Here is my list of twelve predictions for 2005.
(1) DRM technology, especially on PCs, will be seen increasingly as a security and privacy risk to end users.
(2) Vonage and other leading VoIP vendors will start to act like incumbents, welcoming regulation of their industry sector.
(3) Internet Explorer will face increasing competitive pressure from Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft’s response will be hamstrung by its desire to maintain the fiction that IE is an integral part of the operating system.
(4) As blogs continue to grow in prominence, we’ll see consolidation in the blog world, with major bloggers either teaming up with each other or affiliating with major news outlets or web sites.
(5) A TV show or movie that is distributed only on the net will become a cult hit.
(6) The Supreme Court’s Grokster decision won’t provide us with a broad, clear rule for evaluating future innovations, so the ball will be back in Congress’s court.
(7) Copyright issues will be stalemated in Congress.
(8) There will be no real progress on the spam, spyware, and desktop security problems.
(9) Congress will address the spyware problem by passing a harmless but ineffectual law, which critics will deride as the “CAN-SPY Act.”
(10) DRM technology will still fail to prevent widespread infringement. In a related development, pigs will still fail to fly.
(11) New P2P systems will marry swarming distribution (as in BitTorrent) with distributed indexing (as in Kazaa et al). Copyright owners will resort to active technical measures to try to corrupt the systems’ indices.
(12) X-ray vision technology will become more widely available (though not to the general public), spurring a privacy hoohah.