Crystal ball

I am certainly no Nostradamus, but it’s always fun to gaze into a crystal ball and look into what could be in the future. My predictions for 2010 actually turned out to be mostly true. I was right about sponsored tweets, the Saints winning the Super Bowl, and the rising popularity of touchscreen technology. And yes, I predicted the arrival of the Apple iPad too.

So, how did my 2011 predictions fare? Let’s have a look back at the year that was.

1. American Dollar Struggles to Bounce Back – Correct. The American dollar started the year right around parity with the Canadian dollar and, while it got as low as about 0.94 and as high as 1.06, the USD is ending 2011 at right around par again. It’ll be interesting to see how the 2012 Presidential election affects their currency.

2. Google Buys Groupon Alternative – Incorrect. Groupon is still the biggest name in the world of daily deals, but it is certainly not alone in this niche. Even so, Google isn’t really involved just yet.

3. Netflix Canada Faces More Streaming Competition – Incorrect. Yes, there are services like YouTube rentals and Hulu Plus, but Netflix remains the de facto streaming service for what it is.

4. Windows Phone 7 Gains Traction (But Not Enough) – Correct. It’s debatable whether WP7 has really been all that successful, but the addition of Nokia to the team and the release of the Mango update are helping Microsoft’s mobile OS make a little more headway.

5. BlackBerry PlayBook Fails to Win the Game – Correct. The tablet wars are heating up, but it sure looks like Research in Motion is playing this game from the sidelines. The hardware is solid, but the software isn’t getting the same kind of love as Android and iOS.

6. Philadelphia Eagles Win Super Bowl XLV – Incorrect. Michael Vick had a great season, but he and the Eagles weren’t able to get out of the first round of the playoffs. To be fair, they did lose to the eventual champions. Kudos to the Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

7. The Social Network Does Not Win Best Picture – Correct. While The Social Network was one of my favorite things from 2010, it did not take home the Oscar. That honor went to The King’s Speech.

8. Windows 8 Announced at CES (But Not Really Unveiled) – Correct. Microsoft made an announcement at CES in January that Windows 8 would support ARM microprocessors, but the new operating system wasn’t officially unveiled until Computex Taipei in June.

9. Ricky Gervais Replaces Steve Carell on The Office – Incorrect. In effect, Steve Carell wasn’t really replaced by anyone, as Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms) took over as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton. You could argue that Robert California (James Spader) is the replacement, but he succeeded Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates) as Sabre CEO.

10. China Adds Facebook to Friend List, Great Wall – Incorrect. It looked like Mark Zuckerberg was on the cusp of making some headway, but I don’t think anything has come to pass just yet. Will you be my friend? I think China has clicked on “Ignore.”

11. Vancouver Canucks Finally Hoist Stanley Cup – Incorrect. My hometown hockey team made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but ultimately lost in a heart-crushing series to the Boston Bruins.

My crystal ball must be getting a little fuzzy, as I only got five out of eleven (45%) correct this year. To be fair, some of these predictions were bolder than the 2010 predictions. Has 2011 been everything you thought it would be? What surprised you?