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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years? 332

An anonymous reader writes: It's interesting to look back a decade and see how the tech industry has changed. The mobile phone giants of 10 years ago have all struggled to compete with the smartphone newcomers. Meanwhile, the game console landscape is almost exactly the same. I'm sure few of us predicted Apple's rebirth over the past decade, and many of us thought Microsoft would have fallen a lot further by now. With that in mind, let's make some predictions. What companies aren't going to make it another 10 years? Are Facebook, Twitter, and the other social networking behemoths going to fade as quickly as they arose? What about the heralds of the so-called 'sharing economy,' like Uber? Are IBM and Oracle going to hang on? Along the same lines, what companies do you think will definitely stick around for another decade or more? Post your predictions for all to see. I'll buy you a beer in 10 years if you're right.
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

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  • Ten years? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @05:20AM (#48694755) Journal

    It takes a long time for a big company to die and many can reinvent themselves. Look at the origins of Nokia and Nintendo - neither was exactly a tech company when they started. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google are big enough to survive ten year of terrible decisions by management (Microsoft already has!) without much pain. The companies that tend to die are ones where some disruptive technology changes their market completely and they don't adapt. SGI was a good example: some of their engineers proposed building a cheaper graphics accelerator for the mass market and they decided not to build them because they'd cannibalise the graphics workstation market. Those engineers left and formed nVidia, and now a graphics workstation is just a commodity PC with a high-end nVidia card in it. SGI had the opportunity to lead a shift in the market and decided not to take it. Those are hard to predict, because they typically rely on advances in manufacturing that suddenly make something economically viable that wasn't previously. Often these things are gradual (in the nVidia/SGI case, the reduction in fabrication costs until it became feasible to make a mass-market GPU) and aren't obvious until a watershed has passed.

    • Re:Ten years? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @05:38AM (#48694795) Homepage

      If you're afraid creating a new product will cannibalise your current market, some other company will create the product and cannibalise your market for you.

      • Yep, any time a new technology becomes widespread that can replace your current approach at lower cost, someone is going to take your mass market customers. You can move to the new technology, or let competitors take them.

      • This syndrome is covered in The Innovator's Dilemma [amazon.com], which reportedly was one of Steve Jobs' favorite books.

      • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @10:07AM (#48695889)

        HP in trying to save itself with its new memristor memory applied in a new type of computer with a "new" OS. Hence, it will potentially disrupt the PC markets again as IBM, Microsoft and Apple did. The question is how that new memory implementation proceeds.

        HP could develop and produce the machines only by themselves, but that likely wouldn't result in quick adoption needed given that the software would be nill in the beginning. Hence, HP would need SDKs and partners, like Apple willing to produce a premium product. The world's software developers would need to be able to easily port applications for HP to gain a major foothold. No one is going to move Windows to a Memristor Machine, and Microsoft is not into CPU hardware, so is MS out?

        No doubt Apple is looking intently at what this means 5 years down the road, as they have very long range plans. Apple could even buy HP, though anti-trust might be an issue. Apple could form a strategic partnership & licensing deal with HP. IBM can tag along on the corporate implementation side. Apple, HP & IBM would be a troika with major power.

        One has to ask if the basic box PC makers like Sony, Asus and so forth will survive if the memristor starts to take off. Consumers and businesses are tiring a bit of dealing with constant upgrades every couple years and Apple has shown the way to make products that routinely last 4-5 years. The volume of PCs may decline, but the profits may still hold or go up, possibly.

        Hence, we know for sure that cannibalization will occur and it is only which companies will fail to make the switch. They all can't make it, just like the dozens of auto companies after WWII came to an early demise.

        • I remember reading about that HP initiative on /. a year or two ago, and the consensus was "vapor," but /. is very, very cynical. Regardless, I haven't heard a thing about it since. Is there any evidence it's not vapor?

    • Re:Ten years? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @06:37AM (#48694939) Homepage

      Completely dying is one thing, but heading on a clear and irreversible decline, or transitioning from an innovation company to a company with a steady, roughly fixed income stream is a lot more common.

      To be really vague about what's going to happen in the next 10 years:

      --------------
      There's going to be some out of left field killer apps for various platforms; out of left field new hardware; and especially combinations thereof. In some cases it will be established players that capitalize on the new must-haves, but in other case it'll be brand new players that rise from nothing to become giants. Many others on the sidelines who missed the trend will rush in and and try to snipe off market share. Few will be effective, at least in the short term.

      A few new greedy bastards who we love to hate will take the stage. We'll cheer as some established names go down. We'll mourn the cases where a good product dies to an inferior one due to inferior marketing strategy, managerial incompetence, and/or scummy tactics on behalf of competitors.

      And all the while we'll get lots of fun new toys that change our lives in ways from the subtle to the transformative. :)
      --------------

    • nVidia founders seem to be ex-Sun and ex-AMD engineers. They seem to have no connection to SGI.

    • Re:Ten years? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @08:57AM (#48695439)

      I away figured Microsoft had enough money to not die until the early 2020's. Of course that was under the assumption that Ballmer would still be I charge until 2018 which is what his long term plan always was. His getting kicked out early means Microsoft might survive.

      Microsoft basically had two profitable divisions windows and office. I saw office slowly losing out to alternatives and windows not losing market share but profitability because of netbooks. You can't sell a computer for $$250 when $50 goes to Microsoft.

      Maybe with ballmers early release Microsoft can shift enough to survive

      • While Windows 10 might salvage them a bit, fact remains that by going after the mobile platform with the same OS - Windows, Microsoft created an opening for Android to invade. Remember, they had a monopoly, and nobody would dare to preload a PC w/ anything other than Windows. Well, that's over - since Microsoft introduced touch to Windows, instead of creating a new OS (maybe w/ the same NT kernel) and calling it something else, such as Metro, it became possible for the Taiwanese guys to build hybrid tab

      • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
        The way I see it, Microsoft is at risk with their OS due to the shift away from traditional PCs. They have no presence there. Flip side, Office is still king, and I don't see a contender taking that away anytime soon. It's just fairly likely that their consumer audience is going to contract, leaving Office largely to businesses.
      • Microsoft is definitely going to be around in 10-20 years, if only because of the captive audience that is their enterprise customers. The large corporations made huge investments in training, customized software, and back-end support for Microsoft Windows, and Office. Heck, there's no real alternative to Outlook for businesses, and Excel/Powerpoint are industry standards at this point. Moving to another operation system or office suite will require back end changes, and retraining their IT staff and employ

    • I agree w/ this. I think Microsoft made a fatal mistake by trying to gear Windows to the Android Market. In doing that, they enabled Android to get a foothold in touch PCs, whereas the latter may previously have only been considered for tablets.

      In the next 10 years, I think the bulk of the tech companies as we knew them will be gone - except Google, Apple and Oracle. I don't expect IBM to be among the survivors. Amongst the semiconductor companies, I think only Intel will be left standing. The scenar

    • It isn't about how big the company is but how diverse.
      Apple was dieing when all they made were Macs. Sure Jobs initially got the company going again with the Colored iMac, and the Powerbooks, but those would only have short term appeal. Once they started to diversify into iPods/music and iPhones and other mobile technologies, that is where apple really came back from the dead, and not just prolong their survival.

      Microsoft, is very diverse, Windows, Office, XBox, Business solutions... This allows for major

      • Nintendo, however, has an absolute ungodly amount of cash they're sitting on. They've been losing hundreds of millions a year and could keep on doing that for decades. They have a long, long window to fix their shit.

        They also, however, have serious management problems. At least as far as NOA is concerned. I did contract development work for them last year on their new ERP/data warehouse and it was one of the most mis-managed things I've ever seen. This was also the third group of contractors trying to imple

  • IBM is dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @05:24AM (#48694765)

    IBM management have turned the company into a financial engineering behemoth, buying their own shares at low interest rates to prop up share prices so management get bonuses, sacking engineering staff, lowering customer service. They're history.

    • IBM is also doing some of the most cutting edge nanoresearch in the world. At the rate they are going they could end up as something like a major biotech company. Some of their work on nanotech antibiotics is amazing. They have also pioneered a huge amount of technology with graphene.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Not in time to actually make enough money off it, if they ever make money in that area.

      • That's basically a new market, though. Takes time to develop. Do they have time?

    • Re:IBM is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @06:12AM (#48694879)

      IBM is like toenail fungus . . . it never really completely goes away.

      They used to sell hardware . . . now they sell services.

      In the future, the name IBM will still be around, but I don't know what they will be selling then.

      They don't know yet either.

      One of my predictions for 2015 is that IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty will get the golden parachute.

      • Few big companies ever really completely go away. Either the name sticks around on top of another shell, or useful divisions are sold or spun off and live on.

        Motorola is a good example. The name sticks around on top of a small group that bounces between owners and makes cell phones. ON Semiconductor is their old semiconductor division and appears to be stable and just motoring along. Much of the rest is long gone.

        Can you say that Motorola died? Yes, and no. I expect that in 10 years IBM will be a simi

    • They can survive on their patent portfolio alone.
    • Many of the people who have predicted IBM's demise over the decades are now in the grave themselves. But Big Blue is still here.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      From what I have recently seen of IBM "consultants" they do not even have people left that can get basic IT engineering work right. I agree they are dead. Might still take more than 10 years for them to actually keel over though.

  • Yahoo and HP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @05:26AM (#48694771)

    Two tech companies clinging to their 20th century brands.

    Yahoo will be bought out for a fraction of their current value for their "IP". HP will probably get taken over by a Chinese corp like Lenovo.

    • Re:Yahoo and HP (Score:5, Interesting)

      by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @07:21AM (#48695031)
      You might be right, especially for the consumer-side of HP. The enterprise side, however, will never go away. We might get sold off again (SABRE, EDS, etc) but the actual day-to-day business has to be done by someone, and much of it is so regulated only so much of it can be moved overseas. Thus why Meg went with the ES side...my job can't be outsourced overseas without some huge legislative changes since we 1) have the mainframes here in the building and those can't really be moved 2) it's all tightly regulated, especially the airline and banking stuff. Personally, I love my job. I basically sit all night and watch Netflix, waiting for some system somewhere to hicup. Jump on the call, take some notes, send out some emails, fill out some incident reports and I'm done. "I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work."
      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        Jump on the call, take some notes, send out some emails, fill out some incident reports and I'm done. "I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work."

        That sounds pretty much like the corporate HP Support we all know and love - gets nothing done, writes a lot of emails about nothing, sits on occasional phone-meetings (when they remember to join), and in the end, the customer either gives up getting anything fixed, or gets someone else to fix it.

        Source: A decade of working with mission-critical systeme for large tier-1/tier-2 Automotive suppliers

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 ) <slashdot@borowic ... g minus language> on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @09:08AM (#48695507) Homepage Journal
        Peter, is that you? Are your TPS reports done?
      • Re:Yahoo and HP (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Critical Facilities ( 850111 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @09:53AM (#48695793)
        Yep, I have to say I agree.

        I was with EDS prior to, and then through the HP takeover. I lasted a couple of years once HP had the wheel, and my experience was pretty much the same as yours. Lots of inefficiency, layer upon layer upon layer of "management" and "leaders", none of whom knew anything about the others. It was a poorly run, rudderless organization and at first, I was amazed that it was even functioning.

        But, as you astutely point out, so much of the enterprise business simply can't be moved for legal reasons, or the cost to move the stuff is so immense, it would take many years of active, focused effort (and billions and billions of dollars) to move it. In my Data Center, we had a lot of the major airlines as clients as well as some of the financial and regulatory clients, so I know exactly what you mean.

        By the way, for what it's worth, when I left HP, I went to work for another ITO provider. Another major, Fortune 100 corporation that you would definitely know (I just would prefer not to name them here). I can tell you that it's actually the same here, if not worse. No one knows which way is up, I can't believe the ship hasn't sunk, but there is so much money on the line and so many clients hanging on for dear life that we're golden. I do hope that companies like mine and like the HP's and IBM's of the world figure out that the current course of action isn't maintainable. You can't keep running your ITO organizations so poorly and expect to be able to stay competitive. True, today there are only a handful of enterprise grade ITO companies that can truly provide the service for gigantic corporations, and it does take a surprising amount of money to operate a company like this. But, it's only a matter or time before someone with some money decides to put together a REAL ITO company that is actually run well, and when that happens, goodnight HP, IBM, and others. I don't think it'll happen soon, because the market is still so dependent on legacy providers, but it's inevitable, I believe.
        • But, as you astutely point out, so much of the enterprise business simply can't be moved for legal reasons, or the cost to move the stuff is so immense, it would take many years of active, focused effort (and billions and billions of dollars) to move it. In my Data Center, we had a lot of the major airlines as clients as well as some of the financial and regulatory clients, so I know exactly what you mean.

          You're a goner. An airline (or another of your major clients) will take over your firm.

          The only way US airlines can continue being profitable is to keep lowering their costs. If taking over a supplier is what they need to do to lower their costs, then they'll do just that.

          Back in 2012, Delta Airlines spent $150 million to buy the Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania. Delta then focused the refinery on making jet fuel, which flooded the marketplace with supply, lowering Delta's fuel costs by $240+ million

      • I think we're going to see a lot of disruption in enterprise software. A lot of companies are currently resting on past success, counting on the fact that it's really hard for companies to completely replace critical business software.

        At the same time, innovations in development frameworks, team management, and a better understanding of UX are allowing upstarts to create better enterprise applications.

        I'm guessing Salesforce might not be around 10 years from now.

    • While it's true that Yahoo was the name that sprung immediately to my mind... we have to remember that, somehow, AOL is still a thing. So it seems likely the brand "Yahoo!" will still exist in ten years, even though it won't have anything to do with the current company.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @05:38AM (#48694793) Homepage Journal

    Ten years can be a long time if you've got the cash and a "core business" to eek out existence on. As long as there is a need for new mainframes for the banking industry, IBM will be around. I think they're going to shrink a lot, though.

    Oracle isn't going anywhere. They're too entrenched.

    Apple's market will shrink rather than grow, primarily due to their failure to really innovate. Let's face it, they've been tweaking and fiddling for over five years now rather than coming out with anything new or earth shattering. But they've got the cash to buy an entire nation (or two), so they'll still be around.

    The same goes for Microsoft. They've got sufficient cash and resources to hang on for a long time, even if their core markets are shrinking. Let's face it -- basic business functionality will always be needed, even if it isn't glamourous and exciting. They'll continue to lose market share to tablets and smell phones in the consumer markets, and will re-focus on their core business of serving business customers.

    Uber, Lyft, and the like are going to encounter some rude shocks from the courts in the near future, and their business models will be declared illegal. It's already happening in a lot of districts.

    Google Plus will finally get the axe in 2-3 years, but Google itself will continue along it's merry way.

    Twitter will shrink dramatically or disappear entirely as the video capabilities of higher bandwidth and newer/denser technologies make written dialogue even more irrelevant than it is today.

    Facebook will still be around, and bigger than ever. They've made a couple of smart investments, and if those play out, they're going to grow their market substantially with them (especially on the VR front -- think virtual meetings, markets, and presentations.)

    The real shock is going to be the death of the PC. With the advent of higher resolution virtual displays and augmented reality glasses, the need for a physical screen will finally wane and the PC will be replaced by a bluetooth keyboard and mouse talking to that virtual hardware.

    The cloud bubble will finally burst wide open when the US tries to pull the same shit on corporate data that they're doing with email and Microsoft right now. The near violent rejection of US policies by the world that results will cause several corporations to leave the US just to survive, and Bush 47 will be left to wonder what happened to the empire and practice his fiddle.

    Lenovo will continue to grow, while HP/Compaq shrinks due to their abysmal build quality and lack of innovation.

    Samsung will level off as the market for Android devices becomes saturated, but with their product range, they'll still be a healthy company.

    Keep an eye on Chinese companies, as their currency takes over more and more of the international markets from the US dollar and it becomes more and more convenient to deal directly with the Chinese.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      Mostly agree with this. Most of the companies mentioned are too big and entrenched to be displaced in is little as 10 years. I think Microsoft still has a chance in the phone and tablet market. The Surface is really the best tablet out there if you want to get some work done and have the money to spend on it. There's some other low end offerings like the HP stream tablets that look promising. Running full Windows on a $100-$150 device seems like it would have some big advantages. If it isn't powerful enoug
      • by Craig Cruden ( 3592465 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @06:31AM (#48694923)
        I have to disagree with your analysis. Phone and tablet is more of a consumption device or a multi-media menu system, but it is not going to displace the computer - just give more options (computer is more of a work instrument - i.e. creation rather than consumption). The reduction of prices since I started using personal computers (my first one bought by my father was an IBM PC DOS 1.1 machine for $6,400 which included a 20% discount (2 floppy drive, electrohome cga monitor and a crappy dot matrix). Now with the lower prices, I have an iphone, tablet, and personal computer all for a fraction of the price. Each serves a purpose. I don't really want a device to try to be all things to all people and do nothing great. I do want my devices to work together seamlessly (cloud is the first step). I find a tablet works great for reading, some browsing and watching videos and maybe menu entry -- but it would kill me to have to sit in front of one trying work with it. I sit far enough away from the computer that having a touch interface is a hassle. You can make an operating system that is the same for all devices (if they are powerful enough) but the user interfaces should not all be the same since you don't use them all the same way. That is why Microsoft has had such problems with adoption with Windows 8. If I want lots of functionality and a large screen - I will use my computer -- not a tablet.
        • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @08:51AM (#48695411) Homepage

          Today's phone is more powerful than a computer was ten years ago. I can see a future where your "home computer" is just a docking station that you plug your phone/tablet into. Or, even better, you set your phone/tablet down on a table and the monitor, keyboard, and mouse auto-link to it and let you do work (or play games) using the keyboard/mouse/monitor all while your phone/tablet wirelessly charges.

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          I don't think the physical screen will go away, neither will keyboard and mouse. But the box is not necessary unless you're a gamer or power user, laptops and AIOs are plenty for most people. With a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and Miracast/AirPlay/WiDi or a docking station for wired equivalents you can get the same interfaces with a tablet or smart phone in the center. I think the grandparent is right that within the next 10 years either Apple or Google or both will take a real stab at delivering PC functional

    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @06:44AM (#48694953) Homepage

      The future of Apple depends entirely on one thing: trends.

      Why is it that so many kids put "iPhone" on their Christmas list and not any sort of Android phone? It's because their friends all have one. It's cool. It's stylish. That's great for Apple, it's a captive market - iPhones could be a year's tech behind android for double the price, and they'll still continue to sell like hotcakes so long as they maintain that.

      But trends change. How long can Apple maintain a position in the forefront on this? Beats me. But I doubt it's going to be forever. And if they ever lose the "trendy" edge to someone else, they're going to have to compete soley based on tech and price.

    • by rastos1 ( 601318 )

      The real shock is going to be the death of the PC.

      If that happens to be true, it will be another piece of history that I was lucky to live through from the beginning - when it was really great - until the death. Along with software that I really own, computer games that work without network connection, media without DRM and Internet used to spread information rather then spam, collect personal data and distribute ads.

    • by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @07:19AM (#48695025) Homepage Journal

      The real shock is going to be the death of the PC.

      Again? Didn't it already die two dozen times? Oh wait, those were all predictions that didn't come true.

      Keep an eye on Chinese companies,

      mod parent +1 insightful just for that sentence. The stupid assumption that will ruin most of the predictions I've read so far is that US companies will continue to dominate the tech industry. But real innovation out of the USA has become scarce. Uber and crap are not innovators, they're basically the Internet equivalent of software patents - you take something that's been known for centuries and add "with a computer program" to it, voila, new patent. Same with most US-based "revolutionary" startups. Take something old and boring, add "over the Internet" to it, voila, investor capital.

      Meanwhile, in Asia a thousand companies have been working on evolutionary progress quietly for a decade. Such evolutionary progress is very often the predecessor to revolutionary advances, as it reaches a critical mass.

      • Uber and crap are not innovators, they're basically the Internet equivalent of software patents - you take something that's been known for centuries and add "with a computer program" to it, voila, new patent. Same with most US-based "revolutionary" startups. Take something old and boring, add "over the Internet" to it, voila, investor capital.

        You're getting your bubbles confused. "With a computer program" was the 80s AI winter. "Over the Internet" was the dot-com crash. This bubble is all about "apps", which clearly makes it different to the previous two and therefore sustainable.

        If you'll excuse me, I'm off to invest a billion dollars in a loss-making text messaging service with no business model.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I also think IBM will shrink, but they are in a lot more unnoticed market segments than mainframe.

      I think unless something dramatic happens, Oracle will also shrink. Again, they will of course have a viable market, but the trend clearly is more of the market deciding they don't need oracle after all.

      I agree about Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft I will say seems to be recognizing their situation and is trying some things which means Microsoft in 10 years might look quite differently.

      Uber/Lyft may or may not

    • Twitter will shrink dramatically or disappear entirely as the video capabilities of higher bandwidth and newer/denser technologies make written dialogue even more irrelevant than it is today.

      Written dialogue will never be completely replaced by video, because it can be consumed much more quickly.

      I agree with you for the rest, though.

  • by ihtoit ( 3393327 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @05:48AM (#48694819)

    They've only been around through two world wars.

    • by darkmeridian ( 119044 ) <william DOT chuang AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:33AM (#48696599) Homepage

      IBM will stay around for a long, long time because they spend a ridiculous amount on research and development. I know this is an imperfect metric, but IBM has has been granted the most US patents for twenty straight years. These patents are good for over a billion dollars in licensing rights each year, and give IBM blanket immunity from patent infringement lawsuits from any practicing entity. IBM created technology as varied as excimer lasers used for LASIK surgeries, microprocessors used in the Playstation 3, XBox 360, and the Wii, bar codes, and Watson.

      IBM has moved from mainframes to data analysis. Heck, IBM has announced deals with Apple to push into the enterprise and with Twitter to mine data. IBM will be around for a long, long time. Even if it suffers huge setbacks and missteps, its patent portfolio will keep it in the running for a long, long, time.

      There's this story about IBM, the patent troll. A bunch of IBM dudes show up at Sun Microsystems claiming infringement of seven patents. After the IBM presentation, the Sun guys get up and explain in detail how these patents are all bullshit, and not infringed. The IBM dudes say, well, we have 10,000 patents. We can go back to our office and come back with seven patents that you do infringe. Sun had to write a check.

      http://www.forbes.com/asap/200... [forbes.com]

  • The future (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @06:01AM (#48694855)

    Microsoft - Reduced but not out. Mostly a cloud-based service provider in an increasingly cut-throat market. Left the devices market to refocus...went the way of Zune. Struggles to find relevence in the domestic market, but in the business market it will still have a hold thanks to cross-OS standardisation on the .NET platform. That said, its fortunes could change is it rolls out a strong AI on Azure, it could challenge IBM.

    Facebook & Twitter, etc - Highly dependent on the outcome of the pending global collapse of the advertising bubble (both online and offline). Advertising is at least 2 orders of magnitude over priced. If they survive on reduced revenue, they may still be around, but at MySpace levels.

    Uber - Highly dependent on the political winds. Will most likely encounter numerous well publicised attacks on woman that will generate calls for regulation. Then it is just a taxi company. So, might become a taxi franchise spanning multiple countries. The KFC of taxis.

    IBM - These guys are back...big time. They're finally being able to take their work in the defense sectors into the public world. That's strong AI and they have a functioning platform, not just Watson. Most likely IBM will be the Microsoft of the next 30 years. Integrating Watson into corporate SoAs will be big business.

    Oracle - Tough times. Its product portfolio doesn't seem to have much in the way of new ideas, or investment in future tech. May have missed the boat because it doesn't see what Google and IBM are doing.

    • Uber - Highly dependent on the political winds. Will most likely encounter numerous well publicised attacks on woman that will generate calls for regulation. Then it is just a taxi company. So, might become a taxi franchise spanning multiple countries. The KFC of taxis.

      I think their problem is that should they be successful, there is nothing to stop Google or Amazon from entering the market and just killing them.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      IBM - These guys are back...big time.

      I doubt it. I suspect IBM will be about where they are now. Profitable, well out of the mind of most in the public. They might decline a bit further. I don't think they have anything that would come organically from their development that's going to change their fortunes dramatically. If it does make a comeback, it'll be some lucky acquisition, or else being rooted in very boring, but stable markets as other market bubbles burst and cause investors to gain an appreciation for slow and steady.

    • Facebook & Twitter, etc - Highly dependent on the outcome of the pending global collapse of the advertising bubble (both online and offline). Advertising is at least 2 orders of magnitude over priced. If they survive on reduced revenue, they may still be around, but at MySpace levels.

      The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. MySpace never had the deep and extensive penetration that Facebook does. Even if Facebook's revenue collapses, there's nothing on the horizon to indicate that their userba

  • Dice Holding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yoda222 ( 943886 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @06:10AM (#48694875)
    Or maybe just the /. part.
  • And they really are guesses, because the nature of the industry is that one major hit can save a failing company overnight, while just a couple of expensive disasters can sink a successful company within a year.

    EA probably have the potentia to be the highest-profile casualty. Despite their size and notoriety, they've not been doing brilliantly in financial terms for quite a few years now. They've a couple of nasty habits (from the point of view of both the gamer and the shareholder) which contribute to this

    • I wonder if, ten years down the line, if there will even be a spot for console gaming. By that point, tablets might have enough power behind them to do anything a console could do and more. Imagine you load your favorite game, share it to your friends' tablets (I'm sure there will be DRM involved which we'll all rail about in 10 years), and play games that you would previously have played on consoles. Or, perhaps the tablet would auto-stream the video to your TV while a Bluetooth (or other wireless techn

      • Certainly, as I've recently noted in more detail than I will repeat here in a journal entry, the big question that the new consoles have yet to answer is what, precisely, they are for.

        If they're replaced, I don't think it will be tablets that replace them - touchscreen controls are just unsuitable for many types of game. It will be PCs; though they may not look anything like the traditional "beige box under a desk".

        The economics of the games industry are rapidly killing platform exclusivity (games cost too

  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @07:50AM (#48695135)
    Neural nets are doing amazing things TODAY. Already there is a group that has trained one to identify scenes in photographs (a photo of a girl playing with a dog will be labelled as such). The methodology behind this will be used to train ever more advanced neural nets to do more and more tasks at or above human levels. The concept of technology companies will be moot in 20 years, and they will be on the decline in ten. Instead we will consume technology produced by autonomous computing resources. The singularity will not be far behind.
    • Re:AI (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Warbothong ( 905464 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @09:53AM (#48695795) Homepage

      I think AI advances will be important for the economy and our way of life, but the *existing* tech sector won't be too disrupted by it. (Weak) AI opens up new markets for tech companies, which will make many non-tech jobs obsolete and pump *lots* of cash into the tech sector.

      Jobs which computers are already good at, ie. following an explicit list of instructions very quickly, will *not* be affected by AI, since an AI approach would take longer to train than just writing down a program, it would make more mistakes and it would be nowhere near as efficient.

      Strong AI (Artificial General Intelligence) would definitely be more disruptive, but we're not going to see that in the next 10 years. If we treat Google as the "singularity moment" for weak AI (automatic data mining), I'd say we're currently at about 1910 in terms of strong AI. There are some interesting philosophical and theoretical arguments taking place, there are some interesting challenges and approaches proposed, there are some efforts to formalise these, but the whole endeavour still looks too broad and open-ended to implement. We need a Goedel to show us that there are limits, we need a Turing to show how a machine can reach that limit, we need a whole load of implementors to build those machines and we need armies of researchers to experiment with them. It took about 100 years to go from Hilbert's challenges to Google; I don't know how long it will take to go from Kurzweil's techno-rapture to a useful system.

  • Is that the future will be different in a million different ways that we never expected and never saw coming. And even if we do see something coming, we mprobably won't appreciate the true impact (or lack thereof) that it will have.

  • Radio Shack. They'll be lucky to survive one year much less ten.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @09:36AM (#48695663) Homepage

    They are not Agile enough and have lost a LOT of ground in the past 3 years.

    Honestly unless they do major changes to their business model and replace all of their management to get rid of the microsoft way, they will become a foot-note in the history books.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, right. They have 10 year support cycles on their products. By the time 10 years rolls around, they'll just be ending support for windows 8. In terms of sheer amount of machines...there are more machines running just windows xp right now than all of the apple products that have ever been sold since the company's founding.

      Not agile enough? If that's your main qualification, most *nix systems should be dead and gone by now, and yet, somehow, we still have people running system V on old minicomputers

    • I think they'll probably be smaller, but they aren't "Agile" enough? Agile is not a real concept, it's just stupid business talk.

  • ...because Karma will catch up to them.
  • Start ups have a 90 percent or more attrition rate in the first year or two. Most of those hot new companies with hot new tech will die a swift death. For every Zuckerberg or Jobs and Woz there are thousands who got laid off when the start up they worked for imploded. So my advice is never ever work for stock options. If a company can't pay your salary, run away.

    For the mainstream companies most of them will follow the path used by CA, HP, MS, and IBM; which is to buy innovation. The buy small nimble compan

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      Crud. I reviewed it and I still did not catch the typo. I meant to say, " they are NOT going to die off soon".

  • by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2014 @11:44AM (#48696681)
    Which companies will be around in 10 years? Companies that are in the business of acquiring, managing, and selling your data to others as well as selling other's data to you. The hardware and software do not matter. Those will always be there, of course, but the players will change as they have in the past. No one remembers Data General (a hardware manufacturer despite their name) or Amdahl or Compaq. For Microsoft, the success of their cloud services is the key to their survival. IBM, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Ebay...Yes. HP, Dell, Oracle, Sun...no.

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