Predictions for the coming years.March 12, 2008
I have made predictions in the past, but never really dome more than just talk about them once in a blue moon. But now I will make some predictions for the following few years and will put together something like a time line. As it is I am really into technology, so I will be making most of the predictions about the future in the technology area.
Lets get the ball rolling!
1. Solid State Drives
Solid state has been the future not for a long time, but has been used for many years, SD cards have been in use sense the introduction of digital cameras, in the early stages the storage would not exceed much more than a few Megabytes. But as time has progressed so has the technology. What used to be a few hundred megabytes is now a few gigabytes. The introduction of a new SSD (Solid State Disk) was brought to the market recently and soon after saw the introduction to the main stream market in the Macbook Air, which I think is a piece’o’crap but that is another discussion for another time. The drive is 128GB and is one inch smaller than the existing 3.5inch disk based hard drives. Now for my prediction, SSD’s will replace spinning disk drives in less than 2 years, lets go with a safe estimate of 16 months and 9 days from today.
2. Flash “thumb” drives replacing CD/DVD
Again SSD’s will be the trump card to any spinning disk, Bluray disks are well on there way to the “standard” but in all reality they are doomed simply because they are spinning drives. I remember the first computer I had had a ‘zip drive‘ where we would save our data to for backup, then one day, it was gone, I lost a good friend but it was soon replaced by a newer and better friend the “floppy disk“. Now I’m not talking the floppy disks that you know and loved so well, I’m talking the 5 inch floppy disks. Now that was technology, but wait!!! It was replaced by a smaller 3.5 inch ‘floppy’ that could store more information, little less than 3MB!!! Holy cow, that’s awesome!!! But like the fate of the ‘zip drive’ the floppy was on route to fail and was replaced by the bigger and BETTER CD and soon after the DVD! This was great, you could now use the term “burn” for more than what you would do to your green army men. But as a wise man and my self once said, history will repeat its self. DVD/CDs were recently replaced by the god of disks, the all mighty Bluray. But there is one flaw above everything else that will eventually cause the demise of the Bluray disk, it spins. The future is, again, SSD’s. Remember the days when we would go to blockbuster and VHS’s, then they went all DVD’s now recent discussion has been made by Blockbuster to carry only Bluray disks, too bad that Bluray is going to kick the bucket just as fast as it took the throne. “But why is that Mike?”, you ask. Well let me tell you. You will be renting your movies from online sources in HD soon enough, so don’t worry. But until there is a sensible delivery system for the internet we will have to make due with the next best thing. Flash “thumb” drives. You will get very familiar with the encoding of HD videos with a codec called x264 the compression is amazing. If you could compare audio files to video files, AVIs would be the .Mp3 and x264 would be the .Flack. Get used to plugging in your rented 10 GB thumb drive into your 52″ plasma 1080p screen with 7.2 surround sound and watching Cloverfield one hundred times.
3. The downfall of Microsoft and the rise of Mac and Linux.
With the recent release of the newest version of Windows operating system, Vista, Microsoft has taken a huge hit in their profits. Although they are selling copies and making some money they overall have not been successful in making it work as they were with past operating systems. Because of the latest follies that MS made they have destroyed the small amount of reputation that the company had left. Microsoft has roughly 3 more years of life in the operating system world, the only hope that MS has now is the “xbox” which is surprisingly doing well for being something that belongs to MS. The only reason anyone buys an xbox is because halo is so amazing. So in the end, MS fails and Mac will take over. But Mac will not be the only thing that takes over the operating system market, as the use of Linux rises and the GUI becomes more user friendly the rate at which windows begins to fall apart will increase. People want free stuff, Linux has that to offer. Bill Gates, you had one hell of a run, but every legend dies sooner or later.
4. Web applications
Web apps. This is the future. The first I heard of web apps, other than yahoo, MSN, and Google online mail, was from my father. He told me that web apps are the future, I did not exactly believe him. But after hearing about the Photoshop web app, my opinion started to change. The introduction of AJAX and Java scripting will take the internet by storm, soon you will be paying subscriptions for software and using it online in some sort of “flash” based program. Say good bye, once again, to the CD/DVD. Your future is online based distribution. I give the explosion of web apps about 8 months to get noticed by main stream media and people and about 15-18 months before you start using them on a regular basis.
Side note; I just got to thinking about it, I’m using web apps more than I think. This blog is a web app, your e-mail is a web app, online forums are web apps. They are already surrounding us. I revoke my previous statement, 2-3 months after the release of Photoshop Express main stream use will begin and then 8-10 months after that, you can expect your grandparents to know what it is and how to use it.
5. Smaller is better, well it was.
For years now people have been looking for smaller and smaller versions of the big clunky things they already own. The first computer took up the size of a small room. Now you have laptops that look like this. But sooner than you think, people will be looking for not smaller, but more durable. Small is too small, you get things that happen like this and eventually people will just stop buying the products because they are, well, too small and make the product much harder to use. Eventually companies will have to see this and find a good balance between small and large. I personally have never liked phones that are so thin and small, I was forced to buy a LG Chocolate because it was the only phone at the time that would not loose half of its thickness when it was open. The chocolate is probably about the right size for me when it comes to phones.
6. “A wake up call for the Nintendo Generation. We demand free access to data, well, it comes with some responsibility.”
Free. Free. Free. FREEEEEEE. This is the future, paying 99 cents on a song that has been DRM‘d is totally ridiculous. For hundreds of years music has been shared and traded for free, but the introduction of the RIAA has turned something that was for people to enjoy and learn about into copyright and trademarking gold mine. Lawsuits left and right, alienation of the artists. The people are starting to get fed up with the way its heading right now, and so are the artists. Raidohead and Pennywise are 2 bands that I can think of off the top of my head that have shown that free can be part of a business model. As long as iTunes is still charging 99 cents for a song and 9.99 for an album, websites will still exist to get music and movies for free. End of story.
7. Electric cars, not the future. Hydrogen cars are.
Despite what you believe or what you ‘know’, if you don’t think that hydrogen is the future, then you are wrong. Electricity still is the most efficient way of using alternate fuel right now and the most talked about, so I do not blame you for being ignorant. Moving on. Hydrogen is the future, if you want to make money get into the business of selling hydrogen, because it is the next ‘gasoline’. Don’t get me wrong, gas will still power a lot of things, for instance your lawnmower, your go cart/ped, etc. But you will be using hydrogen to get from home to work from now on. Let me tell you the best part about hydrogen, the process used to create energy has only one byproduct. Hydrogen Dioxide. More commonly known as water. Lets put it this way, Gas is the HDDVD Electric is Bluray and hydrogen is the SSD. That may help you visualize it better. So even though you just spent 80 grand on a new electric vehicle, when you come crying to me I will have no sympathy.
So, to sum it all up. I want to see how well I have guessed in 2 years, so I will be keeping tabs on this, somewhat. Would love to get some feed back from you all and what you think.
PS: hooray for longest blog ever written to date…for me…