What’s coming on the techie front in 2008? Information technology and business trend research house Gartner has just released its list of key trends for the years ahead.
- Apple will double its share of the key US and western Europe computer markets in the next three years. Gartner believes Apple’s continuous product innovation and focus on software usability will see it move ahead in leaps and bounds.
- By 2012, half of travelling workers will leave their notebooks at home in favour of other devices such as pocket PCs and handheld devices. Bigger processing power in smaller, lightweight packages means the laptop will become less of a necessity.
- The rise of open source technology will continue. In five years, Gartner predicts that 80% of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology, because they are stable, well-supported and are often a lower-cost option.
- By next year environmental considerations will be a significant factor in IT purchasing for at least one third of all tech business. The realisation that green tech can help cut costs will be a key motivation. By 2010, 75% of all business will use full life cycle energy and CO2 footprint as mandatory PC hardware buying criteria.
- 3-D printers are set to take off in homes and businesses across the developed economies. Gartner predicts 3-D printers – a device that will carve a design out of a block of resin, foam or even light wood – will grow 100-fold over 2006 levels. As prices fall below $10,000, the devices will move from a specialist product to the dream tool for every home designer and hobbyist.