• United States

The Nostradamus of Networks?

Dec 16, 20023 mins

Let’s look at the coming year — what lies ahead in the world of networking?

How time does fly — the end of another year of Wired Windows, so that means its time to look at the predictions I made last December and see if time and events proved me right or wrong. There were four predictions, and there might be some disagreement on one or two as to whether I was right or not, so let’s get the easy ones out of the way first:

• “Carly Fiorina will carry the Hewlett-Packard board with her to complete the acquisition of Compaq.” This was out-on-a-limb stuff a year ago, but I was right on the money. Plus 1.

• “Linux servers will continue to eat into Windows’ market share while Windows inches up its dominance of the desktop.” Linux did increase market share, while Windows servers dropped marginally (most of Linux’s growth still comes at the expense of Unix). But the desktop market stayed relatively flat. Not a home run, but perhaps a triple. Plus .75 for me.

• “Microsoft will have to ‘go public’ with the specification for .Net MyServices, allowing third parties full, free access to the technology.” While all of the specification hasn’t been published, a look at this slide show tutorial presentation certainly shows how much the formerly closed “Hailstorm” technology has been opened up (see the slideshow – in PowerPoint). Looks like another three-bagger to me. Plus .75.

• Finally, I predicted that Novell would continue to ignore NetWare in its marketing as it scrambled after the elusive Web services market — and might even be acquired before year-end. NetWare is still ignored, but acquisition still seems far away. Maybe half right on this, I’ll take a plus .5.

That’s a solid 3.0 out of 4.0. Don’t ask me to predict sports or elections, but if you want to call me the Nostradamus of the Networks, I wouldn’t object.

But let’s look at the coming year — what lies ahead in the world of networking?

1. At the end of 2003, Microsoft still will be in court fighting the antitrust suit.

2. Microsoft Office will begin to lose out to Web-based productivity packages offered as subscription services.

3. The release of Windows .Net Server 2003 will spur an increase in Linux-based servers as customers scramble to use the hardware in which they’ve already invested.

4. Identity management emerges as the overwhelming security concern for networks and online services.

Happy New Year!

Tip of the week

Buy yourself a holiday present, or suggest it to someone who’s buying one for you. Sonic Mobility’s SonicAdmin for Pocket PC or Research In Motion BlackBerry — network administration in the palm of your hand. Check it out at, and see how it can make your life a bit easier.