Its that time of year again. The Business Internet Examiner is once more prepared to point out so observations, make some bold assumptions, and then predict the direction of technology this coming year.
Prediction Number 1:
LIBRE OFFICE TO CHALLENGE MICROSOFT OFFICE
Open Source technologies will chip away at Microsoft business applications. Microsoft will have to contend with a strong version of Libre Office. Libre Office offers users an open source (free download) which includes robust functions including fully functional word processor, power point creator, spread sheet creator, drawing program, and more in the form of an easy to download and install business suite.
Developed by volunteers and a small staff at the document foundation, Libre Office boasts a growing group of extensions and templates designed for users to increase functionality. Everything from calendar makers, to resume templates, to google docs connectors, and clip art are now available Libre Office. Best of all Libre office is built for mac, windows, or linux systems making it device agnostic and free.
For those who want to work with their excel or microsoft word documents, Libre Office makes it easy for those documents to be compatible. There are rumors about an on-line version of Libre Office coming out in 2013. That could be a game changer given Microsoft’s 365 but the Document Foundation says that we should look for announcements about this product in early 2013.
Prediction Number 2.
DESKTOP DEAD, ANDROID, IOS NOW RULE, MICROSOFT SURFACE LATE TO THE PARTY
The desktop is essentially dead. Its been dying a slow death since late 2011 but now desktops best hope might be to become recycled as businesses move to a thin client model of computing. Sure laptops may be around for a while, but look for these devices to morph into tablets with a more solid keyboard with touch capabilities.
The device explosion is just beginning. 17 million apple and android devices were activated on Christmas day 2012 according to Flurry Analytics.
Although not a scientific measuring tool, twitter stats on Christmas morning revealed not very good news for Microsoft on the tablet side is that the new Microsoft Surface tablet was fourth behind the IPAD, the Kindle Fire (runs on a version of android), and the Google Nexus (android) in the twitter ratings.
Prediction Number 3.
EXPANDING COMMUNICATION EXPANDS
Expanding Communication OS, a communications server for business created by New Orleans Start-Up Maxwell Worthington LLC will get traction as both a hosted product and as a software download.
The product which installs, configures, and manages the best enterprise level email, messaging, and collaboration solutions; has a unique opportunity to change the lives of technology professionals who hours managing email and communications server solutions at great expense to organizations and businesses worldwide.
Look for Maxwell Worthington to add to their platform with a similar document and file server offering, CRM, and perhaps telephony or accounting software packages.
More information on the Expanding Communication can be found at www.expandingcommunication.com.
Prediction Number 4
AUGMENTED REALITY AS REALITY
Live, direct, real world environmental enhancements will become a huge part of using smart phones, tablets, and all of the other wonderful technologies that we seek. The implications are huge particularly for museums, maps, shopping, design, and for public services.
We have become information consumers and in some cases addicts. Imagine trying on clothes without having to use a dressing room, or maps for first responders at a disaster site that serve as a guide for the best responses, or instant information about a historic site in a city in which you are visiting. The more augmented reality develops, the more it will become more interactive and ultimately used by consumers and businesses.
For more on augmented reality.