Thursday, December 29, 2005

Technology Trends 2005 and 2006

Technology seems to be the only scientific realm where innovation continues apace, and yet it has shown an amazing ability to adapt existing tools, while extending them in surprising ways. At the end of 2004, I had humbly predicted a few technology trends I felt would gain ground in 2005. Let's see how I did.

1. Dualcore chips: The Xbox 360 is the most high-profile multi-core chipset in production, and AMD is a clear leader here

2. Desktop Search: Still gaining ground, although it doesn't seem to have made a material difference to the way we work

3. Swarming technologies: Still on the periphery of the mainstream.

4. The Blogosphere reaches critical mass: Bingo! Although, not that hard to assume

5. Spyware, collaborative viruses and all that good stuff: Collaborative anti-spyware like Spynet are on track. Spyware typically now lasts less than a week or two before being trapped in a safety net. If you don't run Anti-Spyware, you should.

6. Voice over IP(v6?): VOIP still booming, and we haven't seen anything yet.

7. NextGen Gaming Consoles: 2006 will be the true year of the next-gen consoles. The 360 was more a shot across the bows, and the true value of these devices as being post-PC tools is only beginning

8. WiFi/WiMax: WiFi is now the defacto standard for homes and many public spaces. WiMax is still over the hill, but getting closer.

9. Business Process Modeling: BPEL-based tools are available everywhere, and process engines are making enterprise workflow easier and more standardized. The memo has not yet reached all departments yet, and political resistance from legacy chieftains is still a stumbling block

10. Global, low-cost, localized IT: Getting even closer - the Simputer, the $100 laptop, and Microsoft's Project Bhasha are a few examples.

For 2006, many of the trends above will continue to gain mindshare. A few more technology trends for 2006:

1. 64-bit technologies The big shift will begin, and with it, the ability to address large, large memory spaces - thereby eliminating the folder-based hierarchy of storage

2. Wiki news Collaborative news-gathering will further doom old media. All media will move towards being effective content aggregators, providing value through effective information service management. Google and Yahoo will both purchase Old Media companies.

3. Air web: EVDO, EDGE and related wireless web protocols will untether us from our chairs, information-wise. This will be coupled with initiatives like Office Live and Google Office(?) to mean the beginning of the end of Office Space

4. Flat World technology: More of what can go over a wire will go over a wire to the BRICs in the global wall.

5. Media convergence: The PC, the phone, the Blackberry, the Xbox - will all be channels for communicating with the information store - integrated through a consistent interface.

Wishful thinking:

> SETI Contact
> Free Internet access (0c bandwidth costs)
> Universal Translators
> The Singularity

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