Six Technology Predictions for 2013

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After thinking about it at long length, I thought I would summaries and write down some of the things I believe are coming to the technology and computing world in 2013. It is obviously not long until the new year, as I’m sure you’re well aware, so many of these predictions won’t be revolutionary and may appear obvious – but bear with me.

1. The Social Battle will Thicken & Diversify

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I’m not just talking about social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter becoming even more popular, I’m talking about them diversifying in a bid to gain extra control. With Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram it has become apparent that the social giant is trying to gain control over a key field in the market, photo sharing. Likewise Facebook’s newly implemented instant upload feature which takes your photos from your mobile and uploads them onto your Facebook account, as and when you take them. Twitter, and other photo sharing sites, now have competition as to where you upload your food photos to.

By diversifying these large companies are treading on each others toes. In the past, a single company did a single thing, and did it well – these companies are now spreading into other areas. And as a prediction I would see that trend continue with these big players all fulfilling a similar role.

2. Search will become less URL based, More Q/A

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Search engines will do less searching and more answering. Many of Google’s recent changes to it’s search functionality have included the likes of integration with Google+ to provide information about people and an actual calculator to carry out arithmetic. This will likely continue and integrate information about products, hotels, facilities, flights and everything – taking people away from the websites it links to, away from URL based search engines, to a more question/answer engine.

This will also happen with mobile platforms with a rise in popularity of apps like Siri and Google Now giving people answers and real-time information quickly while on the move.

3. Open-Source Will Continue to Grow

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This is a very wide prediction but given time and a wider appreciation for the technology we use daily then open-source technology will rise in popularity, Github is just a single front for developers collaborating and sharing their code to a wide audience but I predict this will affect more than just small projects.

As an incredibly large open-source project, I also include Android in this prediction which along with iOS is taking hold of a slowly maturing mobile market but iOS, no matter how great will always suffer the downfall of being attached to the iPhone and iPad franchise. Whereas Android can be used (or adapted for use) with any mobile device, and there are a large number of wealthy mobile manufacturers out there looking for a such a stable mobile OS like Android.

The Desktop vs. Mobile divide is still getting closer with the 10% mobile usage mark being passed in 2012 and this is likely to continue to grow.

4. Slow adoption of Windows 8 & Surface

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Everyone I’ve spoken to is perfectly content with their Windows 7 setup, it does everything they want it to, so why change? Especially when all they want to do is get onto the internet to send a few e-mails. Windows 8 just needed in a world which is moving onto mobile devices that people can take with them. This moves nicely onto the Surface tablet which Microsoft have released. Why should I, the consumer, get a Surface and not an iPad or a Nexus? I suppose you could say this about any tablet, but I think it’s important to bring something new to the market if you’re as late as Microsoft is. Therefore I predict Windows 8 adoption rates will be low and likewise for the Surface tablet.

5. Patent Control and Large Legal Expenses

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It may come as no surprise to hear of my belief that there will be more law suits involving some of the top technology companies, with these law suits being for excessively large amounts. We recently saw a large law suit involving Samsung and Apple (which even has it’s own Wikipedia page). This is likely to continue between the big companies as they attempt to assert their dominance over one another.

6. Government Control and Heightened Paranoia

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Another bureaucratic prediction, this time involving government control and regulation of communication and the transmission of data on the internet. For example, many torrent sharing websites are struggling under new and reinforced pressure regarding copyright infringement laws and are being clamped down on by governments and internet service providers alike, thus providing an extra hindrance. Governments around the globe are slowly gaining some hold of the internet use in their jurisdiction.

This also includes social communication, what you say on the internet will become more regulated and there may well be more law suits involving Facebook posts and Tweets.

There is hope however, with enough people banding together certain laws, like SOPA and ACTA can be fought off.

Conclusion

That just about wraps up my feelings and predictions towards the coming year of 2013 which will generally move in a direction that previous years have. People will use the internet more to connect with one another, communication will occur more throughout the internet and especially through mobile devices – which will likely see a steady increase once again.

How do you feel? Agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments and lets hear your predictions.

Photos by renatodantasc, Sean MacEntee, quinn.anya, andyi and Matt Dinnery.

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