Posey's Tips & Tricks

My Tech Predictions for 2016

Based on how Microsoft has been rolling lately, it wouldn't surprise me to see any of these predictions come to fruition over the next year.

One of my long-standing traditions is that I like to end the year by writing a post with my technology predictions for the following year. Sometimes these predictions come true, and sometimes they don't, but it's all in fun. So with that said, here are my tech predictions for 2016.

HoloLens Will Be Amazing, but Adoption Will Be Slow
My first tech prediction is that Microsoft HoloLens, when eventually released, is going to be amazing. Even so, I think that adoption is going to be slow. Microsoft hasn't announced pricing for HoloLens yet, but they have given several hints. My guess is that the price is going to be beyond the range of most home users, and many businesses simply will not see HoloLens as a viable business tool.

Don't get me wrong -- I think that techies will adopt HoloLens in droves and there will certainly be some businesses that will adopt HoloLens. At least initially, however, HoloLens will be a niche technology. I think that it will be best suited for use by architects, engineers and researchers. Over time, more software is sure to be developed, and that will make HoloLens useful to a wider segment of the market.

Microsoft Will Work to Bridge the Gap Between Office 365 and Azure
My second tech prediction for 2016 is that Microsoft is going to do something to bridge the gap between Office 365 and Azure. I'm not really sure what that something might be, but my guess is that Microsoft may introduce a new type of subscription that includes both Office 365 and Azure. Or it may introduce a software component that makes it easier to federate identities across the two platforms.

The reason why I am making these predictions is because Office 365 and Azure are both discrete cloud platforms. Both are gaining traction and it is only a matter of time before Microsoft customers demand a better way of managing the two environments.

Unforeseen Management Issues with Nano Server
My third prediction is that the forthcoming Nano Server is going to cause some unforeseen management headaches. Microsoft has already taken steps to head off some of the potential problems by creating a very lightweight text interface for Nano Server that will allow administrators to connect to the Nano Server console and make changes to the network and firewall configuration. Beyond that, however, I think that there are some things that are going to surprise some people. For example, PowerShell remoting generally requires the target machine to be a domain member. Some administrators may be hard-pressed to figure out how to manage Nano Servers that are not domain joined. Never mind the fact that there is going to be a learning curve associated with deploying and configuring Nano Server.

For the record, I am not predicting that Nano Server is going to be a flop or that Nano Server is going to be buggy and borderline useless. I think that Microsoft did a good thing by creating Nano Server, but that like any new technology, there are going to be some things that don't work quite the way that people might expect.

Cortana Will Prove To Be Useful for Business Analytics
If you have read some of my columns from the previous year, then you know that I use Cortana constantly on my phone when I travel, but that I almost never use Cortana on my Windows 10 desktop. I think that Cortana is going to evolve into a business intelligence interface. Microsoft has already done a considerable amount of work around Cortana for business intelligence, and it will only be a matter of time before Cortana becomes the easiest way for knowledge workers to derive information from business data.

Microsoft Allows for Better Customization of the Edge Start Screen
My final tech prediction for 2016 is that Microsoft is going to improve the Edge browser Start screen to allow for better customization. As it stands right now, Edge is able to display a series of tiles for sites that you visit frequently. I have found this to be tremendously helpful, but really wish that Microsoft would make the list customizable. Early on, for example, I accidentally removed Google from my list of frequently visited sites and have yet to find a way of putting it back.

The reason why I am predicting that Microsoft is going to make some improvements in this area is because Microsoft has already given into some customer demands regarding the Edge browser. When Edge was first released, it was impossible to open additional browser windows. If you wanted to browse multiple sites, then you had to open up a series of tabs. Eventually, however, Microsoft made it possible to open up multiple Edge windows, so I'm guessing that they are listening to their customers and that the Edge start screen is only going to get better.

About the Author

Brien Posey is a 16-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 at.

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