Posted on January 2, 2016 • 4 minutes • 809 words
In a tradition that is now 8 years running (2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 ) here are my predictions for 2016. My predictions have shifted from consumer technology quite a bit as I have focused my career but hopefully I’ll still make some accurate predictions for the year to come.
If you haven’t already read my followup to my 2015 predictions you can find it here .
- The year of Linux on the desktop. But what does that actually mean? Probably not what it used to mean. I don’t think consumers are going to start buying desktops or laptops in mass in 2016, but just like my 2015 prediction I hope corporations and governments will look to Linux as an alternative to Windows and OS X. The reasons I think it will start to happen is Microsoft is forcing Windows 10 a little too aggressively for companies and OS X doesn’t work very well in a corporate environment for many different reasons. Not to mention the on going security problems Windows and increasingly OS X have.
- Website tracking and ad blocking will have a very public and very ugly war with multiple websites going bankrupt. The solution the ad companies will come up with is to proxy their ads through the hosting websites so ads and tracking appear to come from the first party instead of third party. This will cause ad blockers to no longer blacklist ad networks but instead block based on tracking signatures similar to how AV companies have tried, and mostly failed, for years. I believe the solution to this problem is to get rid of ads completely and move to a micropayment solution, but I don’t think the web will ever agree upon a standard unless it is forced upon them.
- Web apps grow up into native software replacements. Chrome’s native client and Firefox’s asm are going to hit the main stream in 2016 with some big names making alternatives to their desktop software as powerful “web” versions. I assume Adobe will make a striped down Photoshop (which eventually will replace the current version) and Microsoft will probably make a more powerful version of office. I don’t have high hopes for asm but whichever solution is more open will probably be adopted.
- Self driving cars will stall in 2016 because of political reasons, people scared they’re going to get hacked, and companies not being able to agree on standards for inter-vehicle communication and rules for “driving”.
- VR will come out with a bang and receive lots of backing from big companies that want it to succeed (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon). But with a steep price to get started and no content or killer application adoption will be slow. Similar to 4K TVs.
- For developers and systems administrators, 2016 will be consumed with aaS to reign in the new era of applications. These service will abstract servers away more and more so applications can be more easily run without any yak shaving and dependency management. A lot of this has already happened in 2014–2015 but 2016 will see a lot more hosted services to do this for you. This will be a lot like Amazon lambda but more specific for a lot of different types of applications.
- On the more crazy side of my predictions I have a feeling we’ll see the first accident resulting in death from a self driving car, as well as a catastrophic event from space exploration. I really hope these don’t come true but I don’t see how much longer they will be avoidable.
- Google will open a retail store and Amazon will open mini stores with a partnership with existing retailers like Best Buy. This will allow them to have areas of the store where customers can buy products from Amazon after looking at the items on the show floor. This will be the last hope for Best Buy but will ultimately lead to bankruptcy when Best Buy hopes Amazon will buy them but Amazon will refuse.
- There will also be a new big online retailer. A competitor to Amazon and Etsy but more seller friendly. It will crowd source products and make shipping/receiving products much easier. A little bit like what ebay has tried to do and failed. It will also source a lot of products from India and China.
- I really hope there will be some advances in making the U.S. government less political (sounds strange). I hope the next president will be able to continue the work Obama has started to bring more focus on innovation, start to get more fair wages for women and minorities, and remove some roadblocks for innovation in the U.S.
I think that’s enough. I caught myself rambling on hopes more than things I actually think will happen, but I can dream.