Now and then it is nice, as a futurist, to see that something you forecast and expected is coming to fruition, especially when what you said ran counter to a lot of common wisdom. Two economic announcements today confirm what I was saying about Microsoft in the middle of last year, and about the U.S. economy in, for example, my Outloook 2010.
First, it seemed clear to me that even as Microsoft stock was sluggish over the past year, they had three initiatives poised to return them to growth and increased profitability. These initiatives include touch computing, gesture based interactivity, and of course Windows 7. It was obvious that Windows shops around the world that had skipped over Windows Vista would very likely shift to Windows 7 as it proved itself. They cannot wait any longer. With the results that Microsoft reported today, we can see this happening, and the 2010 story will be bigger. I’ve heard insiders at a very large multinational, still operating with XP, say that the plan is to shift to Windows 7 beginning in the second half of 2010. Huge.
As for the U.S. economy, in my speech to the 125th anniversary of a Chamber of Commerce in November 2009 I turned some heads by saying that GDP growth in the 4th quarter would surprise people by coming in around 6%, and that this would bode well, eventually, for growth in employment in 2010. So far so good as 4th quarter GDP growth was the best in six years.