December 30, 2003

2004: A year of leaps

Author: David "cdlu" Graham

In just a couple of days, the year of the Prime Number will end until 2011 takes its place. Every year brings changes. Here are the nine biggest ones I expect to see in 2004:
    • Google will buy IBM

Nestlé, having recently bought Google, will use the search engine to buy hardware giant IBM. The holy trinity of IBM, Nestlé, and Google will merge down to a single name. International NesBGoogle Machines will specialise in the search for and distribution of recipes which will use computer parts as cooking utensils.

  • Linus, having failed to win the California governorship, will try again

A few months ago, we watched California go through an unscheduled race for governor in which all types of people ran including our friend, Linus Torvalds.

Having failed in his bid in 2003, he will will again make a run for the office and launch a recall campaign to end the reign of Arnold Schwarzenegger and run himself.

  • The GUI will go out of style, mass return to command-line

Due to the concerted efforts of us here at NewsForge, Linux users around the world will begin to explore and learn the power of the Command Line Interface. As more and more people become familiar with the command line over the course of 2004 the Graphical User Interface will begin to lose popularity and wane.

  • OS/2 will rebound

IBM's multi-purpose operating system, OS/2, will rebound from years of inattention as the year progresses. In the spring, IBM will release a new version of OS/2 which will be largely binary compatible with most software intended for Linux. The resulting media attention will give OS/2 far more attention than its makers
had intended. By the end of next year, Linux-compatible OS/2 will warp the desktop market and begin taking a serious dent out of Microsoft's strangehold on the

  • Microsoft will make large election campaign contributions

2004 is, like so many other years, an American election year. Unlike most countries where elections are a matter of a few weeks, the United States requires an entire year to perform an election. Microsoft, it is known, has an agenda it would like to push with the US government (not to mention a few other governments).
We can expect to see large campaign contributions from Microsoft to push their agenda of market domination on all running candidates.

Earlier this year, Microsoft began lobbying the US government to ban Finnish immigration. It is likely that as the November 2004 presidential elections approach, the incumbent president may use the opportunity to help his campaign by carrying through with this request and go to war with Finland.

  • Microsoft will rework the map of its campus

Following close scrutiny of Microsoft's campus, we can expect the powers that be at the company's Redmond, Washington headquarters to remove some of the less courteous features of the corporate campus over the next year.

Of course, they will be discrete about it. We will need to periodically check mapquest's map of the area to see if these changes have been made.

  • SCO will sue Microsoft

The SCO Group, having spent 2003 practicing the black art of lawsuits, will lose its backing from Microsoft and be hung out to dry as soon as the business world realises that SCO's claims are completely unfounded, defamatory, and absurd. However, being well versed in the art of trading stock, integrity, and money for
lawyers and lawsuits, SCO will pursue Microsoft in court for withdrawing its sponsorship of the SCO vs. Linux legal war.

  • The Linux project will hold democratic elections

Following in the footsteps of Debian, SPI, OFTC, and other democratic FOSS community projects, Linus Torvalds will step down as leader of the Linux project and seek re-election by a vote of all kernel hackers with work that has been accepted into the kernel. With the possible end of Alan Cox' kernel hacking career, Linus will seek to re-legitimise his position as the head of the Linux project.

  • I'll write better humour

This might be the least likely prediction of all. In 2004, I forecast a general improvement in the quality and frequency of humour articles on NewsForge. No news site is complete without at least a little ability to laugh at itself or at the events it is covering.


  • Humor
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