In the Dec 20th issue of USA today, technology writer Kevin Maney predicts that “2006 could be year that CEO Jobs falls off pedestal” in his “Cyberspeak” column. He also predicts that 2006 will be the year of RSS and that cell phone cameras will actually become useful. He also thinks that Google will inspire Microsoft to become better- which is like talking about Ford inspiring buggy whip manufacturers to greatness.
More than likely, 2006 will see an even bigger decline in newspaper print runs, and the beginning of the end for USA Today with it’s bite sized info-chunks. Really- an RSS summary of a quality news paper like the New York Times delivered to your web enabled cell phone- will be more likely to pick up monetized subscribers.
As to the fall of Steve Jobs- highly unlikely. Has Pixar made a dud yet? And even if they did- they set the bar, even if it lowered, it would still beat their nearest competition. The real fear here is a new generation of budding filmmakers (Machinima) using super realistic video games to render their visuals and editing the films on their pc. They can distribute their films through bit-torrent- or maybe- the iTunes video store (another Jobs creation). Which is where Steve and company may have hit the home run that even Google will covet.
With the new Intel based Mac’s coming in ’06, Jobs could open the floodgates by allowing dual system boots- giving PC people a way to own a Mac, but still run their PC software until they can afford the sizeable expense of switching licenses from PC to Mac. Adobe and Macromedia (before it was bought by Adobe) wouldn’t allow cross-platform transfers, and Microsoft would be crazy to allow it for Office. Abandoning all PC licenses adds several thousand dollars to a purchase price of a Mac for a PC owner.
Besides the Intel switch, Jobs is still riding an iPod high with no end in sight. Even elementary school kids now want iPods, and with the cost of flash RAM decreasing, the idea of Nano’s for your iKid aren’t so far fetched.
USA today, has nothing to look forward to. There has been no brand integration with other media, it hasn’t generated credibility with any community in particular, and it certainly hasn’t introduced any revolutionary ideas.
My bets stay on Steve Jobs and company.
What do you think?