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Matt's Predictions for 2009

As is typical at the end of each year, we're going to make some predictions about next year and technology. I'm going to start with my five predictions and Ethan will add his five in a separate blog post tomorrow. At the end of 2009, it will be interesting to see who got what right.

Microformats

Prediction: Microformats will be incorporated into more websites; however, few people will make use of the extra data at all.

Microformats have started to pick up steam in 2008 and are just starting to be used on mainstream websites. I think this trend will continue; however. there will still not be many pieces of software that will make use of the data embedded into these websites.

OpenID

Prediction: OpenID will be allowed as a login on more mainstream websites, but the general public will still not understand how to use it.

OpenID is an amazing concept in theory; however, most people simply don't understand how to use it. It's hard to get people to think of a URL as a way to login when they are so used to using a username and a password. Until the people behind OpenID find a way to make it easier for everyone, it won't be going anywhere. Every time I've tried to use OpenID (SourceForge.net, UserVoice and other sites) it has ended with me just getting annoyed and creating a normal user account on that website.

Google Chrome

Prediction: When Chrome has extension support its userbase will grow substantially; however, it will be at the expense of Firefox, Opera. and the other "alternative" browsers and not of Internet Explorer.

Google Chrome has the potential to be an amazingly good browser. Once it has a decent extension system, I can see its userbase growing a lot. I don't think people who are currently using Internet Explorer will move over to Chrome though, as a lot of the people who are still using Internet Explorer use it because they don't know that anything else exists. Unless Google goes on a big marketing spree, I don't think many people will take notice unless they already use an alternative browser.

Internet Explorer 8

Prediction: Internet Explorer 8 will become the most used version of Internet Explorer and we can all stop worrying about making sure our websites work in IE6.

This one isn't likely to happen really, but I wish it would. If IE8 becomes the most used version of Internet Explorer, we can stop worrying about making our sites work with the buggy rendering engine that IE6 uses (and IE7 to a lesser extent). If this does happen, then it will mean so much less work for web designers.

Android

Prediction: Android will be used in more phones, but none will match the success of the iPhone.

No one can argue that the iPhone has been a huge success. It's also hard to argue that Android doesn't have a huge potential as a mobile-phone operating system. However, I don't think that any Android-powered phone will be able to match the success of the iPhone.

Comments

  • hmm... so you make a prediction about IE8, and then you predict that your prediction will not come true? smile

    Posted by Eugene Wee on Sat 27 Dec 2008 at 11:15

  • To be honest it was more of a wish than a prediction. I hope that now I've put it in there it will come true razz

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Sat 27 Dec 2008 at 13:34

  • I don't think people who are currently using Internet Explorer will move over to Chrome though, as a lot of the people who are still using Internet Explorer use it because they don't know that anything else exists.

    I have to disagree with this in theory. They are promoting Chrome a lot on Youtube, and I imagine many of those users are browsing with IE. If Firefox can steal IE users there's no reason Chrome can't, especially since Google has the eyeballs of IE users (they were advertising it on their homepage for a while as one exmaple).

    The reason people won't stay converted is the UI, I think it'll be too foreign for many people.

    Posted by -=Hero Doug=- on Sun 28 Dec 2008 at 7:42

  • Thats a good point, they have been advertising it on loads of their other sites. It is possible however that IE users won't fully understand the adverts though, or simply think that its the same as IE and not bother changing.

    The difference is that Firefox users have already made the switch once, and are therefore more likely to think about doing it again. They already know that they CAN change, whereas a lot of IE users don't realise this.

    In the end it's possible that the gains made by Chrome will take a chunk out of Firefox and IE's market share (as well as all other browsers(, however I just think that people who use Firefox (or Opera or Safari) are more likely to make the switch over compared to IE users.

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Sun 28 Dec 2008 at 7:53

  • I have to agree with Matt on the Chrome issue. Chrome is going to take market share from Firefox and other non-IE web browsers. Whilst Google may advertise where IE users are, it doesn't mean that they'll switch. Also, browser stats already show that Chrome's market share only hurt Firefox. One of the reasons that Firefox was gaining market share was because that was the browser that Google pushed (on sites like Youtube). However, without Google pushing them, I think FF will decline and Chrome will take its place.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Sun 28 Dec 2008 at 9:15