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If you want to get people’s attention, conventional wisdom says sex sells.
The exception to that rule is during tough times when anxiety is riding high
and people are looking for the next shoe to drop. That’s probably the reason
why “Dire Predictions: Tech Companies That Won’t Be Here in 2010” was a monster
hit on a global scale.

Since our initial report from the Channel Insider 2009 Market Pulse Survey
went live Sunday evening, tens of thousands of people have scanned the list and
analysis of the top 10 (there are actually 12 because of a tie) companies that
solution providers told us would either go out of business or be acquired in

The feedback has been overwhelming and engaging. Rumors of McAfee’s desires
to sell out to a larger partner have swirled around Silicon Alley for years.
Scuttlebutt over a Google acquisition of has been running around
since the search giant started partnering with business application vendors to
integrate its engine in their analytics. And CA, which is still recovering from
a drawn-out Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and the conviction
of its former CEO Sanjay Kumar for
accounting fraud, has been on everyone’s death watch list for years.

Of course, there were the obvious vendors that made the list. Sun
Microsystems, which is bleeding cash and market share, made the list in spite
of its restructuring efforts. Advanced Micro Devices, which recently won
government approval to split into two companies, has been tittering on the
brink ever since Intel retook the innovation initiative in the processor wars.
And Novell and Citrix Systems, to some, look like they’re on life support
because of their unenviable positions against Microsoft and other stronger

But people were surprised by some of the other companies on the list.
Juniper Networks—the second largest data networking and security vendor is
healthy, growing and, more than likely, in acquisition mode—was in the middle
of the pack. So was high-flying virtualization vendor VMware, which continues
to own the virtualization market (at least until Microsoft gets Hyper-V out),
and NetApp, which remains strong and the only remaining pure-play storage

With few exceptions, most of these dire predictions defied reality. While
anything is plausible, it’s the potential and practical that matters. Will
Juniper Networks dry up and blow away in the next 12 months? Will Check Point
suddenly abandon its stalwart position in the security market? Will AMD
stop processing before the end of the earth’s latest trip around the sun? The
answer is, in most cases, probably not.

What the Dire Prediction’s list does reflect is a lack of confidence or a
presumption that these companies may not have what it takes for long-haul
success. The world is evolving rapidly, money and credit is in tight supply,
uncertainty reigns supreme, and technology needs are changing.

Perhaps it would help to look at the remaining companies that didn’t make
the top of the list, as some people suggested. After all, Channel Insider
suggested nearly two dozen vendors on the survey, and also accepted unsolicited
submissions from survey participants.

The following is the full list:








 Check Point     







6. (T) 



6. (T)



6. (T)

 Juniper Networks 



 Sun Microsystems  



 Citrix Systems  











12. (T)



12. (T) 












16. (T)



16. (T)

 Cisco Systems  


So the question remains, do these vendors deserve to be on the list?
What vendors should be on the list? Who did Channel Insider and its
readers miss? And, since this is about perceptions, what should these
vendors do to improve how the solution providers perceive their

In the end, a prediction list like this is more about what people
think about a particular company’s performance toward them than the
likelihood of their going out of business. Let’s discuss. Post your
comments below and let’s continue to delve into this issue.