It’s only a matter of days until 2008, and next year promises to bring some significant changes that will affect web workers. In this post, I’ve rounded up six predictions that may affect you next year, in some cases possibly profoundly.
The Arrival of 802.11n Wireless Technology. Many people, especially those using Macs, have already adapted next-generation, Draft 802.11n Wi-Fi technology, which offers much faster wireless speeds. The proposed standard is supposed to be ratified in 2008, though, and that will cause many more business people to move to the new flavor of Wi-Fi, along with many new kinds of devices you can put on your 802.11n network.
Look for Lower Entry Points in Computer Pricing. The month of November already brought several key challenges to both desktop and notebook pricing models. Asus’ Eee PC line includes $300 and $400 notebook computers stocked exclusively with open-source software. Meanwhile Everex’s new gPCs are desktop systems running only open source software that you can get for under $200. In 2008, look for more reductions in computer pricing, and additions to these product lines.
Brighter Prospects for Open Source Offerings. The world of open source is no longer only about Linux, although many bright things are going on with Linux distros and applications. Lots of people are waking up to the free applications available for the PC and the Mac, and to Widgets, Gadgets and free collections of applications from companies such as Google. Expect much more of this in 2008.
A Jump Up in Hostpot Usage. In a recent report from iPass based on data from over 3,500 businesses, business use of Wi-Fi hotspots was shown to be up 68 percent between the first half of 2007 and the first half of 2006. Meanwhile, many more hotspots are starting up, and there are growing efforts to Wi-Fi-enable entire cities. Expect the numbers to jump up in 2008.
More Musical Chairs Among Social Networks. Social networking online was written off not too long ago as a playground exclusively for young people, but there are now so many social networks, and enough business applications for them, that steady migration from one network to the next is going on. Expect more types of social networks in 2008, and more people migrating from one network to the next.
Brand New Applications Based on Short-Range Wireless Improvements. Wireless USB and High-Speed Bluetooth have both been waiting for their moments in the sun. In 2008, expect them to get their moments, along with entirely new short-range wireless applications. Wireless USB, in particular, is poised to start allowing for applications like easy, fast wireless transfers of video, photos, and more—much as people currently do these transfers on a wired basis. The first quarter of next year will see a wave of consumer electronics products with Wireless USB embedded.
Do you have any tech predictions for 2008?