No Nostradamus

Here's Don Tennant's third annual list of the things that definitely won't happen in the new year.

It's remarkable how much Nostradamus and I have in common. We both entered the University of Avignon at the age of 15. We both served as royal physicians to French monarchs. And, of course, we've shared, in our respective eras, the uncanny ability to predict future events.

OK, that's not entirely true. In fact, it's entirely absurd, as is the notion of me trying to predict what the new year will bring in the realm of information technology. I know I'm supposed to have some inclination to do that, but I simply have no clue what's going to happen, so I wouldn't even know where to begin. It's for that reason that I present instead my third annual list of things that will not happen in the coming year. You can take these to the bank.

Apple will not be airing its clever Mac/PC commercial with the security theme in 2008. Remember that one? The staid PC nerd tells the cool Mac dude that "PCs have a lot of security problems," so he has to communicate through the Vista security guy in dark glasses, who does the "Cancel or allow?" thing.

Forecast 2008

More '08 predictions 


Given that Apple had to patch about 200 bugs in its Mac operating system by means of nine security updates in 2007 alone - including a patch it had to issue last month to fix 41 flaws - Apple would look more ridiculous than the PC nerd ever did if it ran the ad again.

Even though it's being held in Las Vegas, the Gartner Symposium/ITXpo 2008 coming up in April will not feature scantily-clad women. You may recall that one of the exhibitors at Gartner's October event went the inappropriately-attired booth-babe route to draw attention, which it certainly did. It also drew the ire of a lot of our readers, and of SIM Women, an affiliate of the Society for Information Management.

If a stunt like that is pulled again, what happens in Las Vegas certainly won't stay in Las Vegas, and Gartner knows it. You'll see female booth attendants in Hillary Clinton pantsuits before you'll see them in bimbowear.

In 2008, AMD will not overlook the importance of paying really close attention to the accuracy of the information posted on its Web site, as it did in 2007.

A United Arab Emirates company that AMD listed on its site as an authorized distributor last month was identified by Computerworld as a possible technology provider for an Iranian research outfit that illicitly obtained Opteron processors to build a supercomputer. The person whose job it was to keep the authorized distributor list updated probably had a bad day shortly thereafter, because AMD said it had terminated its agreement with the UAE distributor in July but had failed to update the list. (Of course, it would seem that the Iranians had to have obtained the processors long before July in order to have built a supercomputer by December, but let's not quibble.)

The last thing AMD needs is the perception that it or its partners are doing anything fishy in the Middle East, especially in light of the fact that it recently accepted $622 million in funding from a UAE investment firm. Intel couldn't have hoped for a better holiday gift.

Charles Wang, the founder and former CEO of Computer Associates (the company that had to change its name to CA in order to distance itself from Wang's legacy) will not lose any sleep in 2008 over the fact that his successor and protégé, Sanjay Kumar, is languishing in a New Jersey prison. If he had a conscience, he wouldn't have let Kumar take the rap in the first place, since it was Wang who recklessly instilled misconduct into CA's culture from the company's inception.

With this year's list duly presented, let me invite you to enjoy our Forecast 2008 coverage. That's where the real insights lie. And on behalf of all of us at Computerworld, let me wish you a happy, healthy, rewarding new year.

Don Tennant is editorial director of Computerworld and InfoWorld. Contact him at, and visit his blog at

Forecast 2008: IT Trends & Predictions for the New Year

How'd we do in '07?  See last year's Forecast 2007.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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