3rd Annual Geekazine and Friends 2010 Predictions

For the third year in a row, I have gone out to the industry professionals and asked the question: What will next year look like? This year, I received 120 responses to that question. All with good points about what next year will have in store.

As always – we’ll go through the email predictions first, then the TechPodcasters predictions and finally I will round it out with my thoughts for the new year. Then, at the end of 2010, we will tally up the numbers and see if they came true. Just like the 2009 predictions.

In 2010, I think corporate collaboration and will continue to grow as departmental installs into enterprise-wide usage. Once departments see the of enterprise 2.0 efforts, the excitement will spread and decision makers will see broader benefit. We will see greater support for and adjacent solutions like Twitter, and pure social . Plus, we’ll see greater demand for larger platforms that see wikis working hand-in-hand with other like portals, real-time and others.

There are a lot of companies in a variety of industries starting out with enterprise 2.0 projects or deployments. It is important to establish a couple of and initiatives that are inherently collaborative in nature and could use a robust collaborative platform. Adoption will be high, and people will get familiar/comfortable with new interfaces. This in turn will make it easier to socialize the concept amongst late adopters within the organization.

– Aniruddha Gadre Etouch

Jeff’s Thoughts – Enterprise will definitely be advancing, but the common user won’t be aware of this until late 2011. What is needed is a good program that will nobody can turn down.

Pirated software will drive in much more dynamic ways than previously realized. Users of pirated software are afraid to download updates, thus are exposed to security risks because their software is entirely unpatched. Also, newer versions of pirated software now come with malware pre-installed. As a result, users of pirated software will become the new “Typhoid Marys” of the global computing community.

Social engineering meets social networks and ups the ante for creative compromises. Criminal organizations are increasingly sophisticated in how they attack different sites. For example, Twitter is being used as a distribution engine for malware. LinkedIn, however, is being used for highly targeted attacks against high-value individuals. We will see these organizations use these sites in creative new ways in 2010 that will accelerate compromises and identity theft; especially as new commercial applications increase the disclosure of valuable personal information on these sites.

Criminals take to the cloud. We have already seen the emergence of “exploits as a service.” In 2010 we will see criminals take to cloud computing to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

What’s old is new again. There will be resurgence in “old school” attacks in 2010. Large-scale worm attacks will make a comeback, DoS attacks will become more accessible to more people as “attack services” mature; and the Trojan will continue to be the staple of the cyber-threat community.

Mobile threats remain scarce. Even as smart phones continue to grow more capable, serious attacks against these devices will remain far and few between in 2010. The reason is simple: PCs remain a much more valuable target, thus criminals will continue to focus on them.

Utility and grid security transcend SCADA systems. SCADA vulnerabilities have dominated the security discussion to date with utility and grid security. As we see the rollout of advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) and wireless mesh infrastructures, these new systems will become the focal point of security research and exploitation.

Compliance drives but does not equal security. Regulatory mandates will continue to drive organizations to comply with security standards to avoid fines, but many – especially those that only focus on the minimum requirements for passing the audit – will find that regulations are just a guideline and they’ll get stung.

-Tom Cross – IBM Internet Security Systems X-Force

Jeff’s Thoughts – I think it will be the opposite on patches – you will then patch, turn around and install break to patch, then move on. Companies will have NO CHOICE but to give out patches to certain threats without repercussion. Anything that is mission critical must be patched. Smaller patches can contain alterations that would fix any holes into the pirated software.

Clamping down Social Media Malware is a good #1 priority. The DOD should open up relations to any company that houses millions of peoples data that could be pushed out globally. However, the bad guys will go where they find a hole. Whether it be a new Social Network, URL shortner or website.

As for mobile devices: It only takes 1 person to think otherwise. It only takes 1 person to see an advantage – like a SSH password on a jail broken phone – to cause problems.

A bread HTML5 based products will come out doing things that traditionally would not have been considered. Things like games (like first person shooters, not what is currently out there), real video editing etc. The reason is that Chrome OS/Android puts developers in an awkward position not knowing what percent of the market they are going to occupy. HTML5 has enough capabilities to do basically anything you can do as a native app (and operate offline), it’s just a
bit harder (so there hasn’t been an incentive). But with Android picking up market share and the large unknown that is Chrome OS, developers aren’t going to pass up that opportunity.

-Ben Smith WBP Systems

Jeff’s Thoughts – Interesting idea. First person shooter in an HTML 5 based game: I suppose anything is possible. Needs a little more work, though.

Cloud computing will continue to be adopted at a faster pace as data center managers begin running tier 2 and 3 applications from hosted cloud services so companies don’t incur the overhead of managing and maintaining those types of server infrastructure. Whether it is a virtual private cloud, or virtual public cloud being used to host servers companies will ok to those cloud services as a low cost disaster recovery center or more cost effective storage for backups than traditional Tape archiving and hosting.

Although it is too early to speak of how nano-technology could be adopted to help improve computing power, resources and or storage optimization over the next few years, other innovative techniques like mobile device data server management isn’t so far off. 2010 could be the year where mobile technology could be used to upgrade, maintain, backup, recover and manage servers all from your iPhone or BlackBerry, without ever stepping into the data center.

– Dean Goodermote: Double-Take

Jeff’s Thoughts – Cloud computing is just waiting for that one company that will erect the stairway everyone will use. There have been – and will continue to be hundreds of stairwells nobody will use.

Mobile, and smartphones in particular, will continue to gain traction. The big question is whether a credible alternative to the iPhone (and in particular the App Store distribution model) will take hold. Android will be a strong contender, and if a viable distribution channel for independent developers of Android apps becomes mainstream, it may have a shot at taking mindshare away from Apple.

– Christopher Carfi: Cerado

Jeff’s Thoughts – I wouldn’t worry about “Who will take down the iPhone”. I was always told not to look at the numbers – just continue to do it. Android has certain advantages over iPhone that will eventually match, if not surpass Apple. It’s like Blackberry – They surpassed iPhone in sales simply because they offer more than 2 options and 2 data plans. As individual phones, though, they didn’t match what iPhone did.

First Person Shooters are dead. Console gaming revenues will be flat, virtual item sales will double.

World of Warcraft expansion pack will be 4 months late, but will still break all the records

Facebook will start forcing games to use FB payments: Farm games are a fad

-YuChiang Cheng World Golf Tour

Jeff’s Thoughts – Although very bold statements, I don’t think 1st person shooters will disappear. Console gaming will grow stronger as people find ways to stay home. Wii was a big gift this year and it’s alternate functionality (DVD player, Media Outlet) basically is non-existant. Facebook games like Farmville are too popular to disappear overnight. Then again, I remember when Bejeweled was all the craze.

I predict that Cloud-based technology services will reach the small business market and enable them to fuel our economic recovery. Up until now, most of the focus on the “Cloud” has been in the Enterprise market. However, more and more companies like Virtual Resources are bringing the “Cloud” to the small business segment allowing them to reinvest their capital dollars on revenue generating initiatives to stimulate their growth.

-John Panico: Virtual Resources

Already commented on Clouds. We’ll leave at that.

My prediction for 2010 in the Geo space is the move to real time, crowd sourced maps and free navigation. As smart phones continue to proliferate with built in GPS and app stores – we will see maps move from static to dynamic (changing in real time), we will see communities “on-the-go” building and maintaining these maps in real time, for the good of the crowd and our daily commute becoming faster, shorter and a whole lot more fun. The trend of geo-games, as lead by waze and foursquare – will continue to gain traction and begin providing functional, geo-specific value.

– Noam Bardin:

Jeff’s Thoughts – Bing has already pulled out ideas in maps that will definitely incite a battle between Google. I agree though. By next year Smartphones will really be a full GPS mapping tool. I still have yet to really use foursquare. Might sit down this week and look at it.

There will be more 3D home entertainment, in part ushered in via Avatar hype.

– David Wertheimer: USC Entertainment Technology Center

Jeff’s Thoughts – I am really not sure why companies are pushing the Home 3-D experience. Until we have a low cost Television that can produce 3-D without glasses, people won’t want to hassle with it.

Sega made a game system that had 3-D glasses. What happened to that? I remember seeing “Creature from the Black Lagoon” in 3-D when I was a kid (Not to mention Friday the 13th pt.3, Jaws 3-D, My Bloody Valentine 3-D…) . What happened to that? Remember when the 1989 Superbowl halftime show was in 3-D? 20 years later – we get a 3-D commercial for Monsters vs. Aliens and Sobe Lizzards. What happened to that?

The increasing popularity of the Amazon Kindle and the release of trendy books, such as Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, are raising questions about how to combat ebook piracy. Piracy is of particular concern to academic textbook publishers. They are even starting to use sophisticated techniques including digital fingerprinting to reduce piracy and save potential lost revenue.

– Jose Ferreira: Knewton

Jeff’s Thoughts – Piracy is always an issue – no matter what the medium. DRM on an ebook will be just as popular as DRM on music, videos or games.

Consumer demand for real-time, individualized and interactive messaging will extend beyond email to SMS, IM and social networks

ISPs and telecommunications carriers will continue to lose customers to wireless, social network and other alternate providers, such as Skype and Vonage because they cannot keep up with the complexity of managing messaging

As we enter an economic recovery, businesses will begin to think about future-proofing their message management platform to accommodate multiple channels of communication

– Dave Lewis: Message Systems

Jeff’s Thoughs – Agreed. SMS 2.0 and MMS 2.0 initiatives will have to be implemented. Why pay $30 for unlimited SMS when you can Facebook it?

Our prediction? 2010 is going to be a COLOSSAL year for health IT.

The economic stimulus plan has put $44,000 on the table for every doctor who switches to electronic health records before 2011. Out of the 800,000 doctors in the US, only 4% are already using a computer system in their practice. So, 768,000 doctors will be adopting new technology in 2010.

It’s a booming sector and one that is being turned upside down at the same time as new vendors push out the legacy hardware systems. Cloud computing, PHR, public health exchanges, iPhone apps…healthcare is finally catching up to the rest of the country.

– Matthew Douglass: Practice Fusion

Jeff’s Thoughts – Sounds like stock in health care companies and software will rise in 2010.

2009 was the start of an augmented reality buzz. 2010 will be a year where mobile augmented reality takes off.

– Lisa Murphy: Junaio

Not really a prediction per say, more than a statement. Once again – once the general public knows what Augmented reality is, and has an outlet to use it, then it will “Take off”.

2010 will be a year of transition for desktop virtualization. Because organizations are now beginning to comprehend the benefits of hosted desktop virtualization and the release of Win 7 in late 2009, organizations will begin to implement desktop virtualization into broader deployment. The focus in 2010 will be on how to manage virtualization on laptops which is becoming extremely important with the dramatic increase in teleworkers.

– Martin Ingram: Appsense

Commented on before. Virtualization on Laptops will be easy – a client program will be installed that lets you connect. Just a question of which wireless Broadband modem you have in the machine.

With unstructured data making up 80% of the information in the corporate data center by 2012, I believe that in 2010 organizations are going to discover the importance of implementing a storage solution that effectively manages this unstructured data while delivering the scalability and performance that is needed in a corporate data center.

– Jack O’Brien Gluster

Jeff’s Thoughts – Businesses still loose a good percentage of their data to computer corruption, disgruntled workers, and mostly because of disorganization. If the average salesman misplaces 1 out of 20 customers, they loose out on 5% of their profits. In a company that does $1 Million in sales a month, or even a day, 5% is significant.

We won’t get into sales misplacement or constant contact strategies. But I will say I get more customers because of constant contact.

Bottom line – someone will have to finally find a viable ways to replace the common business card and fully organize data.

At least one major wireless operator will announce an “experience strategy” on how they plan to offer mobile entertainment in a way that transcends the device

Cloud services will spawn a whole new era of mobile entertainment services with a recasting of device and network “division of labor”

Opening of network APIs and increased multimedia traffic will fundamentally stress carriers’ OSS / BSS systems, leading to significant re-engineering projects

Increased smartphone data use will dramatically accelerate carrier offload projects like Femtocell deployments

One major SaaS vendor will acquire one or more companies that can give it a jump start mobile expertise and cloud services integration.

– Keith Higgins: Aricent

Jeff’s Thoughts – 3G and 4G will have an issue with bandwidth. Companies like Apple, HTC, Blackberry and Palm will not help by bringing out better smart phones and wireless hubs. Another factor will come into play – HD quality in the Smartphone display. It will all come to a head.

In the next year, it will become apparent to both individuals and businesses that they can use an online Content Management System to replace custom-built websites and high-end coding. This reminds me so much of the introduction of DOS in the 80s (coding) replaced by the Macintosh graphical user interface (no coding).

– Ellen Lytle: The Lytle Center

Jeff’s Thoughts – CMS has definitely changed the way we put together web sites. The real question – Will WordPress become a CMS, or stay as a Blogging system.

For the 11th time, we will be disappointed in the lack of flying cars.

– Joseph Picard: Ozero

Jeff’s Thoughts – Damn.

Twitter will continue to be plagued by system instability and a rampant spam problem, until they are bought by another bigger player. I’d prefer it to be Google but I can see Microsoft picking up for a cheap price. The buyer will have to try to restore confidence in users, so Twitter usage in 2010 will trend flat.

Bing will give Google a run for its money and will attempt to use their classic tricks, like being the default search engine on installed browsers on laptops and PCs, to take market share. However, they have a LONG way to go to take away Google’s dominance, and Google has very deep pockets and a strength for innovation. So, yes, Google remains king. But that comes at a price – as they’ll continue to roll out more and more killer apps, they’ll be subject to unwanted scrutiny, arguments on privacy rights, and possibly even attempts to hack their infrastructure and data stores.

– Andy: Travel Online Parners

Jeff’s Thoughts – I don’t see Twitter being bought by anyone. If anything, Twitter will become what Neilson is for TV ratings. Data is power. Google might borrow from that, but it will never be able to buy it.

My tech prediction for 2010 is the take-off of touchscreen desktops computers. We’ve already seen some of the bigger manufacturers explore the technology and now even value brands like AOC (us.aoc.com), which I happen to represent (full disclosure) are coming out with their own touchscreen models in 2010. I think the success of Iphones and other touchscreen, handheld devices has demonstrated that touchscreen technology can work effectively and attract a large segment of the market, even if you have hold-outs who prefer more tactile input forms.

I think we’ll be seeing a lot more touchscreen, now that there is a large amount of consumers familiar and more importantly, comfortable with the technology.

– Jose Mateo: AJRPartners

Jeff’s Thoughts – To put touch screens in the cubicle means you have to redesign the cubicle. Most people don’t need that functionality. Others don’t like the idea of people touching their screen. H1N1 will also say that we may not be to a level of consumer touch just yet.

2010 will be the year of “TV Everywhere.”

Time Warner announced over their “TV Everywhere” initiative over the summer: for a fee, cable operators will give subscribers multi-platform access to whatever is on cable, at any time, from any place, on any device.

This notion has caught fire and I expect that, along with the new initiatives movie studios unleash, 2010 will be the year of TV Everywhere – especially as versions of this idea start becoming available to consumers.

In 2010, cable operators will sort out the significant technical challenges TV Everywhere presents – which I blogged about here – and will be able to actually bring the product online.

That’s great news for premium content holders sitting on libraries that they’re eager to monetize. It’s also great news for the consumer, because 2010 will be the year users will get unfettered access to the content they want, on their schedule, and on whatever device is closest at hand.

– Ben Weinberger: Digitalsmiths

Jeff’s Thoughts – Comcasts’ NBC (which they can’t go with CNBC, ironically) will definitely take the network to the web. With the winter Olympics on the channel, I bet they will be the forerunner in pushing to an all IPTV schedule.

As I said before – the first channel that can move it’s existing format to the internet in streaming format (commercials included), will win.

SharePoint, as SharePoint Online, makes ad hoc collab easy

Microsoft Office Online allows Microsoft to stay relevant in desktop productivity applications

DirectAccess using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 becomes a viable alternative to using VPNs

Google & Facebook do something ‘evil’ or stupid and then the halo falls off

Twitter does something silly, and growth/usage plummets.

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 really starts to make inroads into VMWare’s dominance

John Obeto – Absolutely Windows

Jeff’s Thoughts – SharePoint’s move to the Cloud might be the best thing for it. The price tag might keep it from really taking off. Office will still dominate over OpenOffice, whether on desktop or online. And while I see that with Google and Facebook, Twitter might be more of the surprise.

I asked some Techpodcast Network Podcasters to give a couple predictions. Here is what they said:

I have three basic predictions on what i think you’re going to see this next year. The first of which being a drastic drop in the prices of TV’s and LED technology as a whole. As the Green movement kicks into high gear you’re going to see the technology that supports it come down in production costs which is going to lead to cheaper “greening of tech”

Secondly with people focusing more on saving i think the tech sector is hit hard when it comes to new technology adoption, except of course Microsoft and Apple, i think with windows 7 and Apple’s new tablet pc you’re going to see a good year from both, its the secondary companies that are going to have a rough go of it.

Thirdly I think you are going to see more and more throwback media in the forms of movies, books and fashion with steampunk, and popular looks from the late 70’s early 80’s coming into play. Think Hipsters taking over mainstream fashion, and shudder in the horror of that. With the fringe fashions being normalized who know what the cool kids are going to think up.

Lastly as a bonus i think we’re gonna see a really bad year from Starbucks as people realize how bad their coffee really is 😉

– Paul Rj Muller The CaffiNation PodCast

Jeff’s Thoughts – Whether Starbucks will start a sharp decline or not, that sounds more like a wish than a prediction. Nonetheless, the LCD movement will definitely make it’s way through. I’ll say its here when I go to a little rickety motel in the middle of nowhere (the kind where the water heater is sitting in the corner of the room) and see a LCD in place of a 13″ TV. Of course the LCD will also be 13″…

Twitter popularity will slow unless it changes and offers more features. Unless a dramatic change, the other 83% of the population not using Twitter will not embrace anytime soon. The Twitter novelty wears off. Facebook continues to grow and has immense staying power. No risk of becoming the next MySpace or Friendster for at least the next 3 years

Google Wave – very slow adoption. Great concept, but too complicated in its current form. Google’s Android continues to gain marketshare. Google will continue to offer some real game changers that are totally
unexpected – more disruptive offerings.

For all of those experts stating that YouTube is a big money drain – watch carefully. Google is seeking ways to monetize. Think the U2 concert and the amazing HD offerings are an anomaly?

The popularity of games on smartphones continues to grow, hitting the big game systems (dollar apps versus $50 games).

The release of Exchange 2010 will result in more companies forgoing traditional voicemail systems.

We’ll start to see more and more applications that utilize cameras on our smartphones. e.g. 2D UPC, image recognition – these are already offered, but will gain more traction in 2010.

Long shot here: Traditional VoIP vendors will be caught flat footed when organizations realize that ROI on VoIP systems is difficult. $200 to $300 handsets are a budget killer, thus resulting in more cost effective software based softphones, resulting in more companies seriously forgoing traditional VoIP installations.

– Simon Calder: SimonSezIT

Jeff’s Thoughts – Twitter looks to be changing their business model, but not to what you might think. If you read my previous thoughts on Twitter earlier, you can see that if they are going the direction I expect, a user based model will not be needed – sort of. Everybody link to Twitter and vise-versa. Let the data fly.

Google Wave is confusing, but I think only because they are still in beta. Google will need to make a major shift to show this product is well worth it. They will also need to have a great API for it.

The days of the FREE apps are numbered. Ad based iPhone apps are great and pay the bills right now, but Apple will soon realize that someone who puts out a free app might be making a lot of money on the back end with advertising.

Now here are my predictions:

Google: Will the wheel get to be too big where the Federal Trade Commission will step in? Chrome OS will be a great idea for a niche market, but people will still choose Windows and Mac over it. After all, a faster Solid State Drive will give us the boot times we can live with. I already have a “Boot start OS” in Express Gate and don’t use it.

People will want the OS work with the hardware, not to turn their machine into a paperweight if they are not by an internet connection. If we had the ability to sit anywhere on this planet and get free WiFi, then this idea would change. But we don’t – at least not yet. Give it about 5 years, and let’s talk about it.

Still, Google is the leading thinker of Cloud applications and Open Source software. That won’t change in 2010.

Microsoft: It’s not a stretch to say that Bing will take more market share. It will be interesting to find out how Windows7 will increase in it’s market share. I don’t see Microsoft losing a battle – for a few years, anyway. Steve Ballmer might have some issues on his hands he will have to deal with – maybe to a point where drastic measures are taken.

DA BOMB I DROP – Yahoo: By this time next year, Yahoo will be owned by another company. Yahoo is loosing this battle. There is no innovation in the company. People are still jumping ship. If Carol Bartz keeps selling parts of the company, there will only be a small part left. People (including shareholders) will get tired of Yahoo and they’ll have no choice but to sell to someone.

Apple: Reality will set in. The Apple iPhone 4th Gen will be released with a 5 MP camera, 32 and 64 GB NAND, and a processor that will almost double the 3GS (which is 600 MHz). But what will be the shocker will the phone will have Flash support – sort of. Apple will enter that market with a Flash alternative – an extension to Quicktime.

The other new innovation will be the retool to iTunes. It will become a more web-based program that could be utilized better in the cloud. Podcasters beware: it will become more of a wasteland than it is now.

THERE WILL BE NO TABLET. With the ATOM processor instructions removed, a Tablet makes no sense. Instead, Apple will work on a Macbook with touch screen capabilities. The iTouchbook – or something like that.

With the Tablet rumor mill going and no Tablet to be found, the FCC will step in. After all, when Apple makes a rumor, stock jumps up. Currently, it’s at $209 / share because of the Tablet rumors. It seems that if there is a rumor of Steve Jobs sneezing, the stock will jump.

APPLE AND AT&T WILL STILL BE PARTNERS. No CDMA phone will be made. Going from rumors of how difficult it is to make a “Test” model, the phone will just be too expensive to make and Verizon customers will have already started using alternatives. AT&T will re-sign a contract, and in that re-sign will be a clause to beef up their coverage of 3G data. AT&T will double their coverage in 2010. These usage maps will be pointless next year and with AT&T’s underlying EDGE network, you will have no reason not to use the carrier.

If you think about it, Apple likes to play in their own sandboxes. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they were developing a technology better than 4G and call it something stupid like “Apple Airport iG”.

Hardware: I’ll start with e-readers. Not much growth. Expect more functionality and the move to color and sound. Companies like Audible will look into working on an E-Reader that people can also get the Audio as a companion.

Smartphones: Will there be an iPhone Killer? No. Android will gain ground simply because of the different phones you can get it on. People will still want the coveted iPhone over all others. The Buzz will be 4G (or as I mentioned previously – the iG). Augmented reality will shape the smartphone and it’s functionality, but won’t hit until late 2011.

Intel and AMD: 45nm will continue. The next generation in 32 nm will show promise, but will only be a stepping stone to 22nm for 2011. Now is the time to buy a new computer. Quad-core machines will be more than enough juice for most people. Anything over 8 cores might run into other Hardware and Software limitations.

SSD: Hopefully we’ll get to a price where SSD is a viable addition to a computer. If SSD boards were treated like platters on a standard Hard drive, then a large SSD with fault tolerance would be available by the end of the year.

DVD: I haven’t used a DVD in a long time. While we still need the item on our computers, the DVD and even BluRay might just go the way of the Dodo – Finally.

Will 2010 be the end of Blockbuster? If physical media goes, then Blockbuster doesn’t have a business model to stand on. They are not poising themselves on a streaming content system or aligning themselves with any system. Even if they put out their own proprietary box, I think it will not be able to compete with Netflix and it’s coverage.

The Set top Box and Video Game Console: Boxee and Roku have made some major steps in becoming the IPTV we will ultimately go to. Expect it to be built into a couple TVs by the end of the year. Sony will retool the PS3 to match what these two companies are doing. Nintendo Wii will be late to the game and still will be criticized for simply not being able to play a movie in their DVD player. Still, people will want Wii for it’s innovative gaming.

Netbooks: The key to their survival would be to match the power of a Notebook while being able to work like a desktop. Dock into a larger screen, but then have the portability when needed. If they don’t gain more “oomph” to their system, people will start to realize that the Netbook won’t fill their need anymore.

Tablets: I get annoyed when people say tablets are the next big thing. Just like 3-D, it’s been around for years. Why do we think this year will change?

The next generation OLPC is expected to be a tablet. That, along with the Crunch Pad retool in Joo Joo will be the death of those companies. It may find life as the next generation E-reader. Business might also be able to use them – especially in a warehouse situation as a Thin-client tablet.

The Data Center: The server room you all know and love at work will shrink by 20%. If SSD technology gets approved for server grade RAID, companies will replace their SCSI farms with SCSI – SSD and save on power and electricity. By moving to a multi-core systems and redesigned cases I saw earlier in the year, 1 machine will handle the job of 3. With the trend of Data Organization (see the earlier mention) companies will find that 30% of their storage solutions holds waste and repeat files. They will also be able to reduce the clutter.

Software: Virtual software (Cloud Applications) will start to be used over physical software, although it will not overtake it by any means. We will see a pay structure come to play. You will be able to use basic functionalities for free, but when it comes to higher end stuff – get out the pocketbook. And in the end, it will cost you more due to the fact you don’t own the software.

Expect the Microsoft Word – i4i issues resolved quickly, while Microsoft puts an offer on the company. Why not buy them out than pay a fine? Whether i4i accepts will be a different story.

Social Media: This is a tough one to predict. Tomorrow, someone could show up and take over everything. Still, I think Twitter will be Twitter and Facebook will be king. Farmers and Mobsters will still run amuck, while we’ll have to deal with a couple new games to the fold.

Security: The Presidents’ appointed staff will have to address software and website security – especially the small websites. Cyber attacks are easier if we have areas of the web that are abandoned.

Case in point – I have a web forum that is not being used as much anymore. About a month ago, spammers tried to nest in that site. I put the kibosh on it by making the site “Administrator approval”. With 5-10 new people a year, it’s not that hard to moderate.

On the same token, Operating Systems will have to be looked at for their part in malware. Someone will put forward an idea for ISPs to block any OS that does not have a level of patches installed. Anti-viral programs will come with a kill switch that will deny access until certain updates are made.

Bittorrent: Hopefully we can take back this idea from the malware and start using it for what it was intended – to pass along information and Free and Open source items. Wishful thinking I would guess:

LONGSHOT: A Company buys the Pirate Bay and turns it into a legitimate P2P system. A place for informative documents, Open Source software and Freeware.

Web: SEO is becoming a term with bad meaning. Case in point: earlier this year I talked to a guy who had his own SEO company. He mentioned that he had a corner hold on “Engagement Rings” in Canada. While that was a little weird to hear, I asked him how he did it. His response? “I don’t really know and I would love for someone to tell me.”

We have been told for years to put in SEO to our posts so we can climb the ranking ladder. Unfortunately, profiteers have climbed those same rungs with useless info to trump what anyone else will say. SEO and SEM will have to take a drastic left turn to organize the mess it created. SEO will have to become Karmatic – use it too many times in the wrong ways and it will hurt more than help.

Another issue will be the clutter on the web. Too many websites that haven’t been touched in over a year. Spammers taking over forums and (like I said earlier) malware finding a home. Cleaning up the websites that don’t try to stay current – You don’t have to update the information, as long as the code gets updated every once in a while.

Search Engines will definitely take a new direction. Spidering data will get a new methodology. Partly because competition from Bing and Google, but mostly to keep useless information to the bottom of the search list. The other part will be the “Rupert Murdoch” strategy – give spider rights to the highest bidder – which will make people turn to the “Weekend Blogger” to pick up the info and regurgitate it. Hence, the information will get spidered and the Weekend blogger will pick up more $$ than Rupert. It’s an ugly trade-off.

Bandwidth: This touchy subject will not get any better in 2010. Web caps will continue to plague improving internet speeds. I would even go as far to say that an ISP will have a download speed that could allow you to reach a cap within seconds. Just hook up a series of computers and test the theory.

There are a lot more avenues I could conquer, but I think this sums up. I would like to thank the 120 people that submitted ideas. Although I couldn’t post them all, I did read through every single one.

Let’s hope one prediction of a positive 2010 will come into play. Business to the Web! Profit to the independent content providers!

Thanks for reading. And don’t forget – feel free to add your own comments below.

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