Posey's Tips & Tricks

My Predictions for 2013

From increasing tablet sales to the reveal of Windows 9, Brien runs down what he expects to see in the coming year.

Last week while I was vacationing in South America I had lunch with someone who was really into technology. After exchanging a few stories, he asked me what my technology predictions were for 2013. I have to admit that at the time my brain was in vacation mode and I really didn't give the guy a very good answer. Now that I have had some time to think however, I thought it might be fun to lay out my predictions in one of my blog posts.

Before I Begin...
Like everyone else in the world, I have heard all of the gloom and doom predictions for the coming year. I have heard predictions for everything from a total global economic collapse to a zombie apocalypse. Although 2013 might prove to be a difficult year, I don't like making doomsday predictions. I think that there is enough negative news in the world without me adding to it. That being the case, I am going to stay away from all of the drama in this post and stick to making predictions that are either positive or neutral.

The Year of the Tablet
Ever since 2010, I have read predictions that it will be "the year of the tablet" and that tablet sales will exceed those of desktops and laptops. I think that some of these predictions were a bit premature, although there is no denying that tablets have become very popular. I think that we will see this trend continue well into 2013. I also look for Intel and AMD to start moving away from x86/x64 processors in desktops and laptops and focus heavily on ARM processors.

Big Data
Even though I think of the term "Big Data" as being nothing more than an industry buzz word of the moment, the term isn't totally meaningless. Companies are collecting customer data and marketing data more than they ever have in the past. No doubt this trend is driven by factors such as low cost storage and the ubiquitous nature of the Internet. If you look past all of this however, all of that data is useless unless it can be analyzed in a way that reveals hidden truths about the market. That being the case, I think that data analysts or "data scientists" as some people call them will be one of the hot IT positions in 2013.

Data Leakage
Data leakage (the unintended exposure of sensitive data) is a big problem for companies. Although products like Exchange Server 2013 offer mechanisms to detect and prevent data leakage, I think that in 2013 we will see companies start to place a renewed sense of urgency around leakage prevention. I predict that numerous startups will specialize in leak prevention or reclaiming leaked data.

Consumer Malware
I think that 2012 could be accurately described as the year of BYOD, but I think that 2013 will have to be the year of BYOD security. With so many people using consumer devices to access corporate resources, the hackers are working overtime to develop a killer exploit for the iPad and other mobile platforms. That being the case, I think that one of the biggest security initiatives for companies in 2013 is going to involve taking a long, hard look at their BYOD strategy.

Windows 9
There are numerous analysts out there that have denounced Windows 8. Gartner even went so far as to say that 90 percent of enterprises will not perform any sort of large scale Windows 8 deployment (I'm paraphrasing). While I seriously doubt that the 90 percent prediction is true, there is no denying that the Windows 8 interface is a bit awkward to use. Constantly switching between Desktop mode and Windows Store UI mode is a pain, and it has proven to be really confusing for end users.

I don't expect to see a Windows 9 beta in 2013, but Microsoft knows that many people hate the Windows 8 dual interface. That being the case, my prediction is that Microsoft will spend this year trying to expedite the development of 9. We might even see a major service pack release at some point that offers a newly redesigned user interface. If that sounds crazy, just think back to the days of Windows XP. Windows XP had so many security problems that Microsoft temporarily halted the development of Windows Vista and took the code that they had been developing for Vista and turned it into a Windows XP service pack. The same thing could happen with Windows 8.

About the Author

Brien Posey is a 22-time Microsoft MVP with decades of IT experience. As a freelance writer, Posey has written thousands of articles and contributed to several dozen books on a wide variety of IT topics. Prior to going freelance, Posey was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the country's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox. In addition to his continued work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years actively training as a commercial scientist-astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. You can follow his spaceflight training on his Web site.


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