At the beginning of the year we laid out a handful of predictions and it's time to review.We predicted that early enthusiasm about application component architectures would cool as problems resulted from stitching together components that didn't go through the usual QA process. That didn't happen. No major stories about quality problems have emerged.The utility computing vision, we said, will require standardizing on management tools, a realization that would drive more M&A activity in '05. We got that right. Management vendors BMC Software, Computer Associates, HP and IBM continued their shopping sprees.We said an increasing awareness of the dangers of spyware would lead businesses to make substantial purchases for desktop protection, which turned out to be true. What we didn't foresee was the rising popularity of gateway strategies.We predicted that adoption of 10G Ethernet backbones would take off as prices came down and buyers looked for answers to increasing bandwidth demands. While adoption has increased, '06 will see more significant growth.LAN switches, we said, would shoulder more roles - everything from intrusion-prevention systems to Wi-Fi - as the integration craze ramped up. This is happening, but slower than we thought.We said software as a service would continue to build steam, and research backs that up. A survey by the Cutter Consortium shows a third of companies have adopted the strategy and another third are considering it.Complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulations has been painful, and we predicted a slew of new tools would emerge, which was spot on. AMR Research says of the $6 billion spent on compliance this year, $2 billion went for tech gear, spending that has driven development of many products.Noting that consolidation comes in waves, we said the big '04 deals would spark a new round of M&As, not all of which would make sense. Got that right too. The big carrier deals make sense - as did Cisco's acquisition of Airespace and CA's buyout of Concord Communications. But Sun's acquisition of StorageTek?Coming on the heels of big VoIP deals signed in 2004, we had expected momentum to build this year and carriers to get serious about IP Centrex. VoIP is taking root in the enterprise, but we didn't hear much about IP Centrex, probably because of the carrier acquisition activity.Predicting that open source would find success beyond Linux was a layup. Despite persistent problems, open source is here to stay and the product set is getting more robust.Hopefully we can do just as well next year. We will make our predictions for 2006 in the Jan. 9 issue.