Posey's Tips & Tricks

Tech Predictions for 2016 Revisited

While Brien didn't get a perfect grade when it came to his 2016 predictions, he was on the money with the majority of his premonitions.

In recent years, I have used my last written post of the year to make tech predictions for the coming year. I also like to use an end of the year post (or, in this case, a beginning of the year post) to go back and look at my tech predictions for the previous year. Sure, this has resulted in plenty of "what in the world was I thinking" moments in the past, but that's OK, because making and later revisiting predictions is designed to be fun. So with that said, let's see how I did.

HoloLens Will Be Amazing, but Adoption Will Be Slow
My first tech prediction from last year was that Microsoft HoloLens, which had not yet been released at the time, was going to be an amazing device, but that adoption would be slow. I based that prediction on the assumption that HoloLens would have a high price tag, and that for the first year or two would be considered a novelty device.

Until recently, it would have been difficult to determine whether this prediction came true or not. It was not until last month that I actually got the chance to try a HoloLens. Based on my own personal experiences, I have to say that HoloLens is indeed an amazing device. I also think that it is safe to say that adoption has been slow, since I only know one person who has one. That being the case, I am going to count this one as an accurate prediction.

Microsoft Will Work To Bridge the Gap Between Office 365 and Azure
My second tech prediction for 2016 was that Microsoft was going to do something to bridge the gap between Office 365 and Azure. I speculated that Microsoft might introduce a new type of subscription that included both Office 365 and Azure, or that they might introduce a software component that makes it easier to federate identities across the two platforms.

I'm also going to count this one as an accurate prediction. Although Microsoft didn't merge the two cloud services in quite the way that I thought that they might, my prediction was based primarily on identity federation. Recently, Microsoft began giving Office 365 subscribers free access to Azure AD as a way of helping customers to manage user identities in the cloud.

Unforeseen Management Issues with Nano Server
My third prediction for 2016 was that Nano Server, which did not yet exist at the time, was going to cause some unforeseen management headaches. This was probably the easiest prediction for me to make. After all, Nano Server is so different from any other type of Windows Server deployment, that there were almost certain to be some unforeseen management headaches.

My own experience around Nano Server has been that Nano Server is great, but that it does force you to give up some things. For example, my antimalware software doesn't work with Nano Server, nor does my backup software.

Cortana Will Prove To Be Useful for Business Analytics
My fourth prediction for 2016 was that Cortana would become the go-to tool for business analytics. I am going to count this prediction as a fail. Cortana may eventually prove to be useful for business intelligence, but at least in my experience, it isn't there yet.

Just this morning I asked Cortana to show me the spreadsheets that I had been working on most recently. For some strange reason, Cortana displayed some Excel files from several years ago. Clearly, Microsoft still has some work to do.

Microsoft Allows for Better Customization of the Edge Start Screen
My final tech prediction for 2016 was that Microsoft was going to improve the Edge browser Start screen to allow for better customization. At the time, the Edge browser was in its infancy, and I had assumed that Microsoft would eventually allow users to pin tiles representing commonly used Web sites to the browser's default screen.

This prediction partially came true. Microsoft will allow Edge users to pin news, sports, and money information cards to the browser's default screen, but users cannot pin favorite Web sites to this screen, nor can they pin custom information cards to the default screen.

I will give myself half a point for this one. Microsoft did improve browser default screen customizations, and they did use tiles to do it, but not in the way that I expected.

So for those of you who are keeping score, my success rate for my 2016 predictions was 3.5 out of 5. So how will I do next time? Be sure to check out my tech predictions for 2017.

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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