The is out with its 2009 tech guide and it’s a good read. You can check out the whole thing at; but here are a few highlights on what tech insiders predict will happen in 2009.

Cloud clearing – 2009 will be the year of the cloud – cloud computing that is. Cloud technology enables users to channel computer power and storage via the internet. Companies that should benefit include Hewlett-Packard, EMC, Sun Microsystems, IBM, and Microsoft. All big companies, and all heavily invested in cloud computing.

HP to withstand recession – Few tech companies will emerge unscathed from the great, ’08 recession. But Hewlett-Packard will do better than most. A big cash cushion of $10 billion and $1 billion in operations savings from its EMS deal should position HP nicely for an economic rebound, whenever that happens. "Though macroeconomic conditions are likely to remain very challenging, we believe HP will effectively manage expenses, expand operating margins and drive EPS in Fiscal 09," says R.W. Baird analyst Jayson Noland. "We continue to recommend HP as a diversified, well-positioned player with attainable cost cutting improvements through F'09."

Software security offers some upside – As the economy suffers, people will do anything to survive – even commit identity theft. That should help companies like Symantic and McAfee which make software that offers users more security fro their computers, and the private information that’s lodged inside.

Good things in small packages – International Data Corp. says portable computer shipments will rise 15% in 2009, giving rise to hope that laptops and netbooks will lead some tech companies back to profitability in ’09. Companies like HP, Apple and Asus that specialize in smaller computers should take full advantage. Apple is reportedly working on a $599 netbook for later in 2009.

Yahoo-Microsoft - I wrote about the Yahoo-Microsoft dalliance quite often 2008. Recall that Yahoo turned down a $47 billion bid – about $34 per share – from Microsoft, thus ticking off shareholders and paving the way for CEO Jerry Yang’s exit. Analysts expect some deal, most likely the purchase of Yahoo’s search engine operations by Microsoft, early in 2009.

Predictions, like promises, are bound to be broken. But the smart money is on the above guestimates coming to pass.