While I don’t believe that I am the second coming of Nostradamus, I thought that it would be fun to make a few predictions for 2011 too. Some of these prognostications are a little bolder than the others, so we’ll take another look back in twelve months’ time to see if my batting average has improved or diminished.
1. American Dollar Struggles to Bounce Back
The economy was supposed to start bouncing back, but it seems that the process is taking a lot longer than expected. For my part, the US exchange rate is a very significant factor in my overall income, since I get paid in US dollars by a number of clients. As much as I’d love for the exchange to back to its former days of 40% (vs. the Canadian dollar), I have a feeling the American dollar is going to stay in the pits for a while.
2. Google Buys Groupon Alternative
Groupon rejected a multi-billion dollar offer from Google not that long ago, but I don’t expect the search engine giant to sit idly by, twiddling its virtual thumbs. It’s very possible that Google will buy one of the bigger alternatives, like Living Social, or a large number of smaller group buying sites to form its own huge network of online coupons.
3. Netflix Canada Faces More Streaming Competition
The single greatest reason why I have not yet signed up for a Netflix Canada subscription is that the selection is still very much lacking in comparison to its American counterpart. In the meantime, I expect some new competitors to enter the Canadian TV and movie streaming market, like Blockbuster and Zip, or maybe even a Google-branded alternative.
4. Windows Phone 7 Gains Traction (But Not Enough)
Windows Mobile was sitting in the smartphone basement for a very long time, despite being at the top of its game for years prior. The new Windows Phone 7 platform is slowly gaining market share, but I don’t think it’s going to eclipse iOS, BlackBerry, or Android any time soon. The rumored partnership with Nokia might prove fruitful for both companies though.
5. BlackBerry PlayBook Fails to Win the Game
As I prepare for my trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, I fully expect to be hit with an onslaught of tablets from a number of manufacturers. Research in Motion is trying to stay optimistic, but the PlayBook has already been delayed until May. It’s not going to dethrone the iPad, but I think Android-based tablets could start to make a much larger impact.
6. Philadelphia Eagles Win Super Bowl XLV
I was right about last year’s Super Bowl prediction, but it wasn’t exactly the boldest prediction at the time. For Super Bowl XLV, I anticipate that the Philadelphia Eagles will make it to the big game to face either the Patriots or the Ravens. Michael Vick has a lot to be proud of, despite his less than stellar public image going into this season.
7. The Social Network Does Not Win Best Picture
If you read yesterday’s post, then you’ll know how much I liked The Social Network. Aaron Sorkin is positively amazing with what he does, but I think the “Facebook movie” will ultimately get snubbed at the Oscars. It’ll get hype, but it won’t win.
8. Windows 8 Announced at CES (But Not Really Unveiled)
Windows 7 represents a major improvement over the PR nightmare that was Windows Vista, but Microsoft isn’t done. Life cycles are getting shorter and I think Ballmer and crew will officially announce Windows 8 at CES 2011. However, there will be very little in terms of an “unveiling.” It’s more about previews and feedback with a final release to be determined.
9. Ricky Gervais Replaces Steve Carell on The Office
This is the final season for Steve Carell on The Office and we’re still left wondering who is going to run the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. It’s possible that Dwight or Jim could step into the lead role, but it’s more likely that someone like Ricky Gervais comes to fill in Carell’s awkward shoes. He’s a natural replacement, but a relatively unknown newcomer could be cast too.
10. China Adds Facebook to Friend List, Great Wall
Mark Zuckerberg recently took a trip to China, one of the few remaining places on the planet that isn’t fully engulfed in Facebook land. Zuckerberg does have over 500 million “friends” on Facebook, after all, so why not add another billion or two? After some fervent negotiations, Facebook will finally get past the Great Firewall of China, but it’ll likely face a fair bit of scrutiny and censorship at the hands of the Chinese government.
11. Vancouver Canucks Finally Hoist Stanley Cup
If history has taught me anything, it’s that the Canucks will get my hopes up as they approach the playoffs, only to dash my dreams once again in the first or second round. The logical side of me tells me that the Sedins and crew will face a similar fate this season, but the emotional fan in me says this year is different. With Ehrhoff, Hamhuis, Malhotra, and even Raffi Torres, among other key additions in the last couple of years, this could be the best Canucks team in years.
Happy new year, everyone! Do you have any fun predictions for 2011?