2012 Predictions for the IT Industry — Part Four
Click here for Part One of my predictions, covering January through March Click here for Part Two of my predictions, covering April through June Click here for Part Three of my predictions, covering July through September October
- Microsoft releases WinHealth Vista. Designed to make healthcare more friendly, this version is quickly found to provide a beautiful user interface, and to time its crashes to cause maximum damage to patients' health. "You can't have everything," says CEO Ballmer.
- Atos announces the implementation of a voicemail-to-Jabber gateway. Unfortunately, many Jabber clients break under the weight of large audio messages, so Atos announces a preferred Jabber client that its employees must use. That software also supports email, but Atos disables all email-related features and begins developing Jabber-related features that do the same things.
- Feeling left out by Apple and Google's settlement offers to the victims, the Eastern District Court of Texas sues Apple and Google for damages in the courthouse collapse. "We're going to need to rebuild, of course," says a local judge. "Besides, why shouldn't we get a piece of this pie?"
- IBM announces a global expansion, hiring 35,000 new employees, nearly 3% of them in the US. IBM stock skyrockets to 400.
- Microsoft releases WinHealth 7. Designed primarily to undo the damage caused by Vista, WinHealth 7 is generally found to be stable and usable. Unfortunately, by now most health care providers have converted to Apple's iHealth platform.
- A rash of workplace heart attacks leads to a series of lawsuits against Microsoft for its Kinect 365 product. A slimmed-down Steve Ballmer reluctantly announces the withdrawal of the product from the market. However, he is later photographed gleefully destroying his own Kinect 365 by jumping up and down on it while stuffing himself with donuts.
- An employee of Atos in the US fails to receive an email notice of his child's illness at school, and files a lawsuit against his employer. Atos announces another upgrade to its Jabber/email gateway, this time to accept messages from any email address, not just those of its customers. Atos employees immediately begin receiving Jabber messages from deposed Nigerian dictators.
- Atos also announces that it has lost 25% of its customers in the third quarter. CEO Breton says this is unrelated to the ban on email.
- The few remaining independent patent litigation firms rush to go public. Fish and Richardson overnight becomes the seventh most valuable company in the world.
- HP announces that it is discontinuing the Blackberry product line. "None of this stuff is working out," says Whitman. "We're pretty sure there's no future in smartphones, and we're just happy to be figuring that out while Apple and Google are still wasting all that money on it."
- Microsoft announces that buyers of the now-discontinued Kinect 365 product are eligible for steep discounts on WinHealth 8, whatever that turns out to be.
- The Atos Board of Directors fires CEO Breton. However, because they notify him by email, he shows up at work the next day, unaware. He is promptly escorted out by security personnel, who turn out to have been using email all along.
- Apple and Google settle the lawsuits related to the courthouse collapse, paying the victims, survivors, and Eastern District Court a staggering total of $95B. Apple, Google, Samsung, and HTC then announce a mutual settlement that withdraws all lawsuits between them, with no cash changing hands. "Combined with our lawyers' fees, we've now fulfilled our obligation to Steve Jobs' memory by spending every penny of our cash reserves on this case," says Tim Cook. "I know Steve would have been proud."
- IBM announces the construction of new campuses in India and China, to consolidate operations there and accomodate the influx of new hires. In an unrelated development, IBM also consolidates operations at its home base in Westchester county, New York, where three of its sites will be closed. IBM stock rises to 450. Her stock options make CEO Rometty the highest paid female executive in US history.
- Mei Su, a college student in China, is allocated the world's last remaining IPv4 address. Still, most IT directors feel that converting to IPv6 is just too scary. The Internet is now full. ICANN announces that it will unilaterally seize any unused IPv4 addresses and sell them to the highest bidder. When asked what gave ICANN the authority to do that, a board member replies, "Who's gonna stop us?"
- Atos announces a next-generation email offering for its customers. "No one understands the value of email better than Atos" says the new CEO, Peter Bauer, who is absorbing Atos into his larger company, Mimecast.
All of us at Mimecast want to wish you a much happier new year than the one I've just described!