2012 Predictions for the IT Industry — Part Three
- Microsoft releases WinHealth 2000. This proves a popular upgrade to WinHealth NT, supporting modern medical equipment on a larger scale. Confusingly, the product is released in 374 different editions, one for every major hospital in the US.
- Atos announces that it lost 20% of its customers in the first two quarters. Recognizing that its customers are not ready to be as forward looking in abandoning email, the company announces an email to Jabber bidirectional gateway, so that its communications will look like email to customers but like Jabber on the inside.
- Tragedy strikes the sleepy town of Marshall, Texas, the country's most favored patent venue, when the federal courthouse collapses under the weight of documents filed in the Apple patent litigation. A judge, two marshalls, and three clerks are killed, while dozens of others are injured. The survivors and the estates of the victims promptly file wrongful death suits against both Apple and Google.
- HP buys Research in Motion. "RIM's Blackberry is a perfect match for our portfolio of failed smartphone operating systems," says CEO Whitman. "It will coexist with Palm wonderfully. We expect this to be our best acquisition since Palm. Or Compaq. Or maybe EDS. Whatever."
- Facebook goes public in the most successful IPO in US history. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when the weight of his cash causes Mark Zuckerberg's home to be swallowed up by the Earth, taking half of Silicon Valley with it. IBM immediately asks Congress for emergency aid, which it uses to fund a major expansion of its operations in Russia and Brazil.
- Microsoft releases WinHealth ME, playfull named for "Mayan End-Times," in tribute to the alleged Mayan prediction that the world would end in 2012. Unfortunately, the world actually does end for a disturbing number of patients. After a large number of fatalities the product is withdrawn amidst a flurry of lawsuits and government investigations.
- Kinect 365 is officially released to wide acclaim, and quickly becomes a staple in many offices. Health insurers begin to offer a "healthy working" discount to office workers who use it, and obese workers in particular begin to find themselves pressured to use it rather than their traditional keyboard and mouse.
- A reporter for CNET discovers that a simple LinkedIn search gives him access to a remarkable amount of internal Atos communication. Atos announces that employees should only use Jabber from now on, noting that their extensions have managed to turn it into a tool that's almost as useful as email.
- Eager to curry favor with the Marshall, Texas, authorities, Apple offers a $350M settlement package to the victims of the courthouse collapse. Not to be outdone, Google offers a cool billion, and a bidding war ensues.
- IBM announces record profits, and its stock hits 300.
- Microsoft releases WinHealth XP -- at last, a version of WinHealth that does everything its users want it to do. A big hit, this version lasts longer in the market than any other, and Microsoft will struggle for years to give XP users a reason to upgrade.
- An Atos executive returns from vacation to find over 10000 Jabber messages, constituting over 300 scrambled threads. Atos announces it will develop a threaded Jabber client to make asynchronous communication more efficient, like email.
- Apple sells some of its non-core assets to bolster its cash on hand to a whopping $300B. "We're willing to spend every penny on lawyers," says CEO Cook. "We know Steve would have wanted it this way."
- HP announces it is killing PalmOS. "Now that we have Blackberry, we don't need Palm any more. We, uh, just figured that out," says Whitman.
- In a shocking major announcement, CA (formerly Computer Associates) stuns the industry by announcing that it does, in fact, still exist.
Part Four of my predictions may be found here.