Since my RSS feeds are down, on my lunch break I'm pondering predictions for 2008. Here are a few.
1) Second Life will loose a lot of its hype. Many large American companies will exit Second Life. However, Second Life will still have a large user base, and many foreign companies and governments will still experiment with Second Life. Companies like Millions of Us and Electric Sheep will keep a finger in Second Life, but they will focus more on other emerging virtual worlds.
2) Russia will do some sort of quasi invasion in the Serbia/Croatia region. There are a few important decisions on the docket for the future of that region, and I don't think the rest of the world realizes how marginalized the Russians felt in the 90ies about what went on there. Now that the Russians are feeling like they are in more of a position to start pushing their will on the world, expect some moves there. It won't be an outright invasion or anything like that, but Russian troops will be moved around in defiance of the West.
3) I will be living in the state of Washington by March.
4) I wish I could make a good prediction on the Presidential race, but I can't. It is tempting for me to say the race will come down to between McCain, Obama, and Paul, but I can't be sure. McCain is doing better then expected in the primaries, but he is still considered a long shot. Hukabee might take it. I'm not sure if Ron Paul will run as a third party candidate either.
5) RIAs, or Rich Internet Applications, will start to become visible, but because of their difficulty to develop and maintain compared to traditional web apps, you won't see that many of them. You will start to see more Flash and Sliverlight "bling" in traditional web applications, but I don't think Flex or Sliverlight will take over the internet world just yet.
6) Web 3.0, the avatar/virtual world web, will start making a presence felt, that will also cut into the development of RIA's. I'd like to see runtimes like Unity3D or Oligoop or whatever it is called start to become more mainstream, and they will, so now we will have two forks in the web development road, the Avatar web and RIA's. Neither will dominate the web for a long time to come, but again they will make their presence known more and more.
7) It will be ok for people to say that Ruby on Rails isn't the end all end all web solution. It will become ok to criticize Ruby.
8) Virtual Worlds will still be hampered on developers insisting on wrapping data communications in bloated XML, and not using binary serializers or compiling maps, leaving Second Life to still be the biggest virtual 3D world for another couple years to come.
9) There will be at least two combat confrontations with Iran, but neither will lead to all out war between Iran or the U.S.
10) Israel will not attack Iran this year.
11) The dollar will make a limited come back.