Brian Livingston, a self-professed Windows pundit, tells us what he thinks is in store for the world of Windows this year.
Prediction No. 9: The Internet Appliance. Threatened by the plans of Oracle and others to introduce an Internet PC for less than $US500, Microsoft announces a PC for less than $100 that is worn on the wrist. At this price point, the Microsoft Internet Wrist PC has only limited functionality: It dials the Internet and displays the correct time of day.
Prediction No. 8: The Mips Race. Computer companies increasingly feel the pressure of Moore's Law, which states that computer power will double about every 18 months. This leads PC manufacturers to seek relief from international governments. Sure enough, the US Supreme Court rules Moore's Law unconstitutional.
Prediction No. 7: The Billion-Dollar Baby. This year, Bill Gates and Melinda French deliver a healthy baby boy. They name him Bob.
Prediction No. 6: Talk Rocks On-Line World. Daryl Somers begins his new on-line magazine for Microsoft. His first guest is shock-jock Alan Jones, who explains how to search for dirty words on the Internet. An offended Reverend Fred Nile passes a new law banning modems.
Prediction No. 5: The High-Tech Baby Shower. Warren Buffet and the Sultan of Brunei get together to buy Baby Bob Gates a little birthday present . . . Switzerland.
Prediction No. 4: Can We Talk? Someone finally looks up "giga-" in a dictionary and finds out that it is properly pronounced "jigga", not "gigga". The stock price of hard-disk manufacturers drops 25 per cent in one day. A top hit song wins a Grammy: "You say jigga, I say gigga, let's call the whole thing off."
Prediction No. 3: The Art World. Hackers break into the computers controlling the multimedia screens on the walls of the Gates mansion. They reprogram the computers so that all the wall screens display paintings of dogs playing poker. Prediction No. 2: Out of the Mouths of Babes. After the wall screens are debugged, Baby Bob Gates is surrounded by stimulating technology. This helps to enhance the little one's early grasp of language. His first word is "mama", and his second word is "data".
Prediction No. 1: The Windows Century. Ending speculation about its long-term plans, Microsoft announces that in the year 2000, it will release Windows 00. Widely referred to as "Windows oh-oh", the new product immediately leaps ahead of all other vapourware on the market, and sales of all software cease until the latest version can be obtained. Asked why he named the product "Windows oh-oh", Bill Gates replies, "We listened to our customers."
Brian Livingston is the coauthor of the new Windows 95 Secrets and author of three other Windows books (IDG Books).