Predictions for 2009

With a New Year looming it seems appropriate to look to what the coming year holds for us from a technology perspective.Although the lack of anything major on the horizon almost caused me to shelve the idea, I am an eternal optimist and so must look forward in anticipation of any planned advancements as well as wait in hope for those that are unpredicted.In no particular order, here are my technology predictions for 2009:

-Solid State Drives: Rather than storing data on a standard hard drive (typically the slowest part of a computer), I predict that in 2009 Solid State Drives (SSD’s) will become more affordable and hence start to make their way in to more machines, especially laptops where size and power consumption are important factors.Conventional hard disks rely on spinning magnetic disks which are typically slow, unreliable and noisy but the move to SSD will mean a tremendous jump in the speed as data is stored on an incredibly fast form of flash memory, similar to that found in a simple USB pen drive.

-Online applications: It does have to be said that while I still don’t really ‘get’ the idea of online applications at present, the popularity of sites such as Google Docs (an online Word Processor) will continue to increase as users discover that they can create, share and collaborate their work online.

-USB 3.0: Expect to see USB 3.0 gaining a fair amount of attention towards the end of the year.USB 1.1 and 2.0 have been incredibly successful and we should be thankful for the changes they have made to computing over the last decade.Although most probably won’t start adopting the standard until next year, it is this year that we will start hearing about incredibly fast external hard drives and flash pens along with video transfer speeds that will hammer the likes of Firewire.

-Portable Computing: Personally I think they look ridiculous, but 2009 could very well be the year for the ‘netbook’.With people increasingly having to carry their computers around, the case for an extremely lightweight laptop with features a small screen, decent keyboard, fast Internet connection, Solid State Drive but no CD Drive or Hard Drive is now incredibly strong.

-Increased use of SaaS: The idea behind SaaS (Software as a Service) is rather than purchasing software on a disc, the license is leased as a service and provided to customers over a network or the Internet.Rather than paying up front for a new version then having to pay for upgrades when they become available, software provided in this fashion will be kept continually up to date for an ongoing subscription fee.While take-up of this technology will still be slow, the economic climate of 2009 may make SaaS a tempting proposition for businesses that are don’t want the immediate expenditure of buying software up front.

-Faster Wireless Networking: 2009 will be the year that the wireless networking standard 802.11n will be finalised and I predict 2009 will be the year when this incredibly fast wireless networking standard takes off.

Unfortunately, that pretty much ties up what we have in store for the coming year and I’m sorry that the list didn’t include any particularly revolutionary technologies, computers or games consoles.While there isn’t anything to get overly excited about please remember that technology continues to bound along at an incredible speed and in some instances we should maybe appreciate simply a year where technology is very much how it has always been, only slightly better.


About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.