on your Internet service and on things purchased online. The quick death of silly technologies, including Google’s monitor glasses. A stronger emphasis on practice management software and hardware. And the beginning of the end for FaceBook, which can’t make money without annoying users, and can’t continue to be what it is without annoying Wall Street.
Of course, there is danger in trying to predict the future of technology. As we saw in 1996 when Fortune magazine wrote that, "Apple's erratic performance has given it the reputation on Wall Street of a stock a long-term investor would probably avoid.”
Our record of being right is better than that, but time will tell.