Posey's Tips & Tricks

Posey's Tech Predictions for 2023

Are cloud price reductions, increased AI and Windows 13 waiting for us this year?

Over the last several years it has become something of a tradition for me to make technology predictions for the coming year and to review the predictions that I made the previous year. However, there are three ground rules that I set for myself that hopefully make my predictions a little bit different from the others that you will find this time of year.

First, my sole reason for making these predictions is just for fun. While I do try to make accurate predictions, they are in no way intended to serve as a definitive guide to the state of the industry. Second, I stay away from making any predictions that are super obvious. As such, you will never hear me come up with a prediction such as, "Microsoft is going to be releasing a lot of patches next year." Third, I always make it a point to include one prediction that is really audacious and way out in left field. In other words, a long-shot prediction that nobody else would dare to make. So without further ado, here are my predictions for 2023.

1. Microsoft Invests Heavily in AI for Microsoft Office applicatio
ns My first prediction for the upcoming year is that Microsoft will further AI enable its Microsoft Office applications. This prediction isn't a huge stretch. It almost violates my rule about not making predictions that are super obvious, but not quite. Even so, there is a good reason why I am making this prediction.

Microsoft recently created a new Office application called Designer. If you haven't seen Designer yet, it is an AI-based design tool. You can literally type in whatever you want and Designer will draw it for you. Designer also uses AI to add text and other visual effects to your designs. Incidentally, I recently had the chance to take Designer for a test drive and wrote about it in a recent blog post.

I consider Designer to be a complete game-changing application that demonstrates what AI is truly capable of. Microsoft has already dabbled in adding AI to its Office applications through things like text prediction in Word. My guess is that Designer probably started out as an experiment and that Microsoft has big plans for incorporating the technology into its other applications.

2. Microsoft Simplifies Its Subscription Plans
As I think about this one, I'm not sure if it's an actual prediction or just wishful thinking on my part, but I look for Microsoft to simplify some of its Microsoft 365 subscription plans. It isn't exactly a secret that Microsoft wants all of its customers to subscribe to Microsoft 365. The problem is that there are numerous subscription plans and countless add-on services available. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out if you even need a particular add-on, or if that add-on happens to be included in another plan (and if it would be more cost-effective to purchase the add-on or upgrade your plan).

Given the number of complaints that I've been hearing about Microsoft 365 subscription complexity, it doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility that Microsoft may try to streamline its subscription services. Of course Microsoft's history of convoluted server licensing seems to suggest that I may be wrong about this particular prediction. We will just have to wait and see.

3. Cloud Providers Announce Price Reductions
My third prediction is that public cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon and maybe even Google will announce some price reductions in the coming year. There are a couple of reasons why I think this could happen.

First, the economy is driving a lot of businesses to look for ways to better control costs. Cloud providers won't be anxious to lose customers to another provider who might be just a little bit cheaper. As such, I think that the larger providers may try to lower their rates in an effort to retain customers.

The other reason why I think we may see a cloud price reduction is because when the public cloud first came about, it was marketed as the cheap alternative to running workloads on premises. More recently, there has been a bit of a backlash against major cloud providers because it can be every bit as expensive (or maybe even more so) to run a workload in the cloud as it is to run that same workload on premises. Certainly this does not hold true in every case, but it seems like I'm hearing about it much more often than I used to. The cloud providers stand to lose a lot of money if organizations bring their workloads back on premises, so I think they may make an effort to be more price competitive.

4. Microsoft Announces Windows 13
The fourth prediction is that Microsoft will announce Windows 13. This one is a little bit of a long shot, but hear me out.

When Microsoft created Windows 10 it was said that Windows 10 would be the last desktop version of Windows. Rather than creating a new operating system every few years, Microsoft would simply update Windows 10 on a perpetual basis. It was good plan, but there was one flaw. There was no easy way for Microsoft to change the hardware requirements for an existing product. Microsoft wanted to take advantage of TPM 2.0, but couldn't require it for Windows 10. Hence the creation of Windows 11 (though there might have been other reasons why Windows 11 was created).

Since Microsoft is clearly abandoned the idea of perpetually updating a single version of Windows forever, I wouldn't be surprised to see a new version of Windows announce this year. After all, Windows 11 has been around for a while. In case you're wondering why I am predicting Windows 13, it's because there is already a third-party product called Windows 12.

5. Microsoft Flight Simulator Paves the Way for the Metaverse
My final prediction, and this is the crazy one, is that Microsoft Flight Simulator is going to play a pivotal role in Microsoft's transition to the metaverse. Think about this one for a moment. Microsoft invested untold amounts of money to create a virtual model of the world that occupies many petabytes of cloud storage space. Even if you take Microsoft's initial investment out of the equation, just maintaining that data has to cost a fortune. Never mind all of the scenery enhancements that Microsoft introduces on a regular basis.

In spite of Flight Simulator's popularity, I simply cannot imagine that the Flight Simulator community is large enough to financially sustain the infrastructure required to run the game. Additionally, Microsoft has a long history of repurposing code for other purposes. I also find it interesting that just prior to the pandemic Microsoft was hard at work experimenting with meta-verse like content in products such as SharePoint. My guess is that Microsoft will eventually begin creating other products that leverage the Flight Simulator 3D scenery database. After all, I'm sure there are plenty of products that could somehow benefit from having a detailed 3D model of the entire world. It's also possible that Microsoft may licenses database to third-party developers (think Xbox gaming) as a way of generating additional revenue. In any case, my guess is that the 3D world that Microsoft is already created will eventually become the basis of Microsoft's version of the metaverse.

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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