An Exciting New Year For Technology

Dec 31, 2013

A new and improved Microsoft.

Lower prices for smartphones and tablets.

A big emphasis on data encryption.

These are just a few of the developments Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson sees happening in 2014.

Mark shared 3 of his 10 predictions on the air with KPLU's Dave Meyer. With his permission, we present the entire list below:

Siris into silos. 

Internet Assistants display their importance as a category by spreading out into a large number of new Siri-like products, many of which work to increase utility by going deep into vertical markets. The results are improved success in voice recognition, knowledge base utility, and customer trust and acceptance.

Visualization goes mainstream. 

As Big Data, Cloud Computing, and vast increases in storage and processing take hold, the role of data visualization becomes much more common in our tools. Having created systems more advanced than the human brain in these categories, we now must find improved ways of digesting all of this information.

Falling prices.

Low price becomes the critical driver in global consumer electronics product creation, as emerging economies absorb a dramatically larger fraction of all devices sold. The result of bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty is the creation of a new purchaser segment in consumer electronics.

Sub-$100 smartphones dominate the phone category.

Sub-$250 pads dominate the pad / CarryAlong category.

Software plays on a flat hardware field, as we build out the Global Computer.

This is the real mover behind everything in IT, from the blank, black real estate of your cell phone and pad to virtualized storage and servers, emulated processors, software-defined-networks, and the most advanced cloud computing services. Even as hardware continues to advance, software is where most of the energy, innovation, and action occur.

The new Microsoft that no one expected.

Microsoft gets a new CEO, with a new power structure that encourages cooperation instead of warring factions, and which leads to improved success in consumer markets. The stock continues to climb, on an annualized basis, and Redmond starts to get some of its "mojo" back, defined by people wanting to work there.

Micromapping arrives. 

Various firms open the door on a brand new category in mapping, advertising, location and ID, and transactions. This MALT category launches in 2014, with small but fast-growing revenues that will become mammoth in years ahead.

The Quantified Self goes mainstream. 

The idea of knowing more and more detail about our personal health and characteristics goes from being a science story to a jogger's delight to a mainstream market. Keeping track of our own health data in real time is no longer something for geeks and workout fanatics, but is accepted as a new and mainstream category of behavior, products, and preventive medicine. Doctors will have to start catching up.

Encryption everywhere. 

The direct commercial result of Edward Snowden's leaks will be a massive move by large technology companies, both in enterprise and consumer markets, to evolve new encryption technologies and products that use them. While NSA-proofing will be the motivator, the real benefit may be improved protection of commercial intellectual property from theft by China and other nations.