Friday, April 2, 2010

Looking Ahead to 2010

Jay McBain, Director, Small and Medium Business, Lenovo Americas

December 15, 2009

This is the season for spending time with family, being thankful for our many blessings, and, of course, predicting what will come in the upcoming year. The technology world is always moving and key trends that are interesting one year become game changing the following year.

Looking ahead to 2010, I see 4 macro themes that will emerge as potential game changers for the entire industry, from hardware, software, to services:

1. Connectivity
The concept of having wireless access in select areas such as home, work and coffee shops will finally become a thing of the past. With WiMax deploying to dozens of cities providing everywhere access, to more affordable and easier to adopt 3G/4G type networks available by major carriers, consumers and businesses will likely begin thinking about converting their home network to a city or country wide solution. The next generation of devices will all be enabled with GPS technology as well, making location-based computing a reality. Imagine every picture being geo-tagged, localized advertising, and location relevant Google searches.

2. Pervasive Computing
With the ability to connect everywhere and anytime, users will demand a greater availability of use-specific devices to optimize to their lifestyle. Traditionally, people would use a computer at home or work, and then augment with a smart phone in-between the two. The Netbook gained popularity in 2009 as a companion device and several dozen more examples of computing form factors will be brought to market in 2010. Users will also demand today’s electronic devices grow in function to include wireless access and basic computing ability (think car radios, TVs, even refrigerators). It is conceivable that a person would have a dozen internet ready devices in the next few years.

3. Cloud Computing
Businesses and consumers are becoming more aware and comfortable with working and storing information out on the network. With Microsoft making major Office announcements, Google maturing its product offering, as well as countless others building capabilities, the traditional use of computing offline and storing locally will turn the corner. With technology accessible everywhere, whether on personal devices or publically available multi-touch kiosks, access to data and applications will be ubiquitous. The growth of connectivity and pervasive computing above will be a direct driver of cloud computing.

4. Communication
With significant changes in technology and internet access on the horizon, the very core of human interaction will continue to evolve. Looking back, from writing letters to phone to email to instant messaging to real-time “tweets”, communication has become faster, shorter and instantaneous. We have even seen major corporations such as Microsoft and Intel dump traditional phone landlines for VOIP through ThinkPads.
A new concept dubbed “nowism” will sweep into everyday life as instant communication around everyday activities such as listening to music, watching movies, visiting restaurants will be reviewed and reported in real-time. In 2009, it was well documented the positive or negative effect that text messaging can have on movies on their opening weekend. Looking forward, Services such as TripAdvisor, Midomi, imdb, and of course traditional social networking sites, will be instrumental in whether a product, brand, or even a company survives - all in real-time.

Lenovo is excited about these changes and will kick off at CES in Las Vegas a vision on what kind of devices and tools that will enable these macro trends.