10 Things That Were Supposed To Have Happened By Now

flying carWhere are our flying cars?

Photo: InventorSpot

It’s 2011, and we still aren’t seeing the kind of progress we expect to see out of big tech companies.And we’re not making big demands here.

We don’t want flying cars. (Though, if done properly, we’d be interested to see them.)

No, we’re talking about small stuff, like AOL getting back on track, streaming music from Apple, Google Docs actually affecting Microsoft, etc.

Will these things happen in 2011? Read on to find out.

AOL is supposed to be turned around, or at least on its way to a turnaround

AOL should be on the road to recovery, but so far it's not. CEO Tim Armstrong promises it happens later this year.

So how about 2011? Armstrong has promised to deliver double digit ad growth by the end of the year. The ad market is supposed to bounce back, so it's feasible, but we're sceptical AOL can pull it off.

Yahoo isn't fixed, either

Yahoo closed 2010 in as much turmoil as ever. It is better at shutting down products than building new ones. Its earnings reports aren't amazing, and it's losing its relevancy to Facebook with each passing day.

So how about 2011? We see slim chance of Yahoo doing anything amazing this year.

Twitter still hasn't nailed down its revenue plan

Twitter got a big slug of cash in 2010 from Kleiner Perkins, but it didn't have a nice viable business model yet. Twitter's ad products are doing well from what we hear, but it is not a mind-blowing success that justifies the $4 billion valuation.

So how about 2011? Companies were just experimenting with Twitter last year. We expect more commitments this year. That said, it's still not a major mainstream company, so building a money machine is still a ways away.

The Facebook IPO never happened, and it seems remote

Coming into 2010, it looked like Facebook could finally deliver a blockbuster technology IPO. It didn't.

So how about 2011? Nope, all signs point to a 2012 IPO.

Microsoft didn't die, it didn't even get sick

Isn't Microsoft supposed to be dead now? If it's not the failed tablet strategy or its weak mobile share, then surely Google will crush Office with Google Docs, right? Nope. Microsoft chugged along in 2010 making tons of cash, and Google Docs didn't seem to hurt it.

So how about 2011? We see more of the same. Microsoft will keep trucking, and Google Docs will just move along.

Facebook didn't kill Foursquare

Foursquare managed to fend off attacks from Gowalla and Facebook in 2010. Facebook shows no sign of giving up on its Places application.

So how about 2011? We think Foursquare will protect its turf, but the battle will be very tough.

Similarly, Google didn't kill or even bruise Facebook

Facebook is the number two web company in the world after Google. It's fast becoming number one, and Google's myriad failures in social networking have done little to slow Facebook.

So how about 2011? We doubt Google's social network will matter.

Neither Apple nor Google launched a great music streaming service

Apple bought Lala at the end of 2009, setting itself up to create a great music streaming service in 2010. Instead, we got Ping, its lame social network. Hopefully Apple corrects this in 2011.

Similarly, Google bought Simplify Media in the middle of 2010, but hasn't launched a streaming service for Android.

So how about 2011? We think one of these guys will come out with a streaming music service. We hope it's good.

Spotify still isn't available in U.S.

Spotify, the super popular European music service was supposed to be available in the U.S. by now. It's not. And it might not ever come to the U.S. unless it makes major tweaks to appease the labels.

So how about 2011? We want to say yes since it's been so long... but we're bearish. We think it's another year of waiting.

The Kindle came out stronger than ever

2010 was the year of the iPad, so naturally a single purpose device like the Kindle should have died, right? Wrong. The Kindle appears to be stronger than ever. Click here to see how Amazon saved the Kindle →

So how about 2011? Kindle won't die, it will keep growing.

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