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Looking ahead: Tech trends 2007

On the horizon already: Web 3.0?

By Nancy Weil
December 28, 2006 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - As we gaze toward the vista of 2007, we find our e-mail inundated with IT predictions for the new year from analysts, vendors and consultants. From those predictions and our own prognostications we present our forecast for the top IT stories in the year ahead:

Pun aside, Vista

With fanfare, Microsoft Corp. will garner headlines early in the year as it releases its Vista operating system to home users, possibly even at the end of January as currently scheduled, avoiding another delay or three. The release splash will give way to headlines that enterprises are following through on comments from wary IT administrators and are waiting to upgrade. Then will come the security-risk headlines, followed no doubt by the patch headlines.

Content kings

We'll go with the forecast of analyst Leonard Fuld of Fuld & Associates in Boston that an ongoing story and trend we'll follow in 2007 will be "the world of information and how it's monetized." And we'll put our money on Google Inc. to continue to lead the pack. The YouTube acquisition will be but the tip of that iceberg. Google will scoop up other content providers with an eye on their advertising revenue or potential advertising revenue. "There will be other mega deals," Fuld said in a recent interview. News Corp. undoubtedly will be another company to watch in 2007 when it comes to content, with mergers among more traditional media companies that find themselves increasingly forced to compete with Internet content providers, not to mention the blogosphere and specialty content providers.

Along those lines, Internet-delivered TV is going to find its feet in 2007. We've heard that before, but it's got to happen some year and we think the new year will be it. It might even go as far as the prediction of IP (Internet Protocol) communications guru Jeff Pulver: "Every TV network, film studio and content creator will start to adopt a direct-to-the-Internet and direct-to-the-PDA strategy."

Hacker's paradise

Malware, spyware, viruses, worms (oh, my!) will continue to cause major headaches for enterprises, government agencies and ordinary tech users. McAfee Inc. is among the security vendors predicting that hackers are going to target MP3 files, and we can't think of any reason they won't. They're also likely to plant bombs in Internet video links because surfers don't think twice about clicking on a multimedia link, as McAfee predicts.

There will be at least a couple of cybersecurity threats related to alleged terrorist plots, perhaps even by al-Qaeda itself, but the threats will be unsubstantiated and uncorroborated and we'll soon enough find other things to worry about.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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