Tech trends 2009

As we head towards a new year I wanted to share my thoughts on some of the key tech trends for 2009.

1) Apple ripens

The phenomenal growth at Apple will slow down. 2009 will be ‘evolution’ rather than ‘revolution’ across all their product lines. I do not think there will be a big splash product this year. There will likely be ;

  • updates to the Mac Mini, 
  • new iPhone Nano
  • a revised iphone , up to 32GB

There is talk of a new media server from Apple.  This would logically fit into their line up. I suspect it will be more of a product evolution based on the Time Machine . Expect this annoucement in next weeks MacWorld.  

Despite  Steve Job’s resistence, I do believe they will launch some kind of netbook, combining touch technology and the Macbook. The market is growing in the netbook sector and Apple will want a piece of it. 

2) Low cost computing

UMPCs and netbook sales will continue to grow for two reasons. Firstly, as global economic difficulties continue, there will be less disposible income floating around for consumer IT.  Secondly, the growth of cloud computing will change the consumers need for power hungry top spec computers. 

3) Social Networking  matures 

In a similar vein to Apple’s evolutionary steps in 2009, I believe that social networking sites will continue to grow and mature towards the end of the year. Like any market, expect 2009 to see some of the smaller sites go under, as  the users decide what works and what does not.  

Services that aggrogate the numerous social networking sites will be the winners in 2009. For example, Friendfeed.com will have a good year. 

3) Twitter, Twitter & Twitter

Yes, I know ,Twitter is strictly speaking a social networking site. But I believe it warrants its own catergory. Despite the discussions about Twitter’s lack of a business model it will see huge growth in the market next year.  By the end of the year it will  be as widely known as Facebook.

Growth for all the social networking sites will be increasingly sustained by the mobile market. The success of the iPhone and other mobile devices will shift users of these networks away from their desktops and to their mobiles. Expect the big winners to be the smaller app developers of clients based on Twitter’s APIs. 

4) Linux in our lives

Embedded linux will continue to grow in a host of consumer electronics .  Google’s Linux based Android OS will be widely used in smartphone handsets and Palms new Linux based OS, Nova, will hit the market.

Ubuntu linux will continue to grow both in terms of new products but also installed on legacy products – giving a new lease of life to older hardware.  

Outside bets

5) As a Mac fan it pains me to say it -but I predict the retirement of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. I think, in a similar approach to Bill Gates, Jobs will remain part of Apple – but his day to day role will change. 

6) A good year for Microsoft. Yes I said it.  To dismiss Redmond is foolish. Microsoft tend to be at their best when they are behind the curve. And they certainly are at the moment. But they learn from their mistakes (Vista) and the successes of others (Apple and Google ). They got their fingers burnt from Vista and will put it right in Windows 7. Expect a much more elegant, lighter and cheaper OS from them this year.

Will that completes my predictions.  Happy New Year.