Looking Ahead – Tech Predictions for 2007

“Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.” : Charles F. Ketteringinventor (1876 – 1958)

As we eagerly anticipate the new year, here are my own tech predictions for 2007 in tandem with the ‘Reviews and Predictions’ Group Writing Project. What exciting developments would most likely take place soon?

Google will allow cross-product searching

As Google continues to expand it’s ‘virtual office’ offering by driving usage of online spreadsheets, documents, email, and calendars, in 2007, it will offer an option to search across all it’s online services at once.

With this you will finally be able to retrieve all related documents stored on a Google service, and will consolidate Google’s position as the most logical replacement to MS-Office.

Open widget API’s will become a reality

widgets

2006 was the year where Gadgets and Widgets exploded in popularity led by the big 3 (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo).

2007 will see all 3 companies adopt a common development platform where production efforts are no longer duplicated and widgets (or gadgets) become interchangeable between services.

Podcasts will have a more structured business model

Blogs have contextual advertising like Adsense to help pay for bandwidth, but most podcasts don’t have a sustainable business model as of yet.

2007 will see the services which offer up short ads that will be contextually assigned to any given podcast. To make it easier to advertise in audio podcasts, advertisers will have an option to submit their advertisement as text, and it would be automatically translated into speech.

Large Enterprises will start embracing Web 2.0 business suites

While they were slow to react this year, 2007 will see multinational corporations abandon development of their own archaic intranets and begin transition into Web 2.0 services like Cyn.In, products from 37Signals, and Wikis.

They will appreciate the value of closer online collaboration, low setup costs, and simplicity in design. In turn, the infinitely more complex solutions like Microsoft Sharepoint, will die a slow death.

Microsoft will open up Internet Explorer 7.0 to everyone which will usher in RSS for the masses

Currently, Microsoft only allows IE7 to be installed on PC’s with legitimate copies of Windows. Now, for some reason or another, uptake of this new version seems pretty weak. W3 stats across more than 4000 web sites reveal that at the time of this post, IE7 only accounts for 6% of all browsers, while IE6 accounts for a whopping 59% – which means only one-tenth of all Internet Explorer users have made the upgrade..

The gap between Firefox and Internet Explorer will continue to close in 2007. Microsoft will be frustrated with the slow uptake of IE7, and will want to stem Firefox’s tide. They will also want to stop supporting IE6 to focus their support and development efforts on IE7.

With this, they will open up Internet Explorer to the masses, allowing downloads from any machine – regardless of it’s legitimacy of it’s Windows operating system, and make it part of their automatic update.

In turn, this would usher in RSS for the masses – where previously it was only used by the more tech savvy individuals. With RSS aggregation built directly into the browser, and with IE still expected to hold the lions share of the browser market, we will see an explosion of RSS usage on the Internet.

Yes, 2007 looks to be an exciting time for the tech community. What are your views of the future of tech in the coming year?

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