In terms of computer technology, web standards and software advances, 2011 has certainly been a year to remember. All year it has been a matter of ‘what’s going to happen next week’ never mind ‘next year’. Now, as 2011 draws to an end, I’ve been musing over what likely events we just might expect for 2012.
Now, I know making predictions is fraught with danger and some might even say an exercise in futility, but hey – faint heart never won a fair damsel, so here goes:
Windows 8 set to flop: Okay, that’s a pretty sweeping statement so let’s narrow it down a little. I predict that Windows 8 acceptance rate among desktop users will be pretty ordinary. For starters, I can’t see too many home PC users, who already have Windows 7 installed, coughing up the cash for an operating system which offers little more extra than an additional interface optimized for mobile devices. And the majority of corporate users have either just recently migrated or are in the process of migrating to Windows 7, so I can’t see them exactly champing at the bit.
Yes, there’s sure to be the usual initial ‘new operating system’ novelty factor, plus the obvious attraction for those who might actually appreciate the mobile, web based interface. But, on the whole, I suspect Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to traditional PC users, with very little upgrade activity occurring in that particular area.
Internet Explorer 10 to be hit: Yep really! With the imminent release of IE10 I believe Microsoft is set to make a positive impact in the browser wars, and on current market share trends. Internet Explorer 9 was merely the first step in a revamping process necessitated after years of neglect. Microsoft has upped the ante with IE10 and development has been progressing at an unprecedented rate, taking Internet Explorer from also-ran to cutting-edge.
All this new found resolve and vigor is not just based on competitiveness either, no doubting that is an element but the main motivation is Windows 8 Metro where Internet Explorer 10 is set to play a fundamental role. So there is more than mere pride at stake here, IE10 is critical to Metro’s success, ergo dollar signs are flashing – nuff said!!
Malware threat levels to increase and expand: I guess that prediction does come across as not being exactly Holmesian by nature but there is more to it than the mere words portend. I expect the threat base for home PC users will remain pretty much as it is now, in a never ending cycle of pestilence. 2011 saw a steady increase in those threats which prey on human frailties and rely heavily on user interaction, collectively known as socially engineered threats. I can see no reason why that trend will not continue throughout 2012.
It’s in the area of emerging threats where I predict the most dramatic changes will take place. A shift in emphasis to take advantage of the expanding proliferation of mobile devices and associated social networking is almost inevitable. The two are inexorably linked, both involve similar sharing elements which offer an inviting prospect for cybercriminals. To date, the vulnerabilities of mobile devices have not been fully exploited, I expect that to change during 2012 and we should witness a steady growth in the numbers of threats specifically targeting mobile devices. I also would not be at all surprised to see an increase in the numbers and severity of attacks targeting critical institutions and databases. All in all, 2012 should be a bumper year for security software developers/vendors.
Miniaturization technology to exert even more influence: There is no doubt that the development of electronics miniaturization has contributed hugely to advancements made over the past decade or so. There are so many areas where this technology has influenced our ‘modern’ way of life, not the least of which are the fields of computers and telecommunications – processors getting ever smaller yet even more powerful, memory also on the same track. It’s the miniaturization of these essential components which provides us with more and more functionality in smaller and smaller packages. A few short years back, who would have conceived the broad range of features available in today’s smartphones, or predicted the amazing capabilities packed into tablets.
I predict we’ll see this technology continuing to impact hugely during 2012, with slimmer, sleeker devices packing more and more power. This is the high yield, growth area of the moment and major companies are set to invest resources accordingly. Expect to see a comeback for the good old laptop during 2012 too, with the more computer orientated manufacturers competing to produce the most powerful, ultra-thinnest design. The race is on, and I don’t expect that Apple will have it all its own way.
Last but certainly not least: I fearlessly predict that Daves Computer Tips shall continue to provide the very best hints, tips, reviews and advice on the planet. I also predict that DCT is destined to become a force to be reckoned with during 2012 (I reckon that one will prove to be correct at least! :))
Whatever the outcome – we sincerely wish you all a safe, healthy and peaceful 2012.