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Vol. 11, #1 - Jan 3, 2006 - Issue #557
Here Is Your 2006 Crystal Ball Issue

    • Here Is Your 2006 Crystal Ball Issue
    • Quote of the Week
    • 2006 Predictions
  3. WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
KERIO Supports Bleeding Edge Snort Rules

Did you know that the Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall (SKPF)
supports Bleeding Edge Snort Rules? You can protect your PC
against the new WMF zero-day attack by just copying two rules
into a Kerio text file and your PC is safe. Here is the link
to our Pres' Blog with the two rules and how to plug them in.
(You know where to download the SKPF itself, the Sunbelt site)


Here Is Your 2006 Crystal Ball Issue

It's that time again, as usual I pulled out the asbestos undies, so you can safely flame my behind after reading the 2006 predictions! I'm dusting off the Palantir and am ready to gaze in the cloudy crystal once more.

But to begin with, I'm repeating the tradition of my same New Year's Wish that you have read at this spot for the last 10 years: "A world without war, crime and insanity, where people can flourish, prosper and reach greater heights". And let me add to that that I'd -really- like to see World Peace for all of humanity, but I'm not counting on it for the coming year.

Now what is expected for 2006? The Crystal Ball issue is the shortest newsletter of all, but takes the longest time to write. First though, here comes the hurt. How did I do with the 2005 predictions? I got 7 out of 10, not too shabby. I missed some, but not too many.

IE still has been able to hold on to 86% where I predicted lower than 80% market share, and no major Open Source patent infringement lawsuits either. Oh well. [grin] I have had help in getting the new one for '06 together. Thanks to WServerNews readers Keith Hare, Jonathan Cook, Daniel Cooke, Russell Seeney, Johan van Zyl, Tom Trottier, Tim Payne, and last but not least: Google. And here is your first 2006 SunPoll: "For 2006, which do you expect to be the greatest security threat to your networks?"
  • Spyware
  • Malware attached to email
  • Viruses
  • Outside-in hacking attempts
  • Internal security hacks
  • Phishing attacks
  • Other
Vote Here:

Quote of the Week

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Hope you enjoy this issue of WServerNews! Warm regards, Stu Sjouwerman  |   Email me: [email protected]


2006 Predictions

MICROSOFT / ECONOMY: Like last year, MS is going to barrel along just fine. The special European version without Media Player will fall flat on its face, very few people will insist on buying it. You may well "lose" another favorive IT-vendor, as the '05 merger frenzy keeps on going in 2006. The economy for '06 is expected to be growing more than 3% (housing bubble will cool) strong, but expect IT budgets to decrease slightly in 2006. However security software will climb at double digit rates, driven by more and more sophisticated security threats by financially motivated hackers, Government regulation and spending, and the protection of consumer identity and data.

OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows Vista will actually be early! They claim late 2006 but I suspect Redmond is sandbagging it this time. The code they recently released looks very good. However, expect Patch Tuesdays to be -very- busy the first few months after the release. And regarding WinFS, the new file system, that's going to be '07. Linux will continue to go great guns and gobble up all legacy Unix, and I still do not see a lot of Linux on the desktop for 2006 except for "no-budget" organizations.

64-BIT DEVELOPMENT: Since Exchange12 will force in 64-bit based hardware, count on Longhorn Server (Vista's big brother) to require the same in 2009. A lot of server virtualization will make 64-bit server hardware adaptation going relatively fast.

ANY HARDWARE: As I predicted, Hybrid vehicles were a HUGE novelty in 2005, and will fully go mainstream in 2006. However, the biggest fortunes will be made in Hi-Def TV Sets; expect Dell, HP and Intel to move into that market even faster than they are now. December '06 you'll see 42-inch HDTV plasma set for $1,299. Flat screen HDTV will drive broadband deployment like crazy. Seventy percent of Intel's server chips and 85% of its consumer chips will be dual-core by the end of 2006. Due to competition, 3G smartphones will flood on the market at rock-bottom prices.

NETWORKING: Wi-MAX will be the hot ticket in 2006, but like last year's predictions, old-fashioned wired networks will grow both faster and larger in 2006. Broadband penetration will continue to grow in the US, but will continue to lag compared to other (way) more advanced countries. By 2010, Gartner expects 30 percent of U.S. homes will be using only cellular or Internet telephony. Wi-Fi mesh-nets in urban areas will spread so fast that even wildfires can't keep up.

(V)BLOGS: Over half of the blog networks will disappear in '06. Some 5 or 10 big ones will survive. BlogAds will will proliferate rapidly in the immediate 12 months. However, 2006 will be the year that video on the web will explode with VLOGS being the leader, as all the ingredients are now in place.

SECURITY: Under pressure from Google, Microsoft has rolled out it's 'live' concept for consumers. It's a bit of a clunker, and will take them through 2006 to get it somewhat in order, so do not expect this puppy until 2007. When it finally arrives it will be a commercial disaster, as subscriptions to fix something that should be good to begin with is a really stupid idea. Your organization will be forced to continue pro-active "defense-in-depth". Rootkits will be a major center of attention, but do not forget macro viruses that will spread via mobile devices. The push to use biometric ID mechanisms will increase. Someone will get caught using prosthetic biometric devices to counterfeit another person's identify, leading to speculation about how many uses of prosthetic biometric devices have not been caught. At least one popular Open Source app will be successfully massively attacked by hackers, likely Firefox.

THE BLACKBERRY CASE: The Patent Office will reject NTP's final patent. NTP will still win the court case and RIM will be forced to pay big bucks or shut down. The Canadian government will step in and announce that this is the last straw in the way Canadian Industry is treated across the border. There will be threats of of trade retaliation and disbanding the North American Free Trade Agreement. One side of the American government will puff out it's chest and make their own threats, while the other side begs RIM not to shut down as it will cause chaos in the government and industry. The final winner? Nobody! Lessons learned? None!

GAMING: Traditional gaming company business models will come under pressure from a free and wildly popular Google online game that will be supported by advertising. Another Gnail in Redmond's coffin. The XBOX 360 will be a major hit but stay in short supply for the first half of the year forcing game companies to lay off people. The hacking community will have Linux running on the 360 in no time, and will create a distributed supercomputing cluster using the new XBOX hardware. Gaming will achieve more respect and market acceptance in '06.

MESSAGING SECURITY: The volume of SPAM will level off to 70% of total email traffic. Attachments of malware to email will increase big time in 2006, and the anti-spam laws will continue to be ineffective. IE7 will help make RSS explode if it ever ships. Email borne "spear phishing" attacks will be the bane of many companies and cause even more security debacles than '05.

SPYWARE: Turned out to be the #1 headache of IT in 2005 as predicted. Well over 80% of sites will have an antispyware solution in place by the end of 2006. Someone will notice that the BIOS updates for PC's from Lenovo actually install spyware that sends information back to the company in China. (It's not paranoia if it is true) [grin]

OUTSOURCING: The trend towards outsourcing tech support to (mainly) India is going to backlash on some companies badly. It is hard trying to explain a problem to a person who cannot understand you, and you not understanding them, where on top you also have doubts about their technical ability to solve your problem, justified or not. I predict this trend towards offshore support help will begin to reverse in 2006 because of customer complaints about the level of support that is given.

  • Sunbelt Software will be slashdotted at least 6 times in 2006
  • There will be a new product called Google Money, think Paypal with a twist, but Google's stock price will take it's first big hit (-20%)
  • Microsoft will decide Windows Live isn't worth it after all and kill the baby.
  • "Web 2.0" will be exposed for the marketing buzzword sham it is.
  • A Korean hardware company will come out with a laptop sporting a USB airbag
  • Companies to be bought in '06: TIVO, AOL, and LinkedIn whether by Yahoo, Google or Microsoft. Eek.
  • Ebay will force people to inform the IRS & Inland Revenue of all sales made. EEEK.
  • 17 named storms expected in 2006; East Coast at twice the average risk; EEEEEEEK!
  • Continued high oil prices and massive VC investments will force one major new clean technology into the foreground that will be taken up worldwide. wOOt!
  • Apple continues to crank out next-gen iPods and the latest one will have a satellite radio receiver, a PDA, a phone and GPS-capability. I want one! Prices for iTunes songs will start varying wildly based on popularity, and some one will find a way to sell them to other consumers.
And one for the road. Blake Ross predicted: Due to a glitch in Windows Vista, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will mix up his notes at PDC '06 and declare: "Developers, developers, developers... We're going to f*%ing bury those guys!" Nineteen will leave on stretchers with furniture-related injuries." Hee hee.

Have a great 2006 !

WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS

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