2012 Predictions for the IT Industry -- Part Two
- Microsoft releases WinHealth NT. This "industrial strength" release supports multiple patients, and works on the scale of a moderately large hospital. Unfortunately, it is revealed that Microsoft lured Sanjay Gupta away from CNN to design it, and CNN promptly sues for damages.
- All Atos employees who were seeking jobs on LinkedIn are accidentally "outed" due to the company's broader use of the system. CEO Thierry Breton proclaims this to be a good thing, while Atos employees flock to other job sites.
- Google purchases two of the 10 top patent law firms in America. They are generally perceived as having overpaid, but the lawyers say it's the free food that closed the deal.
- When Congress passes the aptly-named "Pre-election Allocation of New Dollars for Enhancing Recovery" economic stimulus act, IBM is first in line at the trough. "With these stimulus dollars," says CEO Rometty, "we can create more jobs and ensure that great American companies like IBM continue to lead the world." IBM stock hits 250.
- Microsoft releases WinHealth 95. Although it was preannounced as a system that would replace both WinHealth 3.1 and WinHealth NT, it is ultimately scaled back to be a toy that kids can play with to learn more about medicine. Most kids find it too unreliable to be useful.
- Steve Ballmer demonstrates a pre-release version of Kinect 365, spelling out an office memo using his entire body. "It's just like the Village People spelling out YMCA," he explains. "The Village People have always been the inspiration for my speaking style on stage, and now I can use their techniques even to send email." After demonstrating one such email, Ballmer collapses into a nearby chair and calls for water.
- All Atos customers are told that they now need to use Linkedin, Twitter, or Jabber to contact the company. This message is, of course, delivered by email.
- Google's Eric Schmidt testifies before congress about the importance of training more patent attorneys in America. Congress agrees, but ironically names the resulting law the "Jobs Memorial Jobs Bill."
- HP kills WebOS. "OK, now I'm sure, we meant Palm, not WebOS, sorry," says CEO Whitman. The company also announces a record first quarter loss. Chairman Ray Lane says he has "total faith in Carly. I mean Meg. Whatever, you know, the broad we hired last year."
- Microsoft releases WinHealth 98. A stable, usable successor to WinHealth 95, it sweeps through the elementary schools of America.
- A minor misspelling of a customer's Twitter handle causes Atos to leak some of that customer's proprietary information, leading to the loss of a major contract. Atos announces that from now on, customers should contact the company using LinkedIn and Jabber only.
- Samsung, HTC, and Google announce a joint venture in which their patent portfolios are pooled to create what some call the world's largest patent troll. It files 73 countersuits against Apple in its first month.
- IBM announces a global restructuring, including 20,000 layoffs worldwide. "This is strictly a business necessity," says Rometty, "and is in no way related to the stimulus money." Nearly 1000 of the 20,000 layoffs take place outside the US. IBM stock rises slightly, to 260.
Part Three of my predictions may be found here.