Software that's ready for takeoff in 2008
It's hard to predict the next Twitter or Facebook, and that's what makes massive overnight, now-we're-worth-fifteen-billion-dollars success (or not) so gosh darn breathtaking. I mean, did Facebook know it was going to be Facebook?! So my point is, we go on what we've got when predicting which software is going to turn heads. This list has been compiled partly by educated guesswork and partly by whimsy. Chances are, the software that ends up meaning something to people, we've never seen coming. It's probably not even a glimmer in its developer's eye. If I turn out to be off-base in my predictions wildly, even better. Groaning at gross miscalculations from tech's crystal ball is part of what makes making them so much fun. Without further ado, here's the lineup. Trillian Astra--The much longed-for next-generation of the cult classic multinetwork chat client has been clinging to its private alpha testing for over a year, but it can't stay there forever. No, at some point in 2008, Trillian Astra will crawl out of its underground development lair to make its Web debut in a cool blue blaze of glory befitting its steely desktop and Web stature. You hear that, Cerulean Studios?! Then all the boys and girls will get to play with social widgets, RSS feeds, expanded plugins, and all-new skins, not just Josh Lowensohn. Yahoo Messenger for Vista--Not to let Trillian corner the IM marketplace when Astra finally blinks at the daylight, Yahoo has already publicly released a preview download for its new Yahoo Messenger for Vista. Introducing an interface seamlessly knitted with Vista's Aero Glass aesthetic and penchant for widget integration, the Vistafied version of Yahoo's chat client promises desktop chat widgets, tabbed chatting, increased emoticons, and reflective skins galore. What else it'll be able to do could somewhat be based upon user demand, hinted Yahoo's tight-lipped PR reps, but I suspect much more will rely upon senior product manager Josh Jacobson. From the looks of it so far, Yahoo Messenger for Vista shall make some noise in 2008, at least for its stiletto-slim base of Vista converts. Flock--The social networking and blogging browser grabbed CNET's notice this year. From a glowing review to a dedicated Newbie's Guide, Flock is poised to be, at the very least, the editorial team's enduring sweetheart. We're suckers for well-integrated functionality and simplified workflow for blogging, sharing images, and scooting textual information from one platform to another. If Flock can only get in front of the throngs of bloggers and MySpace ilk, it's got a real chance to shine.
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