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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jan 6, 2003 (Vol. 8, #1 - Issue #407)
2003 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • 2003 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes
    • And Here Are The 2003 Predictions
  3. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
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    2003 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes

    So, once a year I'm using the newsletter for something completely unrelated to IT but something that affects us all: World Peace. One big mystery question existing on the subject of terrorism and 9/11/2001 is - how come these people want to blow us up, anyway?

    Shortly after 9/11, a dialog on National Public Radio on the history of Islam provided some insight on the issue. The program gave a rundown on the history of Islam and the Near East over the last 300 years. An historian on this show related that around 1700 a movement rose up around the teachings of a cleric called Wahab, who advocated following a pure form of Islam earlier practiced around the 8th century. Since the appearance of Wahab, the history of the greater Arabic world has been a back and forth game between the adherents of this very strict 8th century approach called Wahabi's (of which Osama Bin Ladin is a follower) versus the other Muslim sects and non-Muslims. For the last 300 years, the Wahabi fundamentalists have considered any of the other Muslim sects as heretics and suppressed them to varying degrees every time the Wahabi's were in a position of power.

    As you have probably noticed, the rest of the Muslim community did not exactly run to the defense and assistance of the Taliban regime. The reason is that the non-ultra fundamentalist Muslim sects (which compose the majority of the members of the Muslim faith) have been subjected to religious intolerance from the Wahabi's for the last 300 years.

    Two weeks after 9/11, a reporter from CNN asked an imprisoned Taliban terrorist just what it was he was trying to accomplish. The terrorist said he was ridding the world of deviates from the true teachings of Mohammed. The interviewer asked him - well let's say you beat the USA, would you then go blow up all the Muslims in Pakistan who aren't fundamentalists? The terrorist said: "Of course." I don't know how many people are looking at it this way, but from my viewpoint intolerance of religious belief plays a vast role in this scene.

    Intolerance of religious beliefs is a driving force in a "holy war", waged against not only the "infidel devils" from the USA but even the rest of the Muslim world. Looking over the history of religious pursuits on this planet, it is a volatile history in the extreme. In China today, and since the cultural revolution of Mao, psychicatric prison hospitals have served as a deterrent to the pursuit of an understanding of life other than devotion to state. Since 2000, practicing any religion besides those approved by the Chinese state carries a death penalty.

    Protestants and Catholics have been going at it with a vengeance since Luther broke off in the 1500's, and they are still killing each other in Belfast. Before that, Christians were served for supper to Roman lions. The point is, this question of "what is life?" and "what is the meaning of all this?" is not only an activity pursued by every man but history itself has been a chronicle of the fighting and dying for the right to carry out this pursuit.

    So here is my New Year's Wish for 2003. Let us respect each other's religions and World Peace just might come a little closer. The United Nations has a great page with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Religious tolerance is right up there in Article 2:

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

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    And Here Are The 2003 Predictions

    The issue that is the shortest of the year but takes the longest to write has finally arrived. Here's my view from the crystal ball with the blue haze.

    1. IT MARKET IN GENERAL / MS in particular: The general trends are going to stay much like 2002, with only some pockets (like Wi-Fi) improving. Growth rates are going to be in the 3-6% area if that. Microsoft is currently one of the few bright spots in IT, and will barrel along as usual, helped by increasing penetration of the mid-range server environment. It will be hard for MS to grow further into the OS desktop space, since they still own over 90% of it. Their only problem is how to continue growing. That means they have to move into other markets where they are the underdog. MS moved into game consoles, but now competes with the likes of SONY in that space. They fight a battle in the portable phones market but ran into Nokia there. This is the real mortal combat MS is involved in. My predictions for 2003? They will do the usual: come out with a "V1.0" that doesn't quite make it yet, learn from the experience, and later versions will be hot enough to penetrate the market at bargain prices. They have the money and persistance to make it go right. But it's going to be a messy and uphill battle.
    2. OPERATING SYSTEMS: Linux is going to eat Unix alive. If Linux were to grow exponentially on the desktop as well, MS would be in trouble. No such chance. Recent IDC research shows that it costs roughly the same to support either for 100 users over 5 years. MS will further eat into the Unix RISC-based Server space, as midrange server sales are going to climb again. Sun is going to have a rough year as people replace Sun with Linux based Intel gear. India and China are going to be contrarians; they will both use and push Linux hard. MS will release Windows .Net Server this year, but the uptake will be slow. Migration will mainly be forced by the fact tech support for NT and W2K expiring. This year, we will see Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and perhaps 5. It may very well stop after there. A bright point in the market is that Linux will force MS to compete on quality.
      - Since I have predicted for years that Novell would be acquired, and it still has not happened, I'll continue this tradition. ;-) Better chances in 2003 as they are doing well with their eDirectory for authentication, and the NMAS product for user management. Web Services and XML are THE 2003 hot areas outside the OS-arena.
    3. HARDWARE: Some enterprising company this year will create a combo card: Wi-Fi with GPRS, and it will work with the iPaq/Pocket PC handhelds. This combo is going to blow the smithereens out of older platforms like Blackberry. - Servers based on Blades are going to take off this year, only problem is software to manage these puppies. Companies that do this will do really well. - Tablet PCs will move slowly but steadily into the notebook and laptop space. Just a trickle in 2003, the tablet will become a hot item in 2004. - Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) will get stronger and stronger, 2002 was already doing pretty well. Using Voice over IP (VoIP) gets real popular to obtain bottom line gains, but 64-bit computing adoption will go very slow in 2003. Intel is going to invest in Wi-Fi like mad. Laptops will be Wi-Fi enabled in 2003 or should be. Do not buy a laptop without it. - Flat Screens are going to be the bomb in 2003, expect 20-30% rise in sales for both TVs and Desktop Screens (or combo's of both which I just got). Look for a glut in memory chips and systems fully loaded with RAM.
    4. NETWORKING: Wi-Fi goes mainstream. End 2003, pretty much any airport, coffee shop, bookstore, or hotel will provide wireless Net connectivity using the "Wireless-Fidelity" 802.11b standard. Also, many companies will allow their guests non-WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol), Internet-only access and give employees 802.11b or 802.11a (54 MB) access to the full network using encryption and WEP.
    5. HOME AUTOMATION: There is going to be a whole slew of new devices coming out in this arena. Stuff like residential Internet gateways for delivering broadband content and services. Intelligent small devices all communicating (wireless of course) with a main home server. Look for lots of Wi-Fi gear at rock bottom prices. If I would play the stock market (which I don't) I would buy into two Taiwan companies that produce Wi-Fi gear: Gemtek and Ambit.
    6. GADGETS: The hottest things this year will be things like the Archos Multi Jukebox Media Player; a $400 player that not only plays songs and takes pictures but also plugs into your TV and records the latest episode of your fave shows. And in a similar vein, look for SonicBlue's new palm-size portable hand-held video player that will hold about 50 hours of video! Last but not least, check out the Xact WristLinx, which is a combo of a watch and a walkie-talkie, just the item for techs-like-us. [grin]
    7. SECURITY: The U.S. corporate networks will still be vulnerable by the end of 2003. It is likely that a coordinated attack will bring the Net to it's knees for a day or two. But the biggest story in 2003 will be the identity theft of a large company database (could be a wi-fi hack) filled with tens of thousands of customers' Social Security Number and Credit cards, resulting in the largest "Internet Heist" ever. Implementation of security policies, particularly in small- to medium-sized businesses and organizations will increase. Of course a few more worms will be released, perhaps one as a retaliation for invasion of Iraq. Keep your systems secure, and get your data offsite real-time as part of a robust disaster recovery plan. Remote user security and OS Patch management, separately and together will be two very important issues this year. I would hope that security is a main target at the START of software development this year. No More Buffer Overflows! The certification to get this year is CISSP, which shows you have in-depth knowledge of multiple security principles.
    8. SPAM: Will rise to a maximum of about 25-35% of all email traffic and then level off. The numbers vary wildly, but research shows it costs companies between $8 and $26 per employee per month in lost time dealing with unwanted email. In 2003, the total number of emails sent will rise 30 percent to 40 billion a day. One prediction I'm sure will come true is that Sunbelt is going to come out with a super slick MMC-interface spam filter for Exchange 2000 that will blow all other solutions out of the water [grin]. The iHateSpam Server Edition Beta is out next week.
    9. FINANCE: By the end of 2003, the Five Tech Giants; Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, Dell and Oracle will have ammassed well over a $100 Billion in cash and liquid investments. They are at 87B now, and this will only go up. They are not as 'sick' as the press wants you to believe. Each of these giants is grabbing market share helped by their very deep pockets. Google is going to be elected the sexiest high-tech company of the year. Dell will become the 800 pound gorilla of the PC bizz, beating HP on the PC front. But HP will start doing a better job at the high end of playing IBM's service game and maintaining a commanding lead in the printer business (with Dell snapping at its heels). The Compaq/HP merger will be exposed during 2003 as the train wreck it really is. Both market share and sales are down, but expect their PR to spin this into wildly positive news. (I predicted this correctly in the last 2002 crystal ball issue. See this link:
      Corporate IT budgets are slowly edging up again, but no more than single digits. The 'Return On Investment' (ROI) concept will be replaced with the 'PONI' concept. (Price Of Non Investment) Example: Wall Street did not invest in email archiving systems. Now they'll have to--after they pony up $8.25 million in fines. (Tip 'o the Hat to Frank Hayes from ComputerWorld for this one)
    10. 2003 MILESTONES: IDC expects a number of significant milestones to be passed over the course of the next 12 months. By the end of 2003, there will be more than 600 million PCs and 1.5 billion portable phones worldwide. There will be more than 700 million Internet users, 250 million mobile Internet users and over 80 million broadband households worldwide. And more than 1 billion email boxes will have been created by the end of 2003.
    My personal 2003 wish list has only one item: [grin]

    I want a PDA+cellphone+GPS in one waterproof unit with the color hi-res screen about the size of a PocketPC. I want it to be powerful enough that I could plug it into a docking station and use it as my primary home computer/entertainment device - docking it up to a 54" widescreen hi-rez plasma TV/monitor, a "real" keyboard, a cordless optical mouse, broadband internet and my surround sound system. It should also handle a USB digital camera/camcorder interface somehow. And multiplayer joysticks/gamepads. External hard disk/DVD recorder unit is an optional accessory, with a TiVo-like functionability built-in. And continue to build stuff that I can hook onto it for the next 3-4 years instead of being obsolete the moment I buy it!!!


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

  • Using 802.1x Authentication on Computers Running Windows 2000:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-Authentication
  • HackerWhacker, see your site the way hackers do:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-HackerWhacker
  • Let's start 2003 with a fresh initiative. Abolish the IRS, kill income tax completely and replace it with a National Retail Sales Tax:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-Tax
  • A SysAdmin Speaks. Life in the trenches. Interesting article:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-SysAdmin
  • The drawbacks of antispam real-time black holes. Interesting perspective:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-BlackHoles
  • The vaporware Top 10 of 2002. Products in eternal "betaness":

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-VaporWare
  • There is a beta build of Windows 2000 SP4 floating on the Web. w2ksp4_4.027_en (sp4) comes in at a whopping 136,217,552 bytes. It seems to be a preview release of the sp4 beta. If you do not mind completely destroying a machine, download it at techconnect. PS, You need to be/get registered on that site to get this.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030106FA-W2K_SP4