Microsoft Will Buy Twitter, Adobe to Buy Picnik, and Other Bold Predictions for 2010

11/19/09Follow @gthuang

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Amazon’s purchase of Zappos (Kelman wondered why Amazon would pay as much as $1 billion).

As for cloud computing, Kelman thought Google would have the dominant platform within two years, because the company is built to provide that kind of huge-scale infrastructure. Smith disagreed, saying Google would compete on price, Amazon on features and flexibility, and Microsoft on big enterprises and users of Windows and Microsoft databases. Bryant pointed out that IBM, HP, Apple, and VMware will be catching up quickly. Interestingly, nobody seemed to think Amazon (the current leader) would stay ahead of the pack.

The panelists went back to their startup roots to discuss the best opportunities for tech entrepreneurs. Smith said he’d look to create an online music creation site, like ProTools for consumers. Sack would look at what he calls “PR 2.0″ using social media, lead generation, and healthcare. Gottesman would pay attention to location-based entertainment—products that combine virtual reality and mobile. Kelman said he’d buy a newspaper, crowdsource content with the aid of professional writers, and go into each local community or city with $100,000 (good luck). Bryant mentioned augmented reality combined with location-based services.

The startup areas they’re all avoiding? New social networks, iPhone apps (by itself), and video management.

It was particularly telling for our region that none of the panelists even mentioned cleantech (or energy-IT) until Denis Du Bois, from MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest and P5 Group, a marketing firm for sustainable energy, raised the topic. The panel agreed we might all benefit from thinking about how to replace entities like Exxon, the biggest company in the world.

And finally, Andy Sack gave my New England Patriots the kiss of death by predicting they’d win the Super Bowl this season. I probably shouldn’t have even published that.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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