10 things you needn't worry about in 2013

Tired of dreary disaster scenarios? Then here's a grab bag of topics you shouldn't bother fretting over

I don't know about you, but I have enough to worry about -- so much, in fact, I sometimes feel it's easier to enumerate the things I don't need to fret over. I find the exercise soothing. No thrills here, just chill:

1. IBM's cloud play: Apparently, IBM has a cloud play. Its 2012 YTD Q3 earnings exceeded 2011, which saw triple the previous year's returns. Yet what those earnings are I cannot deduce because they are lumped into "growth areas" of $20 billion. IBM actually talks about its participation in the use of traditional Chinese medicine to cure kidney disease but not about exactly how much the company made from its cloud efforts.

[ Andrew C. Oliver peeks into the crystal ball and foretells 12 industry disaster scenarios. | Learn how to work smarter, not harder with InfoWorld's Developers' Survival Guide. | Keep up with the latest developer news with InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]

In fact, not much appears to have changed from what Eric Knorr wrote about it in 2010. Also, when I tried to register for IBM's PaaS beta, every page of the registration process still offers to fax the agreement to me. IBM has been selling public cloud IaaS services as well, although customer engagements begin with an IBM rep getting back to you. The cloud business isn’t just about technology; it's a way of doing business -- one that seems incompatible with IBM's "consulting first" approach.

The best hint at IBM's plans are may be its annual report: "We expect to spend $20 billion in acquisitions over the 2015 road map period to support growth initiatives." Any acquisition and integration will take longer than a year. I wonder how my buddy Sacha looks in blue?

2. Java EE 7: Although Java EE 7 will be released next year, it will come with a reduced feature set and mainly drop the cloud parts. Many vendors won't attain certification until the end of the year, and with each release, there are fewer certified implementations. Releases were historically every second calendar year, but now they are every third, and this will be the first time it was in the fourth. EE 5 saw EJB 3 and annotations; EE 6 saw CDI.

So what really is coming in EE7? Date-managed releases are a step forward, but you need a compelling feature to rally around.

3. Apple's market share: Look, Apple could release an iTurd and the faithful would still line up for it. Personally, I need a bigger iPhone screen because I'm getting old and can't see as well as I used to. I also need to tether at 20Mbps and not 3Mbps because I want my data right now and have no desire to wait. (As you may have guessed, unlike certain people, I am not a fan.)

Yet even Apple laptops continue to gain market share. Although I use Linux and don't care for OS X because it tries to "help" me in ways I do not require or want, between Windows and OS X I'll take OS X every time. That goes double for Windows 8 -- a sentiment I think many users will share. A word to the wise: Make sure you get enough RAM for however long you plan to keep your laptop; in new MacBook Pro models, Apple solders it into the motherboard.

4. Yahoo or HP doing much of anything: If you change CEOs like some people change shirts and make huge staffing cuts, your company probably isn't going to pull off some great initiative next year (unless one of my disaster scenarios strikes). Hey Yahoo, I have an imaginary MBA from Harvard and would love to take the job for a year even if you fire me. I don't even need much of a salary, but can we negotiate the severance now?

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