Well, January is off to a soggy and windy start already and the Christmas decorations will be going down around the world. Here are my 2014 predictions for technology.
Desktops and laptops
Still reeling from the failure of Windows 8 to sway the public, hopes will be pinned on the next version of Windows (and possibly the re-emergence of the Start button). It is all too late for the once great company however and sales of Windows licenses will continue to be on the decline.
Apple may see an upsurge of sales for their laptop and desktop devices, although not by much. They are still seen as prestige items and their pricing shows it. Macs and MacBooks will still be the purview of professionals and those fans that simply must have every Apple device.
Linux in the form of Ubuntu and ChromeOS will continue to be on the rise. Austerity will play a large part in the decision making process, with cheap and powerful devices available why spend money on Microsoft or Apple products? Steam for Linux will continue to be developed. With top games now becoming available for Ubuntu, gamers will start switching from Windows in favour of the free OS.
Smartphones and tablets
Much of a muchness.
I am hoping we won’t see anywhere near as many law suits made by Apple, as they will not want to get their fingers burned again. It’s not the money involved in settlements or anything like that, but the reputation hit they suffered facing off against the likes of Google and Samsung that they will not want to repeat.
Voice controls and contextual content will be the buzz, with ‘flat’ designs cropping up all over the place. Sadly, Windows Phone will still be a very long way behind in third place. Interest in Ubuntu Touch will gain some ground as the product nears completion.
Microsoft may well be on the decline, but they are still a massive company with a possibility to pull a rabbit out of the hat. I expect we will see at least one more Ballmerism before they acquire a new CEO.
Apple will make things even thinner and in more precious metals, maybe stones too. They have done gold, now they will do a Bejewelled Blitz on the mobile market place, possibly with the iPhone 6c or whatever they decide to call the next device.
Google will be talked about. Constantly. Glass, Search, Google+. You name it and Google will have a finger in a pie somewhere. Boston Dynamics is an interesting acquisition and I am sure we will see more.
Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, otherwise known as the big four, will continue to be popular. Facebook fatigue will get even worse over time, with yet more adverts and sponsored posts appearing in people’s feeds.
It’s not about the numbers as such, but about defining what each network is for. I believe there will be greater clarity in the coming months that each of the networks is different and is not being used for the same things. Something marketers will need to comprehend and grasp fully with both hands!
The battle between Sony and Microsoft will be an intense one. The PS4 and XBox One are closely matched in terms of hardware. The PS4 will have more top quality games available and will appeal to hardcore gamers. Privacy concerns and a general malaise with regards to Microsoft will turn people off from buying their product.
Valve’s Steam Machine will be entering the market, which has a chance to shake things up a bit, plus Nintendo are always waiting in the wings to do something interesting.
A lot can happen in a year and these predictions are just my own speculation. There are a lot of interesting things going on at the top end of the tech world, like Google Glass and 3D printing.
I can’t wait to find out what actually happens!2014 predictions by Alan Stainer