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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Jan 3, 2002 (Vol. 7, #1 - Issue #332)
2002 Crystal Ball Issue
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • 2002 Crystal Ball Issue
  2. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
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  EDITORS CORNER

2002 Crystal Ball Issue

Well, it's a new year and as a 'pundit' it's my sacred duty to predict what is going to happen in 2002, or at least make an educated guess. Last year I got 7 out of 10 so that wasn't all that bad. I hope I can at least match that score this time around. Most predictions that I received from readers were mainly "Linux will take over" so I'll have to do the work myself again... [grin] To begin with, 2001 is over and good riddance! So let's have a look at the fresh new year. This issue is usually the shortest, but takes the most time to write. Easily costs me a few days for all the research and brainstorming.

But first: A great 2002 for everyone. Personally I wish for a world without war, insanity (that includes crazy terrorists) and crime, where able human beings can prosper and where we as human kind can rise to greater heights: Peace On Earth!

So here goes for 2002!

  1. Economic recovery is going to be slow, especially for Tech which is in a deep hole at the moment. Don't expect anything before the second half of the year. Microsoft will continue to barrel on like usual, expand in existing and the new markets it is opening up, and put even more focus on security. Its stock will rise this year leading the way for the rest of Tech. But PC's become more and more a commodity and I see no growth above single digits for the whole of 2002. MS will slowly introduce its .NET strategy but this is really a 5-year plan. For IT, all the above simply means more cost cutting, and reduction of risk with can lead to outsourcing. A good chunk of you will work for a service provider this new year. No new VC-money means falling back on ideas that have proven to work, and the trend toward smaller devices will continue. Things like cell phone and PDA integration will take off like a rocket. Even I want one of these puppies.
  2. The "HPAQ merger" was a still-born child and it will fizzle during 2002. It may make sense from their own perspective, but the market does not see it. Better hurry, as (with a few exceptions) general morale is below zero in both Compaq and HP. Compaq will try to penetrate the market for server management tools with new stuff they wrote called "Proliant Essentials" but will fail. While HPAQ management is distracted by the failed merger, Dell will benefit.
  3. Like I said last year, some new, virulent and highly creative dangerous viruses will see the light and this "malware" will again cause billions of dollars of damage. Main ones: script viruses, remote access trojans (backdoors), mass mailing W32's, and new and better debugged Code Red and Nimda strains will likely surface. The Internet itself might cough a bit, but will stay up.
    "Internet Terrorism" will become a buzzword, but anybody predicting a Net meltdown is a hypochondriac. Especially 2002 will be the year of "Security vs. Privacy". And talking about Internet terrorism, it's really a shame that the mainstream media do not understand they are to a large extent a guilty party. Terrorists are just a few against many. What they really do is hijack the democratic mass media and use these against the population. And the mass media are willingly cooperating as "Bad News Sells Newspapers". This is a vicious downward spiral. You strengthen what you give attention to. But unfortunately that works both ways, both positive and negative. We as IT-people should focus on fortifying our infrastructure. The mass media should not make the bad guys into media stars and make the environment seem even more dangerous than it really is.
  4. I was wrong in 1999, 2000 and 2001 when I predicted the following: "Novell will finally be acquired this year by a big player like Oracle, Sun or IBM". But I'm going to keep on predicting this one until it comes true! [grin] They have shrunk considerably this last year, so this year might be when it really happens.
  5. It goes without saying that we'll see another record breaking year for security incidents. The focus of computer security will move from just perimeter defense to include more authentication management and internal access control: protection against disgruntled employees. Where you are, who you are and if you have access or not, are going to be a business issue that will be addressed more and more. For 2002, think biometrics, smart cards and related technologies. Passwords (even strong ones) are slowly going to be replaced. Software that automates multi-platform user account creation and management will be implemented more and more. Enterprise Security Management (ESM) tools will come into their own.
  6. We have seen in 2001 that building in redundancy, and planning for and deploying disaster recovery plans is a necessity. Corporate IT budgets will be conservative for 2002, but will include way more money for security and disaster recovery. There will be mandates from the top down to do what is necessary to have this functioning (better). Last year was the wake-up call that will finally get you the resources in 2002 to protect your data and your infrastructure. And since we now have finally learned enough about DNS and Active Directory to deploy it, my crystal ball tells me this year will see a significant increase in AD-sites.
  7. What is the last line of defense? Operating System hardening tools. There will be significant growth in that new category this year. I have seen two brand new products that are very promising in this area, both approaching hardening the OS from very different angles but both very effective. I'm predicting that in 2002 you'll experiment with one of these new tools.
  8. The larger USA and European Home Building Companies will build new dedicated IT departments. These IT-groups will focus on helping new home owners design their home networking from the ground up. Structured wiring will give every room Ethernet and Internet access, with home security systems integrated and internet accessible. The leading Appliance makers will come out with internet-ready devices. This is a humongous market that is still fragmented. 2002 will see a home automation standard created by Microsoft, General Electric and a few other BIG players. (I'm building a windows-based automated new home myself at the moment, and you'll hear more about this in coming issues!)
  9. The Hottest Little Handheld for the first half of 2002: The new Handspring Treo. Hands down. Other WINNER technologies: Web Services (full integration of all IT including mainframes with the Web) the 802.11G wireless standard, The XBOX, Security/Biometrics, Linux, Windows XP (73 Million users expected), iSCSI, Data Redundancy tools, cable modems and perhaps factional T1 for the home, and Voice Over IP telephony which now is finally good quality and cost effective. LOSERS: WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), DSL, security for wireless LANs, and BlueTooth. On The FENCE: Microsoft's phone which it will release in Europe this year.
  10. MS will come out with a new generation XBOX, late 2002 or early 2003. The code name for this puppy is "HomeStation" and it's got a whole lot of goodies that make it the central hub for the home. This still top-secret device is a PC/XBOX hybrid and just like the XBOX will run a stripped-down-to-the-bare-bone version of Windows. Finally a machine that makes digital convergence into a living room reality. Just like the XBOX, this system is expected to be a non-upgradeable sealed unit, with a system board based on nVIDIA's nForce, boasting GeForce graphics and Dolby Digital sound. Fat hard disk, broadband connection and compression technology. Read: video-on-demand which Microsoft .NET Server will happily serve. It may also very well wear the hat of a digital TV recorder ( la TiVo), and have a lot of wireless tricks built in. It may even manage home automation. Much more about that not-so-secret-anymore new box at:
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020103ED-SonOfXBOX

    Tip 'o the Hat to subscribers who sent in predictions that I used for inspiration: Peter Faulkner, Tony Coburn, Trevor Cushen, Tony Long, Mike O'Hara, Oakie, and Eugene Kalinin.

    Warm regards,

    Stu Sjouwerman (email me with feedback: [email protected])

  FAVE LINKS

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

  • Unbelievably useful site with everything you can imagine and the kitchen sink.
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020103FA-RefDesk
  • Analysis: 20 factors that will change PCs in 2002. Must Read!
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020103FA-20factors
  • A great technical overview of the features of .NET Server Beta 3 release here (Word Document):
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020103FA-NETBeta3