10 Trends to Watch for 2010
Not to be left behind off the “10 ____ of 2010” bandwagon, here’s part one of my predictions of things to watch for in 2010.
1. The Disappearing Desktop: With the advent and popularity of netbooks, as well as the continuing popularity of notebooks, the desktop computer will start to become more and more of a niche item as opposed to a do-it -all machine. Desktops will become more like home servers to store content for use by other pc’s and even game consoles.
2. Social Networking Peaks Out: Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized how people keep in touch with one another, and companies have capitalized on this as well. More and more, Facebook and the like have become more like advertising tools. While that’s fine in some cases, I think the commercialization of social networking will also doom it.
3. The Realization of the Wired Home: While people have tried to connect home life and technology before, the results were either cost prohibitive or lackluster. Now as wireless and wired networking are ubiquitous in many homes, home integration around energy efficiency, security, lighting, and entertainment will really start to take off.
4. The Phone is the new PC: Smartphones, including Google’s new Nexus One, are becoming indispensable among the technorati, even taking the place notebooks once had as portable computers. Even with high prices, people are willing to pay a premium for what these phones do. Expect prices to drop and for bandwidth to increase across the board.
5. The 3D Television: Manufacturers are rapidly pushing 3D enabled televisions as the next leap forward after the advent of large plasma and LCD screens. I’m skeptical as to how well it will take off though. While sports broadcasters have caught on, will the public embrace it enough to watch “The Office – 3D!”?
6. Microsoft Loses Ground: While most of the world thinks of Microsoft as unstoppable in the computing world, it’s armor is getting tarnised more every month. While Windows 7 is a huge success, Office 2010 doesn’t seem to be as innovative or as upgrade-worthy as 7. More importantly, Microsoft is losing ground to Firefox in the browser market and to Google in nearly everything Internet related. Will Google out-Microsoft Microsoft?
7: Bigger, Better, Faster, More: No big surprise, but computers and consumer electronics will continue to reach speeds that are almost obscene. Terabyte hard drives are already commonplace, as are quad-core CPU’s. Wireless network bandwidth is getting faster, and a lot of this new technology is also more energy efficient that predecessors.
8: Cloud Computing Gains Acceptance: With the increasing availability of devices for ultra-mobile computing (smartphones, netbooks) people will become more and more at ease with the idea of having their data stored somewhere other than with them. This will all be well and good until…
9: Hackers Target The Internet Itself: As more and more data is stored on remote servers and less on home PC’s, the Internet itself will become a primary target of attack. Why? Well probably not to access the cloud data, although they could try. It’s easier to hack a home PC with a lousy firewall than a server farm. But hackers could launch a denial of service attack, not just shutting down access to a site (which harms the company being targeted) but cutting off access between users and their data stored in the cloud. When this happens, the results could be anything from annoying to catastrophic.
10: Environmental Tech Goes Boom: I think that 2010 will see an exponential increase in not only the drive to create new green products but – more importantly – in the success of these products. It’s one thing to make ultra-efficient cars, but who cares if nobody can afford them? In 2010 smaller companies with smaller overheads, fewer management egos to placate, and geniuses at the helm (old-school Steve Jobs) will make real headway in developing new ways to save energy, make it more cheaply and efficiently, and put it out in a way that appeals to both budget-conscious conservatives and earth-conscious liberals.
So here’s to 2010, which I prefer to call “twenty-ten” just for the record. I’m a strict believer in syllable conservation.