2007 tech predictions

Welcome to 2007! Americans celebrate the dawning of a new year by throwing calendars out the window, watching countless games of college football sponsored by snack foods, and nursing hangovers from a night of rowdy drinking. We emerge from this haze ready to take on a new year of challenges, hopes and dreams. Let’s take a look at three top technology trends I expect will have a big influence on our tech world in 2007.

Apple releases blog, wiki software as open source

Apple Leopard Server will ship later this year with wikis, blogs, and podcast production built-in. This new server software, powered by Python on the backend and lots of JavaScript on the front-end, adds Apple’s design simplicity to popular geek software tools.

The new blog and wiki software will certainly sell more Xserve hardware due to the simplicity of the bundled GUI administration tools, but I expect Apple may also open source the software itself. Apple blog and wiki software will join its calendar server on Mac OS Forge, and many Mac geeks will convert.

A side-effect of the release is the newly publicized proving ground for Python and the Twisted framework, causing a few more web developers to take a look at using the software in their own projects.

Music is bundled with new cell phones

New high-speed cellular networks have arrived in the United States, or at least in major metropolitan areas. HSDPA and EV-DO Rev. A on GSM and CDMA networks respectively will deliver faster connectivity to the handset, creating better opportunities for data-based purchases on the handheld.

These new high speed cellular data networks combined with branded application experiences making their way onto headsets can create a new market for rich content such as video clips, ringtones, and song downloads. I expect carriers will being marketing these new music phones with free downloads from a branded online music store to drive more mobile downloads.

Widgets get a boost from politics

The United States 2004 Presidential campaign placed blogs in the spotlight, taking bloggers out of their pajamas and into the press room. The 2008 campaign will embrace the Internet as a fundraising and influence medium, connecting constituents with individual causes, candidates, and opinions in the technology town square.

Presidential candidates will embrace widgets to reach the trendy youth demographics of MySpace and hosted blog networks. Each widget will rally readers behind a cause, track fundraising activity, and join together millions of little pieces of content and opinion. You will be able to display the latest campaign video from your favorite candidate, poll results in the next primary battleground, and many other customizations.

Businesses will observe the success of widgets in politics after extensive coverage in mainstream media and begin to leverage the technology in their own influence campaigns.