16 January 2009

Technology Outlook for 2009 – IT spending

According to a leading research firm Forrester, 2009 may not have a healthy IT spending and this is expected to continue until the financial recovery happens. But most predictions expect a revival in IT spending in early 2010 that may carry on into 2011 as well.

However marketing budget cuts in several industries may divert attention for a better reach through more economic electronic channels like websites and blogs.

Technology Outlook for 2009 – A new window

The next iteration of the Windows operating system, Windows 7 (codenamed Vienna) currently in its beta version is expected to be launched by Microsoft late 2009 (or even early 2010).

Most people consider this version to be what Windows Vista must have been but not. Apart from the new version of Media Center and the Internet Explorer, the new Windows touts highlights of improved security, reliability, networking and user experience and major enhancements at the kernel level.

Developers can download Windows 7 Developer Guide at http://snipurl.com/9sqxs.

Technology Outlook for 2009 - Apples are addictive

Apples products like the iPod, Macbook Thin Air and the iPhone 3G will continue to keep the company’s financial position stable or even better.

A sign of competition with better battery life may only tempt very few customers while Apple fancy continues to rule the markets. The multi-touch feature made famous by the iPhone / iTouch will now be incorporated into several consumer electronic devices.

However Microsoft's surface computer will take some more time to reach the masses. This year, the lucky ones could get to visit the Apple stores and some can even buy their own iPhone 3G.

Technology Outlook for 2009 – Gaming gets realistic

The consumer electronic industry currently dominated by entertainment devices will consider the gaming sector more seriously as revenues from this sector continue to soar. The games are also getting more artificially intelligent in adapting to the players styles and renew their scene / character rendering.

Some titles from the gaming consoles can tests waters in the mobile games. A Wii-mote can certainly make a living room livelier than the dismal stock market update telecasts. Games will be gorier and sublimely horror-packed deep game play for serious impact, challenging the current rating systems.

Casual gamers will face serious budget cuts and this will affect the market sales. But this can be compensated by ad-sponsoring (watch the Mountain Dew Halo 3 game fuel advert) for games and in-game advertising (Mazda RX-8 launch in Sony's Gran Turismo 3 and Frito-Lay ads in Nintendo games).

Technology Outlook for 2009 - Smart phones

The smart phones that extend the capability of mobile phones will see higher penetration as their prices slash and more and more users are adept in using them as part of their personal / professional life.

In a move to grab a share of the business smart phones market, Microsoft might target Blackberry from the Research In Motion group. According a research report, by 2015, smart phones will represent about 65 percent of all mobile phones sold globally.

Thanks to Wii like interfaces, we will see a new genre of soft gamers coming from older age-groups as the mobile games market is poised for growth.

Technology Outlook for 2009 - Mashup mode

Mashup mode

MashUps have a huge potential in the world of web technology where many corporate websites as well as social networks making some of their data available through the use of programming interfaces and RSS feeds.

This hottest Web 2.0 innovation is a hybrid web-integration application that aggregates information from different sources serving a new purpose. A good example would be location, contact and advertisement information of hotels and restaurants integrated into Google maps.

I recommend viewing http://iguide.travel/ and http://radioclouds.com/ to feel the utility value of mashups. Developers can try their wits with free mashup editors like the Yahoo pipes, Microsoft Popfly, Mozilla Ubiquity or even the Google Mashup Editor.

Technology Outlook for 2009 – Green campaigns

Eco-friendly computing or simply green computing will continue to be the buzz word prompting ‘Green solutions’ from various angles including vendor-claimed power-management features.

They can be implemented through computer farming techniques where several low-end machines networked together provide large as well as flexible computing power. Data centres designed to conserve energy and electronic recycling programs will gain more support from the go green initiatives.

Not to miss President-elect Obama’s pledge to spend $150 billion over five years in green technology here.

Outlook for 2009 – Oman’s milestones

Enthused by the strong vision of His Majesty to harness technology, more and more government websites will spruce up their online contents and start to provide electronic forms and e-services. The Oman’s government’s gateway e-services portal is expected to be launched this year along with new projects for training Omani national in various IT skills.

Private sector will seriously consider online media as a delivery channel and with the payment gateway being available; e-commerce will emerge as a new genre in the country. 2009 could even be the year of portal / website launches and those already existing will launch refreshed versions with dynamic backend systems. So web and graphics designers, web programmers may be in good demand but for the rest of the technology sales and marketing staff, the going gets tough.

Measures to increase computer and Internet penetration will see light in the New Year and this could include wider broadband connectivity through various modern technologies including VSAT. Mobile commerce will become a reality as it will be the niche point for competition in this sector. While price reduction may not be as much as expected, improvements in quality can be a reality due to competition.