Crystal ball snapshots

1. 2005 will be worse than '04 for technology companies, but not bad. What do you mean you didn't notice last year's recovery?

2. Storage is up -- isn't it always? No company will throw away any data -- ever.

3. Companies continue to be skinflints, not because they don't have the money (they do), but because they don't see the payoff. They are still intent on driving down the cost-per-transaction. Big software companies such as Oracle and Computer Associates have a hard time.

4. Hewlett-Packard struggles more than most, and calls are made for CEO Carly Fiorina's head.

5. Blade servers are everywhere -- and they are based on open source. Take that, Sun Microsystems!

6. ERP and CRM are dead, and there is nothing hot to replace them.

7. "Excess capacity" becomes a dirty phrase; IT people want "just-in-time" capacity.

8. There is no New Big Thing this year.

Howard Anderson is senior managing director of YankeeTek Ventures, which provides venture capital fund for early-stage technology companies. He is also founder of The Yankee Group and the William Porter Distinguished Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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